NEW YORK CITY — In its debut under the management of US Antique Shows, the venerable Pier Antique Show saw a record number of buyers queuing up at the doors, waiting to get into the show Saturday morning opening for its November 23–24 run.
Show management said the show recorded a 28 percent increase in the gate over its highest attendance in the last five years. The twice-a-year show had long been managed by Stella Show Mgmt Co., which sold the show this past spring.
Buyers filled the lobby and a line stretched far outside, taking nearly a half hour for everyone to make it onto the show floor. And still they kept coming! Dealers were pleased and noted attendance Saturday was great and even Sunday was good.
“It’s been years since I’ve seen that kind of a crowd at a show,” said books and prints specialist Ed Pollack, A Fine Thing, Portland, Maine, who showcased several fine prints of Rockwell Kent works, including “Man at Mast,” “Hail and Farewell,” “The Bather” and “Forest Pool,” along with Grant Wood’s “The Approaching Storm.” Among his sales was a beautiful and interesting set of medallions by Leonard Baskin. His boothmate, artist and antiques dealer Mario Rivoli of Denver, Colo., did well with his Bakelite jewelry and the beaded glass flowers that he makes.
“For more than 30 years, the Pier Antique Show has been a highly anticipated event for New York City and the tri-state area,” said Dan Darby, GLM vice president and US Antique Shows group show director.
“In our first year producing the Pier Antique Show, we exceeded our most ambitious attendance goals,” continued Darby. “To have our show so well received by antique and vintage merchandise enthusiasts, with crowds flowing out the door, is very exciting for not only for the entire show management team, but also for the show’s dealers who work so hard in selling and displaying their merchandise. We look forward to many more successful years to come hosting the Pier Antique Show!”
Within half an hour of the show opening Saturday, Bob Withington, York, Maine, started slapping red sold tags on his pieces, at least a dozen. Among the sales were a circa 1880 carved marble dog found in Virginia, a marble garden table measuring 6 by 3 feet, a mirror with ornate carved frame and a tall, carved figure of a woman on a base.
Among the highlights seen at the show were a booth full of fine paintings at From Here to Antiquity, Bethany, Conn., which offered “Looking Outside” by American French painter Alexander Robison, a Spanish School still life of flowers and fruit, circa 1580–1610, and a large work with a commanding presence, “Nudes in the Forest.”
Mainly Art, Cincinnati, Ohio, featured everything for Midcentury Modern aficionados from an Eames 670 lounge chair with ottoman in Brazilian rosewood and black leather to a Nelson for Herman Miller slat bench with a natural wood top, a trio of sleek wall clocks and a Curtis Jere metal wall sculpture composed of welded floating squares of varying sizes.
Kasbah Moderne, New York City, set up an inventive booth, with a collection of leather bags and satchels and a veritable rainbow of old typewriters in vivid hues, along with stereo equipment and a typewriter hooked up to a record player.
Longtime Pier exhibitor Bridges Over Time, Newburgh, N.Y., offered a fine mix of the Modern wares that are the specialty of Ed and Betty Koren. Standouts in their booth this time out incorporated Ed Moulthrop woodenware, including a fine bowl in tulipwood and a figured sweetgum tray from the 1950s, as well as a large black “Sheriff” leather chair. Some other fine examples of Moulthrop were found in the booth of Atypical Find, Westport, Conn.
Making his debut at the Pier, Ross Traut Antique Navajo Textiles made the trek uptown from his home base of 27th Street to the show. “I’ve been setting up at shows in Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Marin County for a few years, but thought it was time to show in the town where I live,” Traut said. “I met some seasoned collectors and had the joy of showing to folks who didn’t know what they were looking at except that it was cool art.” His sales included a beautiful Navajo twill saddle blanket, circa 1900, off the wall and a fair amount of Navajo silver out of the case, and he has had strong follow-up sales
Also showing in New York City for the first time was Greenwald Antiques, Cleveland, Ohio, so the dealer decided to show a variety of items not normally shown back home. Ron and Robin Greenwald’s efforts paid off with strong sales across the board from their offerings of jewelry, dolls, toys, Twentieth Century ceramics, Nineteenth–early Twentieth Century glass, as well as sculpture and furniture.
“The crowds were amazing and the scope of collecting was varied so we did exceptionally well — from a $20,000 diamond necklace to a $35,000 ruby and diamond ring to an exceptional Jumeau doll to $15,000 Conover pots,” said the Greenwalds
Also reporting having a “great Pier show” were Barbara Gerr and Arnie Small of Barbara Gerr Antiques, Galloway, N.J. The dealers sold numerous pieces of Newcomb College, Roseville, Della Robbia, Grueby, Rookwood and Marblehead.
