Free Appraisal Day at Black Dog Salvage in Roanoke is winding up as I write this and I just got home from a visit to it. While I was there about 30 people had their treasures evaluated and seemed pleased with the results, most saying the evaluations “were about what I expected.” Several others were waiting to speak to the pros.
Black Dog is a huge warehouse of junk, antiques, collectibles, architectural pieces, heavy equipment and miscellaneous items. Appraisers were brought in from some of the region’s auction houses and antique shops to look at what people brought in.
Julie Fuller drive up from Mebane, N.C., and had an old muzzle-loading gun that was owned by her physician father and it was appraised at $300. Former journalist Shirley Pine came in from Pulaski to have the experts look at a fascinating French book featuring large-format watercolor landscape. It was a beautiful book.
John Crunkilton showed up with a deed signed in 1829 by then-president Andrew Jackson, valued at between $500 and $700. John Reburn of Roanoke had a book of black and white landscape photos of famous homes in Michigan (Henry Ford’s, for example).
This is obviously a takeoff on the wildly popular PBS television show “Antiques Road Show,” which has a huge following. Black Dog’s version, held occasionally, has a distinct advantage in that it isn’t as well known and the crowds are not overwhelming. And the appraisers are just as good as anything Road Show has.