Published: October 2, 2007
Linda Zukas produced her 50th consecutive Antique Textiles and Vintage Fashions Show and Sale with a sold-out house of exhibiting dealers and huge crowds on September 3. The success of this show has made it the place to find this highly specialized category of antiques and collectibles; where collectors, antiques dealers, fashion and decorating designers and even some entertainment wardrobe designers and set decorators come to shop. It is where there are Fifth Avenue fashions next to Shaker cloaks; Victorian era children’s walking dresses alongside pilgrims’ smocks; quilts and coverlets; primitive hooked rugs and Asian silk throws, all in the same room for inspection and sale.
The show has been happening three times a year for the last 17 years, on the Monday of Brimfield Week. Zukas had more than 135 dealers at The Sturbridge Host Hotel and Conference Center for the one-day affair.
The Kovals of Schellburg, Penn., were offering an exhibit of American quilts and coverlets. Joe and Mary Koval often have local Amish quilts and coverlets in excellent condition made from vintage scraps and sewn into interesting patterns.
For at least the last five years, at, or very near, the entrance to the show, Rambling Rose Antiques from Frederick, Md., has been trading in vintage fashions. Always colorful and with fine styling of the Roaring Twenties or earlier, this collection sets the stage for the show with a special feeling of nostalgia for these designs from the past.
The next exhibit had as its highlight a late Victorian bridal gown in as-good-as-new condition, ready to use again, or perhaps for the first time. The exhibitor, Mary Troncale from Branford, Conn., was too busy selling to discuss it.
Malone, N.Y., dealers Ken and Sue Scott were exhibiting a very unusual tapestry, made in a manner similar to an American quilt, depicting a scene that might have been copied from an ancient Egyptian temple or pyramid. Nearby, Cynthia Van Dusen was displaying a silk table cover larger than the back wall of her exhibit space. This Coatesville, Penn., dealer, trading as Cynthia’s Antiques and Textiles, has been among the regulars at the show for many years.
More vintage gowns were the staple for Jean Breen from Norwood, Mass. Breen, however, was covering several style periods with her collection, including a Victorian ball gown, an Edwardian party dress and even an early Chinese shawl.
Several dealers came to the show from Europe. Jennifer Zanetti and her husband deal in the trimmings for draperies and upholstery, collecting their inventory in his native Italy. Marie Noforos is a Westchester County, N.Y., native who moved to London many years ago, where she collects her vintage materials. She uses this show as a good excuse to visit friends and family three times a year and sell her collection to the American market.
In one corner booth there were several display cabinets filled with early children’s walking dresses. Some were small enough to have been christening outfits. All were from the Nineteenth Century, which was appropriate as the business, from Rocky Point, N.C., was called Victorianna.
Labors of Love is the passion as well as the business of Jane Lury of New York City and Hillsdale, N.Y. The amount of work she has to do for her business makes it clear it she does it for the pleasure of it. She was offering an all silk covered quilt, which had a different photograph transferred onto each remnant. It was only offered for a short time because it sold so quickly.
As is true of many shows, dealers come to shop as well as to exhibit. Monica Seggos, Great Barrington, Mass., has been exhibiting for some time, always with good sales of her early designer clothing, but she said she buys very well, too. For this most recent show she felt her buying was as good as the selling.
Susan Parrish was there with quilts collected while shopping near her two homes, New York City and Columbia County, N.Y. Tallulah’s High Wire is Stephanie Davis’s business from Marblehead, Mass., offering hats, hats and more hats. It seemed she was into fall colors for this show.
There were even some pieces of furniture being offered, but they were generally small furniture, such as the child’s chair being graced by a doll collection from Home Farm Antiques of Bolton Landing, N.Y. Stevie Bradley from East Calais, Vt., was selling old unused bark cloth for draperies and upholstery. Another Vermonter, Susan Voake, was there with her valentines and other ladies’ notions. They are neither textiles nor vintage fashions, but her collection does fit right in with the other collections in the show.
Zukas was again very pleased with the results of the September show. While there will not be another show in Sturbridge until next May, she has announced plans for a show in Rye Brook, N.Y., November 24. The show will have space for 80 dealers in the Rye Town Hilton Hotel, and will be a one-day show on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
For information, www.vintagefashionandtextileshow.com or 207-439-2334.
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