Show opens today

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 14, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; A preview party today from 7 to 9:30 p.m. will open the Natchez Antique Show and Sale at the Natchez Convention Center.

The weekend event will feature 54 vendors from throughout the Southeast and elsewhere in the United States, with antiques including furniture, linens, rugs, porcelain, glass and many other categories, said Walter Tipton, director of tourism for Natchez.

&8220;The whole idea is to bring in dealers from other parts of the country. That creates interest and excitement,&8221; Tipton said. &8220;Last year was the first year we&8217;ve had this kind of show in Natchez in 18 years. We had 39 vendors. This year we&8217;ve gone to 54 and that&8217;s full capacity for us. We have 30 dealers still on the waiting list.&8221;

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The preview party is open to the public with tickets available at the door, Tipton said. Tickets are $15 per person and $25 per couple and include refreshments of wine and finger foods as well as an early opportunity to browse through the displays and to purchase antiques.

Tipton said the antiques sale and show is a &8220;natural fit for our area, which is the oldest settlement on the Mississippi River. Not only did we have the great mansions built here, but the owners furnished the mansions with the finest antiques of the period.&8221;

The Convention Center staff is acting as producer of the event and will use proceeds to offset increased expenses of the past year, Tipton said.

Friday and Saturday hours for the show are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The show will open again on Sunday at 11 a.m.

A big hit in 2005, the Saturday seminars return this year, Tipton said. They include:

11 a.m.: &8220;Grandmother&8217;s Cameo Jewelry,&8221; presented by Helen Holt of Sieper, La. A lecture on where the cameo originated and how it came to America, why it is so popular and how to care for genuine cameos.

1 p.m.: &8220;The True Value of Your Antiques,&8221; by Jim Elliott of Ellinwood, Kan. A lecture on properly identifying antiques; learning the value of antiques; and

preserving antiques.

3 p.m.: &8220;The Victorians Nobody Knows,&8221; by Charles Curb of Clarksville, Ark. A lecture on the background of the Victorian Era and the importance of its influences; a display of 18 to 20 exotic pieces of Victorian silver flatware. Participants may bring Victorian pieces for identification and additional information.

Other special features during the weekend will be the return of Ryberg Restorations, offering expert repair of broken or chipped glass items; and, on Sunday, Jim Elliott will appraise antiques &8212; one per admission ticket.