First annual antique fair opens today with high hopes |

First annual antique fair opens today with high hopes

You never know; that painting you found in your attic or the candlesticks your great aunt handed down to you may be worth some serious green.

Your chance to have your suspicions confirmed or denied is this weekend at Paepcke Park.

The Aspen Antique and Decorative Arts Fair will feature free evaluations from appraisers of the New Orleans Auction Galleries, Inc., for the $10 cost of admission

The event, sort of an “Antiques Roadshow” created just for Aspen, also includes millions of dollars worth of antiques and art work for sale.

Scott Fetzer, owner of Fetzer’s Interiors and Fine Antiques, has worked on putting together this weekend’s show for the past eight months. Between 30 and 35 vendors from all over the world will display their antiques and fine arts in a tent already chock full of treasures in Paepcke Park.

“Living here so long, and being part of the community, I know that this community lends itself to the arts and this caliber of merchandise,” Fetzer said. Fetzer added that he tried to gather just the right mix of antique and art dealers to appeal to a local clientele.

The fair’s attendees are encouraged to bring either small antiques or photos of larger antiques for a free appraisal. Fetzer said the staff will do its best to give some sort of estimate on how much each treasure is worth. But the majority of the tent is made up of vendors from near and far.

Harvey Gilmore, owner of Aspen’s Little Bear Antiques and the Little Bear Antiques Mall in Glenwood Springs, set up a booth of antiques from Aspen stores, containing everything from a 14th-century medieval tapestry to Black Forest carved bears from Germany.

Some of the most impressive items aren’t necessarily the oldest, he said, but they’re in the best condition and of the best quality.

“I think this is a serious show – we’ve got the best of the best, because that’s what the local clientele demands,” he said. Gilmore will be at his booth all weekend to tell fair goers some of the stories behind the pieces he is displaying.

Sam Kennedy, owner of Cisco’s, an antique purveyor based in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, specializes in older Native American works that date to the 19th century, such as blankets, baskets and bead work. He also has one of the largest collections of Navajo rugs in the country, he said.

“I have a lot of clients based in Aspen,” he noted. Often interior designers searching for just the right look for a home in the Rocky Mountains will call Cisco’s for bear rugs, snowshoes and rustic lamps to complete a Western theme.

Kennedy’s booth contains a framed Colorado statehood flag from 1876 – the largest of the waving flags made for the statehood celebration more than 125 years ago.

This is the first show Fetzer has ever produced, and he compared it to similar shows in cities like Houston, San Francisco, New York and London. Fetzer and his company have been in the Roaring Fork Valley since 1988, and he hopes that the fair will become an annual event.

The Aspen Antique and Decorative Arts Fair is today, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Paepcke Park. Admission is $10 per person.

[Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is]

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