Published: April 13, 2007
Show manager Eric Bradley said, “An excellent crowd greeted the show on Saturday morning with about 500 dealers exhibiting.” While acknowledging that the Atlantique City Antiques and Collectibles Show on March 24′5 was smaller than it had been a few years ago, Bradley added, “We were pleased and frankly surprised with the reception from the public, for over these past few years discretionary spending for antiques and high grade collectibles had been off, but the dealers were selling well with the big crowds.”
Atlantique City was founded by Norman Schaut in 1986 as the only antiques show at the original Atlantic City Convention Center on the Boardwalk. Schaut had at one time in his life worked for Ringling Bros, Barnum & Bailey Circus and was quite the showman, an experienced promoter who conceived the show out of his own interests as a collector of antique toys, advertising paraphernalia and coin-operated machines.
Schaut’s interest brought many of the dealers to the first shows that still were there this March, including Allentown, Penn., dealers Tom and Lori Sage. Tom Sage said one of his specialties is tin cars and wagons. For this most recent show, he had several showcases filled with very rare pieces in excellent condition. Sales included a German-made Guntherman Georgian Window limousine in deep red and cream paint and from France, a Charles Rosignol Peugeot, each at about $4,000.
The dealers for this twice-each-year event are not just from the local area or even limited to the United States. Englishman John Haley was offering a large collection of early cast iron toys found in his homeland, near Halifax in the United Kingdom. Tim Turner’s Timeless Toys is headquartered in Nottingham, England, and run by Turner and David Finn. They do several other toy shows in the United States and also in Europe. Copenhagen Antique Toys is the business name and home town for Birgit Muusmann, whose stock and trade is early lead soldiers. Chimnitz, Germany, is home for Uwe Heintze, who came with a large stock of toy trains and stuffed dolls from his homeland.
The toy and train dealers both in Europe and the United States consider this one of the more important events each year. Rich Garthoeffner, a Lititz, Penn., collector and dealer, has been in the show with a large assortment of early electric trains. Birchrunville, Penn., shop keeper Richard Wright made about half of his oversized exhibit space a convention for dolls. There were china dolls, bisque dolls, boy dolls and girl dolls, big and little; all shapes and sizes and all kinds of costumes. The dealer’s inventory at the show included other collections from the shop, such as early American baskets, English porcelain and brass and some furniture.
More dolls were there with NAN Antiques from Kutztown, Penn. Nancy McCray is a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, resident who brought her collection of dolls as well.
Advertising materials are another of the favorites for this show. Tennessean Bill Powell had ad signs from just about every major product group offered in the United States since the turn of the Twentieth Century, including those for chewing tobacco and cigarettes, men’s underwear, starch, baking powder and patent medicines.
Also from Tennessee, Piney Flats’ Gus and Trishia Brown offered all kinds of beverage advertising signs for soft drinks, juices and milk.
Atlantique City is not all toys and collectibles, as there was an abundance of early home décor and furniture. Florence Lynch and Doug Shirk, both from eastern Pennsylvania, teamed up in one oversized booth just inside the door. Filled with Nineteenth Century furniture and accessories, the partnership seemed to work successfully, according to Bradley.
The show manager added that free furniture delivery within 200 miles radius of the show site has been a big asset in selling furniture to visitors from Washington, D.C., to as far north as Albany, N.Y. Free for 200 miles is also used as a discount for destinations slightly farther away, such as Boston.
Other furniture dealers at the show were also taking extra space to display their stock. Buck and Barb’s Oak Cupboard from Cape May, N.J., was overflowing with late Nineteenth Century oak furniture. North River Auction Gallery & Antiques of Saugerties, N.Y., sells at its own auctions but the firm also does some shows as selling dealers, too. North River’s sales here were “pretty decent,” according to co-owner Dan Seldin, including jewelry, silver and lots of smalls.
Clara Johnson is the proprietor of Point Pleasant Antique Emporium in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. Selling at the show for about 12 years, she reported that sales were very good. “I sold Georgian corner cupboard for $2,400; a fine English Chippendale chair for $675; a desk, a George Stubbs painting and more,” she said. “Even the fine jewelry was doing good. I sold a collection of jewelry including a diamond watch for $19,000, a bracelet and rings.” While the show featured only her own merchandise, Johnson’s shop is a multidealer showcase open every day.
Davitt Antiques of Los Angeles was offering European home furnishings and art. Bridgewater, Va., dealers Neale and Glen Schlotfeldt had a large collection of early porcelain, including one table filled with oyster plates. Ron Kelly works hard to have a wide variety of late Nineteenth Century oak furniture, much of which comes from New York. The Syracuse dealer said he had a “pretty good show, selling several pieces.” Centered in his collection was an early spool cabinet used in a store to display and vend the merchandise.
Pottsville (Penn.) Antiques owner Jay Yupcavage was pleased with his results. Sales were, as he said, “mostly to dealers Saturday and early Sunday, but in the last hour of the show, the customers were there finally buying for themselves.” Chicopee, Mass., dealers Dick and Marney Grace, trading as Nook & Cranny Antiques, offered a collection of stoneware. Gail Dunn, Waterville, Ohio, collects and sells beaded handbags, and seemed busy during the show.
Barbara and Harry Hepburn came down from Harrison, Maine, with a collection of early American furniture and clocks.
The show attracts auctioneers to sell on site and also to advertise for upcoming auctions. Bertoia Auctions of Vineland, N.J., was promoting its big toy sale on April 27′9. James Julia Auctions of Fairfield, Maine, was discussing its late June sale, which will be mostly toys and dolls. RSL Auctions, Timonium, Md., exhibited large collections of cars, trucks and banks, all toys and in cast iron.
“There were many kinds of exhibits there among the dealers, toys, dolls, furniture and advertising,” according to Bradley, who added, “We wanted that so that even though the show, like many, is not as big as it was a few years ago, we still have the variety for the customers.”
Conducted twice each year, the next show is set for October 20′1, and then March 29″0, 2008, always at the New Atlantic City Convention Center. For information, www.atlantiquecity.com or 715-445-2214.
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