Published: September 10, 2019
Review and Photos by Tania Kirkman
BALTIMORE, MD. – The Baltimore Art, Antiques and Jewelry Show has become a mainstay for serious collectors and antique enthusiasts. Recently celebrating its 39th year, the annual show was held over Labor Day weekend, August 29-September 1.
Offering the best in quality, the Baltimore Summer Show has become a decades-long tradition offering class and elegance while bringing museum-quality objects to the buying public. Scott Diament, president and chief executive officer of the Palm Beach Show Group was pleased with the turnout for the show and excited for the grand opening on Thursday afternoon.
Overall the show welcomed 25,000 visitors throughout the weekend. “The opening day was better than ever, and the buying energy was electric” said Kelsi Hartmann, executive director of communications. “By the opening day, online ticket sales had already surpassed previous years, indicating a positive upturn in attendance.” There were more than 280 exhibitors, which included dealers in the Antiquarian Book Fair and the Baltimore Fine Craft Show. In its fifth year, the craft show presented handmade works from contemporary artists from across the country and featured jewelry, textiles, ceramics, artwork and prints.
The Palm Beach Show Group partnered with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) this year to raise funds to help find a cure for childhood cancer. The showroom featured a lemonade bar and lounge where patrons could donate and take a break during show hours. Donations were accepted by dealers and attendees at the event, through the show’s website and through online ticketing. “Adding a charitable component was very new, and people were thrilled to be able to give back to an important cause” said Hartmann.
The Booth Talk Series returned for another year, having become a popular element to the show weekend. Select dealers and specialists hosted lectures at their booths to discuss topics and trends in the antique marketplace. Subjects this year included ancient coins, animal imagery in antiques, jewelry and diamonds, barometers, Asian antiques, Tiffany metalwork and more.
At the opening day of the show, collectors began lining the hallway of the Pratt Street Lobby an hour and a half early to claim their place in line. “Some of those first in line are the same faces we see every year” said Hartmann. “Buyers know what they are looking for and don’t hesitate to act fast to make a purchase.”
As the noon-hour approached, the excitement was rising in the showroom and in the lobby. The doors opened promptly at noon, and as tickets quickly passed hands, approximately 200 shoppers streamed in and parted to the left, right and up central aisles to scout out deals and discover awaiting treasures. Within minutes the crowd was dispersed onto the showroom floor, and the event was underway.
Orientations Gallery of New York City exhibited a remarkable display of exceptional Japanese metalwork. Highlights included a rare cloisonné enamel vase depicting drying persimmons by Ando Jubei of Nagoya ($135,000); a pair of silver vases engraved with phoenix in flight by Yukiteru with Nakatani workshop marks ($9,500) and a selection of cloisonné enamel wares by Imperial Court artist Namikawa Yasuyuki of Kyoto ($22,000 to $125,000 per item).
M.S. Rau Antiques of New Orleans is recognized for its attention to quality and display of rare and important items. Fine art masterpieces included works by Picasso, Monet, Glackens, Rockwell, Pissarro, Morisot, Dohanos, Rossiter and others. Jewelry highlights featured an impressive Oscar Heyman multicolored sapphire and diamond necklace, having 111.16 carats of sapphires and 27.5 carats of diamonds in an 18K yellow gold and platinum setting ($728,500); a gold and diamond studded Ebel watch presented from Elvis Presley to his friend J.D. Sumner in 1974 ($498,000); and a Tiffany & Co. 18K yellow gold and spessartine garnet ring ($68,500).
Greg Pepin Silver of Denmark is a staple at the show, exhibiting an unrivaled display of fine quality Twentieth Century silver. A few favorite highlights this year included objects by Georg Jensen designer by Johan Rohde. Showing off elements of Rohde’s signature scrollwork designs, a circa 1916 filigree swan-decorated covered sugar captured a naturalist aesthetic, while an impressive circa 1917 king’s bowl and a whale-form sauce boat, circa 1925-32, displayed shifting characteristics to the cleaner lines of the Art Deco period.
At its second year at the show, Lawrence Steigrad Fine Arts of New York City made a statement with the fine works of art on display in its booth on the central red carpeted corridor. Lawrence Steigrad and Peggy Stone, celebrating their 30th year in business, remain the preeminent gallery in the United States for Dutch Old Master artworks. Gladly sharing their love of art with the public, Stone has published two of a three-part series of books for children. Combining a love of art with their rescue dog, Leyster (named after Judith Leyster, Fifteenth Century Dutch painter) the series explores the adventures that Leyster has while surrounded by fine works of art. Stone was graciously sharing her books with those who had children at the show, demonstrating that an early love of art will flourish into a lifetime of appreciation for the subject.
