The Chesterfield Historical Society held its 11th annual Antiques Evaluation Saturday, March 16 at the Chesterfield County Fairgrounds. “I have been appraising for about... Appraisers do their thing at annual event
Joel Birkitt from the Buckingham Antique Mall talks to a customer.

The Chesterfield Historical Society held its 11th annual Antiques Evaluation Saturday, March 16 at the Chesterfield County Fairgrounds.

“I have been appraising for about 30 years,” local appraiser Joe Lipscombe said. “If you’re in this business, you do an appraising every day because we buy and sell. We [have got to] know how much to pay so we can make a profit when we sell,” he said.

“There’s so much stuff out here, and it’s such a broad field, you can’t just go take a six-month course and become an appraiser. It takes years of being involved in the business, and it also changes as time goes on, too. Things that used to be worth more 30 years ago may not have the same value now,” he said.

John Whiting was a history professor when he began thinking about the value of historical paper that he had previously looked at as an academic.

“One of things that’s helped me is being a history buff and teacher,” Whiting said, noting he’s been appraising since 1977. “When I see a Civil War letter, for example, I have a broader understanding of the context of the place in a historical setting. The same holds true with a postcard. I have a sense of that era … when postcards were very popular 100-plus years ago. I think my background has helped me tremendously.”

Chesterfield residents Colette and Dom Pagnotti attended the event in hope of finding the value on an old Erector Set and collection of World War I books.

“They came from my grandfather’s basement,” Colette said, explaining that an Erector Set is a toy that boys used to build. “It came with a bazillion pieces and it helped younger boys develop skills and learn how to build things.”

The event has been successful over the years, said Karen Sadler, executive director of the Chesterfield Historical Society.

“The community has been very good to us with outreach and donations of items,” she said.

The Chesterfield Historical Society puts on several such events each year.
To find a schedule of their upcoming events, go to chesterfieldhistory.com.