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Hidden treasures waiting to be discovered at antique event

An antique coffee grinder on display at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum. (Courtesy of New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Dust off that family heirloom, remove those collectibles from the shelf, take that antique furniture out of a storage and head to the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum later this month.

The Las Cruces museum has expanded its annual Antique Treasures Show to two days. The show will take place 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26. The event gives vendors an opportunity to sell their antiques while attendees get a chance to get information about their collectibles and other items they may have lying around their house said event coordinator Lisa Ann Tyler.

Museum curators will participate in the “Stump the Curator” games. Visitors can bring in their family heirlooms, artifacts and other collections from home and have them assessed. The game will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day.

“They can find out what it is, what it’s used for, how old it may be,” Tyler said. “And, what value it may have.”

On Saturday, Jan. 25, the collections curator will be on-hand to share information about how to care for and store collectibles, including photos and antiques, to prevent deterioration.

The Friends of Fort Selden Historic Site will have another activity, “Identify It,” that shifts the guessing to visitors. The group will bring tools and implements and visitors must guess what it is and how it was used.

Blacksmiths, weavers, spinners and sewists will demonstrate their craft during the event. New this year will be a daily lecture at 1 p.m. from director Mark Santiago about the museum’s antique gun collection.

These antique guns are part of the collection at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum. The guns pictured are from the 1600s to 1800s.

The NM Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum currently has about 100 guns in its collection, primarily from the 19th century. The presentation will feature approximately 10 guns starting with the oldest in our collection, a 1625 wheellock pistol that is a similar type to those used in New Mexico at the time. Progressing from oldest to newest, Santiago will speak about the progression of firearms and corresponding technologies.

There will a dozen vendors at the event selling collectibles and antiques. Tyler said they were chosen through a juried process.

“What’s nice here in Southern New Mexico is we have a wide variety of items offered,” she said. “From furniture, to Native American bead work, rugs and baskets, and vintage jewelry, antique glassware and purses.”

The New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum consists of 47 acres that not only includes the 24,000-square-foot exhibit building, but corrals with livestock, several gardens and daily demonstrations relating to farm and ranch life. The museum is located at 4100 Dripping Springs Road in Las Cruces. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for senior 60 and over, $3 for children ages 4 to 17 and $2 for active military and veterans.

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