If you’re a fan of “Antiques Road Show,” then you’ll want to attend the Sixth Annual Southwest Kansas Antiques Appraisal Fair, which the Finney County Historical Society will host March 10 at the Finney County 4-H Building.
The fair is an all-day event, where everyone is welcome to bring flea market finds, family heirlooms or keepsakes to be shown and shared live before the audience. The appraisers include collectors, dealers and others with expertise in antiques.
People come from all over western Kansas and beyond. Last year, the audience shared nearly 100 objects, including a trunk dating to the 1700s or earlier, a 1940s pin-up poster, a Native American woven basket and a metal plaque engraved by Czech art deco master Jaroslav Horejc, which the appraisers valued at $3,000.
Couples and individuals also brought a 1930s silverware chest, autographs of astronauts John Glenn and Scott Carpenter, a 19th Century edition of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” a 60-year-old Native American blanket, Billy Klapper bridle bits and spurs, an antique coronet and a Lionel electric train.
Others shared a six-sided Hohner harmonica, an Andy Warhol painting of John Wayne and a print of the Maxfield Parrish painting, “Evening.” Additional items ranged from a World War II Army overcoat to an Andre Dube hand-carved moose lamp. There were also pocket watches, mantle clocks, carnival and depression glass, china, crocks, dolls, carvings, sewing machines, bowls, vases, cookie jars, vintage milk and soda pop bottles, brooches, rings, Fisher Price toys, cigarette cases and over 50 additional objects.
Early bird registration
Appraisals are $15 per item, first-come/first-served, and spectator admission is free. Those who pre-register with payment by March 2 may bring three items for $36. The place for early registration is the Finney County Historical Museum, 403 S. Fourth in Finnup Park. Hours are 1 to 5 p.m. daily, except President’s Day Feb. 19. The number is (620) 272-3664.
Registration will be available after March 2, too, at the museum; and until 2 p.m. at the door the day of the show, all at the $15 item rate.
The doors will open to the public at 8:30 a.m. the day of the event, with the show running from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or until the last item is appraised, whichever comes first.
Pre-registered items will get first priority, so the sooner you register the better. We’re encouraging everyone to provide printed pictures of their items. If you prefer, we’re glad to photograph each piece when you register in advance at the museum.
Evaluations will be conducted individually before the audience. While we can’t offer appraisals for fine jewelry or firearms, we can accept almost any other antiques or collectibles. No artifacts will be bought or sold, but the appraisers will offer non-binding spoken estimates of value for each item, while sharing their knowledge about the history of each piece.
Sponsors and meals
Primary sponsors include American Warrior, the Finney County Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Garden City Telegram, the Solze family, Steve and Rhonda Stone, Larry Johnston Auction and Western State Bank.
Major sponsors are Coldwell Banker – The Real Estate Shoppe, Golden Plains Credit Union, Homestead Assisted Living, Keeper’s Nest, Pishny Financial Services LC and Valley State Bank.
Additional sponsors include John and Angelica Chappel, Garnand Funeral Home, Neil Hawley Agency – American Family Insurance, Oswalt Appraisals and Unger’s Heating and Air Conditioning.
Edward Jones Financial Advisor Lora Schneider is providing prizes for the items of greatest age and value, as well as the most unique.
Flat Broke Barbecue will be on hand with food and beverages during a lunch break and throughout the day. We’re grateful to each sponsor, as well as to the appraisal team and many others who volunteer.
You’re also invited to our Brown Bag Lunch and Evening at the Museum history lecture programs.
All are free, and the next three noon-hour Brown Bag sessions include the “Boom Town…Ghost Town” series on Feb. 13, 20 and 27, each by Museum Education Coordinator Johnetta Hebrlee. That will be followed March 6 with a noon session about the struggle against human trafficking by Sister Trudy Tanner of the Dominican Sisters of Peace.
The evening programs, sponsored by the AT&T Pioneers Southern Council, take place at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month, including “The Fleagle Gang, Next Chapter” on Feb. 20; a March 20 segment about area families that trace their history to Mexico, by Henry “Hank” Avila, veteran Kansas legislative researcher; and a session April 17 about German Mennonite history by Norman Clark, long-time local history instructor.
Appraisal Fair proceeds support museum programs and exhibits, so you’re invited to attend these free presentations, and also to dig out Grandma’s quilt, Uncle Jack’s World War I uniform or that Redwing crock you picked up at an auction last fall and spend the day with us March 10, exploring history through artifacts and objects.
Steve Quakenbush is the executive director of the Finney County Historical Society.