Cord’s Last Lasdon

KATONAH, N.Y. — The sky, usually bright and sunny for Vivien Cord’s biannual shows at the Lasdon Arboretum and Veterans Memorial, was crying in the preshow hours for the most recent outing on Labor Day, Monday, September 2. Perhaps it was due to Vivien presenting her last show at the facility prior to retirement from the antiques show promoting business.

Yet, true to form, the last of the raindrops fell as the 29th Labor Day Antiques Fair opened to the public and the skies remained rain-free throughout the day. “We were spared,” commented the promoter the day after the show. “We kept checking the weather radar on our phones and the storms seemed to just go around us all day long,” said Cord with a smile.

Cord Shows reported a surprisingly large crowd, taking the weather into consideration, counting close to 1,000 people making their way through the show — smaller in stature than normal with only 40 dealers exhibiting. Vivien Cord commented that about ten dealers that had paid for spaces did not show up, presumably due to the morning rains that were heavy at times. The usual ten to 15 drive-up dealers refrained from making the trip as well, further reducing the scope of the show.

This show originally was conducted at the Caramoor Center for the Music and Arts in the late 1970s, yet it quickly outgrew the space. “We had so many people at that show that they were trampling the flower gardens and we had to find a larger space,” Vivien noted. Lasdon had just become a publicly owned space, so Cord relocated just down the road to the sloping hills of the park in 1984.

Cord conducted her very first antiques show 43 years ago in Yonkers at the Hudson River Chateau, a facility that is no longer in existence. Interestingly, the one-time owner that had rented Cord the space to conduct her first show was seen shopping the Lasdon Show on Monday.

Despite the fewer than normal number of dealers on the field, there was still a varied selection of merchandise that ranged from country furnishings to chic couture. An interesting selection of 1950s and 1960s Italian NOS sunglasses were featured in the booth of Art From The Attic, Arlington, Mass. Dealer Yrena Edwards commented that the vintage eyewear was attracting looks from customers, as was her wide selection of Bakelite jewelry and classic vintage cook and table wares by the likes of Catherine Holm and Fiesta.

“We bring our ‘A’ game to this show,” said New York City jewelry dealer Olivia Garay. “Everything from great Chanel and Gucci to Edwardian jewelry. There is always an appreciative crowd and we usually sell well here,” she said. A monumental-sized man’s ring by Barry Kieselstein in platinum with tourmaline surrounded by diamonds was getting attention, as was the extensive selection of Chanel that ranged from acrylic earrings that mimicked midcentury Italian glass to stylish and classic pendants and belts.

Sugar Princess, Montville, N.J., offered a nice selection of early signs, including a large sign for “Repairs,” presumably automotive in nature, that was in a pleasing white with large bold red letters. A large assortment of children’s beach pails was also displayed.

A large selection of ceramics was displayed at Antiques Folly, Emmitsburg, Md., ranging from Rose Medallion, Historical Staffordshire, majolica, transfer wares and even some Sunderland.

Auctioneers Andrea and Bill Jenack were on hand at the show as appraisers, and according to management, approximately 100 items came onto the field to be valued.

Friends gathered on the Lasdon field the evening prior to the show for a small send-off “retirement” party for promoters Vivien Cord and Ed McClure and a good time was had by all (a separate article on this event will appear in a future issue). The final antiques show for Cord Shows will be the Stocking Stuffer show on December 15 in Cross River, N.Y., at the John Jay High School. All of Cord’s antiques shows will continue and will be promoted by V&S Shows, the father/daughter team of Richard Vazzana and Beth Steele.

For further information about Lasdon, contact Vivien Cord at 914-273-4667. V&S may be reached at 203-894-8428.                                    

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