Cave Creek Museum is gearing up for its 10th annual Antique Appraisal Days fund-raiser from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the museum, 6140 Skyline Drive.

Scottsdale appraiser Sean Morton, an expert with more than 25 years of experience 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.

Evelyn Johnson, Cave Creek Museum’s executive director, said the event continues to be one of the museum’s most popular fund-raisers.

“It took off from the very beginning and has always been a successful event for us, but we have seen a shift in what people are seeking,” she said. “Now, more people are open to the idea of parting with their beloved items, whereas in the past, people just wanted to get an idea of the value.”

Over the years, Johnson has seen people bring in signed Tiffany lamps, full ceremonial Native American wedding attire, board games, glassware and paintings.

“The variance of what we see from year to year is incredible,” she said. “And, I think people like the fact that for a small fee, they can learn the value of their item and support the museum.”

Morton believes the economy’s slow uptick is a good sign for those seeking to sell.

“I see optimism in the art and antique trade,” he said. “It’s slow, but I see careful and prudent buyers emerging.”

He also credits cable television for educating the public about the appraisal process.

“Due to success of ‘Auction Hunters,’ ‘Pawn Stars’ and ‘Treasure Hunter,’ there is a new appreciation of selling locally at realistic prices,” he said. “Never before have there been so many shows about selling stuff.”

Like last year, Morton said gold, silver and platinum continue to be in demand.

“Antique jewelry and pocket watches are doing well,” he said. “The green movement has created new excitement in the antique trade. There is a new term being used: repurposing.”

Morton describes repurposed furniture as vintage pieces spanning from the 1950s to the 1970s.

“You can tell the economy is coming back when you see more people decorating their homes with vintage, repurposed furniture,” he said. “The same thing happened in the 1930s and 1940s, only at that time it was Old Victorian furniture.”

Ready to sell your item? You may need to work harder to find the right buyer.

“There are a myriad of ways to market your items,” Morton said. “You can sell it locally through a dealer or on your own. You can use online services, like eBay, and when you get into specialty antiques or collectibles, you will need guidance so you know how much to ask for.”

As for the time it takes to find a buyer, don’t get discouraged.

“I see fewer feverish ‘I have to have it’ collectors, but good collectors are still out there. It’s like selling a home. You have to work harder at it and have patience,” he said.

For information about Cave Creek Museum’s Antique Appraisal Days, call 480-488-2764, or visit

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