So many garden events, so little time. Squeezed into a window of (usually) perfect spring weather, several local clubs vie for our attention in early May.
If you’re looking for something to celebrate spring or Mother’s Day (which falls next Sunday), there is no shortage of ideas or inspiration.
These gardens get artists in the mood, too. Two tours this weekend showcase painters at work.www.stjohnschico.org www.eastsacgardentour.com
Magic word: Beer
If you’re rummaging through an attic or garage sale, pay attention to vintage advertising stuff from Sacramento’s early years. One category really stands out for collectors: anything connected to beer.
In the late 1800s, Sacramento was home to about 16 breweries. That includes Buffalo Brewing Co. – at one time the largest brewery west of the Mississippi – which made its lager at the corner of Q and 21st streets, where The Sacramento Bee now stands.
Another brewery at P and Ninth streets is all but forgotten. German immigrant F.C. Knauer’s Pacific Brewery didn’t do a lot of advertising. In fact, a give-away poster promoting Pacific in 1899 is believed to be “the only existing example of advertising art from this Sacramento brewery,” said dealer Brian Witherell.
That made this poster – featuring three pretty lasses in Victorian-style bathing attire on a Northern California beach – a real find. It will be part of the upcoming Grass Valley Old West Antiques Show at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. Accompanied by an online auction, the show runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. next Saturday.
Today, you can get a sneak peek at show and auction highlights (including the brewery poster) at Witherell’s Sacramento gallery, located at 300 20th St. The preview will be open from 1 to 4 p.m.
The Pacific Brewery poster came from the estate of a local collector who specialized in bottles and antique glass, said Witherell, known to millions from his regular appearances on PBS’ “Antiques Road Show.”
“Interestingly, early Sacramento and San Francisco brewers produced some of the most collectible advertising art we handle at auction,” he noted. “This particular design ... has all the characteristics that demanding collectors desire – fabulous quality, vibrant color and appealing design.”
And most of all, it has a reference to beer, he added. “This commodity is very strong. There’s a number of collectors very attracted to it.”
Without the words, the image is pretty but unremarkable, Witherell observed. He would evaluate it at about $150.
“But it says ‘Sacramento’ and ‘brewery,’ ” he said. “That takes it from $150 to (up to) $10,000 – maybe more.”
Learn more about Witherell and his hunt for Early California treasures in next week’s Home & Garden section.