By Mike Lauterborn
(for Westport News)
Westport, CT – The items that had gathered dust in the attic, hung on the wall at grandma’s house or been handed down through the generations had their day midday Saturday at Westport Woman’s Club during its inaugural Antiques Appraisal Show.
The event, held at the 44 imperial Avenue Club headquarters, was the brainchild of Deb Fratino, owner of Pandora’s Box and a nationally known antique doll appraiser. Fratino works with Larchmont, NY-based Clarke Auction House and, in her capacity as a Club member, suggested the event as a fundraiser for the organization’s community services program. She invited Ronan Clarke of the Auction House, some of his staff and various other appraisers of art and jewelry to provide evaluations of local residents’ unique items.
At one table, Fratino carefully examined a German Bisque doll from the 1800s that Jane Trischman from Trumbull had brought. “My mother was born in 1905 and it was her doll,” Trischman said. “It was in my attic for 45 years in the drawer of a dresser.”
Wendy McKeon toted an oval-shaped landscape print in a gilded frame, for Neila Moore of Clarke to evaluate. “It was my husband’s grandmother’s and was hanging in her house in Flushing when he was a little boy in 1950.” She was pleased to learn its value was $200-$300.
Westporter Joanne Reeves brought a curious pitcher to the attention of Ronan Clarke. It had belonged to her husband’s great-grandmother. Clarke identified it as Dickensware due to the fact that it depicted a scene from Charles Dickens’ novel “Journey’s End”. Clarke appraised the item at $500, though Reeves said she didn’t have any intention of selling it.
As more curious folks trickled in with their curious items, a rain/snow mix trickled down outside, the initial signs of a nasty nor’Easter that was working its way into the area.