Antiques appraisal event draws local interest

The most unusal item brought in to be appraised by MIke Moran was this Strovioln and case owned by Val Anderson. The musical instrument was made in Romania and was owned and played by Anderson's mother, Rene Stille, before being passed on to Val, who also learned to play.  Rebecca Peter|The Leader

The popularity of the PBS television show “Antiques Roadshow” has spurred many wonder if there is a hidden “gem” amongst family heirlooms in the attic, or if that flea market find is really a treasure.
The Garner Friends of the Library recently hosted Mike Moran, an antique appraiser from Iola, Wisconsin.
Moran has authored or co-authored 27 books on antiques and collectibles. Since 2011, he has conducted community events involving appraisal of antiques and collectibles and decorative arts in Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota and Michigan.
He became interested in the appraisal business because of his love of “history, art and learning about the past.” 
At Garner, Moran appraised 40 items.
“Every program that I do, I see something wonderful and unusual,” he said afterwards. “The best part of my job is that I’m always learning, too. 
“The most wonderful thing tonight was the Stro violin,” said Moran. The Stroh violin is a stringed musical instrument that is amplified by a metal resonator and horn attached to its body.
Val Anderson of Garner brought in the musical instrument, which was made in Romania about 1905. The Stro violin was originally owned by Anderson’s grandfather. It was passed down to her mother, Rene Stille, and eventually came into Val’s possession. As a teenager during 1940s, Val would play it for fun.
To even though the Stro violin is in need of restoration, to Anderson the instrument is “priceless.”
Read the complete story in the April 10 Leader.