To Lancashire residents, Chester is a city 70 miles south of the Ribble Valley, but it’s also the name of a small town in Middlesex County, Connecticut, which recently held an Antiques Roadshow-type event.
Chester CT has a heritage to match that of its larger English counterpart. First settled in 1692, it has a number of historic buildings, including an 1880s water mill which became the town’s museum in 2010. Overlooking the picturesque Pattaconk Brook, it is also the headquarters of Chester Historical Society, which recently held an antiques and jewellery appraisal day for local residents.
As with appraisal events in Cumbria, antique chests were as much of a feature as the items stored inside them. This was the ninth annual CHS Antiques and Jewellery Appraisal and the most ambitious one yet, with 13 antiques experts on hand to give appraisals of everything from books and paintings to American Arts & Crafts Furniture .
Some of the treasured family heirlooms turned out to be less valuable than the owners thought, although this was not necessarily a bad thing. One woman turned up with an antique hand-stitched quilt, which her mother had told her was worth a fortune. Fortunately it turned out to be of modest value, meaning she could actually use it to keep warm. She had been dreading the prospect of having to care for her family heirloom.
Someone in the Ribble Valley may have a Victorian oak pedestal desk they feel unable to use, simply because it is a family heirloom. An antique dealer will explain that antique desks, like quilts, were designed to be used and can give years of good service.
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