Jean Sinenberg had more than 200 paid visitors by 2 pm at her 80-dealer show on June 24. After an off-and-on, all-day rain at the East Hampton Historic Society’s Mulford Farms Antiques Show and Sale, Sinenberg decided to stop charging admission and just let customers enter without charging. She lost count of how many more came. Clearly, according to several dealers, more customers came when the rains subsided in midafternoon and, in fact, many had sales that were satisfactory for their effort and expense for this one-day show.
Observed one dealer, “I think some of the locals were waiting for the afternoon when the rains were expected to let up and they came in to see what we had. I had all my sales in the late afternoon.”
Dealers and customers have been coming to this low-key outdoor antiques market on the grounds of the society’s historic site – a home, barn, some outbuildings and windmill – for 20 years under the direction and guidance of Sinenberg and her daughter, Susan. Although each year there are some new exhibitors, most are returning dealers to this event, which takes place three times each summer, in many cases to visit with customers who have become regulars. With cooperating weather, they mix together and some sales occur.
Connie Brown of Norwalk, Conn., was here for her first timewith her collection of early quilts. While the sales were notrecord breaking, she said that she made her rent and then some.”I’d have liked to sell more, but considering first time and theweather, I did okay with several quilts,” she said.
A local resident and decorator and dealer, Janet Whalen from Watermill had good sales, including a Stickley rocking chair with original cushions that had been recovered, some prints and folk art. Her total sales were “actually okay,” for she only does a few shows a year and is more a decorator than antiques dealer.
There were two Oriental rug dealers on the Mulford Farm grounds. One left early because he had set his rugs out on the ground before the rain and could not get them up fast enough when the rains came. The other dealer was Mark Anthony, who now has a shop in Wainscott, the next village west of East Hampton. As his display was in one of the large rental tents, most of his rugs stayed dry. He had some sales during the show and expected more as a result of the show’s exposure. Anthony and his partner carry an extensive collection of both antique and new rugs, with prices adjusted accordingly.
Often seen at shows throughout the Northeast is Olde Good Things of New York City and Pennsylvania. The business is based on architectural salvage, but over the years it has grown at the shows to include many repaired and refurbished items for house restoration. The dealer’s exhibit here was small – vintage doorknobs and lock sets, as well as some architectural pieces – but it was enough to sell there and continue to build their customer base for their highly specialized sales organization.
Early European enamelware is the only product line offered byHarry and Ginny’s Antiques of Brookhaven Hamlet, N.Y. Theircollection is assembled through contacts in Europe who will sendphotos to them. Most enamelware was made in Czechoslovakia, Austriaand France. Sales vary, but the pieces are sold in good serviceablecondition.
Barbara Stevens’ collection comprises many different antiques and collectibles, but the most striking was her early cast iron door stops in excellent condition. Bobbi and Joe Fionda, New Ipswich, N.H., trade in antiques they find in Europe, Texas and New England. Their theme of American country objects is not limited to New England, as exemplified by the saddle stand from the Southwest. Mostly from Art Deco and Moderne style books, New York City-based Kathy Lerebours’ collection was extensive, with several pieces from well-known Twentieth Century designers.
The Art and Artisans Center from Stamford, Conn., is the regular home for Carole Ann Hart’s collection, but for the weekend she brought some of it to East Hampton. As a native of Lincolnshire, England, she has had opportunities to shop there as well as in the United States, and it is apparent in her tent. She had an early sign that had the chipped painting of a cow, touting Edgar Hyatt’s business, but it did not say what that business was. To buy it back would now cost him $1,800.
The Ringels of Pennington, N.J., offered antique silver andWaterford crystal. Victorian furniture was front and center in thecollection of Gray Gardens from nearby Bridgehampton. Hands allAround, the business name for Eunice and Tom Thomas, brought theducks from their Port Jefferson, N.Y., home. Clocks that Thomasrestores are also part of their collection.
Georgica Creek Antiques is Jean Sinenberg’s antiques shop, and her collection for this show featured a complete set of early wicker furniture in bright red paint. She sold the $7,800 set during the rain that morning.
Sinenberg will repeat this show twice this summer, August 5 and September 16 at the same location, Mulford Farm, the East Hampton Historical Society’s museum property. As there are many shows in the summer, there will be a different dealer mix, including some of these dealers but also others. For information, 631-537-0333 or www.hamptonsantiques.com.