Archive for Thursday, July 15, 1999


July 15, 1999


Watkins Community Museum of History's upcoming fund-raiser is a take-off on the popular PBS series "Antiques Roadshow."

Ever wonder about the value of that old china plate that's been passed down in your family from one generation to another? Or how about the value of that old clock you found at the antiques store last month?

Watkins Community Museum of History is giving you a chance to find out.

David Solomons, an antiques dealer-broker, and five other antiques appraisers will identify and make their best verbal estimations of value of antique items brought in by the public at "Discover Your Treasures" from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the museum, 1047 Mass.

The event is a fund-raiser for the museum. Fees will be $10 for one item and $25 for three items. Each person can bring up to three items.

"I was trying to think of ways to raise funds for the museum and I thought this was an idea that could be implemented," Solomons, a member of the museum's board of directors, said.

" " This is not an appraisal, which is a legal document and done with much research. It will be a verbal estimation of the value. It's not a guarantee it's worth that much."

Legal appraisals typically cost from $100 to $200 an hour.

While interest in antiques may have been piqued by PBS' popular series "Antiques Roadshow," Solomons said people have always been fascinated by old items, their values and their histories.

"It's really not all of a sudden that they've been so popular," he said.

Because of the approach of the millennium, Solomons said, some 20th-century items are now considered antiques.

"We are coming into a historical period," he said.

But Solomons cautioned that not all old items are valuable.

"(The appraisers) will be honest with them and they need to understand that something that's old and even an antique doesn't mean it's valuable or worth thousands and thousands of dollars."

Solomons has been a dealer in antique art for 13 years and has been an accredited appraiser with the International Society of Appraisers for more than three years. He has had a retail presence in Lawrence for six years and in Kansas City for 3.m. Wednesday.

Where: Watkins Communiique Gallery in Baldwin.

The other appraisers are:

  • Mark Shimkus, a Kansas City antiques dealer who runs a full-time Web site on Asian art and sells Asian art nationally and internationally. He is a contributing author to "Antiques for Dummies."
  • Bob Foreman, who deals nationally and internationally in pottery, porcelain and Czechoslovakian glass and runs a Web site and E-bay site for Mission Road Antique Mall in Kansas City.
  • Mindy Sander, an expert on fine and antique jewelry and vintage costume jewelry who has operated Galleria Jewelry and Antiques in Prairie Village since 1990. She is a member of JewelCollect, an on-line group of collectors, buyers and dealers of antique jewelry.
  • Angela Conrad, who opened Antiques on Mass in the Eldridge Hotel in 1998 and specializes in Victorian clothing, linens and other antiques, Christmas collectibles, majolica and some collectible dolls. She has been collecting antiques for more than 25 years.
  • Gary Strong, who has 30 years' experience as a furniture restorer and does appraisals for insurance companies. He opened Strong's Antiques, 1025 Mass., 10 years ago and deals in antique clocks, furniture, jewelry, toys, tools, dishes, silver, glassware and lamps.

Solomons said participants should not bring in items from the 1980s or 1990s. If an item is too large to carry into the museum, a participant can bring a record of any labels, hallmark name, location of manufacturer, other identification marks and photographs of the item.

None of the appraisers will leave the building to assess an item. Items can be brought to the side entrance of the museum and then up the elevator, rather than up the front steps.

"We hope this is a success," Solomons said. "We'd like to do it two or three times a year."

-- Jan Biles' phone message number is 832-7146. Her e-mail address is


What: "Discover Your Treasures," a fund-raiser for the Watkins Community Museum of History featuring six antiques appraisers who will give verbal estimates of value for items brought in by the public.

When: From 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Where: Watkins Community Museum of History, 1047 Mass.

Tickets: Available beginning Friday at the museum. Ticket holders can select an appraiser and a time.

Museum hours: From 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays and 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.