- Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 January 2010 05:00
- Published on Wednesday, 27 January 2010 05:00
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This past Saturday we spent the day at the Saint Clement’s Island Museum at Colton’s Point in Saint Mary’s County, Maryland at the annual Appraisers’ Fair. This year marked the 10th anniversary of the museum’s sponsorship of the event, and thus far I have attended all 10. I was happy to see many of the regulars I have gotten to know over the years, which included those who journeyed across the Potomac from the Northern Neck.
The breadth of fine items that the attendees brought for us to examine was perhaps the finest ever, and the stories often were riveting. The first lady came with a magnificent Steuben bowl, for which she had paid $1 for at a yard sale several months ago. It was particularly fine, and worth $450.
A couple attended with a large document collection that had descended through her family over many generations. It consisted of naval records of several careers, including diplomas from The United States Naval Academy at Annapolis signed by Gideon Welles, Lincoln’s Secretary of the Navy, and commissions, including one signed by Andrew Jackson. I told them that the package as a whole constituted the basis for a master’s thesis in American military history.
A lady who collects frogs came with two of her prized pieces, one was a folk art statue of an “intellectual” frog, carved from cherry, wearing a pair of granny glasses, and holding an umbrella and a bouquet of flowers. The other was the finest fishing lure I have seen at any fair of this nature. It retained the original paint, line, and wooden board for holding the line. The condition was excellent, although it showed signs of having been used to catch a few “big ones.”
Several folks came in with extraordinary End-of-the Day glass pieces. They included a large ewer, a splendid vase, and a great dish. All were in mint condition, and worthy of display in a glass museum.
Next week I shall describe some other pieces, including one of the finest American Indian pottery pieces I ever held in my own hands.