Hidden treasures

Curious residents filled the Hubbard Library on Tuesday, carrying with them items ranging from pottery and paintings to jewelry and toys, and everything in between.

About 80 antique enthusiasts showed up as the library hosted a free appraisal event with guest specialists from Youngstown’s Byce Auction and Realty.

“We do sort of a community outreach where, because of the area of the country that we are in, there are a lot of older items that come out of the woodwork,” appraiser Jeff Byce said. “As part of the outreach, we like to hold the appraisal fairs and shows. We’ve done several of these in the area.

“The turnout has been absolutely fantastic and the library has been accommodating.”

One of the attendees receiving some surprisingly good news was Hubbard resident Sue Lambert, who thought she owned a piece of Native American pottery. It turns out the piece may be much older than she imagined.

“They are saying it is pre-Columbian,” Lambert said. “I’m not interested in selling anything, but they are trying to figure out the value of it. They are calling an expert to talk to him about it.”

Byce noted further investigation is required on the item, which is a circular decanter with an arched handle.

“I don’t want to speculate too much,” Byce said. “I have a feeling that it’s going to be well over four figures.”

Chris Contestabile of Vienna waited patiently for his turn, bringing with him an old cap gun with a locomotive spring.

“My father had it in his possession and I saw it in a book one time, but I don’t remember what they said the value was,” Contestabile said. “I just want to find out what it is worth, not to sell it, but just for my own personal knowledge.”

Meanwhile, Angie Lewis of Hubbard was also hopeful, as she lined up to have her antique rocking duck appraised. She said the item had been in the family for generations.

“It was used, so I know it is over 64 years old,” Lewis said. “My great-aunt gave it to me and I really don’t know a lot about it. I used it, my boys used it and the kids that came to our house used it. I’ve had it on display all these years. It has the original paint and I’ve never seen another one like it.”

Event organizer Sandy Walter explained the turnout was much bigger than she imagined. “We had about 65 items. That’s a great response,” she said.

According to Walter, who is the adult services librarian, events like these are a good way to re-introduce the community and the library.

“We are in a bit of a financial crunch as most libraries are,” Walter said. “Mr. Byce is doing this for free and things went really well.”