excitement and plenty of interesting stories as a notable guest appraiser values items from area residents at a fundraising event for Oakland-Nelson County’s
Museum of Rural History.
Ken Farmer, who has appeared on PBS’ “Antiques
Roadshow,” is volunteering his time for Oakland’s fundraiser, which starts at 7 p.m. Saturday and will be held at the Nelson Center in Lovingston.
Before appraising the items, Farmer will give a
presentation about his experiences on “Antiques Roadshow.”
He said the appraisals will take place much like they
do on the TV series.
“We’re just trying to find out about the items and
make it interesting and entertaining for everyone,” he said.
Farmer will ask about the objects and try to get any
information he can from the owners, and then rely on the general knowledge he has acquired working in the industry for the past few decades to help him give
“I’ll tell them what I know and what it’s worth,”
“It will be done in an open format so everybody who’s
there can hear what is being said and get some information from it.”
The appraisals will be viewable by the audience at
the fundraiser event and on a 70-inch live screen, which will “allow the audience to see the details of the items that [Farmer] is speaking about,” said Samantha Embrey, president of Oakland.
Embrey said they received applications from area
residents to have a wide variety of objects appraised.
Farmer, along with some help from museum staff,
picked the roughly 20 items that will be appraised.
He said it will be an entertaining and informational
night for everyone, as there are “lessons in all objects, whether they be high or low in value.”
Farmer, who lives in Charlottesville and has been
interested in American antiques for more than 35 years, started as a collector and dealer and then entered the auction, appraisal and real-estate brokerage
business in the mid-1970s, a news release from the museum states.
He has many areas of expertise, including folk art,
musical instruments, fine art and Southern material culture, and has been a guest appraiser for “Antiques Roadshow ” multiple times since 1997.
Asked about the most notable item he has appraised,
he wasn’t sure he could pick just one.
He’s appraised items for six figures before,
including a $125,000 secretary desk from North Carolina, and also oddities, such as a vampire killing kit, for which the owner overpaid, as it turned out to be a fake, Farmer said.
Regardless of the price of the item, what really
makes the appraisal process entertaining is hearing the stories from the owners about where they acquired the items, whether it was paying a few bucks at a yard
sale or making a random pick from family heirlooms passed down through the generations, he said.
“I think that’s the most interesting part of all
this,” he said.