Published: September 27, 2011
Two shows in ten days were the hectic end to the outdoor season for Cord Shows Ltd. Vivien Cord, who manages the shows with her partner, Ed McClure, said, “To say they were stressful days is an understatement.”
Following on the heels of the Madison (Conn.) Historical Society Show, which ran on August 27, was Cord Shows’ 27th Lasdon Labor Day Antiques Fair on Monday, September 5. Undeterred, as they had been on August 27 when Hurricane Irene was bearing down on the Northeast, once again the prediction of “rain” did not cause Cord to change the show date.
According to Cord, Lasdon normally attracts around 15 dealer “drive-ups” (dealers who pay a premium to set up at the last minute, knowing that there is always space available), but due to the weather predictions, there was only one drive-up this year: Amine Noori of New Milford, Conn., who sells rugs and decided to take a chance.
At opening, the line, which usually approaches around 80 people, was down to about 30, Cord said, “but what followed were so many people showed up that close to a record was set.” Although dark-threatening clouds could be seen overhead, they skirted Lasdon Park and Arboretum. Each booth was packed with customers throughout the day with lots of furniture, even “brown furniture,” being loaded into vehicles as witnessed by Cord and McClure collecting admission adjacent to the merchandise pickup area.
After closing, Cord spoke with nearly all dealers to get their feedback. “It was all positive,” she said. Cord reported the dealers; comments:
Lady Di’s Antiques, China Grove, N.C., coming from Madison to Katonah, had its best show all year. As a matter of fact, all jewelry dealers reported having exceptionally strong sales.
Lesley Lorant of Glenham, N.Y., who made a delivery of an oak server to Riverdale, N.Y., sent Cord Shows an email afterwards in which he stated that year after year May sales were down 23 percent, while September sales were up 69 percent. Robert Schicke, whose business name is Reclaimed Memories of Denville, N.J., sold an oak dining room table and a set of chairs, an end table, child’s desk, child’s Morris chair and footstool and a fur coat.
George Betton, South Salem, N.Y., reported selling paintings, while Joe Pacheco and Don Teff of Cold Spring, N.Y., sold one-third of their personal large collection of cobalt blue glassware on its first time out.
Folk art dealers Unni Wyller and Susan Goldsweig, both of Yonkers, N.Y., found that customers liked and took home much of what they had to offer; and Gene and Joy Starr, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., who had their Native American jewelry collection featured in the Westchester County newspapers, said they had an extremely successful day.
Amine Noori, who trusted his instincts and came to sell, reported that he sold several good rugs. Peter Raleigh, Splendor in the Glass of Harrison, N.Y., said that, “Customers showed genuine interest in my merchandise, they wanted to talk about it and to learn.” His sentiment was echoed by dealers across the field.
Reflecting on the show, McClure said, “Maybe this show demonstrates a turnaround, if not in our economy then in the customers’ attitude towards it.” Cord said, “There is nothing like rain insurance, which has thus far managed to insure us that rain will not fall, at least during our insured hours.” It was a perfect ending to Cord Show’s outdoor season.
Cord’s next event is its Antique Holiday Stocking Stuffers Show and Sale, December 18. It has been moved from the Civic Center in Old Greenwich, Conn., to the John Jay High School in Cross River, N.Y. For information, www.cordshows.com or 914-273-4667.
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