For the second year in a row, the Friends of the St. Petersburg Main Library held their Antique Evaluation Fair in the Main Library’s auditorium. This branch of Friends of the Library works directly with the Main Library and helps them by buying things that aren’t in their budget and donating money to their different kids programs and English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs.
Four appraisers were in attendance for event held Saturday, November 8, each specializing in a different field: general antiques, Americana, Asian, and books. Participants were lining up outside before the library even opened carrying all sorts of things, including antique toy blocks, ancient ceremonial Japanese headdresses, a picture made out of Russian silk, and even a bronze sculpture the owner had kept in her garden only to find out it was worth a good amount of money.
Paul Cohen, who used to have a doctor’s office on Gulfport Boulevard, and his wife Harriet brought in one of five candelabras they had inherited from a friend. Appraiser Michael Lough of Michael’s Antiques in St. Petersburg said that the candelabra dated back to the 1850s.
Volunteer Lorraine Franckle, who watched all sorts of things come through, said a few people just brought things from the backs of their closets.
“Their kids don’t want these things,” she explained, “and they just don’t know what to do with them!”
Debbie Haslam, president of the Friends, said Saturday’s event went very well and was even better than last year. She estimated that they had about 100 people come and around 150 items appraised. She says she plans on keeping this event going.
“The antique dealers have been very gracious and willing to donate their time,” Haslam said. “It works as publicity for their stores and a fundraiser for us.”
Haslam added a message from The Friends of the Library: “We really appreciate everyone who came today, brought in things and we hope you learned what you wanted to about your items.”