Published: September 19, 2017
Review and Photos by Tom O’Hara
STURBRIDGE, MASS. – Linda Zukas, for now the 27th year, filled the exhibit hall, ballroom and various meeting rooms and open spaces at the Sturbridge Host Hotel and Conference Center for her one-day affair on Labor Day, Monday, September 4. While Zukas does not disclose attendance figures, she did report that attendance did gain again this year by a modest margin over last September, with a very noticeable increase in young people there buying antique and vintage fashions – some for personal use and also as examples to make copies for their businesses.
Carolyn Forbes, a Hollis, N.H., exhibitor, had two sisters enter her exhibit in the first minutes to review her inventory, buying again examples that they would resell online and use as models for remanufacturing in their business.
Across the aisle, The Cat’s Meow from Midland, Texas, was selling from its extensive inventory of ladies’ garments dating from the late 1800s through about 1940. Owner Steven Porterfield also carried a large assortment of the fashion accessories that were going out the door.
Victorian style is Maria Niforos’ taste, and for her buying is a little easier as she spends half the year living in London with a shop on Portobello Road. This exhibit featured an early Victorian-era dress, probably for some special occasion, in violet with embroidered flowers and lace sleeves. Further into her booth were Nineteenth Century wedding dresses and Sunday-in-the-park outfits.
Carlson & Stevenson usually come up with something special for this show and this time was no exception. The Manchester Center, Vt., dealers found the backdrop for a puppet stage show as their textile contribution, along with a large selection of yard goods, draperies and bedcovers.
Wiscasset, Maine, exhibitor Marston House used ladders as props and part of its inventory for sale that day. The firm’s merchandise focuses on yard goods and large pieces of textiles, such as draperies, bedcovers and similar items that can be sold for use as is or made into other smaller items.
Kimberly Kirker sold two of her 100-year-old quilts at the opening of the show and that was just for starters. This exhibitor from Leesport, Penn., was showing as her backdrop one of the most popular quilts at the show – an applique piece in very bright colors and excellent condition. It bore a premium price, but was worth what she was asking.
Zukas had several new exhibitors at this edition of the show.
Mid Century Sisters are Jan Cohen and Dael Cohen from Media and West Chester, Penn. They both enjoy collecting vintage linens and over the recent past have been trading. Now for the first time they were selling at this show with a small booth overflowing with linens for the dining table.
Jeffrey Henkel was showing a collection built upon stylish clothing for the young man of the 1960s and 1970s. He was also offering props and other antiques in textiles from his Pennington, N.J., inventory.
Interiors with Provenance, while not the firm’s first time at the show, had not been there in more than ten years, so its display was indeed a fresh look for shoppers. Owner Deb Gott was offering some of her collection of Asian textiles, and she also had a few Persian rugs out of the inventory from the Biddeford, Maine, shop.
Another first-timer was Martin Platt from Villanova, Penn. His merchandise was Japanese kimonos and silk wraps.
Shannon Dalton, Brick, N.J., offered a similar variety of silken garments from Asia.
Several of the exhibitors brought accessories for the ladies. Norwich, Vt., dealer Susan Voake had many little pins and decorative pieces, while Jamie Shenkman brought her semiprecious jewelry to the show.
This show presents a unique experience in antiques, so specialized in its offerings and so popular that, year after year, its patrons include world famous retailers and fashion designers who never miss it. They come to look for ideas from the past that they can revive once again for their stylists, their shops or, in the case of the collectors, use themselves.
The 28th year of Linda Zukas’ Antique Textiles and Vintage Fashions begins May 7, and again on Labor Day next year. For information, www.vintagefashionandtextileshow.com or 207-363-1320.
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