- Last Updated on Friday, 04 January 2013 16:39
- Published on Wednesday, 26 January 2011 16:31
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This past Saturday my son and I had a wonderful time at the Saint Clement’s Island Museum annual Appraisers’ Fair. The event is always a great highlight of the winter, and this year’s fair proved to be equally as good as the previous ten in which I have participated.
We had folks from all over Southern Maryland, as well as some Virginians who came across the Potomac and others from D.C. who drove down with their treasures.
One lady brought a hand-woven Indian blanket that had descended through her family. It was six feet by sixteen feet, and in splendid condition. It was the finest Indian artifact I have seen brought to any fair over all the years I have been involved in seeing antiques of all stripes and colors.
A couple came with an ivory ball on its own stand, with five inner balls, all carved from a single piece. It was perhaps the finest specimen of ivory artisanship I ever saw, and was perfect except for a very slight chip on the base of the stand. They also had a wonderful chess set, all perfect and complete, carved from walrus tusks and teeth.
A lady from Southern Maryland brought a magnificent sterling silver overlay fruit bowl and an exquisite American pattern glass punchbowl, both of which her husband had gotten many years ago from cleaning out an old house of objects the family did not want. She seemed pleasantly surprised when I told her the pressed glass bowl was worth more than the silver overlay one.
One of the most intriguing items was an oil painting of a prospector during the California Gold Rush, standing in front of his cabin, in a forest of beautiful Sequoia redwood trees. Unfortunately, she had sent it to be cleaned by an individual who broke the original frame, and then threw the pieces away. Worse yet, the restoration of the painting had not been done as it should have been. The colors were blurred, and the cleaning had not been effective in bringing them out.
Next week a look at a few of the other pieces that made this one of the best fairs yet.