On Wednesday, June 20, dozens gathered at the Rangeley Public Library and over Zoom for an antique appraisal program by “Mike the Appraiser.” Michael and Susan Ivankovich, a team located in Pennsylvania, logged on to help locals figure out what their antiques are worth and what to do with them.

Before the program started, Mike jokingly asked whether people would rather he give them the answers they wanted to hear or the truth, which are often not synonymous. Honesty is important in appraising, and Mike outlined how he came to his decisions: are you looking to make the most money, do the least work, or take the shortest amount of time?

Following Mike and Sue’s introductions, participants — both in person and online — each got three to five minutes to explain one or two antiques and find out their value. Over Zoom, one participant held up a Native American necklace he acquired in 1954 and presumed to be from a Southern Utah tribe. With 12 eagle talons, four mountain lion claws, 36 white beads, and 36 red beads, the necklace was estimated to be worth $300 to $350.

Other antiques included a photo collection of Maximilian I of Mexico created by Abraham Bogardus in 1867, a handcrafted boat from a participant’s father who served in the Marines, several handblown glass sets, and a trio of glass perfume bottles valued between $75 and $125.

Judy Wicken laughs as she gets Mike’s honest answer for what her doll collection is worth Lucy Newmyer

Judy Wicken came with a collection of unique dolls. Judy Wicken came with a collection of unique dolls. Her husband Allen Wicken brought “Cram’s Universal Atlas,” created in the late nineteenth century. He struggled between selling the atlas bound or removing, framing, and selling some of the over 500 individual maps. Mike simply told him, “If you want the most amount of money, you’ve got to be willing to do the most amount of work.”

Allen Wicken holds up his copy of “Cram’s Universal Atlas”. The atlas contains over 500 individual maps from the late 1800s.

Although Mike’s appraisals — which ranged from $8 to several hundred dollars — might have been disappointing at times, participants left with a greater and more genuine understanding of their possessions.

Michael Ivankovich, “Mike the Appraiser”, has a radio show designed to help collectors understand the value of their antiques.

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