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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- For this week s round of Trash or Treasure, we brought in Christina Whitson, a fine arts appraiser from Art Appraisal Services, to help Jan Durr of Robbins Appraisals in authenticating several items.

Our first guest is viewer Carolyn Kurth. Clutched in her arms is a painting by a prominent Wisconsin-born artist.

(Click here to view items from the latest edition of Trash or Treasure?)

Alexander Mueller was my grandmother s brother in-law.

Upon first glance, Whitson identifies some condition issues, such as nicotine staining in the varnish, and some tearing of the canvas. However, something else is more troubling.

There s no evident signature found. Carolyn thinks it s below the frame.

If the painting is removed from its frame by a professional, and is discovered as real, Whitson says she s seen Mueller works sell at auction for $4000 to $10,000, depending on size.

[But] that was prior to the crash of 2008.

Now? A genuine Mueller of this size will sell for around $200.

Up next, Jan Durr takes a look at an old President Lincoln newspaper from viewer Jim Robertson.

My father is a Civil War historian, and this was in a pile of things he wanted to discard.

Right away, Jan sees some telltale signs the piece could be a fake.

The number here is incorrect, and the dark bands [along the columns] is another clue. The paper itself, they didn t use this particular rendering of Lincoln either.

Despite the findings, Robertson is satisfied, and still plans to keep the paper.

It s a piece of my father s history. I ll hang on to it, and give it to the kids.

While the rest of the items are authentic, like a shoe button hooks, a Bomber fishing lure, and a sewing machine, they re all worth between $5 and $50.

But each guest seems to agree with the sentiments shared by Carol Biegel, who brought in the shoe button hook.

It was apiece that was my mom s and it was a piece I ve had for a very long time....the memories are worth a whole lot more.

Appraiser Jan Durr can be reached through her company s website, Robbins Appraisals. http://www.robbinsappraisals.com

Art appraiser Christina Whitson of Art Appraisal Services, can be reached at www.artappraisalservices.com

Read or Share this story: http://www.wcnc.com/story/money/consumer/2014/07/02/10997772/