Published: August 6, 2020
Review by Greg Smith, Photos Courtesy The East Hampton Antiques & Design Show
ONLINE — The traditional white linen attire and glasses of rosé at the East Hampton Antiques & Design Show were replaced with Covid-Casual, whatever that means to you, and, actually, the same rosé, as folks shopped the show online from their phones and the comfort of their couch this year, another event gone online on account of the pandemic.
The East Hampton Historical Society hosted a virtual antiques show party on Friday, July 17, with a timed online auction sponsored by Doyle that benefited the society and ran through the 24th. The show sent out “swag bags” to their attendees to be opened for the party, which included bottles of wine, snacks and reading material.
“We wanted to stay in the public mind and do something fun,” said the East Hampton Historical Society executive director Maria Vann. “We were overwhelmed with support; it reiterated to us how much support we have out there and how many people care about the historical society. It went beyond expectations.”
The online auction sold off a number of goods and experiences, all donated. Among them was a “Dora Maar Urn” by Jonathan Adler which sold for $281; a Thomas Moran etching from 1880, “The Sounding Sea,” $875; a David Netto 2019 ceramic stoneware table lamp, $1,250; and an artists proof etching on paper by Claus Hoiu (1911-2007) “Species Speciosis,” which took $1,250. In experiences, a four-hour cruise with The Barton & Gray Mariners Club brought in $3,500 and a design consultation with Marshall Watson sold for $1,625.
A virtual antiques show was held on Instagram from July 18 to 25 on the @EastHamptonAntiquesDesignShow account.
Brian Ferguson, the show’s manager, along with AJ and Annmarie King, put the Instagram event together gratis for all of the dealers who normally sell at the event. They were able to bring together about 35 of those dealers who submitted images and descriptions for what they would have brought to the show. Each day, the @EastHamptonAntiquesDesignShow account posted new material from its dealers.
“My main thought was to keep the show in the forefront of people’s minds and give the dealers an outlet for sales,” Ferguson said.
Sales were soft, but the event succeeded in its mission and dealers were particularly appreciative of the effort.
“The people who were looking were the right people,” said Essex, Mass., dealer Andrew Spindler. “I went in with no expectations, but I had a number of nice sales: a pair of chairs, some ceramics and glass.”
Bob Withington of Withington & Co., Portsmouth, N.H., sold a few things, including a large mirror that will be shipped to Mississippi and a clamshell on stand that is headed for New Jersey.
Jewelry was on offer and at least one buyer walked away with a good Astrid Fog for George Jensen green agate ring from Drucker Antiques, Mount Kisco, N.Y.
An added effect to the virtual show was opening it up to folks who would not normally venture to the Hamptons.
Vann said that since March, the historical society has interfaced and engaged with more people than typically come through their doors in a year.
“Like all organizations, we have to think about being practical this year — what we can and can’t do, while also thinking about being creative. Since we closed down in March, we’ve interacted and engaged with more people than typically come through the doors in a year. We’re very excited about that. We’ve reached a larger audience and done a lot of online programming. One of the things we always wanted to do was more online programming, the good thing coming out of this pandemic is that we started doing it sooner than we anticipated, and it has the staff focused on doing more things like that in the future.”
The East Hampton Historical Society will begin to reopen two of their properties this week, the Thomas & Mary Nimmo Moran Studio and the East Hampton Town Marine Museum, on a limited preregistration basis. Those venues are open on select weekends throughout August and September.
For additional information, www.easthamptonhistory.org.
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