Heirlooms and keepsakes ranging from porcelain dolls, etched stemware, painted china and World War II souvenirs already have been pre-registered for the third annual Southwest Kansas Antiques Appraisal Fair, scheduled for March 12 at the Finney County 4-H Building.
Antique furniture pieces, tea sets, silver flatware and Paris opera glasses also are among the items that have been registered for the event, which is scheduled to for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Doors are scheduled to open at 8:30 a.m.
The event, which is arranged like a live and local version of Antiques Road Show, is supported by the Finney County Convention and Visitors Bureau and 19 additional sponsors. It is hosted by the Finney County Historical Society as a fundraising event and a learning opportunity in history.
Spectator admission is free. Item appraisals are $15 each.
“We have a great time putting on the appraisal fair, but we also count on the proceeds to help us provide the community with education and research, as well as maintain the museum and preserve the heritage of Finney County and southwest Kansas,” said Steve Quakenbush, historical society executive director.
A panel of antique dealers and collectors will offer spoken evaluations for each item, one by one, in front of a live audience throughout the day. Objects will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis, according to FCHS Appraisal Fair Committee Leader Rhonda Stone, with priority given to pre-registered items.
Pre-registration is available 1 to 5 p.m. daily at the Finney County Museum, 403 S. Fourth St. in Finnup Park. Anyone registering items is asked to bring photographs, or have their entries photographed at the museum.
Walk-in registration will be offered at the show. Information is available 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at (620) 272-3664.
At last year’s event, the volunteer team appraised 135 items, including 20th and 19th Century glassware, china, advertising and sports memorabilia, lamps, rugs, arrowheads, furniture, prints and other art, lamps, dolls, decorations, toys, clothing, photographs and a variety of additional antiques, artifacts, primitives and collectibles.
No items are bought or sold at the fair, but the evaluators explain the known history and unique aspects of the item. Prizes will be awarded for the oldest, most unique and most valuable objects.
An Art Deco era Erte print belonging to Russell and Jo Freeman of Garden City was selected as the most valuable item last year. A small collection of historic retail tokens entered by Don and Marjorie Lear, Garden City, earned the award for most unique. The panel selected a framed photo brought by Frances O’Brate, Garden City, as the oldest item. It depicted one of the owner’s ancestors in a Civil War uniform, dating to the 1860s.
“It was really an enjoyable day,” said Becce Gigot, Garden City, who last year brought ballerina dolls dating to the mid-20th Century and an antique adding machine she found in her home.
“It was great to learn about the history of my items and find out about their value,” Gigot said. “But it was also fascinating to see all of the things that the other people brought to share.”
The appraisers won’t be able to evaluate fine jewelry or firearms, but costume or fashion jewelry and nearly all other objects are welcome.
Flat Broke Barbecue will be on hand to sell food and beverages throughout the show.