Part of the fun of an antiques appraisal is waiting for your chance to find out whether the heirloom your family has cherished for decades is worth anything in dollars and cents.
Residents in communities south of Boston will soon get a chance to find out.
The Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton will hold an appraisal day on Sept. 8, with Josh Eldred of Eldred’s Appraisers and a posse of experts in everything from paper to pianos from the North Bennet Street School of Boston.
Asking people to bring in their private treasures for an expert’s appraisal is not a new idea — WGBH’s “Antiques Roadshow” has been popular for years — but it’s never been done at the Fuller, said Titilayo Ngwenya, the museum’s communications director.
“It’s a great way to celebrate what you’ve always had in your house,” she said. “And we have people to talk about it and tell you how to take care of it.”
Appraisal day is the pet project of the museum overseer Pat Warner and the museum’s new director, Jonathan Fairbanks.
“Our hope is people will bring something and look around the museum,” said Warner, who worked for the Channel 2 auction fund-raiser for years as well as for the Museum of Fine Arts under Fairbanks. The founder of the MFA’s decorative arts and sculpture department, Fairbanks took over Fuller Craft’s direction earlier this year.
It’s been difficult, Warner said, to get across the museum’s message that “contemporary craft is here to stay.”
Appraisal day will draw on the services of Eldred’s Auctioneers, a major antiques and auction house that sells paintings, Asian art, maritime art, sporting art, European antiques, and other collectibles.
In addition to offering appraisals for your favorite items, the museum will have expert conservators on hand.
“I am constantly contacted by people looking for help in how to preserve their things and looking for people who do those things that we teach,” Jason Gregoricus, the North Bennet Street School’s director of student and alumni services, said last week.
Gregoricus put out a request for alumni to demonstrate the arts of preservation.
Those who responded, many in business for themselves, include furniture maker Sean Fisher, a principal of Robert Mussey Associates of Boston; piano restorer Christopher Storch; North Bennet School faculty member Martha Kearsley, who teaches bookbinding; Jeremy Shaw, a caning expert; and jeweler Cynthia Hadded.
“Antiques Roadshow” has changed the furniture restoring industry, Fisher said last week, prompting people to bring up issues they’ve seen dealt with on television show. “We routinely have clients who say, ‘Should we be worried about the old finish?’ ”
His response to that question is, “It depends on what you want to do with” the piece.
“I’ll bring down some examples of what I have done in the past,” said Fisher, including a Windsor chair he owns to illustrate how to separate old paint and take off new paint on top of the old layer. “I may also bring in an example of how we can use differences in solubility to remove new paint coatings from older paint coatings,” he said.
Old furniture pieces don’t have to be museum quality or worth a lot of money to merit preservation and care, Fisher said.
It’s often sentimental, rather than financial, value that clients want preserved or restored. Often the goal is “how to make it look like it’s well cared for,” he said.
Storch will disassemble and reassemble the museum’s grand piano, so that visitors can see the inner working on the instrument.
“I don’t expect people to be showing up to the Fuller Museum with pianos to be appraised!” Storch said by e-mail.
But he explained that “not many people get to see a piano in a state of disassembly with all of the working mechanisms exposed.”
Along with crafts education and advice from the experts, the day will include some food, Ngwenya said.
Then of course, there’s the tingle of anticipation when it’s your turn for an appraisal.
“Part of it is just waiting to find out if it’s worth a million dollars — or not,” Ngwenya acknowledged. Either way, she said, “It’s a little excitement.”