Price check: Bellefonte Antique Fair visitor pleasantly surprised by appraisal

Eloise Ingram, left, and Evelyn Wald look at items during the Bellefonte Antique Fair on Saturday.
Eloise Ingram, left, and Evelyn Wald look at items during the Bellefonte Antique Fair on Saturday. CDT photo

Jack Quick had a booklet that, at first, looked like a Bible — until he carefully began to unravel it.

With much grace, he unfolded the pages, turn by turn, in a smooth and steady motion.

What Quick was unraveling was actually an original 1900 Pennsylvania census book that included the names and population of each area in the state.

On one side, it had a state map that appraiser Roger Snyder said included the names of towns that no longer exist.

It was something given to the retired Penn State campus police officer as a gift from the family of a man he arrested — simply because he was nice, despite the circumstances.

On Saturday, he brought the antique to the second annual Bellefonte Antique Fair, hosted by Historic Bellefonte in partnership with the Bellefonte Intervalley Chamber of Commerce and local businesses.

By 10 a.m., an appraiser entered the Historic Bellefonte facility at Talleyrand Park to examine antiques people presented.

What Quick got was a surprise when Snyder said that the census booklet Quick has owned for nearly 20 years was worth $400 to $450.

“That’s all I heard and tuned out everything else he was saying,” Quick said.

When appraising antiques, Snyder said he looks for the item’s quality and uniqueness.

“It’s in good condition with nice heavy paper,” Snyder said about Quick’s census map. “It’s been taken good care of. It’s a really nice map.”

Quick also brought in a separate map dating back to Dec. 31, 1919, that Snyder said was worth about $75, and suggested Quick should have it professionally mounted and displayed.

But Quick said he plans to pawn or auction it, instead.

“It’s just amazing that something that looks so simple is worth that much,” Quick said.

The fair also included 11 antique vendors booked by The Great Mish Mosh, which was celebrating its one-year anniversary.

The store, which was opened by Brian Herman and and Ede Boake, includes two floors of antique and vintage home items at its 128 S. Allegheny St. location.

Fair chairwoman Holly Wilson said the event was started last year after a visitor approached Historic Bellefonte and asked why the borough didn’t have an antique show in an area that is known for its Victorian-era history.

Wilson was hoping for a turnout of about 1,000 people despite the wet, fall-like weather.

“We work closely with the business community, especially The Great Mish Mosh, and had a goal just to bring people out to enjoy things they don’t get to see or buy every day,” Wilson said.