Published: April 23, 2002
By Susan and Al Bagdade
ROSEMONT, ILL. For the price of one admission, collectors were exposed to more than 200 high quality antiques dealers as well as 32 Native American art exhibitors.
Although the Native American art show is now in its sixth year and has established a reputation as being a strong venue for collectors, it is still a “work in progress” regarding attendance. Natalie Linn followed up with a call to report that “dealers had a strong day on Sunday and will all be returning for next year’s show.” Two well received lectures this year were Natalie Linn on “The Fine Art of Native American Basketry” and Irwin and Marjorie Goodman presenting “An Overview of Nineteenth Century Navajo Wearing Blankets.”
Linn-Tucker Indian Baskets from Portland, Ore., and St Louis exhibited an outstanding collection of the highest quality baskets and bags and sold more than 25 of them. Linn reported that “dealers are willing to come back and give the show an opportunity to grow.” Unfortunately, at this spring’s show, there were less dealers willing to come than last year.
At American Frontier, Inc from Chicago, sales included a Sioux pipe bag, a Cheyenne pipe bag and there was a lot of interest in some of the other displays such as beaded leggings, purses, cradle wraps, rifles and prairie sashes.
Nearby Evanston’s Dancing Bear Gallery was selling quite a bit of jewelry. Since turquoise has become a fashion statement this spring, large turquoise beads were very much in demand. Bracelets and earrings were also selling well.
Irwin and Marjorie Goodman from Wayne, N.J., were “pleasantly pleased with sales and interest.” Several important pieces were sold including Plains dolls, a Great Lakes cradle, a Northwest Coast totem pole and an Eskimo mask. The Goodmans “continue to be positive about this show.”
At Mystic Warriors from Evergreen, Colo., Bruce Johnson took a realistic approach to the show. “Considering the aftermath of September 11 and the difficulty of doing a show in Chicago, I still sold some significant pieces,” he said. Sales included beaded moccasins, pipes, baskets, bows, and beaded bags. Bruce continued, “People coming are serious people, not too many window shoppers. Attendance is about the same as last year.”
Whitebear Rug Company from Highland Park, Ill., sold two Indian rugs and one of their Indian signs. Susan Sternberger told us, “People love the Indian motorcycle signs.” They were able to expand their display to handle more rugs since another dealer did not come at the last minute.
From Countryside, Ill., Robert P. Jerich was pleased to sell paintings, a knife sheath, beadwork and weapons.
Acquisitions, Inc from Cherry Hill, N.J., specializes in Plains Indian warrior material. Sales included two tomahawks, one pipe bag, knife cases, an important Bowie knife and a pair of moccasins.
At this year’s show, Hamapton Historicals from Tekonisha, Mich., sold mostly decorative rdf_Descriptions such as paintings, baskets and snow shoes to people who were looking for home accessories rather than to collectors. He made some good contacts and likes the fact that the show is held in conjunction with an antiques show, since he also had a chance to sell to decorators.
Although pottery is the strong suit of the Salveson Collection from Findlay, Ohio, Doug Salveson reported selling Kachina dolls, concho belts and Navajo weavings.
Merril B. Domas from Dover Plains, N.Y., sold a collection of nine original albumen prints of Crow Indians by Fred Miller and a book of the photographs as well. She also sold jewelry, corn husk bags, and a lot of other photographs including some by Roland Reed of the Kiowa Indians. There was strong interest in the bead work from the Richard T. Yeatman collection. Yeatman served in the military in the 1870s in General Cook’s campaign in Montana and the Big Horn Expedition.
Mary Hamilton, publisher of American Indian Art Magazine was selling new subscriptions as well as 27 years of back issues.
Deborah Begner of Turkey Mountain Traders from Scottsdale, Ariz., sold a major pendant and some smaller things. She had a wonderful wall of beaded whimsies that she called “peanuts, since you cannot have just one of them.”
Since Robert M. Berray from Santa Fe, N.M., specializes in historic Native American beadwork and artifacts, he was surprised to sell three Civil war swords and prehistoric pottery. Robert related, “I buy what hits my eye and my heart.”
From Lake Oswego, Ore., Darlene D. Fredrick sold a variety of baskets, a corn husk bag and beaded Plateau bags.
John Baldwin Early American Artistry from Mount Olive, Mich., showcased his series of books on the whole range of weapons related to the Indian Wars 1850-1891. Titles include: Tomahawks and Pipe Axes, Early Knives and Beaded Sheaths, Bow Arrows and Quivers, Indian War Clubs, and the latest Indian Guns, Spears and Shields. Eventually there will be eight books in the series. Upcoming are Pipe Bags, Red Pipes, and Frontier Bowie Knives.
When we moved over to the antiques show, we stopped first at Chalice Antiques from Mount Olive, Ill., which had split it exhibits into two separate locations at this show. Mary Jane Hastings was selling a lot of cranberry glass and Limoges porcelains, including a huge fish set. Husband Skip sold a Victorian four-door triple bookcase, a cylinder secretary, a fire screen, a lockside, a half commode, and an open bookcase with commode base that he had never seen before. Son Shawn had a great wall of Black Forest carvings in the form of stands and a wonderful Swiss jewelry case.
Marcia Evascus of ZigZag in Chicago reported, “There was a lot of attention to high-end plastic purses selling in the $500 to $600 range. The newest hot rdf_Description was glitter bracelets that are made of celluloid. Plain ones sell for $100 to $300, while the patterned ones are selling for $500 and up.” Sales included a number of metal pieces, a fireplace screen, an ash receiver, Bakelite jewelry and objects. We loved a tool chest in the shape of a canister vacuum cleaner.
Greene Acres Antiques from Chester, Vt., sold high-end Victorian tables early in the show in the Renaissance Revival style. No Eastlake pieces sold in Chicago. John Greene explained that the Chicago shoppers want their furniture restored, while antiquers on the east coast request the original finish.
At the Flo-Blue Shoppe from Birmingham, Mich., exhibitors were selling lots of plates, platters and cups and saucers in the more ordinary patterns, and none of their rarer pieces. They also indicated that only about 20 percent of their regular clients came to O’Hare.
Showing at O’Hare for the first time was Julian Beck Fine Art from Washington, Conn. Assistant director Jonathan Keseru was very pleased with the turnout and knowledgeable people. He is looking forward to returning to Chicago. Jonathon sold a French oil painting by Eugene Carriere entitled “Maternite” and a Jules Herve painting. He reported interest in paintings by Cortez and a Morgan Dennis watercolor entitled “Toby Jug,” depicting a spaniel.
From Toronto, Canada, The Next Antiquarians had a strong showing of designer jewelry and ceramics by Royal Winton and Moorcroft.
Crescent Worth Art and Antiques from Lake Forest, Ill., sold Staffordshire figures, Toby jugs, Minton jugs and paintings. Linda reported “steady sales all weekend.”
Classic Décor from Marietta, Ga., was selling lots of tapestry pillows that were very decorative, as well as wall tapestries.
Spencer, W.Va., is home base for Black Swan, a specialist in Czech glass. Joe saw lots of his regular customers at O’Hare and sold two lamps, two pairs of bookends and a lot of Czech glass.
Showing in Chicago for the second time was Sandra Whitson and R.E. Van Anda from Lititz, Penn. Sandra coauthored a book on figural napkin rings and she was selling quite a few of them.
The next Chicago O’Hare Antiques Show will be held in conjunction with the Vintage Clothing and Antiques Textile Show, August 16-18.
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