Spotlight on Rummage:
A Treasure Trove of Gifts


Wouldn’t you love to find a little shop where you could get special high-quality gifts for everyone on your list at low prices? Then come to the Treasures Department at the Kenilworth Union Church Rummage Sale on July 14 and 16.

  • For newlyweds, there are full sets of china from which to choose.
  • For young men furnishing their first apartments, you could pick some of Treasures’ nice barware—from beautiful crystal decanters to glasses perfect for craft cocktails.
  • For those who are already settled, you might give them a collectible figurine, a fine crystal dish or an elaborate silver tray.
  • For sports fans, there may be some sports memorabilia, like signed baseballs and cards.
  • Or you could just treat yourself with a lovely painting.

Of course, you never can tell what you’ll find in Treasures; that’s part of the fun. It all depends on what people donate. But each year, Treasures has many unusual finds. Last year, for example, there was the stuffed and mounted piranha which one shopper found to be the perfect gift for the ichthyologist on her list.

“It’s so much fun to see all the different things people donate—beautiful stuff,” said Linda Padgitt, who co-chairs the Treasures Department with Jacqueline Willrich. “It’s like a treasure hunt for us. The boxes come in. We go through stuff and get to see all the amazing things people have and donate.”

“We get fine china, crystal, stemware, bowls, decanters—and of course silver,” she said. They have often had really high-end and complete china sets from Havilland and Limoges.

But they also welcome less-than-complete sets of china, so long as they are not broken and are in good condition. Caterers and others who put on teas and coffees are often delighted to purchase mixed assortments of interesting cups, saucers, and dessert dishes.

“We do get some fine art pieces—oil paintings, water colors, botanical prints—and different kinds of collectibles—porcelain figurines from Lladro and painted animals from Herend,” she said.

Then there are the fine and rustic antiques (like old farm tools), high-quality table linens, clocks, and brass and copper items.

Prices in Treasures range from $1 for nice “trinkets,” to $60 to $80 for a full set of china, on up to almost $200, for a beautiful sterling silver tea set. Of course, the even more expensive merchandise (which previously went to the Preview Deballage event) now will go to the special new Silent Auction, scheduled for July 6 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in the Culbertson Room.

“We always have a dilemma with pricing. We like to price them as high as we can—but we also want things to sell during the two-day sale. And we know people don’t have time to go home and ponder things. So we try to find a good middle ground,” said Jacqueline.

She noted that members of the Treasures team are quite knowledgeable about prices and quality and will often spend time online researching, in order to price items appropriately.

“People shop for all sorts of reasons. One lady came in looking at a very beautiful small set of breakfast dishes. She had just had breast surgery and needed something to cheer her up,” Jacqueline said.

“We often get things from other countries—from Africa, Latin countries, and China,” said Jacqueline.  “We get hats, old hat boxes, old dolls still in their boxes, and some very old books.”

“We enjoy making the room looks beautiful. It starts out as a church basement. By the end, we make it look like a beautiful little antique shop. We spend lots of time setting up and displaying things to look their best,” Linda said.

And when you’ve finished shopping, they’re prepared to carefully wrap your purchases so they won’t break on the way home.

What a fine gift shop!

Want first dibs on a special piece of silver from Treasures? Come to the Treasures silver polishing party at the Church on June 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. All polishers get to purchase one item at the regular pre-sale markup.

For more information about rummage, see the Rummage website and see Spotlight on Rummage for stories about Rummage and its people.