Goodrich Auction Company
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Elkhart Truth Article


  Big memories from small treasures at antiques appraisal event




ELKHART -- Through a February snowstorm they trekked, laden with curiosity about their treasures.

More than two dozen area residents arrived at an "Antiques Roadshow"-style appraisal session on Sunday afternoon at Greenleaf Living Center in Elkhart, heavy shopping bags and paintings in tow. Each could present up to three family heirlooms, antiques or collectibles for appraisal by David Goodrich, owner of Goodrich Auction Company in Mishawaka.

Opposite an eclectic collection of 100-year old vacuum cleaners, books and tableware, Goodrich spent ample time evaluating and researching each item and quizzed the owner about its history. The appraised value of an object is partially dependent on the owner's knowledge of the history of an item, Goodrich told the crowd.

Larry Smith of Elkhart sat in the back row of the small audience with a "belly gun," an 1859 four-barrelled Sharp derringer about three-fourths the size of his open hand. His great-grandfather carried it in the Civil War, he said.

"It's ridiculously loud, and terribly inaccurate," Smith said. He's fired it a few times, but the gun has mainly historical and sentimental value for him.

Sentimental value is primarily what the early items that Goodrich looked at seemed to possess, although a brooch owned by Zenta Kampars held the promise of more. It had been given to Kampars many years ago, said her daughter Vija Picon, by a wealthy German family. Its history, ornate design, jewels and silver-over-gold construction led Goodrich to price the item at $200 to $300 "just for starters." He suggested that the ladies pursue a more accurate investigation of the designer's stamp with a knowledgeable jeweler, as similar objects have been valued at upwards of $2,000 once their complete history is known.

Ronda DeCaire and her daughter Mariah came early and wound up first in line to present several items to Goodrich. Their pot-metal figurine of a woman was made as a clock decoration, and the European beer jug was a fairly common item that Goodrich estimated to be worth only $10-$15. But the unusual patter on a decorative pot brought a slightly higher estimate of $50 to $75.

"They're not going to retire," Goodrich summarized for the crowd after reviewing their items, as he did for each participant.

But the DeCairns weren't disappointed with the results of their first foray into the world of antiques appraising.

"We got all three of these at garage sales. We had fun doing it, so we'll probably keep doing it," Ronda said.

Goodrich also encouraged curious owners of antiques, in addition to finding out an item's history, to consider whether it has some sort of unique pattern. For a book to be of high value is uncommon unless it is somewhat rare and in mint condition. MORE PHOTOS BELOW.


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