Len Gratteri, Proprietor, Old West Collectibles and Books
Born in Seattle, Washington, and spending time on his uncle’s ranch in Idaho, Len came to his love and fascination of the Old West early. While in high school, he found and purchased a Victorian era lemonade tumbler. He was drawn to the beautiful, opalescent colors, and the fragility of the pieces, which survived from their production between 1880 and 1910. He recognized how difficult the sets, usually consisting of a pitcher and 8-10 glasses, would have been to make and transport. Before long he had collected more than 300 pieces. During this time, he realized the intrinsic value of this vanishing part of American history.
His next area of interest was old poker and gambling pieces. He became interested in marked, shaved and loaded dice; and the stories they held. Beautiful inlaid clay poker chips also attracted him.
Over the years, while building up his father’s tire store in Hillsboro Oregon, Len collected at shows in Portland, Seattle and San Francisco, expanding his areas of interest. He went to antiques shows and garage sales, collecting tens of thousands of items, which filled his home.
In 2004, after retiring from the family business, Len opened his 1500 sq. foot shop in Sisters, Oregon, a small town that celebrates its western history and retains its Old West charm. The shop is open three days a week and by appointment. Among the layers of antiques and collectibles you will find there are books, postcards, photos, magazines, coins, stamps, jewelry, furniture, barware, and paraphernalia used by cowboys, gamblers, homesteaders and flappers.
Len is still finding treasures, regularly adding to his inventory and his personal collections.