Owner: Dale Castro, Columbia Back story: Castro spends his days educating youths as an assistant high school principal. But during his free time, he takes part in the family hobby collecting. "My mom is 82, and shes a longtime collector," he explains. "She has a barn thats like a museum." Castros grandfather was a member of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Cabinet. The family was also friends with other high-profile types, including Orson Wells and Walt Disney. "Mr. Disney gave my grandmother the cels with Donald Duck as a gift," says Castro. Another gift, a bust of FDR, was "personally inscribed by [the president] to my grandfather." Expert: G. Amory LeCuyer, certified appraiser, Hampton House Auctions (hamptonhouseauctions.com) Overview: "The collecting of movie cels has been active ever since the first ones were produced. There have been numerous pieces produced and in some cases reproduced. The distinction of the Walt Disney cel shown is that it has been signed by Walt Disney. Additional value comes from the popularity of the image of Donald Duck." Evaluation: "While in most cases an item like this would need to have the signature authenticated before sale, the prices on similar cels at auction have ranged from $4,500 to $5,000."
Dale Castro, Baltimore Sun