Monday, November 26, 2007

Georgie Stillman presented a wonderful program

November is always "show and tell" month on the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) program calendar - usually it is about our genealogy research, a document or treasure found, etc. Today's program was different!

The CVGS program today, called "Heirloom Discovery Day," was presented Georgie Stillman, an American Society of Appraisers member and a member of several Chula Vista community boards. We had 33 in attendance.

Everybody has seen the "Antiques Road Show" programs on PBS where a team of appraisers visit a certain area and residents there bring in antiques, collectibles, and the like to be appraised by the experts.

Today, 13 CVGS members brought in their treasures and collectibles. Each person gave a short description of what they think it is, where they obtained it, and what time period they think it is from. Georgie then described each article, often giving the method of manufacture, the time period made (and how she knows the time period), and a comment on the value of the item. These were not dry recitals of facts and figures - Georgie is exuberant, extemporaneous and funny, and she loves to see these family treasures. Needless to say, nobody stumped her!

What did our members bring in for evaluation?

* A small stoneware pitcher from the 1850 time frame.
* A decorated lamp fixture from the 1920's.
* A mustache cup from the 1920's.
* An elaborate silver necklace from the 1920's.
* A silver chalice from England, and a small sterling silver plate from 1920.
* A large home-made quilt from the 1920's.
* A glass pedestal vase (not carnival glass)
* A child's red chair from the early 1900's.
* A handmade sewing box from the early 1900s.
* A china pitcher from the 1870 time frame.
* A china export cup and saucer from the early 1800s.
* A child's sampler from the 1840's time period.
* A blown-glass egg with Edwardian lettering from around 1900.
* Two cross-stitch samplers from the early 1800's.

Georgie recommended that the two samplers be preserved by removing the cardboard backing and using an acid-free backing on them. She warned that you should not use dry cleaners for handmade quilts and rugs because of the chemicals used.

Georgie gave us some information about why collectibles and antiques are valued the way they are at present. She said that very rich people buy the higher priced items. These people want status and to display special pieces. They really don't value the "old" furniture, jewelry, art, silver, china, etc. unless it is unique and/or quirky.

Needless to say, the 80 minutes flew by quickly. The members got some idea of the value and rarity of their collectibles, and all attendees marveled at Georgie's expertise and knowledge, and really appreciated her willingness to take time from her busy schedule to inform and entertain us.

Have other societies had a program like this? Is there someone in your local area who would be able to do this type of program?

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