Experts decode Vail Valley treasures
A gold pocket watch. A complete set of 1961 baseball cards. A pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes from 1942. Vail Valley residents have all sorts of antiques tucked away in their homes.Heres a look at treasures that surfaced at the Antiques Show & Tell at the Avon Public Library last weekend.Pocket watchThe owners: Sheila and Robert Gouterman, of Edwards.The story: The pocket watch belonged to Robert Goutermans grandfather, a tailor who had been living in Boston in the early 1900s. Every time the grandfather was low on funds, he pawned the watch. But he always bought the watch back as soon as he had the money. So that was the story of the condition of the family: Whether he had his pocket watch, Robert Gouterman said. Sheila Gouterman said the watch appeared to be lined with gold, but she wasnt sure. She wanted to find out how rare the watch is and how much money its worth. Well probably keep it in the family unless its some fantastic Deal or No Deal that you cant refuse, she said.The expert: Ann Madison, certified appraiser from Avon. She sells collectibles on her Web site, http://www.annsunforgettables.com.The analysis: Madison popped open the back of the watch, where a marking read 14K. That means the watch is 14-karat gold, she said. Madison estimated the watch dates back to 1910 or 1920. It was a nice gentlemans dress watch, she said. The brand is Waltham, which is not particularly rare but is one-tenth as common as watches by Elgin, the company that later bought Waltham, Madison said. Although the watch was running, it was not in mint condition. A lever that pulls out and must stay out to set the watch kept slipping back in.The value: Madison estimated the watch would be worth $2,000 after repairs on the lever.Fur throwThe owner: Tabitha Smida, of Avon.The story: This rare fur came from a vicuna, an animal that looks like a llama and belongs to the camel family, Smida said. She thinks it might hail from Peru. The fur had belonged to Smidas mother, but exactly where it came from before that is unclear. The handmade, cotton-lined fur likely dates back to the 1920s or 1930s, Smida said. Its intriguing that its a rare animal that not a lot of people know about, she said.The expert: Jodi Conklin with Nest Funishings and Consignments in AvonThe analysis: The fur is quite rare and preserved in mint condition, Conklin said. She referred Smida to a furrier for more information.The value: Conlkin estimates the fur is worth $800 to $1,200. Thats about how much money a fox fur the same size would sell for, she said.Full set of 1961 baseball cards The owner: Duane Ziegler from EagleThe story: Growing up in North Dakota, Ziegler was an avid baseball card collector. He collected most of the 587 cards in the 1961 set as a kid, then filled in the gaps during college. Today you can go in and find a store that has all of last years (cards) all in a box, Ziegler said. You just buy it. Way back when, you had to get them one at a time.The expert: Cindy Lehman, a librarian at the Avon Public Library and former owner of a used sports good store in Aurora.The analysis: Owning every card in a collection increases the value of those cards significantly, Lehman said. She finds the 1961 Topps brand collection in a book called Baseball Cards: 17th Edition. Micky Mantle and Hank Aaron are among the sports stars pictured on the cards.The value: According to the book, the cards are worth roughly $7,500 in mint condition. Ziegler said he thinks his are worth $3,750.High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 748-2938 or email@example.com.
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