Prevett turns ‘treasure hunting’ into business

Published 10:34 am Monday, August 5, 2013

Crenshaw County has its own treasurer hunter in Sherry Prevett, and she’s finding interesting things along her journey.

“I go treasure hunting weekly,” she said. “I have been to Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida. Sometimes treasures speak to me. I walk by them. I’ll pick it up, look at it, and then put it back down and come back to it.”

Her next big quest will be searching in and around Chicago this month for treasures.

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“All areas have different and unique items,” she said. “I ventured in an antique store in Arkansas and what an adventure it was at Hogan’s Antiques, and Mr. Howard was quite the collector. We talked for hours. I learned so much by just listening and looking around. His place was full of interesting items and great conservation pieces. I got a lot of tips and information that will help e with my treasure hunting escapades.

The art of “picking” has become popular in recent years with History’s TV series “American Pickers,” but Prevett has enjoyed collecting antiques and interesting collectables for about 30 years.

Through her weekly hunts, Prevett, a Greenville native, has secured items such as Bakelite Bangles. Bakelite is a castable, fire-resistant plastic that was invented by Leo Baekeland in 1909. The jewelry became popular in the 1930s and 1940s.

“These are really, really pretty,” she said. “Bakelite items are rare are very sought after.”

For the history buffs, she’s rummaged up a Robert E. Lee print from 1907, and a pair of post World War II Japanese binoculars.

Other finds, include a Hubbards wire-sewed folding wooden box dating back to pre-World War II, a centerpiece blue green carnival glass with iridescent colors that pop when hit by light, a vintage metal hammered plate, “Hens on A Nest, which are collectible glass hens.

“These are all different colors – Cobalt blue and pink,” she said. “They are really neat. The wooden boxes would have been quite an engineering feat for their time. They are fantastic primitive items.

Prevett has found other treasures such as McCoy pottery, which was produced in the U.S. in the late 19th and 20th centuries, and Hull pottery, which was first produced around 1905.

“So many pieces are out there floating around, but these most are marked with an M or a Mc or McCoy, it’s very collectable,” she said. “There is a lot of pottery that isn’t marked, but is highly collectable.”

Prevett’s treasures are the featured items in her new shop 13 on Fifth in downtown Luverne.

Her store doesn’t have set hours, but Prevett is generally there most afternoons.

For more information about her collections, call (334) 304-0099.