Published: November 27, 2018
Review and Photos by Tom O’Hara
CHANTILLY, VA. – Joan Sides continued her string of sold out shows with the November 3-4 DC Big Flea & Antiques Market at the Dulles Expo Center, which hosted more than 600 booths filled to overflowing with antiques, vintage collectibles and early period décor. The show and sale are popular for Christmas and holiday shopping, so many exhibitors brought collections tailored for those shoppers as well.
The “Big Flea,” as it is known, had been booked since about a week after the September Market, with many exhibitors knowing to confirm quickly as the November show has been a sell out for many years now. Customers came as expected in great numbers on both days, looking for antiques in home décor, accessories and vintage collectibles, as well as the extensive holiday-oriented shopping. One dealer filled his triple booth with all kinds of lawn ornaments from the past 50 or 75 years and attracted large numbers of shoppers both days. His nearly life-size Santa Claus and snowmen in hollow lighted plastic were very popular.
While Christmas was the theme for many of the exhibits as is typical for this show, home décor was the primary focus of most of the 600 booths, many of which were filled with furniture made in the past 300 years.
Emerson and Terri Manning, Statesville, N.C., shared an oversized space on the front wall of the building with Art of the Craft, Wilmington, N.C. Together, they fill it with a collection of circa 1900 Mission-style furniture as well as Art Nouveau and Art Deco furniture and accessories. The sales the North Carolina dealers had were sufficient to cause a significant depletion in the inventory of the booth by Sunday evening, having sold among other things a complete kitchen set, a parlor settee, several tables and stands. They also sold some lighting and art from the same period.
Krogh’s Nest moved forward in the design timeline with Danish Modern and Midcentury as its style. A permanent fixture in the show, the Taneytown, Md., dealers are there virtually every time, showing an overflow of furniture in styles from the period approximating 1930 to 1970 and as always proving its popularity with the shoppers.
On the other hand, Cherry Hill Liquidators from Cherry Hill, N.J., typically carries more of the traditional styles from the Nineteenth Century, including Louis XVI, and sells well with that material. At this most recent show, there were many pieces from its collection finding new homes, including several upholstered chairs and a sofa, several stands and more.
The show is great for collectors of many specialties. Steve Cordes, Latrobe, Penn., brings hundreds of Hummel figures. Twin Tankard Antiques is a pewter specialist from Silver Spring, Md. Mario Gauthier comes to the show from Manchester, N.H., with silver and earthenware from England and China. G&S Antiques from Lynbrook, N.Y., specializes in antique clocks, offering primarily American made clocks from the early Nineteenth Century in working order
Many exhibitors brought merchandise to tempt holiday and Christmas shoppers.
The Village Antiques, Syracuse, N.Y., fills its exhibit space with miniature things, just the stuff to furnish a house for people not much bigger than one or two feet tall, dolls and teddy bears that is. They also have a plethora of dolls and teddies along with the toys, all from about 100 years or older.
The booth of Joseph and Patty Raynock was filled with art and some furniture, and they were selling. The Richlandtown, Penn., dealers were happy with their results.
Formerly from Maine, Jim Cyr, now of Detroit, Mich., exhibits in an oversized space filled with early American small antique accessories. This weekend, he sold several samplers that dated to the Eighteenth Century in excellent condition, all identifying the name of the girl who worked them.
Jerry and Judy Brill, Brill’s Antiques, offered more small antiques this weekend, as they only had a small space. The Newport News, Va., dealers often exhibit in a big space with a great quantity of Georgian furniture but confined themselves to a limited number of fine pieces, along with some Chinese export and English earthenware, which would do well for gift giving.
Christmas decorations sold well for a great many of the exhibitors this weekend. Easter Hill Antiques, Sharon, Conn., offered and sold antique Czech and German blown glass ornaments dating from about 1890 to 1935. Holiday House Antiques from nearby Fairfax, Va., offered and sold large lawn ornaments, including nearly life-size plastic reindeer, great big snowmen and Santas.
There were novelties available as well. Daryl Smith, from Chesapeake, Va., had a traveling ferro wheel game. According to Smith, this was a gambling device that a gamesman could set up on a street corner, attract a crowd and start a game but could quickly close up if the cops came along.
The DC Big Flea & Antiques Market takes place six times each year at the DC Expo Center, with the next two gatherings on January 5-6 and March 2-3. Sides recently announced a new show at the Hampton Convention Center in Hampton, Va., March 30-31. She said that the Hampton Convention Center is slightly smaller than the Chantilly site and is filling quickly.
The Dulles Expo Center is at 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center. For information, 757-430-4735 or www.thebigfleamarket.com.
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