By Rachel Moulden for Digital First Media
From a young age, Marilyn Nix appreciated history — particularly artifacts of the past. Her interest in antiques led her to head up the annual Bloomfield Charity Antiques and Collectibles Show, which she’s doing for the third time this year.
Nix volunteers to chair the event because she wants to give time to the community. And, she says, she is excited to share her knowledge of how every antique tells its own story.
For anyone interested in beginning to collect antiques, Nix advises looking at many items and styles to figure out what you like. “For example, lots of people collect crystal, pottery and glass pieces to use for entertaining purposes,” Nix says.
Do you want decorative pieces, such as picture frames or vases, or items you will handle frequently and use with guests, like a silver samovar or dining set?
Here are some more tips:
• Decide what your budget will be and shop around to find the right item at the right price.
• Begin with a few items that work together to create a style you enjoy.
• Look for pieces that not only catch your eye, but that feel special to you.
• Keep in mind the space where you would like to put items in your home. Take measurements and carry a tape measure when you shop to ensure the piece will fit.
• Look for key signature items that you can imagine as conversation pieces when people visit your home.
• Find local shows near you and look for them when you travel. Nix says Michigan has more flea markets than antique shows, but there are also many great specialty antique stores all around the Detroit area. Google “Antiques near me,” or search antique show listings nationwide at antiquetrader.com/showcalendar.
• Don’t discount thrifts stores and flea markets — sometimes you can find a great bargain that maybe just needs a coat of paint.
• Research and buy the proper cleaning materials for each item so you can maintain them in good condition.
• Get valuable items appraised and put them on your insurance policy.
The Bloomfield Charity Antiques Show will offer appraisals similar to a “Antiques Roadshow.” For $10, Joan Walker from DuMouchelle Art Galleries in Detroit will evaluate up to three items to estimate their value.
Most importantly, “Make sure to do your research of the seller you’re buying from and what the item sells for to make sure you’re not overpaying,” Nix says.
The Bloomfield Charity Antiques and Collectibles Show is a benefit event of Cross of Christ Lutheran Church. It was first held in 1963 to raise money to purchase new choir robes. The show was a huge success and today it is one of the country’s longest-running antique shows with all its proceeds going to charity.
This year’s chosen charities are Elli’s House and Gifts For All God’s Children. Elli’s House’s mission is to provide temporary shelter for runaways and homeless people. Gifts For All God’s Children helps at-risk children in Southeast Michigan by connecting children with churches and community organizations, giving gifts and planning events.
The show is set up in the church with a country café serving homemade food items. The 37 antique dealers will offer a variety of items from the 18th through and 20th centuries and educate patrons on the history of items for sale.
“It’s different from the average flea market because of the higher-end antiques being sold, but the show has a welcoming feeling due to its location and style,” Nix says. “It’s a show where everyone feels at home.”
Items will include American and English furniture, vintage clothing and purses, art deco jewelry and prints, music boxes, American art pottery, crystal, bronzes, paintings, glassware, silver, ceramics and more.
“Each year it varies what type of item sells the most, it never stays the same,” Nix says.
• The 55th Bloomfield Charity Antiques and Collectibles Show is 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12-13 at Cross of Christ Lutheran Church at 1100 Lone Pine Road (at Telegraph), in Bloomfield Hills. Tickets are $10 at the door or $8 if purchased online in advance. For more information, visit bloomfieldcross.org/antiqueshow or call 248-646-5886.