Also coming up: Josephine’s Redeemed Revival Spring Vintage Market is 3-8 p.m. March 3 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 4 at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds. The event will feature more than 80 vendors. Info: JosephinesRedeemed.com.
BREMERTON — TV programs like “Antiques Roadshow,” “American Pickers” and “Fixer Upper” have helped boost the popularity of antique (or vintage, or retro) items.
But those objects are also increasingly in vogue because they help tell our story.
America is a multicultural country. As former President Obama said, “Unless you are a Native American, your family came from someplace else.” And those newcomers have always been on the go: Heading west to homestead land, all of their belongings on covered wagons. Migrating to urban areas where there was more economic opportunity. That’s in the lineage of many Americans, and chances are good that they can find pieces of Americana to which they can feel a connection.
“Absolutely,” said Fran Moyer, an organizer of the Kitsap Antique & Vintage Show, Feb. 25-26 at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds. “And a lot of people want to hold on to that, especially young people.”
And, well, some stuff is just really cool. Kitsap has a large population of retired military personnel, and many of them collected items from their travels abroad. Some families have items that parents and grandparents collected during military travels, some dating from the Great War and World War II. And then there are dishes, dolls, furniture, linens, silver, toys, jewelry, and many more items.
The Kitsap Antique & Vintage Show is full of surprises. There was the year that Rhinestone Rosie – aka estate jewelry expert Rosalie Sayyah – of Antiques Roadshow visited and did some courtesy appraisals. And the time when an older woman brought in a large vase – actually, she dragged it in in a heavy bag, until someone helped her carry it in. “She didn’t know what she had,” Moyer said. It turned out to be an original Tiffany vase, which was appraised at the show for $240,000 ($240K — that’s not a typo).
According to Vickie Bushnell: “One of the most interesting historical items ever brought in for appraisal was a watch George Washington gave to one of his generals, and which passed through generations of the current owner’s family before landing at the appraisal area at the Kitsap show. The watchmaker sold only five timepieces to President Washington and certified appraiser Ernie Lopez was able to use genealogy — rather than horological methods, or “the science of timekeeping” — to make the authentication.”
According to Bushnell, items brought in to the show have included rare Tiffany glass, Victorian estate jewelry, a pair of 18th century Catalonian portraits, and early American silver attributed to Paul Revere.
In information provided to Kitsap Weekly, Lopez said he’s seen some “wonderful” Native American basket work, Eskimo ivory pieces, and porcelains from Asia at the show, He said he typically examines 300-400 items in the course of a weekend at the Kitsap show. Some higher-end items have been valued at $25,000 to $300,000.
Tip: Don’t assume that since an item you have belonged to a great-grandmother that the object must be old, too. “It doesn’t quite work that way,” Lopez said. “Sometimes Grandma bought it 10 years before she died, so it’s not that old.”
Lopez, a Kitsap resident, has been appraising at the Kitsap Antique & Vintage Show for nine years and is one of several appraisers that will be at the 2017 show. Appraiser specialties include dolls, toys, glassware, Native American items, coins, linen, timepieces, and jewelry.
Moved to the fairgrounds in 2009
What is now the Kitsap Antique & Vintage Show started out as a small appraisal fair presented by the Puget Sound Genealogical Society at the Givens Community Center. “It became very popular and moved to the fair in 2009,” Moyer said.
The show has attracted nearly 7,000 visitors since 2012.
“We try to choose vendors that have artistic booths and a wide variety of items, so we can offer the public some real diversity in the merchandise,” Moyer said. Vendors report they don’t feel they are in competition with other vendors because of the variety of items each booth offers.
One such vendor is Sheila Walters, who will be at the show with her booth, Best Friends Antiques. Walters has been part of the Kitsap Antique Show almost since the beginning and has seen the evolution of the lineup as well as the presentation.
“This show has wonderful antiques,” she said in information provided by the show. “I appreciate the uniqueness of the items. The quality of what people are bringing is amazing. We don’t see quality like this anywhere else in the state.
“I do quite a bit of buying here for my own collection.” Walters calls her offerings diverse, with unusual, eclectic and primitive items.
History and family history can be learned at the show by asking questions of the appraisers and vendors there. Moyer learned the origin of an antique plate she inherited from her grandmother. The plate was made in Prussia, and had been a gift to her grandmother on her wedding day in Flathead, Montana. And Walters learned that an 1890 42-star U.S. flag she had could not be considered an “official” flag from that year; Idaho became a state on July 3, 1890, adding a 43rd star to the flag.
Show times: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 25; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 26. Admission is $6. Parking is free. Appraisal fee is $5 per piece. Food and seating will be available at the food court. Info: www.antiqueshowkitsap.com.
WHAT IS ANTIQUE, VINTAGE, RETRO?
What is antique? What is vintage. What is retro?
Ruth Reese, who has sold antiques and vintage items for many years, helps us define those terms — no easy task.
It’s “all in the eyes of the beholder.”
Take a breath and clear your head … here goes.
The dictionary definition of “antique” is “a collectible object such as a piece of furniture or work of art that has a high value because of its considerable age.” What constitutes “considerable age”? Reese said 100 years or more.
What about “vintage”? “That’s a new catchword for ‘antique’ that’s more progressive,” Reese said. While you wouldn’t modify an antique object, a vintage item is an older object worthy of being repurposed, upscaled, given a new look, she said. “I hate to see a real antique ever be changed,” Reese said. “I’ve been a historian, it makes a difference to me. But I’m certainly appreciative of anything anyone else does [to a vintage item].”
(Another meaning of “vintage”: According to an eBay discussion group, “vintage” is an object that can be identified as to year it was made, i.e. “a vintage 1939 clock.” The term has its roots in the wine industry, and defines the year or place in which wine, especially wine of high quality, was produced, i.e. “1986 was a classic vintage for the Cabernet Sauvignon”).
Retro? The dictionary definition is “a style, fashion, or design from the recent past.” Of course, “recent past” differs from age to age. “When I think ‘retro,’ I think back to the 1950s when was a new bride,” Reese said.
Andrea Falkner, owner of Poulsbo Mercantile and Re-Noun, two antique (and vintage and retro) stores on Viking Avenue in Poulsbo, considers an antique to be an object that is at least 100 years old. A vintage object is up to 100 years old. “Retro” is the ’60s look, which is back in fashion.