Nearly everyone has that one old trinket found tucked away in an attic, stored in the basement, or passed down as an heirloom — its history a mystery. Enter antiques sleuth Mark Moran, who will present his "For What It's Worth" program in Stickney. Moran’s expertise landed him a recurring spot on “Antiques Roadshow” on PBS, which resumes filming on an eight-stop tour this summer.
Moran is an antiques expert with more than 30 years' experience dealing and appraising antiques, specializing in fine art, paintings, furniture, ceramics, glassware, folk art and costume jewelry. The Wisconsin resident has made a career of traveling around the Midwest for appraisal events, inviting people to bring in an item for him to examine.
He grew up the oldest of 11 kids in a home filled with his father's art.
“Because I was surrounded by (his art), I developed my eye in terms of being able to spot things from proportion and color,” Moran said. “That’s one of the things that influenced my interest.”
But it was a long road to becoming an antiques expert. Moran started out his career in the newspaper industry, spending 30 years in various roles in Wisconsin and Minnesota, always working with antiques on the side. He has written more than 25 books about antiques, and after working as senior editor of leading antiques and collectibles books, made the jump to full-time antiques appraiser.
“It’s always been something that I really, really enjoyed,” Moran said. “I’ve been lucky enough to make a career out of doing appraisal events.
"Being on ‘Roadshow’ is wonderful, and the camaraderie with all of the appraisers there is really great," he adds. "It’s a long day, but it’s really, really fun.”
In the antiques business, he notes there’s no shortage of interesting items. At one event, a woman brought in an old lamp she had found decades earlier, when she moved into her house. As it turned out, the lamp was a Tiffany Acorn lamp from 1910 that was worth $8,000.
“Everyone has something they wonder about,” Moran says. “Sometimes, they don’t care what it’s worth, they just want to know if the story is true. … Most people aren’t as interested in the value, especially if it’s something that’s been in the family for generations.”
What: Antiques appraisal event by expert Mark Moran; spectators welcome
Where: Stickney-Forest View Public Library, 6800 W. 43rd St., Stickney
When: 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 3
Cost & info: Free; to have one item appraised, call 708-749-1050, Ext. 120, or visit library to register; www.sfvpld.org, www.markfmoran.com