Published: April 20, 2004
It is a relatively short jitney ride from the Atlantic City Convention Center – the site of the Atlantique City antiques show – to the Trump Taj Mahal casino. So, naturally, thoughts of Donald Trump, the popular NBC reality television show The Apprentice, success and money came to mind on the weekend of March 26-27 at Atlantique City – the incredibly popular, successful and money-making event in the world of antiques.
Show manager Ted Jones acknowledged that this year the show was not adversely affected by world events. Also, happily, a number of attendees (500 to be exact) availed themselves of the free appraisal booth staffed by the nation’s top antiques experts. Another big draw – for furniture dealers and customers alike – was the show’s offer of free furniture delivery within a 200-mile radius. And Jones added, “A lot of highly carved oak furniture sold. There was a huge amount of furniture delivered to the New York area and, specifically, Long Island.”
And getting back to Donald Trump – he recently asked an aspiring candidate for the second season of The Apprentice, “Do you love your job?” The candidate hesitated and then answered, “I love the people I meet.” Trump then fired back, “I asked you, Do you love your job? If not, then get another one.”
The real estate tycoon would not have had to ask the approximately 1,000 antiques and collectibles dealers at the Atlantique City show if they loved their jobs. Their passion for the “product” they sell, their enthusiasm and their willingness to share their expertise were all evident walking around this 101/2-acre event.
Appropriately, the booth of The Silver Butler, Philadelphia, was overseen by a former Wall Street stockbroker and a former lawyer, who both decided in the prime of their careers to pursue an occupation that they loved – antiques.
Ready to trade fine silver instead of stocks and subpoenas, dealers Gil Hahn and Tim Kiser compared the antiques show patrons to the casino crowd: “They arrive with money in hand and are eager to spend it.” But instead of taking a chance at the roulette wheel, it was a “sure bet” when showgoers acquired a tangible treasure from The Silver Butler. Selections included a Navarre pattern sterling tea set by Watson for $6,000, a sterling silver turn-of-the-century English plateau for the banquet table at $7,500, a Lancaster Rose sterling silver pattern hot water kettle by Poole for $4,750, and a turn-of-the-century Gorham sterling silver water pitcher, pair of gravy boats and salt and pepper at $7,500. Hard to find in such a complete state was a silver plate punch bowl set by International Silver Company in the “Vintage” pattern that included punch bowl, 12 cups, ladle and tray, $1,950.
Ebullient dealer Michael Flitterman from Aunt Pittypat’s, Chester, N.J., offered praise and respect for the exquisite craftsmanship seen on his furniture pieces. In fact, only ten minutes into the start of the show, Flitterman reported the sale of an Art Deco bedroom set. Sold signs were also visible on a Victorian mahogany armoire with an unusual double drawer base, an early Twentieth Century miniature solid mahogany chest-on-chest that was designed to be used as a jewelry chest and a turn-of-the-century Rococo Revival flame mahogany full-size bed. Flitterman pointed to the “free furniture delivery” signs that graced his and other furniture dealers’ booths, and added that this money-saving perk is a big plus for the customers and tremendously helpful for dealers, too.
Sunday morning shoppers could still acquire a twin pedestal sold mahogany carved and banded dining room table for $2,495, a flame mahogany dining room table with two leaves that opened to 91/2 feet for $2,695, a circa 1890 intricately carved sideboard for $1,895 and an oval inlaid French table for $795.
Hans and Mary Krogh from Taneytown, Md., who exhibited a selection of Danish and Biedermeier furniture, reported that they were off to Sweden on another buying trip only two days after the show concluded. Along with sales, which included Biedermeier furniture, the Kroghs also noted that Royal Copenhagen pieces left their booth for new surroundings. Among the furniture decorating their space was a circa 1870-1880 Biedermeier chest of drawers ($2,500), a circa 1860 Danish mahogany corner chest ($2,750), a circa 1910 Swedish elm kneehole desk and a circa 1880 Danish walnut chest of drawers with a serpentine front and bun feet.
