Bought a pocket watch or piece of stained glass at an estate sale and curious about its history?
Take it to Merchants Bank in downtown Winona on Saturday morning, where the bank will be hosting an antique appraisal fair. There will be a half-dozen
experts on hand, many of whom have worked for the popular TV program “Antiques Roadshow,” to look at everything from paintings and lamps to coins and
Merchants held its first appraisal fair in 2010 and figured because of the popularity — more than a hundred people brought more than 300 items through the doors — the event deserved an encore, said Merchants communications officer Mark Metzler.
“I’m looking forward to it, to see what kinds of treasures people bring out,” he said.
The idea, of course, is to see if any of the stuff collecting dust in a home has value, but also to give attendees an opportunity to learn a bit of the histories of antiques they’ve bought or have been passed down in their
Merchants only asks that a few kinds of items don’t come through the doors: guns and large pieces of furniture.
No guns, because banks have been understandably nervous about them for as long as banks have existed. And no armoires or sofas because, well, they probably won’t fit through the door.
Metzler said, though, that attendees can take pictures of those items and bring the photos in for appraisers to look at.
The event isn’t a moneymaker for Merchants; any proceeds will be donated to the Winona County Historical Society. Instead, Metzler said, it’s a chance for
people to visit the downtown bank — a piece of history itself — and to create something of a temporary exhibit, a one-day display of historical artifacts produced from homes across the Winona area.
He cautioned attendees to not think of the event as a moneymaker for themselves.
He would know.
At the last appraisal fair, Metzler said, he brought in a collection of plates his grandmother once owned, which featured a Dutch boy and girl—his family’s heritage—and were in pristine condition.
“I thought, my goodness, they have to be valuable,” he said.
Not so much.
About $20 each.
Still, he said, he loves them better now that he knows a bit more about them — even if they’re not going to make him a millionaire.
When: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Downtown Winona Merchants location, 102 E. Third
Details: Attendees can have one item appraised for $8 or
three items appraised for $20. Proceed will benefit the Winona County Historical