Well worth it!

Appraisers flock to airport, raise money for museum

Bonnie Froom Tucker lugged her pinball table out of the airplane hanger Saturday.

She had spent the morning waiting in line to show off her collectible to an appraiser. As she walked away she said they confirmed how much she already knew it was worth.

She didn't care about the money. For Tucker, no amount of money was worth as much as that old, wooden table from Northeast Ohio. Her grandfather had built it, and she just wanted to spend her morning showing it off.

"I though I would just share it with other people," she said as she and her husband carried the table back to the car. "I though other people would enjoy it, and they have."

Froom Tucker was one of about 100 people who stood in line Saturday morning at the Marco Island Historical Society's Appraisal Faire. The event, which was scheduled to go until 4 p.m., was held at the Marco Island Executive Airport and the money raised will go towards building a museum on the island, said Betsy Perdichizzi, a member of the historical society's board of directors.

Perdichizzi said she was happy with the event's early turnout.

"There were people here at 8:30 a.m. when I got here," she said.

About six people were waiting for the gates to open when Perdichizzi arrived, and by 9:30 a.m., a half an hour before the event began, the line grew to about 25, she said.

Marj and Albert Freytag were among the first in line to get their collectibles appraised. The couple brought their antiques all the way from Minster, Ohio, to be appraised, Marj said.

Albert sat in a chair as his wife waited in line to see one of the appraisers. In his hands was a stone bottle that opened to reveal a religious scene.

"It's very rare," he said. "They had to smuggle it out of Russia."

Marj Freytag said she bought the bottle about 50 years ago for $125.

"Some lady came into the store and I said I wanted it," she said. "We lucked out."

The couple also brought a painting that they believe to be done by a student of Sandro Bonticelli, a Renaissance painter best known for The Birth of Venus.

"We have no idea how much these are worth," she said. "That's why we're here."

Saturday's Appraisal Faire was part of a weekend-long fund-raising event, said Perdichizzi. On Friday, the society hosted a black tie dinner where guests were able to mingle with appraisers Wes Cowan and Anna Yamanis Carter.

"(The dinner) was really nicely done," Perdichizzi said. "There was even a surprise auction (Friday) night."

While a painting, table and jewelry were auctioned off, the highlight of the evening was when Cowan auctioned himself off, Perdichizzi said.

Cowan sold himself to the highest bidder, promising to come to their home and appraise what they have in the house. An Island couple who has a home in Virginia won him, and Perdichizzi said Cowan promised to visit their Virginia home soon.

The society was also scheduled to hold a cocktail party Saturday night.

All of the money raised over the weekend would go toward building a 6,000 square foot museum, Perdichizzi said.

© 2007 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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