Treasure or trash?

by Sharlene Irete

A roomful of my treasures netted about $433, but just like those folks on TV's "Antiques Roadshow" I can say, "Grandma's heirlooms weren't worth very much, but I had a great time."

Antiques Plus owner Martha Williams appraised some of my favorite things, just as she would do at the Antiques Show & Sale, this weekend at the COD Garage in Minden. The show and sale features an appraisal clinic where items may be appraised for $5 each.

I'm curious about the value and history of the stuff I've packed and unpacked, dusted and displayed, and saved over the years. My research usually leads to a dead end, so Martha has helped enlighten me.

Martha did appraisals from photographs of some of my collection of state plates, an aluminum pitcher and a small glass pitcher.

I have about 70 state plates my grandmother collected from the places she traveled beginning in the late 1940s. I have 50 of the tea cup-sized plates, dessert and dinner plate-sized plates displayed in my kitchen.

Besides 48 states, there are plates from Frankfurt, Germany, Sea World, Las Vegas, the Bahamas, Niagara Falls, the Great Smoky Mountains and Santa's Village in Jefferson, N.H.

Martha said a whole collection would be worth about $250, but learning about the history of the collection was the interesting part.

"It was the end of the Depression and there was a chicken in every pot," said Martha. "People were able to buy a house. Then they started to get on the move and wanted to see the great national parks that were opening up around the country. They wanted souvenirs of their trips to bring home."

The fact that my plates might sell for $3 individually shouldn't stop me from bringing them to be appraised at the antiques show.

"If your item is only worth $3, I won't charge you $5 for the appraisal," Martha said. "But bring it in and don't be embarrassed."

She said the biannual antique appraisals bring in an equal amount of valuable and less valuable items.

"There have been some things we've been very excited about seeing," she said. "Someone brought a Petit Felipe pocket watch worth $12,000 to $18,000, and a lamp worth up to $22,000. But people with items worth under $100 are just as happy with their appraisals."

Foothill resident Thomas Bartels will be on hand to do appraisals at the antiques show and sale. Bartels has a home business of timepiece repairs, and is an expert on clocks, watches, and pocket watches.

"Anything that keeps time, he can do," said Martha. Appraisals of grandfather clocks and other large furniture items may be accomplished from good photographs.

The aluminum pitcher my great-grandmother used for the milk she got from her cow was valued at $18.

Pound for pound, my big ticket item was the little glass milk jug I rescued about 30 years ago from a friend who was going to throw it in the trash. It's not priceless at $165, but it's pretty.

The biannual Antiques Show & Sale is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in the old COD Garage on Esmeralda Avenue in downtown Minden. The show is in its 16th year.

Dealers from Nevada and California have furniture (oak, mahogany and pine), textiles, sun-purpled glass, comic books, baseball cards, jewelry, prints, country antiques, clocks, lamps, trunks, yard art, glass and china on display and for sale.

The show features an appraisal clinic where family treasures may be appraised for $5 per item with no limit of items. Appraisals of large items can be done from good photographs.

Door prizes will be donated by local businesses. Food is available for sale, with donuts and coffee in the morning, and hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos, pretzels, beer, wine, soda and lemonade in the afternoon.

The show and sale is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $2 and benefits in part the Carson Valley Pops Orchestra.

Sponsors are Antiques Plus, Barone & Reed Food Co., C & Co., Lone Tree Gallery, Mary Grace Miluck, and Tumblewind Antiques.

Information, or 782-4951.

Milk jug

"You have a fine example of a Blue Ridge pitcher in the Virginia pattern. The Blue Ridge line was made by Southern Potteries in Tennessee from 1930 to 1956 when they closed their factory. There are 2,000 different patterns and all are hand-decorated. The value is determined by the rarity. For example, the Peasant pattern would be a higher value. Therefore a pitcher like yours being a more common pattern would be valued at approximately $165."

State plates

"State plates were produced in mass in the 1940s and '50s. This is when there was a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage. At this time people started driving around the country and picked up souvenir plates, spoons and shot glasses. The plates themselves would be valued at approximately $3 each, but the complete set could be worth approximately $250."

Aluminum pitcher

"This is an aluminum restaurant water pitcher. It dates to the 1950s and '60s. Aluminum is the most abundant metal on the Earth's surface. A process for smelting was developed in 1916. It then became profitable to use for home and commercial use. The value of your pitcher would be approximately $18."


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment