Hidden Treasures at Riddick’s Folly

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 30, 2004


Dave Snyder was smitten.

The car was sleek and aerodynamic. It was outstanding with an orange finish and black fenders. A chrome grill was the finishing touch. He knew he had to have it.

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So he bought it, put it in his pocket, and started a life-long collection of antique toys.

&uot;I still have that car,&uot; said Snyder, who lives in downtown Suffolk. He purchased the pressed-steel, circa 1930s toy from an antiques dealer in Charleston, S.C. in 1974.

Snyder’s collection has grown to several dozen toy cars, trucks, boats and more. So has his knowledge. With price guide in hand, Snyder can tell someone whether they have an original antique toy or a reproduction, a little about the toy’s history, and the value.

That information will come in handy Saturday, Oct. 2 when Snyder joins a dozen other antiques experts at the Hidden Treasures Antique Appraisals show at the Suffolk National Guard Armory. It takes place from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The event, loosely based on the PBS television program &uot;Antiques Roadshow,&uot; brings together volunteer appraisers offering verbal advice and value to antiques and heirlooms.

Hidden Treasures is sponsored by Riddick’s Folly, an 1837 Greek Revival house museum located on Main Street. Proceeds will benefit renovation of a newly acquired period law office located on museum property.

&uot;This has become a very popular event,&uot; said Riddick’s Folly Assistant Director, event coordinator, and volunteer appraiser Lee King. He said Hidden Treasures started six years ago, and continues to grow in numbers and popularity. It has become Riddick’s Folly’s second largest fundraising event, after the Folly Ball.

&uot;Everyone has something they wonder about the value or the history,&uot; King said. &uot;This is a chance to find out.&uot;

Dave Snyder

has been a volunteer appraiser since the show began. He remembers some shows in the past.

&uot;We had an older gentleman come in once with a wind-up toy,&uot; he said. &uot;It was a Disney toy, and I remembered seeing one on the cover of one of the price guides. He had had this Merry Music Maker Band since he was a kid. Played with it, put it back in the box. Now he was in his 70s. When I showed him the price book, his eyes just lit up.&uot;

Something that cost a few bucks in the 1930s had risen in value to more than $1,000.

&uot;But it’s more about a dollar value,&uot; Snyder said. &uot;Something is worth what someone is willing to spend. A book might price a toy at $1,000, but if someone is willing to pay $10,000 for it, then that becomes it’s value.&uot;

Other experts on hand include Ted Logue of First Landing Books appraising books and publications, Randy Turner appraising Civil War artifacts and firearms, Nick Leshkow of Mountaineer Coins and Currency pricing coins and currency, and Margaret Cousins of Williamsburg Antique Mall pricing dolls.

Additional categories include clocks, furniture, glass, jewelry, linens, paintings and prints, primitives and folk art, porcelain and glass, silver, sports memorabilia, and of course, toys and games.

There is a $5 cost per item to be appraised, but no limit as to the number of items that can be brought.

Sales are not allowed during the event, but arrangements can be made for later transactions.

&uot;A lot of people are very savvy about antiques now,&uot; said Snyder. &uot;There are lots of books in print, and information on the Internet, People are more knowledgeable.&uot;

Still, he said, the event was a fun sort of show-and-tell, as well as a show-and-learn.

The best part for him?

&uot;I get to play with someone else’s toys.&uot;

Riddick’s Folly Presents Hidden Treasures Antique Appraisals takes place Saturday, Oct. 2 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Suffolk National Guard Armory, near Obici Hospital, on Route 10. For more information, call Riddick’s Folly House Museum, 934-1390.

The Junior League of Norfolk and Virginia Beach will serve food at the event from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Menu items have been selected for their cookbook, &uot;Toast of Tidewater.&uot;