Kurt Shaw

Kurt Shaw takes a look at an item for appraisal.

For what it’s worth, bring it to Peters Township.

More specifically, any antiques or collectibles – a pair, perhaps –can be evaluated by certified appraiser Kurt Shaw who can assess what it may or may not fetch on the market.

To help launch the traditional season for straightening up, Peters Township Parks and Recreation will present an appraisal fair from 5 to 8 p.m. March 3 at the community recreation center.

“Everybody’s motivated to do some spring cleaning,” recreation supervisor Lisa Morris said. “So this is a good time to start going through your things.”

The township has hosted similar events in the past, to good response.

“We feel like this one is a little bit different in that we have someone who can share more expertise and is better known in the field,” Morris said.

Indeed, Shaw can be seen on television as a regular guest appraiser on KDKA’s “Pittsburgh’s Hidden Treasures.” He is a certified member of International Fine Art Appraisers and the American Alliance of Museums, and for 10 years he owned and operated Shaw Galleries, an art and antique gallery in Downtown Pittsburgh.

Morris said he should have a variety of items to examine.

“In the past, we’ve had people bring dolls, pieces of artwork, clocks, chairs,” she said. “You name it.”

Glassware also has been popular, especially considering the proximity to the National Duncan Glass Society in Washington and that the Washington County Antique Bottle and Glass Club meets regularly in North Strabane Township.

Musical instruments represent something that can turn out to be valuable, such as a violin owned by someone who attended the Peters appraisal event a few years ago.

“This gentleman was describing it to the appraiser, and he said, ‘If that’s truly what the instrument is, it could be worth a really huge amount,’” Morris recalled.

The owner countered with, “My granddaughter takes it to school every day and plays it.” And so the appraiser advised him:

“Well, you might want to consider getting her a replacement.”

Of course, the opposite type of scenario can unfold.

“Sometimes you come in and think you might have something of value, and it’s not,” Morris said, and that applies to her. “I had something that I had appraised that actually turned out to be a reproduction.”

Whatever the case, those who attend March 3 are limited to two pieces each so Shaw has time to offer a fair assessment. The cost to cover his services is $10 for one item and $15 for two.

And for those who are curious about what the appraiser has to say in general:

“I will have it set up in a way that if you’re interested in looking at the other items, you can certainly stay and learn about them,” Morris said.

Registration for the appraisal fair is required by Feb. 28. Call 724-942-5000.

Multimedia Reporter

Staff writer Harry Funk, a professional journalist for three-plus decades, has been on the staff of The Almanac since 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master of business administration, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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