Published: December 13, 2022
Review & Photos by Z.G. Burnett
DENVILLE, N.J. – The first annual Christmas Antiques & Design Market, organized by D. Turi Antique Shows and co-sponsored by the Denville Historical Society & Museum, hosted 45 dealers at Morris Catholic High School on December 3 and 4. The holiday spirits were high despite rain outside, with many dealers decorating their booths for the season and stocking goods that were perfect for giving to others, or buying oneself something nice. The market was spread throughout Morris’ new Crusader Commons, a recent renovation named for the school’s mascot. “We made a strong start for the new show,” said promoter Debbie Turi. Plans are currently being made with Morris and the Denville Historical Society for next year’s market.
Amy Bauer, director of enrollment, head of the arts department and graduate of Morris (’06) shared that the market came together by “a lucky chance conversation.” Bauer is neighbors with Vito Bianco, president of the historical society, which was represented at the ticket booth of the show. “It’s a real opportunity for the Denville community to come together, but also expand,” said Bauer. “We’ve never had an event like this before, so it’s a great way for people to come and visit the new space.” Bauer was joined by a group of volunteers from the academic community who were selling coffee and snacks in the student-life center’s café.
Many antiques markets advertise that they have “something for everyone,” and this Christmas market displayed just such a range of products at all different price points and levels of collecting. “I was delighted to see a lot of younger individuals browsing. Dealers are always delighted to build a new generation of collectors,” said Elin Gursky of Trouver. “We look forward to more shows and more opportunities to teach ‘young and old’ the value and joys of items from the past, be it furniture, clothing porcelain and other [categories].” Gursky brought an equestrian flair to the market, stocking hunt-themed art, glassware, metalware and other antiques, including vintage needlepoint tapestries and riding dress.
Only one booth cornered the market on vintage clothing and that was Janet Maluk’s Store Without Walls, Hackensack, N.J., stocked with garments priced “from the park bench to Park Avenue.” Maluk has been in business “for decades,” selling mostly from her warehouse by appointment, with the Sturbridge Show formerly being her only in-person market. Store With No Walls last showed at the Glen Ridge Antiques Show, the first vintage clothing seller to do so in 75 years of operation, and was so successful that Maluk was persuaded by fellow dealer friends of Uptown Antiques, Boonton, N.J., to participate in the Christmas market. Rewarded for these efforts, Maluk said after the show, “I spoke with many visitors who were extremely pleased with the overall quality and uniqueness of the many vendors… I think this show definitely has the potential of being one of the best shows to attend for years to come!” Giving credit where it was due, she added, “Debuting a new show is not an easy task and Debbie Turi is a champion who pulled it off without a sweat!”
There was no shortage of accessories at the market. In addition to fine British and American antiques, Lara Joyce Antiques of Westfield, N.J., presented cases of estate jewelry that is experiencing a revival among younger buyers. Mourning jewelry, hair work and cameos were arranged by group, as well as a tempting display of antique and vintage kilt pins. Set in sterling silver, the pins were mounted with citrine and amethyst of various sizes, as well as feathered grouse’s feet. According to Lara Rudd, who operates the booth with her daughter Joyce Goldstein, these were traditionally worn in men’s hats while hunting for good health. If worn on a kilt, it must be positioned with the claws down. This is the same for men if worn on a lapel, but for women the claws are pointed upwards.
White Whale Events, Hudson, N.Y., had more than enough sterling to go around, three tables worth, in fact. Conrad Ricker was representing White Whale, selling sterling silver jewelry by the gram on one table, goblets for $15 on another and flatware from a large spread on the farthest table for $4 and $12 apiece. “We’re trying to zig where others zag,” said Ricker. Although many buyers love the challenge of finding a needle in a haystack, others are overwhelmed by piles. “I can’t even look at it,” one attendee was heard to say with a bewildered laugh. “It’s too much.” Either way, the White Whale’s hoard was visibly reduced by noon despite mixed reactions to this approach.
Serving ware was abundant in all forms at the market. Chairperson Antiques presented a shining porcelain display of all makes in addition to a gallery of framed works on paper. “We enjoyed the weekend,” commented Mical Wilmoth Carton. “The show was ‘ok’ for us… but we will definitely return next year if there is a second show scheduled.” Antique Decorators of Staten Island, N.J., in business for more than 50 years, brought a few full sets of dishware including an amber pressed glass service for four with 26 pieces in all for $100 and a 40-piece, circa 1950 Ballerina service from Universal Pottery, for $500. Founded in 1934, the Cambridge, Ohio, company operated until 1956. China Blue Antiques, Shrewsbury, N.J., also lived up to its name with a selection of ceramic and porcelain goods, as well as vintage Christmas decorations.
Many booths were festooned with season’s greetings, with gift items prominent in the majority of dealers’ wares. Gerald Beik Antiques of Summit, N.J., featured vintage ceramic Christmas tree lamps that are experiencing a renaissance this year, with one of these in an unusual, splattered pattern for $165. Beik also brought a large, jointed mohair teddy bear, made in the 1940s by German manufacturer Hermann and ready to sit under its next tree for $695. Kent and Susan Heinrich of Respectable Collectibles, Old Bridge, N.J., brought a Steiff German Shepherd with its original collar and ear tag from 1952-53 for $395, and a collection of rare and early Beswick Beatrix Potter characters, priced roughly between $250 and $450.
Fine and folk art was also well represented at the show. Patrick Hastings decorated his booth like a kunstkammer of old with paintings of every subject. Hastings shared that the physical space his business has occupied in downtown Pittsburgh for the past 25 years is now being redeveloped, effectively pricing him out. “The lease is up,” Hastings said with a shrug; he plans to continue showing in person. Pat Morisco and Jeanette Motsowicz of Marsmost Antiques brought a collection of hand-colored engravings and chromolithographs with natural subjects dating from the 1860s, selling them with special prices for bundled deals. Ukiyo-e woodblock prints were also prominent at the market, including a circa 1850s print by Utagawa Yoshitora (1836-1880) that showed a red-haired Caucasian woman riding side-saddle from Debra Santucci, who was asking $800.
D. Turi Antique Shows’ Glen Ridge Antiques Show in New Jersey is February 3-4. For information, www.dturiantiqueshows.com.
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