WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Antiques Appraiser Makes Stop in Galesburg

Nov 17, 2016

A love of antiques has taken a Wisconsin man to places all over the Midwest as he tells people what he thinks their knick-knacks and heirlooms are worth.

Mark Moran tours across the Midwest throughout the year, hosting shows and events where people bring their valuables to see how much they could potentially fetch on the market. One of those stops was at the Galesburg Knights of Columbus Hall in August. The event served as a fundraiser for the Galesburg Public Library Foundation.

Moran estimated that he does around 130 appraisal shows a year and has done more than 750 events in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and Michigan since he started doing tours in 2011. Moran has also appeared on the hit PBS show "Antiques Roadshow" at stops in Des Moines and Kansas City.

Antiques appraising can be considered a second career for Moran. He was originally a newspaper reporter and editor for publications in Green Bay, Wisconsin and Rochester, Minnesota. He spent 30 years in those roles. During his time in the newspaper industry, Moran started getting into antiques as a hobby.

"Back in the 1970s, I walked into an antiques shop for the first time. And my wife and I began collecting in the 1980s, thinking that I had a good basis of some knowledge, I became a part-time antiques dealer," Moran said.

Moran became an author after becoming a part-time antiques dealer and he's written 27 books on the subject.

During the event in Galesburg Moran saw a wide range of items. There was a small Najavo rug that he felt was worth $150. A World War One poster was appraised for $125. A brass dinner bell on a wooden frame was one of the pricier items that day, with Moran believing it could fetch $570.

But Moran believes the monetary value of the items is only just a number compared to what it's truly worth.

"Just because something isn't worth a lot of money, it doesn't mean that it's not valuable. It's valuable to them. It's valuable to their family's history. And so, I always want people to value items for what it means to them, and not what it means to someone else," Moran said.

For those who missed Moran's appearance in Galesburg, he is scheduled to return on Sept. 16, 2017.