Old English toast holders, pipes, desert landscape paintings, and more.

Antique enthusiasts were in heaven when Valle Verde Senior Living Community recently hosted an “Antiques and Heirlooms” appraisal event. Gary Piattoni, who has appeared on PBS’s Antiques Roadshow since 1997, appraised Valle Verde residents’ collectibles, family heirlooms, and flea market finds.

An intricately painted lamp from the first quarter of the 20th century was said to be worth $20,000, and an elegant porcelain elephant plated in gold was valued at $40,000-$70,000.

Piattoni also looked at an old oak liquor chest filled with hand-blown glass bottles that its owner said traveled to the United States on the Mayflower. “I’m a 12th generation Mayflower descendant,” said Valle Verde resident Linda McCue, “and this chest was passed down from my grandfather who was a 10th generation descendant. It belonged to the first governor of Massachusetts, William Bradford.” Piattoni said the chest was only worth $500 because McCue didn’t possess any paperwork that authenticated its history.

Other items featured during the appraisal include Persian urns from the 19th century, a commemorative medallion from the 1896 Olympics, a chocolate pot from 1912, and excerpts of letters from Vincent van Gogh to his brother, Theo, from 1883.

Piattoni was swift and impressive with his appraisals. “I’ve been collecting things since I was a kid,” he explained. “I started collecting arrowheads and rocks and things like that. It really kind of went from there, and I followed that passion until I could do it as a living.”


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