A $3 ticket to Saturday's Antique Show & Sale turned into $3,000 for Deerwood's Sue Heglund.
On Both Friday and Saturday at the Brainerd Armory, Heglund brought several items to the antique show for an appraisal, including a primitive bowl and a Finnish ivory knife that were valued at several hundred dollars apiece.
But it was Heglund's last item on Saturday, a needlework art piece created by an Illinois woman during the Great Depression and depicting the lovers Heathcliff and Catherine from "Wuthering Heights" that took her breath away.
What she bought eight years ago for $500 was valued by appraisers Bonnie Lindberg and James Marrinan, a participant in the PBS "Antiques Roadshow," at $3,000 to $3,500.
Sue Heglund found out that a piece of folk art she purchased about eight years ago for $500 was worth around $3,000 when she had it appraised at the 41st Annual Antique Sale & Show held Saturday at the Brainerd armory. Brainerd Dispatch/Kelly Humphrey » Purchase reprints of this photo.
"My heart just stopped. I was just hoping I would cover my $500 investment, so that was great," Heglund said after she had safely packed the needlework piece back into her pickup following the appraisal. "I'm just thrilled. Oh my gosh, I'm just in awe. It's amazing."
Heglund was one of several people who, with the $3 purchase of a ticket for the antique show, were able to have one item appraised. She paid the $3 fee for each item appraised.
While the appraisal wasn't the only feature of the show - 10 vendors had booths set up around the Brainerd Armory - it was the biggest draw of the two-day event, said Judy Whiteman, chairwoman of Alpha Chapter No. 23 of the Order of Eastern Star, which along with Midwest Antique Shows sponsored the antique show. The antique appraisers were sponsored by the Order of Eastern Star, Midwest Antique Shows and the Brainerd Dispatch.
Whiteman shared the story of one man who brought in an old erector set that was still in its original box and with original instructions. He was told by Lindberg and Marrinan that it was worth about $150.
"His mouth fell open. He said he would have put 75 cents on it at a garage sale," Whiteman said. "I'm not sure how many people would come to the antique show if they couldn't also have the appraiser because in the (Twin Cities) when you go to have something appraised, you can't get it done for $3."
Antiques experts Bonnie Lindberg and Jim Marrinan gave an appraisal of a Civil War era tea set Saturday at the 41st Annual Antique Sale & Show held at the Brainerd Armory. The cursory appraisal set the price for the pot and bowl at about $150 each. Brainerd Dispatch/Kelly Humphrey » Purchase reprints of this photo.
Overall, attendance was down for the Antique Show & Sale, which is in its 41st year in Brainerd. It's a statistic that worries Jack Burk, manager for Midwest Antique Guild and who had set up a booth at the Brainerd Armory.
"People are busy with too many other things and that's hurting us," said Burk, who has been with the guild since 1976.
The antique business is one way to maintain the history and heritage of the United States, Burk said, and if traditions are not kept they will be lost to the younger generations.
Nicole Anderson of Sioux Falls, S.D., browsed antique jewelry Saturday in the Brainerd Armory during the 41st Annual Antique Sale & Show. Brainerd Dispatch/Kelly Humphrey » Purchase reprints of this photo.
"Our main goal is to get people to understand that not only are we collecting antiques but were preserving the heritage these things represent - the companies and the workers who made them. Our country has been one of the greatest producers of beautiful work over the years," Burk said. "Even if people are not real collectors, they should be aware that having an interest in antiques will keep alive history and interest in our countries past, which is one thing I think we should all work toward."
Though the crowds were thinner this year, Whiteman said there was still a steady stream of customers for both the booths and the appraisers. Many of the patrons she saw have been coming to the show for years. And at the very least, she said, the weather cooperated better than in 2006, when temperatures soared above 100 degrees the weekend of the Antique Show & Sale.
"We sat here by ourselves. Nobody wanted to move, nothing," she said. "We were very thankful that (Friday and Saturday) have broken because supposed to get hot again next week."
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5857.
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