The Sunnyvale Historical Society will host an Antiques Appraisal Fair on Aug. 24. This is a good chance to find out whether a family keepsake, or flea market find, is worth a bundle. And by attending this fun event you'll support a valued community organization.

Staff members from Michaan's Auctions in Alameda will be on site to evaluate your furniture, jewelry, Asian art, paintings, prints, porcelain, silver, stamps and coins, glass, plus other decorative arts. You can have up to three items appraised for a flat fee of $20.

But there's lots more going on that day. Be sure to check out the large number of de-accessioned antiques and other objects the museum is selling.

When you're finished with your appraisals and shopping, listen to the live music, have a bite to eat, go on a guided tour or see the lace-making and weaving demonstrations.

You'll find the Sunnyvale Historical Museum at 570 E. Remington Drive. Hours: Noon-4 p.m. Admission is free. You may reserve a time slot to see the appraisers, or just show up. I suggest you make an appointment; call 408-749-0220. Details: heritageparkmuseum.org.

Homes on parade

A century ago, the Santa Clara Valley was home to some stellar architects, among them Frank D. Wolfe and Charles McKenzie. On Aug. 23 you can see their prized work showcased on a tour organized by the hardworking people associated with the Preservation Action Council of San Jose (PAC*SJ).


Advertisement

Participants get to see five magnificent properties that were designed between 1899 and 1910, when the talented duo maintained their business partnership. Their residences featured lavish details such as porch columns, deep roof overhangs with exposed rafter tails, asymmetrical gables, cantilevered corner window boxes, built-in cabinets, plus extraordinary woodwork.

Extra attractions going on that day include a sale of vintage hats, jewelry and accessories. Krista van Laan, the author of a newly published work about Frank Wolfe, will also be on hand to sign books.

Don't miss this opportunity to view these homes open to the public for the first time. Tours run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets: $35 in advance, $40 at the door (or $25 for members).

If you wish, enhance your experience with a kick-off party Aug. 22 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The $125 admission ($110 for members) includes drinks, gourmet hors d'oeuvres, short programs on the architects and their work, plus Saturday's tour.

Details: 408-998-8105, or www.preservation.org.

Two new shows

Collectors are abuzz about the new Monterey Bay Antiques and Vintage Market slated to be held at the Monterey Peninsula College beginning Aug. 17, and on selected dates thereafter.

Show promoter Warren Rosen told me that he expects to have the "cream of the crop" of sellers at this event. So far, he's recruited 70 vendors and they're allowed to sell antique or vintage merchandise only.

To join in on the fun, head to the college's Parking Lot A, 980 Fremont St., Monterey. Hours: 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Admission and parking are free. Future dates: Sept. 28, Oct. 19, Nov. 23 and Dec. 21. Details: 831-684-7505, www.montereyantiques.com.

In San Jose, there's the grand opening of a warehouse sale called "Not Too Shabby" scheduled for the second weekend of every month. The initial sale runs Aug. 9-10.

Several participants in the show tell me the building at 861 Auzerais Ave. at Sunol Street -- close to San Jose's Antiques Row -- has 15,000 square feet. I understand there will be at least 20 sellers, with room to add more. Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: $3. Details: 408-275-1129.

Dog days of summer

Faithful reader Peggy Stull, of San Jose, wrote to ask if I could mention whether dogs are welcome at the outdoor antiques fairs posted in this column. "We have a small dog that we hate to leave at home while we gallivant on the weekends," she said.

I bet lots of other collectors-pet owners feel the same way.

For the record, the 50th annual Niles Antique Fair & Flea Market taking place Aug. 31 (I'll have details in my Aug. 23 column) welcomes dogs as long as they are on a leash. Sorry to say that dogs (except service dogs) are not allowed at the new Monterey Bay Antiques Market or the Benicia Peddlers' Fair on Aug. 9. The Aug. 10 San Juan Bautista show is dog-friendly, but it's often too hot for pooches on show day.

Getaway ideas

Since so many readers travel this time of year, I've decided to recommend a couple of places worth a stop.

If you'll be in the Los Angeles area, consider a trip to the noteworthy Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino. The museum just opened a new gallery featuring 100 or so pieces of American art, including works by Georgia O'Keeffe, Edward Hopper and Granville Redmond. Be sure to ogle the exquisite sterling silver on display made by Shreve & Co. of San Francisco.

There is also a new room devoted to photography where visitors will be delighted to see works by the acclaimed artist Edward Weston, a former Carmel resident. A group of his remarkable California landscapes will, I believe, leave you breathless.

By the way, indulge in the fabulous buffet served up at the Rose Garden Tea Room. Book a reservation online, or at 626-683-8131. You won't be disappointed.

Details: The Huntington, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino. Closed Tuesdays. Admission and hours: 626-405-2100, www.huntington.org.

And if you're in Napa Valley, make a point of dropping by the Sharpsteen Museum in Calistoga.

I find this a homey place to visit. Among the artifacts on display are a meticulously restored stagecoach, some incredible dioramas and objects made by the Wappo tribe, the original inhabitants of the region.

While there, catch a special exhibit, "Dolls and Their Stories," that will remain up until Oct. 31. Organized by two doll clubs -- the Independent Spirits Doll Club and the Redwood Empire Doll Club -- the show incorporates early doll-related books and puzzles into the display.

Details. The Sharpsteen, 1311 Washington St., Calistoga. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. Admission: $3 donation is requested. 707-942-5911, www.sharpsteenmusuem.org.

Contact Steven Yvaska at steve.yvaska@sbcglobal.net.