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When Is a Sofa a Regency Settee?

January 19, 2003|LESLEE KOMAIKO

Once a month, antique hounds can bring as many as five items to the appraisal clinic at the Sunset Boulevard location of Butterfields, the international auction house. Auction appraisals are free (visit www.butterfields.com for more information), but Butterfields gets a crack at consigning pieces that value handsomely. Alas, for most participants the process is a reality check: As it turns out, few have a $100,000 Tiffany lamp in the attic or an eye for Dutch landscape painting.

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Darnell Robinson

Swap Meet Hobbyist

Victorville

What did you bring today?

A game table. I paid $60. When I was leaving the swap meet, a dealer offered me $150.

What's it worth?

I have no idea.

[Experts later say: early 20th century Moorish, $600 to $800.]

Are you a pack rat?

Definitely. But I'm organized. I have a Coca-Cola collection, comics, clowns, sports cards. You name it, I have it.

Item you wish you still had?

I had a 1937 black Daimler as a teenager.

What is your favorite type or period of antique?

I collect everything. Some people say I should collect in one area.

Most hideous antique?

Shag carpeting.

Finish this sentence: If you hang on to something long enough . . .

I might be able to pay for my kids' college educations.

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Emily Rumrill

Speech Therapist

Moreno Valley

What did you bring today?

It's some kind of painting [on a drum]. It lights up when it plugs in. It [was] at an auction at the coroner's office in Riverside. I [paid] $20 for it.

What's it worth?

[No guess.]

[Experts later say: Decorative value only.]

Are you a pack rat?

I have over 300 puppets. As a speech therapist I collect puppets. I also have lighted buildings by Department 56, a Scrooge village, townships and lighthouses. I collect military memorabilia. I hope to retire in about a year, so I'm trying to get an inventory.

Item you wish you still had?

Baseball cards. We used to play War with baseball cards on the playground. So they got ruined.

Favorite antiques?

I like the 1930s, the 1940s, all the way to the 1960s. That's my generation.

Most hideous antiques?

Oh, the '70s. Past the hippie generation, there was no consistency.

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Sylvester Grove III

Retired Entertainment Manager

Garden Grove

What did you bring today?

A Toulouse-Lautrec print. A friend owed me money and he gave me this in return.

What's it worth?

Not a clue.

[Experts later say: Modern printing, very little value.]

Are you a pack rat?

Through the divorces and such it's thinned out.

Favorite antiques?

I prefer American antiques. I have a favorite piece, an old captain's chair. I ruined it because I reupholstered it.

Most hideous antiques?

The old marble stuff. I'm sure it's worth a fortune. I think it's ugly.

Item you wish you still had?

Oh, plenty. Toy trains . . . I had a couple. One was stolen. I had that since 1930-something. And my first watch. It wasn't a Hamilton. But it was something like that.

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Ann Garbutt

Limousine Service Owner

Laguna Woods

What did you bring today?

A book on the 1876 centennial of the United States. It's from my mother, from her estate.

What's it worth?

[No guess.]

[Experts later say: About $100.]

Are you a collector?

Only of books, mysteries especially. I love Stephen King and Sue Grafton. I'm trying to get all their first editions.

Favorite antiques?

We love English, the 17th and 18th century. We have a beautiful armoire we love dearly from that period.

Most hideous antiques?

I enjoy the heavy, ornate porcelain of Russia, but I wouldn't want it in my house. Too much gilt.

Item you wish you still had?

An original copy of "Winnie Ther Pooh." It was spelled like that. It was a hardcover book that my mom read to me.

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