Hobbyists, collectors and curious shoppers browsed through an eclectic mix of artifacts at the 49th annual Antique Show and Sale this weekend at the Dulles State Office Building in downtown Watertown.
This has been one of the best shows Ive been to; the dealers are friendly, the food was fantastic and prices were good, said Cape Vincent resident Jeannie F. Ebert, who has attended each year for many years.
She said reasonable prices and friendly dealers inspired her to purchase more than she meant to, but she was happy with her new finds.
The show, held Friday night through Saturday afternoon, drew 443 people.
Sherry M. Wilson, chairwoman of the Antique Show committee, said more than 25 dealers came from Watertown and as far away as Binghamton. She said one of the most unusual items she saw this year was brought by ODonoghues Antiques, Ogdensburg.
They brought in a complete dental set, Mrs. Wilson said. Apparently if you wanted to be a dentist you would need them.
For Ice House Antiques owners Stacy L. Weegar and Darian L. Maslin, of Raymondville, collectibles shows and running their store are a way of family life.
Ms. Weegar said her two daughters, ages 12 and 22 months, were by her side as she sold an assortment of items, from artwork to tools.
We do about 25 shows a year, Mr. Maslin said. She loves being at the shop and I love being on the road.
He said he likes traveling because customers are more excited to buy sooner rather than risk having the merchandise purchased by the next customer. He said he also likes to meet other people who are excited about collecting.
My father got me into this 28 years ago, Mr. Maslin said. I never know what Im going to find.
One of the most distinctive things he said hes found was a wooden sculpture in a home.
The owner had died and the owners daughter was trying to see if Mr. Maslin would purchase anything from her fathers collection before she put the contents of the house into a dumpster.
I found a wooden plaque of a woman coming out of oak; it represented love of a woman, he said.
He said he loved the piece so much he had it on his wall for years.
But after other collectors suggested it might be worth something, he took the sculpture to be appraised by people from the television show Antiques Roadshow while they were filming in Lake Placid.
The appraisers, he said, were excited to see the piece and helped him sell it for more than $4,000.
That was only one of a few gems we found that day, Mr. Maslin said. We were very blessed.
Other vendors at the show had bits of history and memorabilia including a large wooden fireplace mantle priced at $125; old celluloid photographs; fur coats; collector beer mugs; silver spoons with the names of American cities stamped onto their handles and jewelry.
George A. Mingle, owner of Green Trim Collectibles, Cape Vincent, said his pastime of collecting postcards became a career when his house began filling up.
He said his wife told him either he or the cards were leaving.
Theres pieces of history in them, and theres a little story behind how I got each one, Mr. Mingle said.
He said his business of collecting and selling postcards started when he was given a box full of postcards from various countries.
I was hooked, he said. Collecting became the retired art teachers new pastime.
He said every year he goes through his collection and takes an inventory of what he is going to sell when the collection gets to be more than 4,000.
He said it is hard in a way to part with some of the postcards, especially the ones with personal hand-written messages on the back.
I keep the stories in my mind and I at least get to share the stories Ive been told to whoever buys the cards, he said.
Breakable Collectibles owner Becky Selleck from Heuvelton said that everyone who comes to the antique show has something they are passionate about, whether its the sellers or the buyers. She said they just have to find what they are looking for.
Mrs. Wilson said the proceeds, including admission, food sales and booth rentals, support the Credo Community Center Foundation, which helps people affected by substance abuse.