Appraiser Sean Morton (left) will be at the Cave Creek Museum on Jan. 17 to appraise participants’ items.

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Antique Appraisal Day to be held Jan. 17

Staff Report~ 1/14/2015

CAVE CREEK – The New Year is a great time to sort through items in your attic, garage, or storage unit and decide what’s worth keeping. It’s also the perfect time to bring your vintage and antique pieces to Cave Creek Museum, 6140 Skyline Drive, for its annual “Antique Appraisal Day” on Saturday, Jan. 17, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Scottsdale appraiser Sean Morton, an expert with more than 25 years experience working in the fine arts and antiques field, will examine treasures, discuss their origins, and provide a verbal range of value. The fee is $20 per item, with a limit of two items per session. Guests may attend more than one session. Proceeds benefit the Museum.

Evelyn Johnson, Cave Creek Museum’s executive director, said she has learned never to throw anything away until an appraiser assesses it.

“Whether you have an heirloom piece of jewelry or an old item that appears to look worthless, it’s always a good idea to have an expert take a look at it,” she said, adding that the Museum once had a patron bring in what he thought was a Tiffany lamp knockoff that turned out to be worth thousands of dollars.

Morton, who appears regularly on a local television show, has been helping the Museum with its Antique Appraisal Day fundraiser for more than 13 years. He said the improvement of the economy has been a welcome relief, but no new brick-and-mortar antique stores have opened up. “The internet has been pushing the antique field in a new direction. Not a bad direction – just different for the “old school” people,” he said.

As for “what’s hot” right now: “Advertising signage of any kind,” he said. “Modern, hip 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s well-designed and well-made furniture are also very popular.”

And “what's not” in demand: “Victorian cut glass and oak furniture,” he said.

Morton said contemporary art is finding a new market.

“Western art has taken a "back seat" to the change in taste and sensibilities of a new generation. There are some exceptions of course,” he said.

With the Super Bowl and other major sports events being hosted in Arizona, is the timing right to sell sports memorabilia?

“The sports autograph category is relatively strong. It depends on if the item has been certified by a nationally respected company that issues authentication documentation, such as Professional Coin Grading Service and others like that,” he said.

Even if you plan on keeping your valuables, having an idea of their worth can help you and your family plan for the future.


 “This is particularly true for Baby Boomers who should plan early regarding which items their children may want, which historical items they own that perhaps should be donated and the correct timing to sell,” he said.

The Museum also will host a special “Art for Art’s Sake” children’s program on Sunday, Jan. 25 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission to the children’s program is free, but because seating is limited, reservations are suggested. For information, call (480) 488-2764, or visit