Every antique has a story, and those stories – along with appraisals – were on display Thursday at First Presbyterian Church in Smithfield.
The church’s JOY Connection – JOY is short for Just Older Youth – held its second annual antique event. Each person who came for lunch could bring one antique to be appraised for free.
Jewell Ryals, who owns Bostic and Wilson Antiques and Interiors in Fuquay-Varina, appraised the antiques, many of them family heirlooms. She owns Bostic and Wilson Antiques and Interiors in Fuquay-Varina. A certified antiques appraiser, she has been in the business for 40 years and even appear on the popular TV show “Antiques Roadshow.”
Ryals took her time with each piece, examining inscriptions and stamps with a jeweler’s eye loupe. Some of the pieces had been handed down between generations; others were impulse buys at yard sales.
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Ryals’ appraisals ranged from a few dollars to $1,500.
“You’re going to be surprised by what you hear,” Ryals said before appraising each item. “There’s a lot of different kinds of everything.”
The roughly 50 people there brought china dishes and bowls, a doll from the 1920s, jewelry, porcelain figurines, fading books and more.
Betty Ramos brought a petit point stitch portrait of Miriam placing Moses in the Nile River, an iconic scene from the Old Testament.
Her uncle bought it at an antiques store in New York City, Ramos said. He didn’t have a daughter and left it to her when he passed away. “I have treasured it,” she said. “It’s been with me in my home for 25 years.”
Ramos, 71, of Smithfield said she thinks of her uncle every time she looks at the portrait. “You could talk to him for hours and never get bored,” she said.
Ramos loves coming to JOY Connection for the people and food. “It’s a wonderful thing they do,” she said. “It’s just a real treat.”
Sherry Boyle, 75, of Smithfield brought oyster forks passed down in her family. “This is like going to a little miniature museum,” she said, looking at a table filled with the antiques. “If only you knew the whole story of every item that is here.”
For Boyle, the forks reminded her of her family, which came from England more than 200 years ago. “It’s just nice to have something that members of your family had over time at their table,” she said.
Boyle’s friend, Muriel Evans, 69, of Wilson’s Mills, said everyone has something interesting lying around the house. “We all have things that are valuable to us; we just don’t know if it’s valuable to others,” she said.
Boyle and Evans said they enjoyed the friendliness of the crowd and planned to come back next month for a different JOY Connection event.
Dianne Shirley, 74, of Four Oaks came even though she didn’t bring an item for appraisal. “I like going to see people that I don’t often get to see and usually meet new people,” she said.
JOY Connection meets the first Thursday of every month for lunch at First Presbyterian Church in Smithfield. The free group is for those 55 and older. For more information, call the church at 919-934-0988.