C. Vickers Antiques showcases owner's collection of oddities

December 20, 2004|JOHN T. DAVIS

It's just a sliver of a shop occupying a slice of the building across from the Danville police station on Main Street.

But C. Vickers Antiques is rapidly filling up with the antiques, collectibles, and oddities that have captured the eye of Cleat "Vick" Vickers in a lifetime of collecting.

"I've always collected things that were interesting to me, knowing they'd be worth a couple of bucks some day in my life," said Vickers, who moved to this area from Minnesota where he operated a small shop part-time.

One thing that is true of most active collectors, Vickers said, is that they have boxes full of stuff in their basements.


"When you're a collector, sometimes you just need an outlet for the stuff."

His Danville shop has a wide variety of items, from china, silver, jewelry, coins and old bottles to militaria from the Civil War to the Vietnam War. His shop is not just a standard antique shop, Vickers said, as much as it is a collection of oddities.

For example, he has a considerable collection of "trench art."

"These are things that guys made when they didn't have anything else to do," Vickers said. "They took spent shells and made art out of them. They're mostly from World War I, but some are from World War II.

"They took bullets and made cigarette lighters out of them. The guys were geniuses."

Since moving to Kentucky, Vickers has been impressed by the annual U.S. 127 yard sale, during which he did some antiquing and also set up a booth south of Danville.

"There's nothing like it in Minnesota," he said. "I met so many people. A lot of people come to this state just to do antiquing."

An advocate of collecting

Vickers is an advocate of collecting, particularly for young people.

"It's a way to accumulate wealth over the years," he said. "I tell kids to get interested in things.

"If young people don't start collecting, one of these days stuff won't be worth anything because people won't know what it is."

He also enjoys antique shops.

"They are just like little museums, but in a shop you can touch things and buy things."

He's also amazed at the wide variety of items that people collect.

"It's incredible the number of items people have come up with over the years, over the centuries ..."

As for his own collecting, he said that over the years it has become less about money and more about buying things that interest him.

"Years ago, I bought things to make money on. The last few years I have bought things that I liked myself," he said. "If I can sell them, that's OK. If I don't ..."

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