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Picasso print, antique books appraised in Iola

Strawberries, crafts and history were on the menu for Iola’s Annual Strawberry Fest, Antique Appraisal Fair and Craft Show.

Hosted by the Iola Historical Society, the event was held Sunday, June 23, at the Historical Complex on Depot Street.

The rarest item brought to the appraisal fair was a 1966 Picasso print. According to Joel Edler, general antiques appraiser, the print was number 12 of 100.

Edler said the appraisers at the event did not know enough about “that high-end type of art” to give a cost estimate. The owner of the item was referred to an art specialist.

Gerry Larson, of Iola, brought two antique books to be appraised.

Both books were published in Norwegian and came from the Thor Helgeson house. They were donated to the Northland Lutheran Church library.

The smallest book was entitled “Brand” (fire), a play written by Henrik Ibsen in 1865.

“It is not a lot of value unless it is a first edition,” said appraiser Tom Michaels.

He explained that the era after the Civil War, from 1865-1930, was “the biggest publishing period the world has ever seen.” He noted that several printing companies produced mass copies of non-copyrighted books during this period.

After consulting with other appraisers at the event, Michaels began to believe the book was possibly a first edition.

The larger book was “The 15th Wisconsin Volunteer Regiment,” signed by author Ole Amundsen Buslett.

Larson said Buslett was the first to open the store in Northland.

“This is probably a lot harder item to find,” Michaels said. “These are very collectable.”

He noted the book would be of most value for Civil War information it might offer to historical organizations.

Michaels appraised each book at $65 or higher.

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