The Seventh Annual Southwest Kansas Antiques Appraisal Fair is set for March 9 in the Finney County 4-H Building on the fairgrounds in Garden City. Though not affiliated with the popular PBS program, the event operates much like “Antiques Road Show.”
The fair is an all-day show, where participants are welcome to bring family heirlooms and keepsakes to be shown and shared live before the audience. Appraisers include nine local collectors, dealers and others with expertise in antiques.
Last year’s audience came from all over western Kansas and the Oklahoma Panhandle, sharing 125 objects, including a Civil War-era smoking pipe, newspapers from the 1870s, a 19th Century silver tea set, a Franklin D. Roosevelt campaign button, a variety of toy metal cars and trucks, an “I Like Ike” car tag, an 1896 set of bone china, a 1910 model typewriter and an 1890s wax cylinder phonograph.
Crocks, Depression glass dishes, leaded crystal and a variety of additional sets and pieces of tableware crossed the stage. There were also numerous china pieces, teacups, pocket watches, mantle clocks and toys. Onlookers also shared geisha, Shirley Temple, baby and Native American dolls, a vintage accordion, a set of documents signed in the 1840s, glass globe gumball machine, a Disney movie poster and a carved oriental chest.
An enamel-on-metal Santa Fe Trail bus lines sign earned an award as the most valuable item, and later sold in an estate auction for $7,500.
Appraisals are $15 per item, on a first-come/first-served basis, and spectator admission is free. Those who pre-register with payment by Friday 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. The number for information is (620) 272-3664.
Registration will be available after Friday, 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 at the 4-H Building will open to the public at 8:30 a.m. the day of the event, with the fair running from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or until the last item is appraised. Pre-registered items will get first priority, and those who register should provide printed pictures of their keepsakes. The museum staff can photograph items during registration for those who prefer.
Evaluations will be conducted individually and one by one before the audience, so spectators can choose to come and go, or stay and watch throughout the day. 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. Nearly any antique, vintage or collectible items may be appraised, except coins, fine jewelry or firearms.
Flat Broke Barbecue will offer food and beverages during a lunch break and throughout the day.
Appraisal Fair proceeds support programs, research, artifact preservation and exhibits at the Finney County Museum.