Published: November 28, 2017
Review and Photos by Tom O’Hara
CHANTILLY, VA. – Joan Sides, founder and manager of D’Amore Promotions, filled the DC Expo in just one week for the November 4-5 edition of her DC Big Flea and Antiques Show, selling out the 600-booth facility. Even during the Friday setup with a few late cancellations, there were exhibitors able to come to the show at the last hours with their collections.
Saturday morning, within an hour of the opening, the aisles were practically shoulder to shoulder with shoppers scouring the exhibits looking for the best bargains in antique and vintage furniture, home décor, jewelry, fine and folk art, and in many cases, Christmas shopping.
For example, in the first hour, a very large stuffed reindeer sold to a family that was sure it would soon adorn their foyer every Christmas season for years to come. The exhibiting dealer, Joy Johnson of Purcellville, Va., had offered it for a very reasonable price.
Nearby, Toby Chittum, Charley Horse Antiques of Partlow, Va., was selling from her collection of home décor and folk art. She, too, brought a great deal of fun pieces to the show, including a 4-foot-tall Santa, several large papier mache animals, early lamps and earthenware for the dining room.
Gert Wirth had a great time at the show. His business is Ingeborg Gallery, Northfield, Mass., where he gathers his collection of artworks from the last 200 years with a propensity for later Impressionist works. This weekend, his sales included 15 framed pieces and another six of the smaller “browsing pieces,” as he calls them.
Columbia, S.C., dealer Alderman Ford Antiques has a good variety in its inventory: silver hollowware, art and a limited amount of fine early furniture. Margaret Alderman Ford does most of the jewelry, and sales were very good for her at the show. So good, in fact, she was encouraged to fly to New York for a sale to restock after this show, leaving her husband Bob to take the stock on down to their next show in Atlanta.
Jeffrey Meizlik is a Falls Church, Va., dealer in antique clocks. He had more than 100 examples available at the show and some photos of others, all in good working condition, many of which he had to restore.
Anita Veold, Verona, N.J. has, primarily, one item in her inventory: hat pins. But she must have a thousand or more in her collection and they are all antiques from the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries. At this time of year, however, she does add Christmas decorations to her mix.
Vintage fashions are the trade for Suzanne Schneider, a New Smyrna, Fla., dealer. Bob Laroski, Louisville, Ky., brought an outstanding collection of porcelain figurines and service pieces. Sharon, Conn., dealer Green Antiques was selling antique quilts from the Midwest. Stacy Lea, Laurel, Md., is a specialist in dolls, especially those made by hand a hundred or more years ago.
Tres Moi Accessories is the jewelry sales business of Paulette and Ronnie Williams from Leesburg, Va. Their merchandise is a combination of both antique fine estate jewelry and newer fashion and costume jewelry. They find the former at sales in their area, but travel to Europe for the new material, as Ronnie said, “half the fun is finding the inventory.” Ronnie reported good selling from both parts of their collection.
Emma Jean General Store, Thurmont, Md., has been doing all the shows for the past six or seven years according to Chuck Johnson, one of the partners in this business. He was very pleased with the results this month as he said, “We sold so well, packout was easy. Not much left when we were going home Sunday night!” The cabinets and counters, also the workbenches, were virtually all gone and so were most of his fun pieces. Even though the dealer’s DC 3 model plane did not sell immediately, someone called a few hours after leaving and arranged for the purchase and delivery.
There were some novelty items too. Craig Wolf, Lititz, Penn., takes the front ends of old pickups, adds some wood and little wheels and voilé : “a portable bar for the wreck room, patio or pool side,” he said. He did indeed intend the double entendre with the wreck and the use of salvaged pickups.
George Shahady said, “It was a very good show, sold a lot of furniture and some of the small things as well.” Two Eighteenth Century chests of drawers went, one was a cherry American Hepplewhite, the other was Sheraton; also a sarcophagus that had been a movie prop; a bronze torchiere and more furniture along with some silver and jewelry.
The oldest antiquities in the building that weekend belonged to William-John Tudor, a Baltimore dealer. He has been dealing in fossils for many years and is quite an expert on what he has, and draws a big crowd to his exhibit each show, selling many parts of fossilized objects. They range from teeth to jaw bones and skulls, in part because these are parts of bodies that can be identified.
Barton Diehl, Alexandria, Va., is an art dealer who was exhibiting this month. His sales were good, especially with Victorian period English painters works and some early Impressionists works. Most of his sales were listed artists, but with affordable prices. He also sold some of his own photographic art.
D’Amore Promotions produces this show six times each year at the Dulles Expo Center, Saturday 9 to 6 and Sunday 11 to 5. Admission is $10, good for both days and parking is free.
For additional information, www.thebigfleamarket.com or 757-430-4735.
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