STURBRIDGE, MASS. — Linda Zukas again filled the exhibition hall, ballroom and several adjoining spaces with exhibiting dealers at the Sturbridge Host Hotel and Conference Center for her one-day show on Monday, September 2. The Antique Textiles and Vintage Fashions Show and Sale has been running three times a year now for the 23rd consecutive year in this location, drawing a worldwide audience of fashionistas and textile industry experts looking for some inspiring pieces from the past.
Designers, shopkeepers and dealers and many collectors arrive for the 9:30 am opening, rushing to their favorite exhibits, to be the first to pick through the vintage fashions, clothing and much more, to get the very best pieces to take away.
Customers arrive to add to their collections as well as inspire the fashions in their stores. Maria Niforos of The Showplace, New York City, offered several elegant gowns to ladies who had to try them on before buying, to be sure they would work for functions planned for the fall and winter. She said she sold “an early party dress made originally by Mainbocker for one of the Whitney women, and I also sold a Charles Fenwick Worth two-piece day dress from the early 1900s.”
Verna Scott was selling an early wedding dress from her collection, better known as 1840 House Antiques, Yarmouth, Maine. Verna has been exhibiting at the show since the very first one, 68 shows in all, with one of the first spaces inside the door. Her collection comes from homes in Maine and other sources.
Cheryl Emmons and Bif Martin, Essex, Mass., were selling early fashions and also from their collection of vintage textiles, such as early window treatments.
A Hawaiian summer quilt was one of the more prominent pieces offered by Phyllis Carlson and Tim Stevenson, Manchester Center, Vt. Other unusual pieces they offered included an Italian wedding bed cover and an embroidered blanket.
Kimberly Kirker, Leesport, Penn., was selling early grain bags, now popular for repurposing. One she offered retained an intact polychrome label.
Boudoir dolls dating to the 1920s were offered by Connie Marks of Victoriana, Rocky Point, N.C. Connie said that hers were French, often used as daytime decorative props on the bed, and those she had at the show were selling in the low hundreds each. Some in her collection have very sophisticated looks to them, including ladies with cigarettes in holders, which sell for many thousands.
The banner offered by Kay Mertens, East Meadow, N.Y., was called an armorial: it was the heraldic banner for some royal family in England in the Eighteenth or Nineteenth Century in silk with other fabrics as backing.
Selling from her collection of gowns, Arlene Blumenthal reported the sale of an early flapper’s dress with emerald decorations and an Edwardian gown. The Raynham, Mass., dealer offers fancy things for ladies, circa 1880–1980.
But there is a lot more to the show than simply fashions. Rosemarie Cyr, Belfast, Maine posted an early hooked rug, about 30 inches by 5 feet, from 1870. It was a Frost pattern, sold as a kit at some retailer of the period, identified as pattern number two, and the hooker even hooked the “2” into the design. In good color and condition, it sold well.
More and More, New York City, sold from its collection of costume and fine jewelry, as well as early fashions. Alan Hoops, Findlay, Ohio, offered a collection of hats from different work and time periods, probably made as props for shows and film. Love tokens were the primary stock for Beth Baird, Portland, Maine: little things such as ceramic and fabric hands that symbolized giving one’s heart and hand to another.
Katherine Manzini came to the show from Palo Alto, Calif., with several Chinese headpieces. Manzini’s favorite was made from the now-extinct Asian kingfisher, in a lovely shade of blue, about 2 by 4 inches.
Grandmother’s Flower Garden was the primary quilt on display by Martha Perkins, Ashby, Mass. She reported that sales were good, with a number of quilts going out the door.
An original Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey Circus banner was offered by Ellen Flanz from Bozeman, Mont. She presumed it to have been made about 1950.
Clothing for gentlemen was here, too. Old As Adam, Portsmouth, N.H., was offering vintage outfits for men, most from the first half of the Twentieth Century, but also some later materials.
Morrison Antiques, Waterford, Conn., not only had vintage clothing, but also some of the tools a tailor from the early Twentieth Century would use.
Linda Zukas has this show three times each year, on the Monday of Brimfield Week. Dates for 2014 will be May 12, July 7 and September 1.
For additional information, www.vintagefashionandtextileshow.com or 207-363-1320.