Antiques road show attracts sellers from across Middle Georgia

Appraiser Eddie Lambert hoisted an old rusty guitar into the light and relished a look, strumming his fingers across its frets and tuning pegs with rapt attention.

It looks like an average run-down instrument. But peer through Lambert’s magnifying glass and you’ll see something completely different.

“It’s a 1935 Gibson,” he said, bubbling with enthusiasm at his exciting new find. “It’s beautiful.”

The guitar is one of the items midstate residents have ponied up for appraisal at the traveling antiques roadshow that’s in Macon until Saturday.

Locals can bring their antiques to be appraised and sold at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel on Sheraton Drive from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

“We’ll appraise and buy most antiques, as long as they’re older than 40 years,” said Lambert, who works with the company, The Great Treasure Hunt, putting on the show. “It’s kind of like fishing. We never know what we’re going to get next.”

Since setting up Tuesday in Macon, it has appraised antiques from more than 50 customers. Among the items they are looking to buy are old lamps, furniture, appliances, coins and stamps.

One thing they don’t deal with are cheaper, mass-produced goods such as records and toys made in the past 30 years. “We just don’t want junk sale stuff,” Lambert said.

That came as a shock to Macon resident John Picking, who had hoped to sell the old Allman Brothers records he’d found sitting in his attic.

The company Lambert works for The Great Treasure Hunt, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., cuts customers a check on site, then resells their antiques to collectors.

People have been coming out more than ever to sell their items, mostly because of the sluggish national economy, Lambert said.

“People need quick cash in these times, and this is a great way to get it,” he said.

Milledgeville resident Janet Thompson, who sold the Gibson guitar for $1,500, saw an opportunity to make a little extra spending money.

“I got what I wanted from it,” said Thompson, who spent more than 20 minutes haggling over the guitar’s sale price. “Now I’m going to have a little more cash to spend.”

To contact writer Carl Lewis, call 744-4347.