Friday, November 26, 2010

CVGS Program Summary - Georgie Stillman and "Heirloom Discovery Day"

One of the highlights of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society year is the November program meeting with Georgie Stillman, ASA, who presents an "Heirloom Discovery Day" with members' heirlooms as the subjects.  You can read about Georgie's credentials in CVGS Program on Wednesday, 24 November - "Heirloom Discovery Day" with Georgie Stillman, ASA.   This is CVGS' own "Antiques Road Show" program. 

Georgie provided basic appraisal advice, noting that "values are a reflection of what rich people and collectors will pay for an item."  In many cases, collectors items are status symbols and trappings of wealth, although items handed down by family may be well used.  Each person provided a brief summary of what they brought for appraisal and its' known provenance.  Georgie then described what the item was, the approximate time it was created, and its approximate value.  There were 12 items explained, evaluated and appraised:

*  Sidnie had 6 demitasse spoons handed down from her grandparents.  Georgie noted that they had Sheffield crown and leopard marks, were probably made in the early 1940's in England, and that the price of silver is now $29/ounce.

*  Helen brought a wooden potato masher or pestle, which was probably made in the 19th century.  It is handmade of hardwood and well used.  She also brought a handmade glass bottle with a leather cover and a stopper.   The cover has brand marks on it.  Georgie thought that it might be the booze bottle of a western cowboy or rancher, made in the late 19th century.

*  Donna shared a decorated ceramic pot handed down from her great-grandmother, who was born in Ireland.  It has a transfer decoration of four muses, and was probably made in the late 19th century in Bohemia or Austria.

*  Bob showed his "monkey band" figurines (8 figures about 1 inch tall holding different instruments) on a small platform with match trays.  His uncle bought them in Europe in the 1960s.  Georgie said the figurines were probably lead, made in Vienna before World War I, and were quite valuable, especially as a set.

*  Bobbie presented a stereopticon with a number of view cards, handed down from her husband's German ancestors.  The stereopticon was from the late 19th century, and the view cards from the early 19th century.  Georgie said the stereopticon was fairly common, but the view cards may have significant value, and that Bobbie should check online sites like eBay for values.

*  Susi had a "History of Monroe County, Iowa" book that may be one of a kind.  It was self-published in 1896, and it is not in the Monroe County library or historical society.  She also had a small child's toy table with a typewriter (about 1 inch high and wide) with some moving parts.  Georgie said it was German made in the 19th century, was gold finished brass, probably for a dollhouse, and fairly valuable to collectors.

*  Susan brought a 1929 World Series program (Chicago Cubs vs. Philadelphia Athletics) in pristine condition, with player pictures and advertisements.  Georgie advised her to go online and determine the scarcity of it, and the value of it to someone interested in sports ephemera.

*  Mary presented a Christmas Tree music box ("Silent Night").  Georgie said it was high quality, but less than 50 years old, and may have more value in the future.

*  Janice showed her father's small Ronson silver plated lighter.  Georgie said it was a classic collectors piece because there is interest in smoking items.

*  Jaye shared her father's small pistol.  Georgie said that it was probably made in Germany in the 1960s, was in good condition, but she couldn't value it, and suggested finding a gun appraiser.

*  Marta had a long gold chain with charms and gems handed down from her family in Mexico.  Georgie said she was not a gemologist, and would need metallurgical tests to appraise the metal parts.

*  Joan brought a 6 inch ceramic plate of her grandmother's.  Georgie noted that it was handmade pottery, made in the 19th century in Germany, and of modest value.

This was a fascinating tour of some of our member's family heirlooms and a wonderful display of Georgie's knowledge and expertise. 

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