A! Magazine for the Arts

Ken Farmer

Ken Farmer

Antiques Discovery Day scheduled at Highlands Festival

July 27, 2021

Have you ever wondered what your grandmother’s favorite porcelain vase is worth? Your Uncle Fred’s Civil War memorabilia? That oil painting that you bought at a thrift shop that seems an original and is signed? A basket that was supposed to have been traded to your third-great-grandfather by a Cherokee Indian? Many people have inherited or purchased items that they would love to have identified and appraised.

The Virginia Highlands Festival, in conjunction with the William King Museum of Art, conducts an Antiques Discovery Day at which a panel of regional antiques experts will try to identify family “treasures” and give an informal appraisal of their worth.

The event is held Sunday, Aug. 1, from 1-5 p.m. in the executive auditorium at Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon, Virginia.

The cost for the identification and appraisal of one item is $10, or three items for $25. Tickets are available at the door. However, if you wish to reserve a time slot, you can buy tickets online at vahighlandsfestival.org.

The lead expert is Ken Farmer of Charlottesville, Virginia, who has appeared on the popular PBS series “Antiques Roadshow” for over 20 years as a specialist in folk art, furniture, decorative arts and musical instruments. At one time he ran two auction houses. He specializes in antique and fine art appraisals, advising both buyers and sellers, and consulting with people who are downsizing.

Other regional antiques dealers and experts aid with Antiques Discovery Day as well. These include the following Laura Crockett from Brunk Auctions who specializes in art; Katie Simonetti from Brunk Auctions who specializes in jewelry; Larry Clevinger who specializes in military items, coins and collectibles; and Paul Hill, Jr. who specializes in glass, china and collectibles.

Do not bring firearms. If you want a piece of large furniture identified or appraised, take a number of cell phone photographs of the piece from all angles, and bring your phone to the event.

Betsy White, the executive director of the William King Museum of Art, and Katie Edwards, the curator of fine and decorative arts, will be at the event to document Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee furniture, textiles, and decorative arts for the museum’s Cultural Heritage Project archive.