Published: March 28, 2017
Review and Photos by Tom O’Hara
CHANTILLY, VA. – Joan Sides and her crew at D’Amore Promotions filled every available square foot of the Dulles Expo Center with exhibiting antiques dealers for her DC Big Flea & Antiques Market March 4-5. They were greeted with several hundred early buyers who bought tickets online for the first time in an experiment that allowed ticket holders admission an hour early at 8 am, while those who bought at the ticket windows entered at the usual 9 am.
Sides, who has been running this event here six times a year for almost two decades, said, “This added to the success, but we need to give the dealers and public more lead time so we will wait until later in the year to continue the program. I do believe it added to our attendance, for this was the largest audience we have had for a Saturday in quite some time.”
Sides’ show is no “flea market,” but in fact there is a great variety in antiques, art, folk art, collectibles and home décor. The show’s name is one she has stuck with for the nearly 40 years in business in various cities in the Mid-Atlantic region. It has proven to be a well-worn trademark for her brand – shows that customers know have good selections and affordable pricing.
At the front of the building, for example, David Drummond for many years has been offering an assortment of styles ranging from early American to Midcentury Modern, with lately more of the latter styles. The Lititz, Penn., dealer, this month offered Victorian, Art Deco, Midentury and even some industrial pieces together in his exhibit. There were a pair of Art Deco chairs, modified slipper design, in a shocking pink fabric looking very good at the worktable painted a pale green, near another table made from an old workbench, painted, with Shaker-style chairs and a Nineteenth Century rocking chair nearby. For displaying knickknacks, there was a painted wooden ladder.
Just across the aisle, Remember When Antiques showed a traditional collection from the Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Centuries, which included French, English and Italian furniture in hardwoods and veneers along with paintings that complemented the décor. The firm’s results, according to co-owner Diane Kedwell, were “Really good! We sold eight pieces of our furniture: the bookcase, the settee, console, sideboard and more,” she said. “Good show; in fact, the best in a couple years there!”
Ani DiFazio collects and trades in lots of little things, especially related to sewing and children’s clothing. The Silver Spring, Md., dealer had fun at the show. Among her collection of sewing boxes, one sold that was equipped with most anything anyone would need to sew, repair or whatever in textiles. DiFazio also showed a wonderful small child’s coat, more than 100 years old, she said, but in pristine condition.
HuxTins Antiques, Reedville, W.Va., offered an assortment of collectibles. There were more than 100 painted sand pails of various sizes and decorations; also, an equal number of painted cookie tins. Then, too, there were a couple more tables filled with David Huxtable’s collections.
Carolinens, a play on Carolyn Gallier’s name and her mostly linens and textiles business from Richmond, Va., was offering several older quilts as the backdrop for the exhibit. One, a crib quilt, was drawing a great deal of attention with its merry-go-round motif, in all hand work and excellent condition. It sold early in the show.
Dietz lanterns and Nineteenth glass and brass lamps were the principal parts of the collection for Wendy’s Whimsical Treasures. Hailing from Munsey, Penn., Wendy Walters reported sales were “the best we’ve ever done! We sold 15 Dietz lanterns and many of the glass lamps.”
More reports of sales included Dovetail Antiques, Williamsburg, Va. Jeff Ade specializes in non-electric clocks, which he offers in good working condition. At the show he sold at least eight and they were from several different categories. One was a ship’s clock, the round, extremely accurate clock important in navigation; another was a German shelf clock; also an American mantel example, several watches and more.
Bob Laroski, Louisville, Ky., was selling porcelain and china all weekend. Leslie and David Novack, Lexington, Va., were selling from the collections they acquire in shopping trips to England. Baltimorean Billy Thomas not only shops in England, he leads tours of shoppers there on buying trips where he buys the glass he loves to trade.
Amy Goldberg, Baltimore, is one who finds older furniture, reconditions it and then offers it for sale. Her sales Saturday were so good that she restocked for Sunday.
Sides said she was especially pleased with this month’s show as the number of visitors was very good, so good that exhibitors reported that “[customers] were buying well, not just walking the aisles as sometimes happens.”
The next DC Big Flea and Antiques Market is April 29-30 in the South Hall and will be partnered with the Washington Modernism Show in the adjoining North Hall of the Dulles Expo, both for single admission. 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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