Published: December 2, 2003
The weekend of October 18-19 marked the start of the World Series, what is termed “the Fall Classic.” And with the theme of transportation at this fall’s Atlantique City show – with its classic cars, such as a 1931 Ford Phaeton, classical and neoclassical antiques and classy booth displays – this edition of the Atlantique City Antiques and Collectibles Show also proved, once again, to be a “fall classic.”
It was apropos that this twice-yearly extravaganza saluted the centennial of the pioneers of early transportation with special exhibitions focusing on Ford, Harley Davidson and the Wright Brothers, since movement – in the form of antiques purchases – was also evidenced in the booths of many of the more than 1,000 dealers that filled the Atlantic City Convention Center. Show manager Ted Jones affirmed this when he commented that Saturday was the best selling day for furniture sales that he could remember.
No doubt, Jones contributed to this upswing in sales by always looking for innovative ways to increase show attendance. For instance, this year he increased show exposure by renting four billboards on major highways in the Philadelphia area, which is always a mecca for antiques customers. He also teamed up with eBay to have a pop-up banner advertising the show appear on its website.
Given the number of sold signs seen in the booth of Best of France from Lambertville, N.J., Edmondo Crimi may have been one dealer who directly benefited from Jones’s proactive style. Some rdf_Descriptions that were waiting to be delivered to new residences included period Nineteenth Century French bronzes, a good number of furniture rdf_Descriptions, which included a circa 1875 heavily carved Renaissance Revival buffet, a Louis XV salon set, a pair of French cane chairs, a Swiss Crusader’s helmet, a Gothic-style candelabra, a large papier-mâché tray hand painted with pheasants and some architectural rdf_Descriptions. Showgoers can count on Crimi to fill his space with monumental rdf_Descriptions, and this show was no exception. The piece de resistance for this show was a one-of-a-kind Nineteenth Century French walnut hall bench. Towering more than 10 feet tall, this hand carved piece was attributed to V. Kirbinenu.
Towering textiles loomed at the booth of Classic Decor, Marietta, Ga. Smartly framing the back wall of this booth was one of a pair of nine feet high by six feet wide hand painted French Aubusson panels that, according to dealer Eneida Sebastian, may have originally hung in a European castle. The pair was offered for sale at $14,000. Sebastian added that today decorators will use these panels for drama over canopy beds, and she knows of one designer who used it to frame a mirror. A textiles restoration expert, Sebastian noted that labor-intensive work is “worth the time in order to bring a textile back to life.”
And for those projects that are too-far-gone, she creates tapestry pillows, many of which also filled her booth space. Also seen was an Eighteenth Century French tapestry woven with a romantic scene that was selling for $8,500, a Nineteenth Century French brocade vestment, a chalice and a monstrance.
Bill and Kay Puchstein of American Heritage, arrived from Frankfort, Ohio, with an old hardware store apothecary that was 8 feet 3 inches high by 9 feet long. Thanks in part to Atlantique City’s free 200-mile furniture delivery service, the Puchsteins sold what was the largest rdf_Description in their booth. Ironically, they sold what may have been the smallest rdf_Description in their booth, too. Measuring approximately three inches high, it was a yellowware pitcher and bowl, and it sold (no delivery required) to a collector from Michigan.
Other furniture shown included a salesman’s sample of a birdcage tilt-top table (New England, late Eighteenth Century), a circa 1860 fancy decorated dry sink with its original paint, a circa 1840 cherry six-pane corner cupboard (80 inches high by 48 inches wide by 28 inches deep), an 1830s chimney cupboard in old blue paint (82 inches high by 31 inches wide by 16 inches deep) a circa 1850 two-piece plantation desk with its nine original window panes, and a circa 1890 green over blue two-door cupboard. Decorative rdf_Descriptions and smalls included an assortment of knife boxes, painted bowls, firkins, baskets, a turn-of-the-century toy cow that could hold and release milk from its udders and a six-shooter derringer (in working order) that was signed on the back “Union Jack #1 March 14, 1876.”
Across the aisle was another couple that radiated the same level of enthusiasm for what they sold. The brother and sister team of Butch Hanes and Cherie Baughman from Dad’s Follies, Gibsonville, N.C., arrived at the show with more than 2,500 ice cream and chocolate molds – a passion they acquired from their parents. “Peter Rabbit” took center stage in their booth. This 38-inch-tall rabbit, dated 1937, was made by a major American mold maker, New York City-based Eppelsheimer & Company. According to Baughman, chocolate companies would rent this mold, fill it with 30 pounds of chocolate, and then use the chocolate rabbit as a display in their stores. While not for rent any more, showgoers could purchase this furry friend for $22,500.
Another one of their rare molds also had a direct link to the show’s centennial transportation theme. It was a 1920 Harley Davidson mold made by Anton Reiche from Dresden, Germany. This matched mold consisted of three pieces: the bike, the rider and the rider’s arms. In their 25 years of collecting, Hanes and Baughman noted that this was only one of three Harley Davidson matched molds that they have ever seen. You could have raced off with it for a sweet $3,300.
