Collecting on the Side-Show

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Katie Hancock's brother-in-law sent her a piece of jewelry while he was deployed to Italy in World War II.

"I have always loved cameos, and I had never seen a full-fledged cameo before with the delicate work that this one has," said Hancock. "I felt that it was valuable."

And it's valuable not just for sentimental reasons. At Saturday's Antique Sideshow event in College Station, Hancock found out from appraisers her jewelry could be worth thousands of dollars.

"I was really thrilled when I heard they were going to do this," Hancock said. "We brought several things, and we're real pleased."

Fran Lamb, the executive director of the Brazos Valley Heritage Society, was one of the organizers of the event. "There's so much interest here in history, lots and lots of interest in history in the entire community. So when the Calvert Historical Foundation decided to team up with the Brazos Heritage Society, we were excited."

The two groups actually based the event on the popular Antiques Road Show, and even got the producers' permission to run the event. Appraisers from across the region were very happy to lend their time and expertise for the show.

Caroline Prejean found a part of one man's history among the clutter of a yard sale. "I collect old tin windup toys mainly," she said, "but I just stumbled on this and bought it."

Prejean found a World War I soldier's uniform, a framed picture of the man, and other odds and ends belonging to him. Saturday, experts said his compass alone could go for $300, but Prejean's not in it for the money, "just for the fun. It's a hobby, and I guarantee you it's a hobby that will keep you busy all the time."

And it seemed to keep collectors and appraisers busy at the Sideshow.

"I just think this ought to be a yearly event," said Hancock. "I have some other things I'd like to bring."