What is it? What was it used for? How much is it worth? How old is it? How do I preserve it?

These questions and more will be answered during a revamped and expanded Antique Treasures Show on Jan. 26-27 at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces. The 14th annual event is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 27. Admission, which includes all of the regular museum offerings, is $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens, and $3 for children 4 to 17.

The new show will have plenty of old treasures this year with 18 antique and collectable vendors from Santa Fe to El Paso. Objects for sale include everything from pottery, coins glassware, to jewelry, toys and military items.

Each vendor is submitting an item for a silent auction to be held during the event. The auction will benefit the Friends of the Museum which supports the museum’s programs.

Visitors are encouraged to bring items (no more than two, please) to the show to learn more about them and how to preserve them. Many of the vendors will offer informal, independent appraisals, and visitors may also want to bring an item to play “Stump the Chump.” The museum’s curators will try to guess what your item is and what it was used for.

Archaeologist Toni Laumbach, the museum’s former chief curator, will be at the show on Saturday to give appraisals on historic Native American objects that are brought in. At 10 a.m. on Saturday, Professor Silvia Marinas-Feliner, NMSU’s Museum Conservation Program Director, will give an hour-long presentation on general ways to take care of objects.

Old-fashioned demonstrations also are part of this year’s Antique Treasures Show. On both days, the museum’s oral history coordinator, Donna Wojcik, will do wheat grinding demos, using several grinders. This demonstration is part of the opening of the museum’s new exhibit, “Grist for the Mill.”

Other demonstrations include cooking on an 1800s wood stove from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday (with free food samples), wool spinning (both days), weaving (both days), blacksmithing (both days), sewing and embroidery on Saturday, and butter churning on Sunday afternoon.

The museum has more than 11,000 objects in its collection and some of the staff’s favorite objects will be brought out for display. Also, representatives from Fort Selden Historic Site will bring some of their interesting objects to show.

From 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, children are invited to go on a scavenger hunt through the exhibits to find puzzle pieces, and then put the puzzle together to see which antique object they found.

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