Antique Show & Tell reveals true value
Local residents pulled heirlooms ranging from hand-painted dishes to miniature canons from the nooks and crannies of their attics and closets last week. Then they shared their treasures, and their stories, with friends and neighbors at the first-ever Antiques Show & Tell, sponsored by the Eagle County Historical Society. A panel of local antiques dealers Lucy Barker, Mary Adams, Ann Madison, and Rebecca Calendar shared their expertise in helping to identify and, when possible, put a price on the heirlooms.
Some audience members also offered some surprising expertise. Participants learned about what makes a Windsor chair special, how to care for antique furniture in such a way that you wont compromise its value and what happens when a child leaves a toy truck in a Leadville mine for a few decades.Some of the antiques, such as Carol Onderdonks glass hinged jewelry box, were found to be worth a lot. Others may not make the cash register ring, but still have a treasure trove of stories behind them. We thought it was a wonderful event. We had a bigger crowd than we expected, said John Bronn, vice president of the Eagle County Historical Society. Over 50 people turned out for the evening. The Historical Society plans to repeat the event in the future.Bronn, who also volunteers is time as a curator for the ECHS Museum located at the Eagle Information Center, said one boon of the evening was when Bob and Joanne Riggle donated their antique milk cans from Highs Dairy in Edwards. Its always great to have something new in the museum that has a local connection. Those cans certainly qualify, noted Bronn. The Eagle County Historical Museum, located in Chambers Park at Eagle, is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.Heres a few of the stories that were shared last week:
Virginia Rose of Eagle inherited a decorative plate with a partridge-like bird painted on the front from her mother-in-law. While Rose couldnt pinpoint its exact age, she knew it had to be old.Rose learned her plate was called a hunters plate and that it was likely part of a larger set that depicted different game birds on each piece. The plate was likely manufactured in Germany and is considered very desirable for collectors, according to the antiques crew.
When Eagle resident Carol Onderdonk was a child, she was particularly fond of a jewelry box she owned. Then, one day, the cleaning lady accidentally broke it. The guilt-ridden woman brought Onderdonk a replacement box the next week a round, cream-colored glass hinged box. The lid, with a swirled shape and painted flowers, was lined with gold satin.But I never loved this one as much as the one that got broken, Onderdonk admitted. Still, she was intrigued as an adult when she saw a similar glass box in an antique shop. Shes held onto the glass box for more than 60 years, and through many moves to different homes.The pretty glass box quickly drew the attention of the antiques appraisers at the Antiques Show & Tell. They identified it as a Wave Crest antique jewelry box, likely made in the 1920s.The appraisers told her that it is likely valuable, too worth at least $1,200. Onderdonk may have changed her opinion about the jewelry box replacement.Ill hold on to it. Im going to show it to my children, and put the price inside, so when I cork off, theyll know not to sell it, she said.
Anybody can find an antique toy truck in pristine condition. Dan Cox of Eagle prefers his rusted, mineral-covered keepsake.Cox said the cast-iron truck was found on top of the ground near a Leadville mine. He estimates it dates back to 1927. The elements had gone to work on the toy, leaving the tin body with a distinctive, corroded cover of calcified minerals that Cox calls a patina. The eye-catching item looks more like a piece of sculpture than a childs misplaced toy. Appraisers indicated the mineral crust probably didnt help the little cars value, but Cox didnt care.I like it this way, he said.
Some day Callie Bruckner, 9, of Eagle will inherit a set of Haviland dishes. They once belonged to her great aunt Johnnie Greeve an Eagle pioneer whose family once operated the movie theater in town. The dishes themselves are Haviland Limoge porcelain manufactured in France.Callies grandmother, Arnetta Eaton, said Aunt Johnnie once asked if Callie would appreciate the dishes when she got older. Eaton replied with an emphatic Yes, she will. Callie was already proud enough of the dishes to stand up in front of a group of adults to show and tell about her future inheritance.
Julia Rhodes of Eagle found her antique rocking chair at an estate sale in Texas back in 1965. For the past 42 years, it has spoken to her.Rhodes found the chair during a Saturday morning outing with her three children. The family was facing difficult times. Rhodes husband was fighting in Vietnam; and Rhodes was taking care of three children all under the age of 5. On the weekends, Rhodes would pile the kids in the family Volkswagen bug to visit garage sales. On one such outing, she spotted an estate sale sign. Thats where she discovered her chair.At that time, she said, the small rocker was painted red and carried a $20 price tag. Rhodes only had $14 in her wallet, but the woman running the sale agreed to drop the price. She told Rhodes that her mother had owned the pre-Civil War era chair. When Rhodes got the chair home, she learned it would be very expensive to strip off the paint. So instead, she started sanding it. Under the red paint, she found black paint. She kept sanding and eventually uncovered the chairs hickory wood. The time spent working on the chair offered rare moments alone for a young mom.It was my therapy and my friend, said Rhodes. The chair still creaks as you rock. It speaks to me.
Carolyn Pitman and her twin sister, Sharolyn Barton, both of Gypsum, share their family history. One visual reminder of it hangs on Sharolyns living room wall. The family photo, in its original ornate, wood-and-brass frame, dates back to 1885 1887. The youngest child in the photograph is their maternal grandfather.On the far left in the photo is their maternal great-grandfather, who had the unlikely triple name of James James James. He came to Colorado in the company of famed explorer Kit Carson. James was one of the early settlers of Manitou Springs. He arrived in America via a ship from Wales, where he stowed away at the age of 9.
Tom and Ottalie Carlin of Eagle share a love for unusual antiques such as her cannon and his opera glasses.Toms ornate opera glasses belonged to his paternal grandmother. They were manufactured in France and feature detailed, gold scroll work on the sides.Ottalies heavy signal canon came from a frigate.When she worked as a ski instructor in Vail 20 years ago, Ottalie and the crew used to fire the cannon at the end of the season. Then, one day someone told her that was a very bad idea because she could crack the iron. She then retired the cannon to use as a doorstop.Its still used regularly, but not as a signal cannon, she said.
Mary Alice Greenman showed the mantle clock she inherited from her mother and father. The couple purchased the timepiece in 1936. Its been running every since. It keeps perfect time, Greenman said.The clock must be wound every seventh day and it chimes on the hour and half hour. This story appeared first in the Eagle Valley Enterprise.