Not molds but Mount Washington, Tiffany, Pairpoint, Steuben, Handel, Quezal, Durand and Moser were just some of the treasures that filled dealers Dean and Kate Armstrong’s booth. One piece that received prominent place-ment in their space was a 28-inch-high Mason’s ironstone china cobalt ewer (circa 1825) that was featured in Godden’s Guide to Mason’s China & The Ironstone Wares. Also making the trip with them from Florence, Kan., were a rare red Tiffany bud vase, lamps by Tiffany, Handel and Pairpoint, a rare Flow Blue polychrome potpourri pot (circa 1875), a large Flow Blue garden seat, a Mount Washington unrefired egg-shaped sugar shaker, an Amberina Moser signed and numbered vase, and a miniature lamp by Weber & Sons that was signed on both the base and the shade.
The Ivory Tower, Ridgewood, N.J., arrived with a fine and extensive assortment of Oriental and Continental porcelains. Noting that “sales were up to par and in some cases better than expected,” dealer Marvin Baer added that “the attendance was good and the buyers were a sophisticated group that understood the merchandise.” A beautiful 32-inch Art Nouveau Royal Dux vase with an unusual blue glaze that was on display on Friday was nowhere to be found on Sunday and when Matt Baer confirmed that it did sell; it reaffirmed his father’s comment – sophisticated buyers were shopping this show.
Decoy expert and author Loy Harrell, Hawk’s Nest Antiques and Decoys, came from Vermont to exhibit at the show. Some of the must-haves for any decoy collector included a circa 1908 Mason Factory Brant, a circa 1910 Mason Factory Canadian goose and a folk art Chester Bay goose by Doug Jester. Must-haves for everyone else included a rare American flag weathervane (35 inches wide by 24 inches high) designed with cutout stars, a circa 1910 folk art painted pony, a rare, untouched, Cushing & White (circa 1865) weathervane, and a number of circus pieces obtained from the heirs of Roy Arnold.
Making the trip from St Charles, Idaho, was Audrey Hancock from Homestead Antiques, who noted, “This is such a good show we like to travel here for it.” A 36-inch-tall 1940s Skookum store display was missing its 33-inch partner, which had already been sold, according to Hancock. Some of the advertising display cases that filled out the booth included a rare Gillette razor display case with a cast-iron base, a Hohner obelisk revolving store display that once held harmonicas with prices ranging from 50 cents to $2, a Spencerian steel pens case, and a Paris armbands case. In mint condition was a circa 1890 doll carriage with its original stenciling that was acquired from a general store museum in Montana.
Jerry and Paulann Turner came from Hot Springs, Ark., with an rdf_Description that began its life not too far from the Atlantic City area. This salesman’s sample lawnmower made by the Philadelphia Lawnmower Company had great attention to detail and was in working order – for a dollhouse lawn, that is. And speaking of dolls, a complete set of Dionne Quintuplets with their original boxes was offered. Also in great condition was an early and rare children’s educational and interactive rdf_Description. This German-speaking book, which was activated by a pull string and bells, simulated various animal sounds to make the text come alive for the child.
Another attention-getter could be found in the booth of Boggs Boynton, Clarksboro, N.J. It was a vintage working automaton clown bartender. Other eye-pleasers were an unusual cast-iron clothes tree with a full-bodied standing eagle, a Renaissance Revival arm chair with a Jenny Lind crest and a dramatic Victorian walnut hall rack, made by Mitchell & Rammelsburg, Cincinnati, Ohio, that had carvings of oak branches, acorns and a stag head on the central cartouche.
Dramatic rdf_Descriptions continued at the booth of Crescent Worth Art & Antiques, Lake Forest, Ill. Taking center stage was a full-bodied horse weathervane with its directionals that was 471/2 inches high and 40 inches long. Made by Gilmanton Iron Works, Rochester, N.H., it dated to the late Nineteenth Century. Furniture and decorative rdf_Descriptions included a circa 1745 walnut chest of drawers, a circa 1840 English mahogany campaign chest, a Herman Prell (1854-1922) still life of fruit, an Eighteenth Century Italian carved and painted figural group, and a circa 1740 Neapolitan crèche figure of a gentleman.
Among a collection of Toby jugs was one of a gentleman seated in a chair that was unusual in form. Made by George Whitfield (1714-1770), this creative design had the liquid flow out of the arched back of the chair and the jug handle was the gentleman’s curved arm.
Setting off a fine selection of Chinese export porcelain and American and English furniture in the booth of Peter Stiltz from Mimi’s Antiques, Columbia, Md., was a signed and dated 1889 oil on canvas by E.B. Herbert(e), “In Full Cry” that was offered for $15,500. Also displayed was a circa 1770 country French walnut buffet, an 181/2-inch Imari bowl and a grouping of Mason’s English porcelain.
The next Atlantique City show is scheduled for March 27-28. For information, 800-526-2724 or www.atlan tiquecity.com.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
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