Kim Cascio has been on a mission. Her grandfather, Harley Carpenter, left her family a small flip-top card table he took from his parents who adopted him in New York.
She thinks it used to belong to Revolutionary War Gen. Philip John Schuyler, who in his day lived in New York close to where her grandfather lived. But she has never been able to prove it.
That is why Cascio came Saturday to the American Legion Post 31 in Westminster, which housed the 13th annual Antiques Appraisal Day, the largest fundraiser for the Historical Society of Carroll County.
"I definitely want to get that authenticated," she said, of the possible link the table has to Schuyler.
She and others came to the event to get various antiques appraised. James Lightner, co-chair of the event, said people paid varying rates, but the limit was $35 for an appraisal on three pieces. He said people want the information to use when selling the pieces, getting them insured or just out of curiosity.
Residents brought in clocks, watches, paintings, photo albums, rifles, jewelry - anything that could have value to a collector. Expert appraisers looked for small signs of the pieces' worth, from a signature on a painting to the design of table legs.
For instance, appraiser Seth Shipley determined that a pocket watch Westminster resident Phil DeVivo brought in was likely built in late 1800s or early 1900s because it contained keys that were used to set and wind the watch that were common of the time period. He valued the watch at anywhere from $100 to $300.
Shipley is the owner of Shipley's Diamonds and Jewelry in Hampstead. He said he was glad to be able to talk to other appraisers Saturday and see the different pieces people brought in.
Earlier in the day, someone brought in an antique ring and bracelet set from the 1930s or 1940s that could be worth $10,000 to $12,000, Shipley said.
"It's an awesome event," Shipley said. "I love plugging into Carroll County."
Bonnie Crabbs brought in a Winchester shotgun reloading case that dated back to around 1870, which was worth $400 to $500, said appraiser Courtney Wilson, who is also the executive director of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museums. Crabbs said she received the case decades ago from her husband.
The case contained shotgun shells, black powder, a cleaning rod and other items necessary to reload a shotgun, Wilson said.
"It was not a high [appraisal], but interesting to see," he said.
For Cascio, Wilson said it was clear the card table was from the Revolutionary War period and made in New York. He said he could tell from the ball and claw feet it had, and the curved "knee" of the legs where they met the table top.
To collectors, the table could be worth $10,000 to $15,000, Wilson guessed. He said it could be worth significantly more if it were found to have been owned by Gen. Schuyler. But he said that could be difficult to determine.
He said the oral history Cascio knew was helpful, but she would need to find a paper trail - wills, letters - anything that could link her table back to Schuyler. He said such a feat would take a tremendous amount of research.
"That would be a critical piece," he said, of the documentation, adding that Cascio's table was the highlight of the day so far for him.
Cascio said she was glad to learn the table could be worth so much, adding that she was considering getting insurance for it. She said she hopes she can authenticate whether the table was owned by Schuyler at some point.
"It's been very hard to get information," she said.