The treasures far outweighed the trash and trinkets Saturday, when area residents packed the Akron Home and Flower Show for a chance to have their antiques appraised by expert Lori Verderame.
Those who watch the Discovery Channel’s Auction Kings on Thursday nights will recognize Verderame as “Dr. Lori” from the show. She has been appearing all weekend at the home show that continues today at the John S. Knight Center in downtown Akron.
For those who show up early enough to get a front-row seat, Verderame will offer free appraisals displaying the items on stage for the audience to view.
At her Saturday afternoon show, the big winner was Marian Steiner of Sterling, who had brought an oil painting of a girl to be appraised for a friend, Wayne County resident Christopher Stewart.
Stewart is a minister and was left the painting in 1989 by a friend from Marietta, who was in her 90s at the time. The friend believed the painting to be the work of Charles Sullivan, an Ohio artist from the Marietta area, who was known for both his portraits and landscapes.
Stewart asked Steiner, who is an artist, for help in getting the portrait valued.
He is nearing retirement and told Steiner that he wanted the painting to be donated to a museum and not “go out in a box and sold at a yard sale” if he died. She brought it to Verderame to inspect.
Verderame, however, identified the art to be that of American portrait artist Thomas Sully of Philadelphia, under whom Sullivan had studied. Sully’s portrait of Andrew Jackson graces the $20 bill. She estimated the work was done between 1810 and 1825.
Because the portrait had some marks on it and its framing and backing were not the original, Verderame valued the portrait at $7,500. Had its condition been better, its value would have been about $20,000, she said.
“Condition is to antiques what location is to real estate,” Verderame told the audience.
Steiner said she was surprised by the finding and said Stewart still hopes to be able to donate the work to a museum and hopes to have it restored.
Another happy surprise came for Ginger Good of Wadsworth, who brought an American folk art dog to be appraised.
Good purchased the dog — amusing because it was anatomically correct — at an auction in New Hampshire for $30. Verderame said the dog dates to 1900 or 1910, and she valued it at $3,500.
Verderame valued a baseball, signed by members of the 1954 New York Yankees, at $4,500, which pleased its owner, Angelo Italiano of Youngstown, who had purchased it at a swap meet in Hawaii for 50 cents.
Not everyone went home with their pockets quite as full.
Verderame valued a cobalt blue glass eye washing cup at $20, a French tapestry at $40 and a carnival glass rose bowl at $70.
Betty Bonner of Kent attended Friday’s show and found out that a clock and vase she had appraised were worth about $400 each. So she wasn’t too disappointed on Saturday when Verderame explained that her 1925 flatware set that had been her grandmother’s was silver plate, not sterling silver, and as a result was worth only about $1 per piece.
Dan Whitacre of Springfield Township had hoped to get his Electro Lunch Box from the 1940s examined, but was not able to get his item on stage for a look by Verderame. He purchased the aluminum lunch box at an auction for $2. The user would plug it in to keep food warm in several small compartments inside. Whitacre said he had never seen one before, but didn’t think he would wait for a later show for another shot at an appraisal.
Verderame appears at the home show again today at 11 a.m., noon, 2 and 3 p.m. Visitors who sit in the front row have the best chance of getting their items appraised.