Clowns, clowns everywhere

Published 10:22 pm Thursday, September 8, 2016

An annual fundraiser for the local historical society has turned into quite the circus.

The Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society holds the Heirloom Sale every year, and it typically features donations of silver, china, antique furniture and more to be sold to benefit the society’s work.

This year’s show features all that and more, but one large donation of an unusual collection has the society’s distinguished headquarters feeling more like the big top.

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Hundreds and hundreds of clowns are arranged on every horizontal surface of one room in the historic home the society uses as its headquarters. Hundreds more remain piled in storage containers around the room, opened to show at least the top layer of their contents.

Some of the hundreds of clowns featured in the Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society’s annual Heirloom Sale this weekend.

Some of the hundreds of clowns featured in the Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society’s annual Heirloom Sale this weekend.

There are plush toys, porcelain dolls and miniature figurines. There are circus clowns, hobo clowns and any other type of clown you can think of. There are ballerina clowns, golfing clowns, clowns with dogs, clowns with rabbits, clowns with balloons, clowns playing musical instruments, clowns with a slot in their head to be used as a bank, jack-in-the-box clowns and more.

There are paintings, kids’ books, quilts and jigsaw puzzles all featuring clowns. There are even a couple of clown costumes.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if a few of them were worth something,” Nikki Lorenzen, executive director of the historical society, said of the figurines. She added that she didn’t know the name of the man who had donated them.

The normal Heirloom Sale selections are still to be had during this weekend’s sale. Silver, china, antique furniture, beach collectibles, Christmas décor, art prints, fabric by the yard and several clothing donations, including a wedding dress with a long veil, are among the offerings.

“I think it’s going to be a good sale,” Lorenzen said.

All the proceeds from the sale go toward the historical society, which funds its work at the Suffolk Seaboard Station Railroad Museum and other projects that support the remembrance of Suffolk past.

The sale will be held Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. It will take place at the Phillips-Dawson House, 137 Bank St.

Call 539-2781 for more information.