Published: November 28, 2016
Review and Photos by Tom O’Hara
CHANTILLY, VA. – Dulles Expo Center was overflowing with antiques, dealers and shoppers on the fall foliage weekend, November 5-6, as Joan Sides and her crew filled the South Building to its maximum capacity, more than 600 booth spaces. As late as the Thursday prior to the show, late cancellations were still being filled with standby exhibitors, Sides said, owing to the popularity of this show, which is presented six times each year.
D’Amore Promotions has been producing antiques shows for more than 30 years and in this venue for almost 20, and usually it is sold out, due to excellent attendance and good sales. The variety of offerings supports the Big Flea name, but only to describe antiques and older vintage offerings. New merchandise is not part of the mix.
Sport and Spool Antiques, an exhibitor from Goldsboro, N.C., for example, whose inventory is not purely “antique,” presents sporting material from the 1910s and 1920s. Looking for a Princeton banner from the years gone by? Check with them. Need some baseballs from the past? This is the place to find them, as well as all the equipment for cricket or squash games. Then, too, there is antique sewing paraphernalia, such as Coats and Clark spool cabinets, textiles and needles and pins.
Meelheim and Scott, Lexington, Va., was selling antique jewelry, and David Meelheim also sells from a collection of kaleidoscopes.
Traveling more than 1,500 miles from Choctaw, Okla., to exhibit at the show, Dan Tycenicz was reporting sales in fine art, furniture and even some Oriental rugs. His collection of art from Europe and America picked by the crowd included a painting of a young girl in a bonnet in gold frame; also, an American piece depicting a farmer chasing hunters. Two watercolors by Long Island artist John Rogers were offered for the first time at this show.
Exhibiting for the first time ever, Phyllis Wheat, a Washington, D.C., native, said she was pleased with her results, selling a variety of items from her inventory. First to go was a pair of French provincial chairs, then she sold both a tall glass front china cupboard, Edwardian-style in mahogany, followed by a similar corner cupboard. She reported that sales in china and other small antiques was also good.
Brad Myers is a regular to the DC Big Flea, but he changes his “look” with the seasons, he said. Starting in the fall, he switches from a country store motif to Christmas, so at this November show he sold more than a dozen Santas. His sales included a lot more holiday decorations, but he did bring some of the usual country store merchandise as well.
North Canaan, Conn., dealer Dave Mason was selling well from his art and silver assortment. As a fairly new dealer to this show, he found good results in fine art and sold some furniture as well. He also discovered a framed marble bust sculpture in another dealer’s booth at the show. Upon examination, he determined that it had never been removed from its shadow box encasement and so was worth the risk of buying.
Aesthetic Antiques, Basking Ridge, N.J., is David Vargo’s business, specializing in Art Deco pottery. He said his sales were good over the weekend in pottery but also in specialty books.
John Lord and Sons were doing the show as a part of their travels from home in Wells, Maine, to Florida with stops all along the way. Here, they sold several Nineteenth Century showcases, two music boxes and porcelain advertising signs.
M&M Antiques, Long Beach, N.Y., is highly specialized, selling lighting, most of which has been converted from Nineteenth Century gas fixtures to safe, modern, electrical fixtures. Mark Kaplan, owner, said he was also offering leaded glass lamps from the turn of the century, including a signed Handel example in yellow and green. The firm’s sales were not disappointing, with two chandeliers finding new places to hang out, and also sales in porcelain and bronze figurines.
Hazen & Howard, Cleveland, Ohio, sold interesting sterling silver pieces, porcelain and glass. Elaine Wintjen and Raymond James, Lewisburg, Penn., brought an assortment of Nineteenth Century furniture, including a three-piece combination of loveseat, armchair and rocking chair, which sold.
Tradewinds Fine Art, Narragansett, R.I., was there offering a double booth filled with fine art. Sales were reported as good, with American Twentieth Century as the best sellers.
Christmas really was popping up all over the show. Arlington dealer Linda Gordon was showing and selling wax candles made in the form of Santa’s head. From Sharon, Conn., Easter Hill Antiques had one table devoted to blown glass tree decorations made between 1880 and 1950, mostly in Germany or Czechoslovakia.
Charlotte Bevers, Mifflinburg, Penn., was showing, selling and modeling her vintage fashions. A frequent exhibitor at this show, she deals in fashions from the middle of the Twentieth Century and before. Nearby, Buddy Lungeford, A&B Antiques, of Gainesville, Va., was offering furniture to go with her fashions.
Some months, the DC Big Flea Antiques Market is presented in both South and North buildings, and January will be such a two-building month with 800 exhibitors.
The Dulles Expo Center is at 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center. Dates for 2017 are January 7-8; March 4-5; April 29-30; July 22-23; September 16-17 and November 4-5. Hours are Saturday 9 am to 6 pm and Sunday 11 am to 5 pm. Admission is $10, good for both days, and parking is free. For information, 757-430-4735 or www.thebigfleamarket.com.
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