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Aurora Antique Appraisal Fair

Aurora – The Aurora Historical Society held an Antiques Appraisal Fair Saturday, October 13th at the library gallery and Aurora Historical Society Museum.
According to Diane Oberle, who is a chairperson at the historical society, the antique dealers’ specialties included, but were by no means limited to, coins, books, paintings, figurines and watches. “Our appraisers all volunteered their time. Their entire day has been devoted to us.” One such volunteer appraiser is Michael Thal, who is also an attorney in Aurora. He utilized a black light to assist with spotting difficult-to-see identifying marks or labels on figurines, such as the Italian piece and Mexican piece that Kathy North of Aurora brought in to be appraised. He says he picked up the black light trick from his uncle, who was a handwriting expert. He would use black light to help identify forgeries. Thal specializes in a range of antiques, including sports memorabilia and china.
Also volunteering his time and expertise was Tim Holder, of Portage Coins. Holder, whose business deals with appraising, selling and buying coins, has been a coin collector since he was a young boy, and he believes coin collecting opens an avenue of creativity to help children learn about history. “You get a foreign coin and you can get a map and think about that country, where it came from. I have coins in my personal collection of Early American coins that could have been carried by Ben Franklin in his pocket, or George Washington in a case. They were circulated and used as currency by our founding fathers,” Holder said. “That sense of imagination, touching something with that much history is something to enliven children’s appreciation for that sort of thing.”
Kathlyn Brown, who is on the board of trustees for the Aurora Historical Society, said this event is helping display the vibrancy of the society. “Everyone I’ve seen coming and going has a smile on their face. One of the purposes of holding this fair is to bring awareness to the community about the historical society and to re-image the historical society.” She went on to explain that many community members seem to think the historical society is dull, however, she said, “We are quite vibrant, and we are doing some wonderful things.”
This was their first time hosting an appraisal fair, which also featured a café and a consignment shop for attendees to purchase antiques, and they are now evaluating the outcome of this year’s event to determine if one will be held next year.

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Heather Braddock is the reporter for the cities of Aurora and Streetsboro. She hails from Bedford, where she and her husband Michael (who is also her photographer) live. A Kent State University graduate of 2009 with a Bachelor’s in Adolescent and Young Adult education for Integrated Language Arts, Heather is a high school English, media studies and communication teacher at Akron Digital Academy. She is pursuing her Masters in English for Teachers with a focus on journalism.