May 2009 Issue
Collectors from around the world congregate in Delaware this month for the Ohio Valley Auction, which showcases treasures from our state.
For Amelia Jeffers, every day is like Christmas.
Jeffers, vice president of Garth’s Auctions, never knows what treasures will find their way to her Delaware company, which specializes in appraising and selling antiques from around the world.
There was that day last spring, for instance, when a client stopped by with a bronze Buddha she had stumbled upon while cleaning her basement. It had belonged to her husband, and she wondered if it was worth something. Indeed it was: The 400-year-old piece fetched $35,000 at Garth’s summer auction.
Another customer came in with an 18-inch-high blanket chest, made in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. It had been in her family since the 19th century. The furniture was more than a keepsake: It sold for $38,000.
“It’s truly an adventure,” says Jeffers, about the vocation she and her husband Jeff, the company’s president, have been engaged in since the mid-1990s.
And this month’s Ohio Valley Auction is no exception. It will showcase more than 250 19th- and 20th-century items, ranging from furniture to paintings to quilts and folk art, created by artisans who called the Ohio Valley home. Artifacts include a rope bed made of curly maple (a wood indigenous to Ohio), sandstone carvings made by Jackson County’s Ernest “Popeye” Reed and an oil painting of the Little Miami River by renowned Cincinnati artist Charles Meurer.
“Ohio has a rich history of home and hearth and collecting,” Jeffers says, “and we’re proud to be a part of it.”