Kendal’s Antiques Appraisal Fair A Decided Success

Kendal’s first (but one hopes not last) Antiques
Appraisal Fair and Silent Auction took
place on Saturday, October 29. Both sections
of the event attracted strong participation from
Kendal residents and from off-campus visitors.
The silent auction consisted of items donated
by Kendal residents and was coordinated by
Nancy Epley, Trix Rumford, Ann John,and
Dianne Herrick, with additional help from
several other resi-dents. Items included rugs,
small pieces of furniture, jewelry, china, silver,
crystal, works of art, and much more. Forty
items were sold for a total of $3,413.
Most of the auction’s proceeds will be
donated to Kendal’s Fellowship Fund, Kendal’s
way of helping residents who, through no fault
of their own, are no longer able to meet part or
all of their expenses. A smaller part of the
proceeds will go to the Sunnyside House
restoration fund.

The Appraisal Fair part of the event was
coordinated by the Marketing Department and
earned $2624 from ticket sales. For either $50
(VIP ticket) or $35 (regular ticket), participants
could have up to two items appraised by
professional appraisers. For those who simply
wanted to watch the appraisals, or to take part
in the silent auction, tickets were $5. Ticket
proceeds were applied to costs connected with
the fair.

Four professional appraisers were on hand
to give oral appraisals as well as, often, additional
information about the items. These were
Marcene J. Molinaro of Molinaro Appraisal
Services, a former Lexingtonian now living in
Williamsburg; Meredith Meuwly, director of
Heritage Auctions Appraisal Services in Dallas,
Texas; Lauren Peck, associate specialist in
jewelry and watches at Freeman’s auction
house in Philadelphia; and Matthew S. Wilcox,
also of Freeman’s.

Participants and onlookers found the appraisal
process reminiscent of Public Television’s
popular “Antiques Roadshow,” particularly
when family heirlooms were concerned.
Peyton Craighill, for example, showed the
appraisers and his fellow residents a traditional
Chinese incense box that had been presented
to his father, Lloyd R. Craighill, an Episcopal
missionary to China, when he was consecrated
Bishop of Anking in 1940. The ornamented cast
iron box is about 5″ x 7″ by 4″ tall, with perforations
in the lid. Bishop Craighill retired to Lexington,
lived near Kendalites Mary Coulling and
Adelaide Simpson, and was active in R.E. Lee
Church. He died in 1971.

Sarah Giddings was pleasantly surprised to
find that a set of coral jewelry belonging to her
grandmother, and passed down to her by her
mother, was worth more than she had assumed.
Sarah was told that the value was enhanced because
the color is unusually deep. Sarah has
no idea how her grandmother acquired the set,
currently consisting of a brooch, a pair of earrings,
some loose beads, and, mysteriously, a
single cuff link.

Louise Tardy knows where her heirloom
bisque vases came from; her husband’s grandparents
bought them on their wedding trip to
Florida in 1885. She was interested to learn,
however, that they were probably made in
Germany, around 1880. The vases have been
part of Louise’s home for fifty years and now live
on her mantel.

Beth Knapp received some new information
about one of her family heirlooms, a Chinese                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             mandarin kimono that was given to her mother’s
cousin in Washington, D.C., early in the twentieth
century. This cousin, Frances, “was absolutely
gorgeous and had a number of prominent,
well-travelled men suitors, including some from
the State Department. We assume one of them
gave it to her.” Beth was told that the mandarin
is older than she had thought, pre-1900, and
more valuable. It contains many elements
done in the “forbidden stitch” — a tiny knot-like
stitch done only in the Forbidden City and only
for royalty. The mandarin robe is now in a
display case, and Beth used its colors (predominantly
cream and white) in decorating the
apartment she and John now occupy at Kendal.

— by Jo McMurtry. Originally published in the December 2016 Residents’ Newsletter