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MMD > Archives > March 2000 > 2000.03.29 > 01Prev  Next

Antique Stores & Florida Museums
By Dave Brown

My wife and I returned a couple of weeks ago from our vacation.  It
may seem like a long time, but we spent six days to get from Michigan
to Sprighill, Florida, hitting as many antique stores and flea markets
as we could.  We averaged 200 miles a day and 10 or more antique shops
a day.

We found three Recordo rolls in quite good condition and purchased all
three for under $13.00, bringing our total up to 27.  Now if I can just
finish up the piano!

In Powell, Ohio, we went into the Liberty Antique Mall, tel:
614-885-5588.  In the store there is a quartered oak push up player
with beautiful graining, and a Seeburg L, painted black, which plays
but needs restoration.  A reproduction Seeburg KT played nicely, as
I couldn't resist putting a quarter in.  Lastly a Hupfeld Continental
orchestrion, barrel type; it needs a lot of restoration.  All have
"Not for Sale" tags, but I caught the owner at the store, and he stated
that it keeps him from lots of dumb offers.  I thought someone might be
interested; he has a good idea of what they're worth.

One thing we noticed over and over as we went along, is there is a lot
of junk in antique stores for which they are asking tons of money.
Many of the items are misrepresented and lots of things we saw were
reproductions; some were represented as reproductions, some were not.
So as always: buyer beware!  That's nothing new.

When going to Florida you have to be taken by one tourist attraction
(I think its Florida law!).  Anyway, this time it was the Cars and
Music of Yesterday Museum, in Sarasota.  As you go in and pay they
give a guided tour.  Our guide was nice, but not very knowledgeable.
The museum used to be famous for having a huge collection of
phonographs.. Not anymore: there was one outside horn phono, the rest
were floor models.  A little over a dozen, all told.  Most had been
sold in an auction sometime ago.

They have several pianos and pushups.  An Ampico grand was
demonstrated, which would have made a nice washing machine.  The pump,
I assume, was so off-balance that I thought sure the legs were going to
fall off!  A Tel-Electric was also demonstrated.  I had high hopes for
this demonstration as I had never heard one play. I still haven't.

I can't believe they would have stayed in business if they sounded like
that one.  Over and over it was repeated, "That's the way they sounded
back then."  Oh, no, they didn't!

Something I learned long ago: don't bother arguing with a tour guide.
I was _so_ disappointed, and I said so to my wife.  Linda said, "Take
a look around -- no one else seems to be."  Sure enough, she was right;
sometimes it pays to not know how things should be.  I do believe the
group would have been much happier if things worked as they should
have, though.

In the car side of the museum they had quite a nice collection.  It
made me sad they had sold so many of the nice musical items.

Our last week was spent with my parents.  It was a great vacation and
I believe not the last time.  We'll take our time and "shop 'till we
drop" in the antique stores.

Dave Brown

(Message sent Wed 29 Mar 2000, 01:40:22 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Antique, Florida, Museums, Stores

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