Making its inaugural launch into the show circuit, Replacements Ltd of Greensboro, N.C., chose the Baltimore Summer Show as its debut event. Known as an important resource for porcelains and silver for the past 38 years, Replacements Ltd has recently stepped into the market of antique jewelry and watches. Amanda Womack said that she had recently attended “Jewelry Camp,” an antique jewelry conference at the Newark Museum (N.J.), to speak on jewelry trends and climates of the secondary market.
Barometer Fair has been showing at the Baltimore show for years. One highlight was a unique 1830s wheel barometer depicting a pair of ladies dressed of the period, one in fair weather and the other standing beneath an umbrella to suggest rain. All barometers the Sarasota, Fla., dealer offered were working properly and indicated fair weather for the show.
Frank’s Specialties of St Stephen, Minn., displayed an eclectic mix of Midcentury Modern, highlighted by a pair of German design folding chairs seated at the foot of the booth. “These chairs are as old as Woodstock” said Frank Mahlich, owner. Purchased new in 1969, the red and white flip top folding chairs were paired with a matching table, Murano glass lamp and reverse painted picture to create a bold vignette in colors of black, white and red.
Lulu’s Vintage Lovelies of New York City was in attendance with a vibrant and eclectic mix of clothing and accessories. Though a veteran of the show circuit and markets in New York City, this was Lulu’s first time at the Baltimore show. Excited to see what the crowd would be shopping for, a vast selection of styles to suit an array of collecting interests were available. Fingering through the racks, designer labels popped: Chanel, Pucci, Mossimo, Halston, YSL, Cardin, Armani, LaRoche, Cavali, Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, Miyaki and others. Vintage finds included a luscious 1920s velvet opera coat, 1950s day dresses, coats and furs, evening purses, hats and costume jewelry.
Gary Durow of Antique Cane World, Okemos, Mich., has been attending the show for many years and was happy to show off a few unusual examples of canes and walking sticks. Glove-holder canes in the form of dog heads opened at the mouth to hold a pair of gloves, and unique gadget canes included a doctor’s cane, sword cane, gun cane and an undertaker’s cane that opened to expose a brass measure expanding to an overall length of 6 feet, just enough to measure for a proper coffin fitting.
Specializing in ancient antiquities and artifacts, Eaton Fine Art of Winchester, Mass., exhibited a diverse selection of fine objects. Egyptian fragments, religious iconography, Classical period figures, cloisonné, ceramics, a Greek amphora vase and an Asian sandstone head were a few of the highlights.
Significant sales of fine art, silver and notable antiques were reported by many participants. Patricia Funt Antiques of New Canaan, Conn., sold a rare mid-Nineteenth-Century Alexander Roux chair previously exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Philip Chasen Antiques of Oyster Bay, N.Y., reported numerous sales of Gallé, Daum and Tiffany glass; and Mark Antebi from Atlanta Silver & Antiques of Atlanta, Ga., sold Georg Jensen, Buccelatti flatware, Tiffany hollowware and Baltimore repousse silver.
Christine Magne Antiquaire of Philadelphia reported sales of three remarkable paintings: “The Annunciation” from the studio of Gerard Seghers; Jesus in the desert tempted by the devil attributed to Willem van Herp the Elder; and a riverine landscape by Léon-Victor Dupré.
David Allen Fine Arts of Arlington, Va., sold a pair of Portuguese silver reticulated lobsters, a Sharp coin silver coffee urn, William Williams Alexandria coin silver soup ladle and a Georgian coffee set, among other items. Harrington Antique Toys of Middle River, Md., surpassed expectations as a first-time exhibitor, selling two significant items: an 1880s squirrel and tree stump mechanical bank and a circa 1906 Hubley royal circus cage toy. Jeff Bergman Books of Fort Lee, N.J., has exhibited at the Baltimore Show for the past ten years and was excited to report that this was his best year yet. He attributed part of his success to his efforts inviting returning customers to the show.
The Baltimore Summer Show will return next year over Labor Day weekend, August 27-30, and will be celebrating its milestone 40th anniversary. For more information at www.baltimoresummershow.com or 561-822-5440.
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