Treasures turn up at antique appraisal event

By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Wed., Jun. 15, 2011
Professional appraiser S. Lamont McEvitt, of Farmington, provides Linda Kirk, of Somers, with information on her studio art glass, which she brought to the South Windsor Rehabilitation Center's appraisal day, held June 12. Photos by Martha Marteney.
Professional appraiser S. Lamont McEvitt, of Farmington, provides Linda Kirk, of Somers, with information on her studio art glass, which she brought to the South Windsor Rehabilitation Center's appraisal day, held June 12. Photos by Martha Marteney.

On Sunday, June 12, the South Windsor Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center hosted an antiques appraisal day at its facility, located at 1060 Main St. The event was organized by Becky Sears, marketing director of South Windsor Rehabilitation, and served as a fundraiser for the South Windsor Historical Society and the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter.

Sears had the idea for the event after learning about an antique appraiser, David Kimball, who had hosted similar events. “All the appraisers are doing this free of charge,” said Sears. All of the appraisers at the South Windsor event have been on Connecticut Public Television’s “Treasure Hunt” or “Antiques Roadshow.”

Kimball met with one pair of sisters, Linda and Kathleen Kirk of Somers, who brought in an assortment of items, from cast-resin statues to photolithography to a cloisonné bowl to a woven vessel. “I just love it,” said Linda Kirk of the woven vessel, “because of the weave.” Kimball thought the piece looked to be a 19th-century African tribal container.

“We do about five of these events a year, no charge,” said Kimball. “We’re all professional appraisers. We give back to the community and get people cognizant of the history around them.”

“I really feel it’s important to be part of the community,” said Sears. South Windsor Rehabilitation is also a sponsor at Historical Society events, such as the farmers’ market and Heritage Day. This year, the farmers’ market will start on Sunday, July 10, and will run every Sunday through Oct. 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Union District School, located at 771 Main St., just opposite the intersection with Pleasant Valley Road.

“We’re grateful that the rehabilitation center wants to support the Historical Society,” said South Windsor Historical Society President Brian Rivard. He noted that Heritage Day will be on Saturday, Oct. 1, with live entertainment, a Revolutionary War encampment and muster, colonial craft demonstrations, free pony rides and a wide variety of food for sale to benefit the Historical Society.

The connection with the Alzheimer’s Association was natural, too, as the South Windsor Rehabilitation Center has a wing dedicated to patients with dementia. Patty O’Brian, North Central Regional director of the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter, said, “This whole building is very involved with us.” The Rehabilitation Center also supports the Alzheimer’s Association walks, such as the Bushnell Park Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Oct. 2.

“First off, being here brings attention to our cause,” said O’Brian. The Alzheimer’s Association offers a 24/7 Helpline (1-800-277-3900), which is available to anyone with questions about Alzheimer’s, such as caregivers, people diagnosed early, family members or professionals. “We’re just trying to help those people who are walking the journey,” said O’Brian.

“The turnout’s been excellent,” said Meg Jeffrey, program director at the Rehabilitation Center’s Rockwell unit, who was registering people for the antiques appraisal. She said people were coming from all area towns, and they decided to start early because people were lining up.

South Windsor resident Shannon Gibbons brought some art etchings that belonged to her husband’s uncle. “It was fun trying to figure out the artist’s name,” said Gibbons. “It was a great mom and daughter activity.”

Historical Society member Elaine Zadorski brought a porcelain doll that dated to the turn of the 20th century. Appraiser John Burda explained that the manufacturing information on most dolls is located on the back of the head. Burda suggested using a local restoration specialist to bring the doll back to good condition, which would include repairing a damaged leg. “This is still a very good doll,” he said. “She’s in good shape.” He estimated it would cost $200 to restore the doll, which would bring the value up to $1,800.

Ingrid Fraize, of South Windsor, brought a Swedish tapestry, similar to the one that hangs in her home, which her mother brought from Sweden. “I’m interested to see how old it is,” said Fraize. “They’re woven so beautifully.”

The South Windsor Rehabilitation Center will resume its Speaker Series in the fall on the first Monday of the month, from 4to 6 p.m. There is no charge to attend, and dinner is included.


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