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Trash or treasure? Appraiser gives his take

Dianne and Wayne Johnson of Port Jefferson hold

Dianne and Wayne Johnson of Port Jefferson hold up their Art Nouveau lamp at the "Trash or Treasure" program held at the Port Jefferson Free Public Library. (April 16, 2011) Photo Credit: Jasmin Frankel

After gently reviewing Katelyn Wilder’s old family copy of the children’s book “Peeps into Fairy Land” by Ernest Nister, appraiser Eddie Costello Sr. estimated that it could fetch up to $2,500 at auction.

"I had no idea this book was worth that much," said Wilder, who was one of about 40 people who attended the “Trash or Treasure” program on April 16 at Port Jefferson Free Library.

Another of Wilder’s books, “Treasures of Art and Song” by Robert Ellice Mack, could be worth up to $1,200 if it is an original version, Costello said.

The “Antiques Roadshow”-style event attracted about 30 items, like an upside-down woman holding a stained glass ball and a German bisque candy dish.

"They had some good things that we don't see a lot of," said Costello, 78, of Massapequa Park, who has done appraisals for more than 20 years and frequently lectures on the subject across Long Island. He is a member of the American Antiques and Appraisers Association of America.

Wayne Johnson and his wife, Dianne, of Port Jefferson, brought in an art nouveau lamp from the 1920s. "Its most unusual looking and I figured it had to be worth something," Dianne Johnson said. "You don't see them in Wal-Mart everyday."

Costello’s next appearance at the library will be on Sept. 17.

For more information, call the library at 631-473-0022.

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