In a booth riddled with bold red sold tags, Edmondo Crimi from Best of France, Lambertville, N.J., said his major sales included a very rare Art Nouveau armoire, six antique bronzes in both classical and romantic designs and monumental garden fountains, including one with Grecian maidens at the base.
Along with the monumental, miniatures (such as vintage toys) also captured the attention of showgoers. A European dealer returned home with a Bing ocean liner that he secured at the booth of Bertoia Auctions, Vineland, N.J. Also making its way to other waters was a Bing live steamship in mint condition that was sold with its original box. Other forms of early transportation that also made quick exits included a European tin motorcycle and a German Marklin car.
Toys are also a serious and exciting business for Ray Haradin from Toys of Yesteryear, Pittsburgh, whose booth display included still and mechanical banks, Britains and dime store soldiers and turn-of-the-century American toys.
As the publisher of the collectors journal Old Toy Soldier and as secretary of the Mechanical Bank Collectors of America, Haradin is yet another dealer who truly exemplifies the credo that passion equates with success. Some of his fine offerings included a circa 1910 Boy Scouts of America bank by J&E Stevens ($22,000), a circa 1890 zoo bank by Kyser & Rex ($3,850), an Ives & Blakeslee and Co. clockwork mechanism circus rider parlor toy (with provenance to the circus rider Barney Barenholtz), and a circa 1915 American bell toy of the Happy Holligan’s soapbox derby by N&N Hill Brass Company ($3,400).
“This is the only show that I exhibit at,” said George Havriluk from Erie Street Antiques, Hoboken, N.J. He added, “The free furniture delivery is a big incentive.” His spot at the show’s entrance gave him a good pulse on the gate. On Sunday, he reported, “It was a great gate!” His selections included a Victorian Renaissance Revival marble-top walnut table with incised carving and gilt and ebonized trim that was attributed to Allen and Brothers of Philadelphia; a circa 1865 J.E. Caldwell & Company (Philadelphia) elaborately carved rosewood clock with winged claw feet; a 1943 Gibson (model L-7) original-finish guitar with flamed sides and back; and a 1922 Martin guitar (model 0-21) with a rosewood back. His cased glassware selections included Egyptian crackle by Durand.
Dealers Edward and Patricia Seidel from Lewisburg, Penn., made it enjoyable to look at early laundry equipment, such as pressing irons and washboards. As Ed Seidel pointed out an unusual circa 1850 stove ($595) that was designed to heat up pressing irons, he mentioned that the Swedish company, Husquarna, is still in business today. But keeping pace with consumer needs, it has evolved from manufacturing “unnecessary” laundry appliances to the marketing of chainsaws and tractors. The Seidels also displayed a 1904 sample-size Mother Hubbard washboard for $895.
A collection of yellowware included a hard-to-find, circa 1900-1920 pitcher and bowl ($1,295), a lion mold ($695) and a yellowware inkwell that was complete with its original lids ($295). In great condition was a German graniteware kerosene lamp with a delicate floral design.
Greeting show attendees at the entrance of CS Expressions from Red Bank, N.J., was a pair of Nineteenth Century hand carved oak monks ($10,500) that undoubtedly were also attention-getters when they flanked the entrance of Schaffer Brewery in Brooklyn, N.Y. Filling out the booth was a mid-1800s royal court scene tapestry, a Victorian fire screen, a Victorian settee with paw feet, three pastel portraits, with one signed and dated 1858 ($4,350), an Arts and Crafts tall-case clock and a John Callow (1822-1878) oil painting of sailboats in turbulent waters ($4,750).
David Anthony Antiques from Richmond, Mass., reported interest in all categories, and sold Steiffs, dolls and holiday rdf_Descriptions during the course of the show.
The next Atlantique City show will take place October 16-17. For information, www.atlantiquecity.com. or 800-526-2724.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm