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"The Original Salt Lake City Antiques Show and Sale," one of three presented yearly at the ExpoMart by San Francisco-based antiques showman Walter Larsen, opens Thursday and continues through Sunday.

Hours are from noon to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The ExpoMart is located at 230 W. 200 South, directly west of the Salt Palace arena.A former college professor-turned-antiques specialist, Larsen produces more than 35 annual antiques shows in key cities throughout the western United States. His love affair with antiques and collecting started more than 20 years ago when, lured by a pair of walnut bookcases, he bought a small antiques shop for $500 on a dare from a friend. For his first inventory, he took in $3,200 - and he still has the walnut bookcases.

His on-the-road tour stops in cities he feels share his love for nostalgia and he considers his three annual Salt Lake shows - in March, July and October - as the highlights of his circuit.

"This is the one show in the country bringing in not only the beginning collector, but the family shopping for decorator furnishings and the advanced investor as well," Larsen says. "Whether you go to browse or to buy, these shows are a fascinating nostalgic experience for people of all ages."

The show features exhibitors from throughout the country and all items on display will be for sale. Pieces include country and period furniture, heirloom gold and silver, estate jewelry, American and primitive folk art, art glass, glass pottery, prints, maps, paintings, heirloom quilts, American "brilliant period" cut glass, vintage clothing, dolls, clocks, textiles, musical memorabilia, button collections, toys and thousands of "collectibles."

Restoration experts will also be on hand for free consultation on the repair of glass and furniture.

General admission for the show is $3 for adults and $2 for senior citizens and students. Each ticket purchased is good for the entire four-day run of the show. Children are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. For further information, call 531-6699.