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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Event examined antiques, raised funds

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bill Kranz looks at a razor handle that Alice Greenburg brought in to be identified at the Antique Appraisal Roadshow Saturday at the PCPL Library. Kranz was trying to determine if the handle was ivory or celluloid. Greenburg is the PCPL director. Banner Graphic/JOSH GARVEY
The Putnam County Public Library hosted an Antique Appraisal Roadshow Saturday.

The event allowed Putnam County residents to bring in their old items and artifacts in and be appraised by two antique experts from Dan Ripley's Antique Helper from Indianapolis for a fee of $10. Each additional item cost $5.

"We saw some nice things, but nothing too rare," said Bill Kranz, one of the two appraisers at the event.

As he was trying to determine the material used to make the handle of a straight edge razor, Kranz said that identifying different artifacts could be an intricate process.

"There are all kinds of old tricks you can use," Kranz said. "You can smell things, taste things, it's a wonder we don't poison ourselves."

Kranz was trying to determine if the handle of the razor was made of celluloid or ivory, eventually deciding on celluloid.

"It was sort of the predecessor to plastic," Kranz said. "It was a dangerous, horribly flammable substance."

The razor belonged to Alice Greenburg, the director of the library.

One thing that both Kranz and his appraising cohort, John Sabol, said they found interesting were a pair of slippers used for foot binding.

Foot binding was the Chinese practice of deforming a woman's foot into a smaller footprint that folded over itself.

"It's a beautiful piece, then you think 'oh dear god, what a person must have gone through to try and achieve beauty,'" Kranz said.

Sally Frye of Cloverdale brought in some pieces to be identified, including a canteen that had a marking that seemed to be from the Confederate States of America. Both Kranz and Sabol agreed that the canteen wasn't authentic. The rust and wear were too uniform, and there was not dirt or clay inside the canteen, which both expected after so much time.

Frye took the news in stride, but one women was told that her violin wasn't a Stradivarius didn't react as well.

"We just couldn't convince her," Kranz said.

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