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JAUNTS: in and around the Valley

Trash and Treasures

Monthly antique show in Reseda offers an appraisal service and sale.


Wait! Don't throw out that piece of junk that's been collecting dust in the garage for years. It could be worth some money, maybe even big bucks.

Before tossing it or donating it to charity, bring it to the monthly antique show and sale at Pacific Auction Gallery in Reseda.

Each month there's a free appraisal clinic at the show and you'd be surprised what some of those crusty glass vases, obscure paintings and rusty old toasters are worth.

Just ask longtime antique dealer and Reseda show organizer Doug Carr. He's seen it all, the hidden treasures and the trash.

"We've had people bring in items they thought weren't worth anything and they were worth thousands of dollars," Carr said. "It's very exciting to see that."

Then there are the less fortunate who have illusions of banking on what turns out to be, well, junk.

"Some people bring in things they're certain are worth a lot of money, but they're not worth a thing," Carr said. "That's pretty disappointing, but you see it happen a lot."

Here's a recent success story. A woman brought in a porcelain figurine she believed her mother had purchased in Japan in the 1950s. But the piece was much older, from 1870, and the estimated value was $5,000.

"She had absolutely no idea she could get that much for it," Carr said. "She was real excited."

Even if you don't have anything to sell, the show, held the second Saturday and Sunday of each month, is worth visiting. More than 30 dealers from around the country spread out thousands of antique items in the 30,000-square-foot showroom, which is carpeted and air-conditioned. The venue alone makes the show unique because most others in the area are outdoors.

There's everything from paintings and furniture to glass items, turn-of-the-century plates and chess sets.

Among the more expensive items recently were an 1870 settee set for $1,700 and a dark red velvet couch with dark wood trim from around the same era for $995. A Victorian record player was tagged at $975, and a 1900s walnut dresser for $300.

You don't need a fat wallet to find something, however. A set of silver salt and pepper shakers from the 1930s cost $39 and a silver butter dish from the turn of the century was $90.

One dealer had an Italian reproduction of an item used as a night reading aid before there was electricity. Made of wood, the stand holds two books, one on each side, and four candles. It was priced at $95.

"I mainly deal in depression and carnival glass, but this item was so unique, I got it," said dealer Darryl Dunavan.

His eclectic selection of glass includes an assortment of pink and green bowls as well as different colored glasses and vases.

Dealer Shirley Bower has another unique item, a copper candy scale she estimates is from before the turn of the century, selling for $275. A decorative Asian chest was tagged at $125 and church pews for $65 each. You can even get a pair of earrings for as little as $15.

Remember, Carr says, just because it looks old and worn out doesn't mean it's worthless. Of course, it doesn't mean it's worth a lot either. "It's really hard to tell if you're not familiar with antiques," he said. "To be safe, don't throw it out."


Antique Show and Sale at Pacific Auction Gallery, 18238 Sherman Way, Reseda. More than 30 dealers sell antique items the second weekend of each month. Show hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $3. Information: (818) 345-2888.

* Send Jaunts ideas, allowing at least two weeks' notice, to staff writer Irene Garcia at The Times, 20000 Prairie St., Chatsworth 91311. Or send e-mail to

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