Leila Dunbar

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Seated on the hood of her 1969 Cutlass

Leila at Dunbar's Gallery in Milford, Mass.

A large part of Leila Dunbar's 37 years has been spent in the driver's seat, from go-karts and muscle cars to a Cessna 172 airplane and 1928 Indian Scout motorcycle. This is not surprising as she spent much of her childhood in her father's auto salvage yard, meeting folk with colorful nicknames like "Joey One Arm" and "Little Anthony".

In the early 1970's, parents Howard and Martha were smitten by old samplers, stoneware and Mickey Mouse. Becoming collectors and then dealers, they handled antique American advertising, toys, folk art, automobiles, motorcycle memorabilia, and locally made Dedham Pottery. At nineteen, Leila ventured to Spain for a year, developing a fondness for flamenco, motor scooters, paella and vintage Feria festival posters. In 1983, she obtained degrees in Journalism and Spanish at the University of North Carolina.

Over the past fifteen years, Leila has helped expand and redefine the family antique business, as Dunbar's Gallery has carved out a niche as a leading gallery in handling toys, automotive & motorcycle memorabilia and holiday collectibles. Leila has contributed market values, photos and expertise to USA Today, Collector Books, Kovel's Antiques Newsletter, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Dallas Morning News, Auction Universe, Mobilia Magazine, the PBS series and book America on Wheels  and Lifetime program The Secret History Of The Motorcycle.

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Since its inception three years ago, Leila has been a regular appraiser on the PBS television series The Antiques Road Show., focusing on toys and collectibles  (which is why she's been nicknamed the "Princess of Tchotchkes"!).

In the 1999 Road Show season, some of Leila's segments include; in Richmond, VA, an appraisal of a set of 1956 World Series baseballs from Don Larsen's perfect game; in Los Angeles, rescued from the demolition crew, a one-of-a-kind trophy given yearly to best animal actor in a movie; in Portland, a mechanical pencil collection compiled by a potato farmer in the 1920's; in Milwaukee, one of the earliest and most sought after Fisher Price toys, an exquisite Schoenhut Roly-Dolly Santa, and an interview with Harley-Davidson archivist Martin Jack Rosenblum at the Harley factory.

In 1996, Leila published her first reference book, Motorcycle Collectibles, followed by More Motorcycle Collectibles  in 1997 and Automobilia  in 1998.Leila has also written articles for collector magazines Collectors' Eye, Collector's Showcase, Mobilia, Antique Toy World, Old Bike Journal, American Iron and Indian Illustrated, as well as websites Auction Universe.com and Mobilia.com.

Since 1991, Leila has pursued another passion, music, by producing and hosting a weekly radio jazz broadcast on WICN 90.5 FM, in Worcester, Mass., including interviews with more than 50 international jazz artists. Since 1996, she has also written concert reviews for Reuters News Service at the yearly Montreal International Jazz Festival and recently joined the jazz staff at WGBH 89.7 FM in Boston.                                               
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Telephone 508-634-8697 FAX  508-634-8697     Postal address 54 Haven St. Milford, MA  01757 
Send mail to dunbarsgallery@comcast.net   with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 1999 Dunbar's Gallery
Last modified: March 2005