Published: February 2, 2016
Review and Photos By Tom O’Hara
NEW YORK CITY — January 23 and 24, 2016, will perhaps be remembered by many as the biggest blizzard of their lifetime, but for about 180 antiques dealers and Dee Dee Sides, show manager for D’Amore Promotions, it was the weekend in which their show persevered and succeeded in spite of more than 2 feet of snow.
It was the NYC Big Flea at Pier 90 along the Hudson River. At around 4 pm on Saturday there was a live remote from a local television network out front at the foot of the ramp to West Side Highway, and New York City Police were telling the few motorists to park their cars in the garages and walk to the subways — the only transportation system still moving in the city at that time. The show closed early that day, but reopened Sunday to a faithful and determined audience of antiques shoppers.
The results for Martha Perkins and Barrett Menson were typical for the weekend. Their exhibit featured antiques from their special fields, Martha in quilts and textiles and Barrett in frames and early American primitive art, as well as Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Century American furniture and home accessories. Saturday, they agreed, sales were not very much as Martha sold a few quilts and some other small things. Sunday, however, the customers were after everything. Barrett said he sold a half a dozen valuable early gold leaf frames to one customer and a tall cupboard. Martha sold more quilts and art along with an assortment of the small things. Instead of returning home to Ashby, Mass., they were off to the next show, in York, Penn., when they packed out of the pier.
While the weather was the worst it could be for the weekend, many dealers remarked in a most positive light about their individual results. Sandy Jacobs was able to say, “The show looked good and while on Saturday there were only a few good sales, on Sunday it was good. We had sales in furniture, folk art, midcentury jewelry and more, and we have had several follow-ups from people who didn’t have enough time during the abbreviated show to make up their minds.”
Variety of merchandise at the pier was terrific, something for every shopper, every taste and every purpose.
Katy Kane, New Hope, Penn., is a trader, dealer, exhibitor and expert in vintage fashions. Here she brought several 6-foot-long racks filled with elegant women’s fashions for special events, parties, weddings, balls and the like. Katy’s comments were much like the rest of the exhibitors — Saturday was a loss but “Sunday definitely was strong enough to pull it out for the weekend.” She finds her stock mostly from estates.
Variety continued with 20th Century Objex, from exhibitors Francine and John Gintoff, East Hampton, Conn. They were showing an eclectic mixture of merchandise. Francine reported that they sold several mannequin heads to a customer who would be using them for displays of jewelry and hats either at home or in shops; costume and estate jewelry; paintings from early in the Twentieth Century and a set of midcentury tables. While sales were not enough to make it a great show, she did suggest that Sunday was a good recovery from the Saturday shutdown.
Kay Mertans, East Meadow, N.Y., was showing her selection of textiles, Eighteenth Century bed covers, French silks, linens and lace, early clothing and robes. Her selections are based upon good fabrics and good design. While her sales were less than she had hoped, she did have several regular repeat customers arrive and make good selections on Sunday.
Post Road Gallery, Larchmont, N.Y., was pleased with the weekend in a qualified way. Owner David Bassin sold a carved eagle, probably an architectural piece from more than 100 years ago, for enough to make one day a good day. He also sold a good deal of his supply of export porcelain, a couple Eighteenth Century clocks and an early portrait.
As first-time exhibitors at any show anywhere, Donna Francis and Jan Egan put together a very good-looking exhibit. Their inventory included a selection of early Twentieth Century styles of furniture, Art Deco, Modérne and Midcentury Modern pieces.
Michael Watts of Antique Revival from Big Flats, N.Y., was showing a collection of fine art from Europe along with Austrian figural porcelain. Marion Harris, a New Yorker now but originally from the United Kingdom, was offering Nineteenth Century Scottish jewelry.
Chuck White, Warwick, N.Y., had a rough time commuting over the weekend, but did so while offering his collection of Americana, which included Nineteenth Century hooked mats and painted Pennsylvania furniture.
Drea’s Fine Vintage, New York City, made its focal point an oil on canvas by American artist Gino Hollander from 1967. Dealer Andrea Phillips described the work as “in the manner of Jackson Pollock, with a splashing and then moving the paint into the images he wanted to create.”
Silver was available from many exhibitors. Brooklynite Mark Freidman showed a collection of assorted Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century hollowware. From Jenkinstown, Penn., Henry Mitchell brought several showcases filled with flatware.
Joe Koval from Shellsburg, Penn., was there with his wife Mary showing their collection of high-end quilts and textiles. His comment about the show: “Saturday the show was cut short by the storm, and practically nobody came, but Sunday those who came were there to buy something!”
Sides said she was pleased with the spirit exhibited by the dealers that were able to show in spite of the adverse conditions. She said she expects to have dates shortly for the next pier show, which will be in the fall and again in January. For information, 757-430-4735 or www.thebigfleamarket.com.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm