D.C. Mayor Marion Barry received 19 gifts from visiting foreign dignitaries in 1981 and, according to an appraisal required by federal law,they were worth a total of $250.
Because none of the items was valued at more than $100, the mayor can keep them all. If they were worth more, they would become U.S. government property but kept in D.C. government custody for possible public display.
In accordance with the law, the gifts were appraised by William P. Wechsler and William P. Wechsler Jr. The gifts and appraisals included such items as "Saengmanee silver photo frame and gilt enameled monogram enclosing colored photograph and bearing signature and the date 1981 . . . $35," a "wood-footed bowl and grass skirt, probably Southeast Asian origin . . . $25" and "six laminated simulated mother-of-pearl place mats and coasters presented by Mayor of Quezon City, Philippines . . . $10.
The appraisers put a $15 value on a Seiko quartz traveling alarm clock presented by a Japanese delegation. The model was not specified.
The Milton H. Schlosser jewelry store on K Street NW priced Seiko quartz travel alarms yesterday at between $50 and $100 retail, depending on the model. The elder Wechsler, queried about the apparent discrepancy, defended the appraisal, saying the lower figure is the "fair market value" of the clock, not the higher "replacement value," which includes the retailer's price markup.