A large part of the fun of the James Madison Museum of Orange County Heritage appraisal fair is seeing some of the fabulous and unique pieces that are presented for oral appraisal.
Strange folding chairs, antique money “bags,” odd utensils and other items provide a delightful look into the past. The originality of many items really demonstrates the old maxim, “necessity is the mother of invention.” From whimsical to significant “treasures,” those who bring them in for evaluation seem to really enjoy learning more about their unique items.
Some antiques have to credit history for their existence like the Savonarola chair, which was brought in for the 2019 appraisal fair.
The chair was named in honor of Girolamo Savonarola (1452-1498) of the Duchy of Ferra, who was an Italian Christian preacher, reformer, and martyr renowned for his clash with tyrannical rulers and a corrupt clergy. After the overthrow of the Medici in 1494, Savonarola was the sole leader of Florence, setting up a democratic republic. These chairs, in good condition, are rare. They have various decorative embellishments. A Savonarola chair was donated this year to be sold for the museum’s benefit, though not quite as ornate as the appraised chair at last year’s event.
Bradley Toombs and John Peregoy, owners of Finders Keepers Estate Sales, have generously donated their time and knowledge to serve as the appraisers at the event.
This year’s appraisal fair will be held Saturday, Oct. 17, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the museum on Caroline Street in Orange. Reservations are preferred and the event will be structured for protective social distancing. Masks will also be available for those who do not have one on hand. To make your reservation, or for more information, call (540) 672-1776 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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