Cecilia Yale of Minden went to Sunday's Genoa Antique Show and Sale for two purposes: To play the violin for the estimated 1,000 people who roamed through the booths in the Sierra Nevada Golf Course clubhouse during the two-day event; and, to have an item appraised that her Scottish grandmother brought to America aboard a sister ship of the Titanic in 1912.
The brooch, in the shape of bullhorns, is about an inch-and-a-half long with a tiny jewel dangling from its center. It appeared unremarkable at first glance. But, if you held it up to the light and looked into a glass rod one-tenth of an inch in diameter -- smaller than a pin head -- you could see inside six miniature photographs, all relating to poet Robert Burns.
"That's a Stanhope," vendor Lorne Gay of Reno said matter-of-factly.
Gay was referring to Lord Charles Stanhop, an English scientist in the mid-18th, early 19th century who invented the tiny glass rods on which the image or picture was cemented. Who created this actual piece is unknown, but it was in the Stanhope style.
"You're astounded when you finally see it," said Martha Williams, organizer of the event. "I have never seen anything like it."
Gay, Williams and a few others debated about what material the horns were made from, but no one agreed on a price.
"Don't ever sell that," Williams said to Yale.
"Oh, I won't," she assured her.
The Stanhope was Williams' most unusual item brought for appraisal out of the 125 she saw during the course of the show. The most expensive was a diamond encrusted brooch Williams valued at $6,000.
Williams, owner of the Dake House Antique Emporium in Genoa, said this event was the ninth of its kind in Genoa.
Admission was $1 and visitors perused tables from 25 vendors from as far away as Massachusetts.
This event was Gay's first since coming to Northern Nevada after closing his Berkley Shop. He doesn't plan on opening another shop, instead preferring to work exclusively at antique shows.
Gay had everything from hundreds of pieces of silver to Venetian glass.
On Sunday, he and Williams entered a deal for an item she purchased off someone who came for an appraisal.
"I liked it so much, I said I couldn't appraise it because its unethical," Williams said. She had her eye on a high Victorian muffineer -- or muffin holder. "She wanted to sell it and she was very delighted with the price which she named."
Then Gay got a look at the muffin carrier and he couldn't resist, either.
When asked why she would buy the muffineer and sell it in the same day, Williams replied smiling, "It's safer that way. If I kept it too long, I'd take it home because I really, really do like it."
Williams said money raised at the event will go to pay overhead costs, and that anything left will be donated to the Carson Valley Pops.
"They need music, a sound systems, stands. They play free for people so it's very difficult for them to get money. For the rest of the year they why will be our charity," she said.