Genoa antique show, sale and appraisal clinic benefits Pops

A day of entertainment for a $1.50 admission seems like a throwback to the old days but going to the Genoa Antique Show and Sale is a good way to spend a winter day. Event organizer Martha Williams said people look forward to the January show when weather is cold and they have cabin fever.

"It's a lot of fun to browse. You can spend a whole day for $1.50," said Williams. "So many people come for the appraisals. People stand around watching the appraisals. Just like 'Antiques Roadshow.'

"Antiques are our heritage and our history - something people need to know. Even in our throwaway generation, there are things we shouldn't throw away. Don't take it to the dump."

The two-day antiques show and appraisal clinic features textiles, estate jewelry, sun-purpled glass, toys, china, pottery, prints, country primitives, trunks, bottles, furniture and collectibles.

Members of the Carson Valley Pops Orchestra will be playing music on both days of the event. Coffee and hot chocolate are served and there will be chances to win door prizes on both days of the event which benefits the orchestra.

The show offers a verbal appraisal clinic for family treasures or items of unknown origin. Cost is $5 per item, with no limit as to the number of items. Large items can be appraised from good photos.

Appraisal clinics are held in Genoa twice a year. Vendors from California and Nevada will be selling antiques and collectibles in the Genoa Town Hall.

"The vendors are very knowledgeable," Williams said. "If you see something and tell them you have one at home, ask them about it.

Williams, owner of Antiques Plus in Genoa, has been involved in the antique show and appraisal since 1994 and is the main appraiser.

"When someone comes up with an item, I check it out," she said. "If it's something I can't appraise I give it to another appraiser. There are very few things we can't appraise."

In a time when people search the Internet for information on their treasures, Williams said it's more fun to have it done personally.

"We appraise for our area - not New York, the Midwest, San Francisco - because it's a whole different park. You need to have an appraisal from here. On the Internet, you generally get an across-the-board appraisal based on auction prices. And insurance appraisals are much higher than what you can sell things for."

Although Williams has appraised the contents from the bed of a pick-up, she recommends people take photographs of bigger items like furniture.

"We do appraisals from a good photograph. If something has a drawer, pull it out and take a picture of it."

Williams said items have to be at least 100 years old to be considered an antique.

"In England and Scotland they have things way older than ours. Antiques there have to be at least 200 years old," she said. "Here, it's 100 years. If they're 50 years old, they're considered collectibles, which still have value but aren't true antiques.

"Some collectibles are more valuable than antiques. Like storage tins that held tobacco and cocoa. Some I've looked at were probably from the '50s, or what they call 'Mid-century,' and were worth a lot of money. But things from World War I and War World II aren't antiques."

Baseball cards are collectibles and can go for big, big money, she said.

Years of mothers throwing those comic books and baseball cards away may have had an influence on what we find valuable.

"It's what makes a rare item rare," Williams said. "Don't just throw things away, find out about them first."


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