Published: December 14, 2010
It seemed almost like old times †60 people waiting to buy tickets on opening night at the Holiday Antiques Show. The ticket purchased on this night is also good for the entire weekend. The show brought record crowds, and the collective mood of the dealers and patrons seemed upbeat and positive when the doors opened at 6 pm on Black Friday for a premier (not a preview) showing. There is no higher ticket price and no food or drink. The show, which was conducted November 26′8, has become for many as the event that ushers in the Christmas season in Williamsburg.
Friday night sales included an Eighteenth Century chest of drawers shown by Melissa Bourque of Garrison, N.Y. A crowd assembled at the booth of Alexandria, Va., dealer Josephine Thrasher, specializing in estate jewelry, who has been part of this show for more than 25 years and has developed quite a following. From Newport News, Va., Jerry Brill, also a longtime dealer, made sales on Friday, as did Carolyn Brown, Sparrows Nest of Williamsburg. Lots of bags went out the door on Friday and lots of “be back” promises were noted.
Saturday morning began for Brill with the sale of an unusual cant back corner cupboard in original finish. It went to a local home and was purchased by someone who was a first-time attendee. Sue Robinette of Monticello, Ky., deals in silver matching and silver hollowware and her sales included both. Robert French, a first-time dealer from Portland, Maine, said he was happy about his sales of early museum-quality glass. His booth also included rare early delft pieces.
Joe Caputo from Pittston, Maine, brought museum-quality hooked rugs and was anxious to educate show patrons about their artistic merit and the investment value. He was quick to point out the absence of this folk art form at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. He came a day early just to visit the renowned institution. His sales included one hooked rug, two penny rugs, a tavern table and a large pond boat.
Richmond House Antiques brought a parlor wall from an early Eighteenth Century New England home. Unfortunately for the Ashford Conn., dealers, the wall did not find a home in Williamsburg. The dealers did, however, go home without an upholstered country settee. Neverbird Antiques of Surry, Va., offered ephemera, samplers and art works and was able to part with some.
Garden City, N.Y., dealer Elinor Penna set up with Bill Shaeffer, Shaeffer’s Antiques, Glyndon, Md., in a stunning booth, papered in green with a border, which contained Staffordshire figures and rare ceramic forms. They also offered books about their subject for prospective collectors to become further educated.
Steve German of Mad River Antiques of North Granby, Conn., was able to connect with one of his collectors and sold a fine stoneware piece. Also sold in this booth was a corner chair, a candlestand, a grained fiddle case and various other items, including Christmas items. Mary Peebles of Swan Tavern, Yorktown, Va., parted with a fine miniature chest of drawers, while Marie Miller, Dorset, Vt., sold several quilts and a trunk.
Raphine, Va., dealer Fanshawe Blaine sold numerous items from the firm’s eclectic collection and capped it off in the last 15 minutes of the show with the sale of a period tilt-top tea table. Chris Doscher, trading as Witt’s End Antiques, Wallkill, N.Y., also made a last-minute sale of a wonderful signed Eighteenth Century chest of drawers to a novice collector. The chest had a price tag of $4,700. He also sold a child’s multiple seat school bench in old blue paint, a sailor’s valentine, a Chippendale mirror and various other items.
Carolyn Brown of Sparrow’s Nest Antiques reported having a great show. The Williamsburg dealer sold across the board, from furniture, including a New England mule chest and an early tap table, to toys, collectible Canton, candlesticks, lamps and much more. She said that she wrote five times the tickets at the show than she did the week before. Her comment was, “People came who were interested and they were buying &†more energy than I have seen at a show in a long time.”
One of the show’s features this year was an appraisal clinic conducted by Gordon Converse, owner of an auction house in Wayne, Penn. About 70 appraisals were provided, with the proceeds earmarked for charitable events, the public television station that sponsors Antiques Roadshow and Colonial Williamsburg’s collections fund.
The dealers participating in the Holiday Antiques Show remarked about the knowledge and the friendliness of the patrons of this show. Unlike some of the larger shows, buyers freely enter the booths and chat with the sellers sharing information. Steve German remarked, “The show is well organized and very well attended. The people who came to the show were knowledgeable and interested.”
Show manager Bettianne Sweeney said, “I am pleased. I put forth a great deal of time and energy promoting this show and it has paid off. I look forward to 2011, the 30th anniversary, and making it even better. The show is the dealers’, not mine. My main talent is to choose the right vendors with the right merchandise and set up. These dealers are handpicked and they are the best.”
For additional information, www.holidayantiqueshows.com or 757-870-6924.
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