Mantiques Modern, New York City, filled its booth with choice examples of Twentieth Century design and more, from several Nineteenth Century French artist’s models to a giant Curtis Jere steel “Sputnik” standing 26 inches tall and a very rare giant stirrup clock by Jaeger LeCoultre, 14 inches tall, made of hand stitched leather and chrome-plated brass.
Worden Select Objects, Burr Oak, Mich., always has an eclectic booth, and choice objects this time ranged from an oversized Delicious Dudley’s Shakes sign to a collection of paint brushes forming an elegant display on the booth’s back wall.
Harvey and Aleta Weinstein are known for Tiffany lamps, but it was a Nakashima table in their booth that had people stopping in their tracks, while Ira Scheck, New York City, featured an unusual Josef Hoffmann oval tray, silverplate on bronze, Wiener Werkstätte, circa 1920s, and a stunning ribbonlike sculpture on a black base.
Katy Kane, New York City, reported having a good show and sold items with bigger ticket prices across the board. “One of my dresses will be worn to the opening of the Winter Antiques Show by an exhibitor at the show,” Kane said, also noting sales of “a fabulous Ben Kahn chinchilla coat and a stunning beaded Roberto Cavalli evening dress.”
Dan Morphy of Morphy’s Auctions, Denver, Penn., showcased a selection of tin litho toys, mechanical and still banks, including the rare Mammy Feeding Child, along with a selection of Rookwood, Loetz, Tiffany glass and sulfide marbles, a longtime passion. Past Pleasures Moderne, Annandale, Va., featured all things Art Deco and “mod” with a standout being a lunette-shaped silvery desk with one underdrawer and four drawers of varying sizes.
If the cast of Broadway’s Kinky Boots needed a new pair of shoes, they would have found a great pair of tall snakeskin boots at Lofty Vintage, Riverdale, N.Y., along with a black and gold Vivienne Westwood cocktail dress that perfectly coordinated with a pair of tall, ruched gold boots also on offer. A lovely collection of Amsterdam School fabrics, circa 1910–20s, was on offer across the aisle in the show’s “Fashion Alley” from Holland dealer Ewa Grabowski.
Turkey Mountain Traders, Scottsdale, Ariz., had several fine Iroquois whimsies on offer among its Western offerings, and the dealers were more than pleased with their results. “Many of our regular clients attended, and we even met a new one. So that makes it a successful show in our book,” said Deborah Begner.
Industrial meets design came together in the booth of Al Linder, Northfield, Minn., which featured a windmill from the late 1910s–20s, standing about 6 feet tall, while Judith and James Milne, New York City, featured a pair of pale green Deco club chairs.
Attention grabbers at The Village Braider, Plymouth, Mass., included a set of four carved and painted figures of African Americans with hands upraised in prayer, dressed as a policeman, nurse, businessman and student athlete, as well as a checkerboard table and a pair of Louis Vuitton trunks.
Stephan Boyer, Finish Line Collectibles, Campbelltown, Penn., reported that the Pier show was everything he had hoped for: a wonderful mix of the curious and customers. Boyer sold items to people from Montana, San Francisco, Maryland and New Jersey, and a highlight was the double-sided “Disco” tin neon sign that was picked up by a West Coast buyer. The sign was much older than the paint, so it likely advertised something before the disco era.
Bungalow Bill, Fairlawn, N.J., spotlighted European pottery, including a 1960s tall vase for Rosenthal Netter in a blue-green glaze, Italian, carved in a geometric design under a stovepipe neck.
Proving the adage that the second time’s the charm, Gallery 925, San Francisco, sold a fair amount in its second showing here. A great object in proprietor Rachel Prater’s booth was the one-of-a-kind Arts and Crafts tea kettle by Lona Shaeffer, daughter of renowned metalcrafter Peer Smed, known for only making one-of-a-kind pieces. This kettle stood 17 inches tall and was stunning.
Neil Ingber, Westport, Conn., offered Ruba Rombic glass and a funky Walter Von Nessen lamp designed for Miller Lamps, while Ophir Gallery, Englewood, N.J., featured a traditional 20-inch belted rose Tiffany leaded glass shade on a twisted vine base, rare in this larger size, as well as a good selection of Art Nouveau.
Highlights at Art & Antique Gallery, Worcester, Mass., included a Newbold Hough Trotter (American, 1827–1898) painting of General Sherman and his favorite horse “Sam” and a Guy Carleton Wiggins oil on canvas of a snowy Manhattan scene.
Eye candy at the show included Drucker Antiques, Mount Kisco, N.Y., offering a Georg Jensen hair comb in sterling with colored stones designed by Vivianna Torun Bulow-Hube, while Larry Dalton, Scarsdale, N.Y., sold an animated bird box in sterling silver with hand painted panels from the 1940s.
US Antique Shows now produces nine shows nationally. The Pier Antique Show takes place in March and November. Its next show is the Armory Antique Show, January 24–26 at the 69th Regiment Armory.
For additional information, www.usantiqueshows.com or 239-732-6642.