Published: April 24, 2007
Flamingo Promotions produced two shows in one at St Paul’s March 31⁁pril 1. The Long Island Book and Ephemera Fair and the Garden City Antiques Show shared the multipurpose room in this former school, built as part of the city’s original development at the turn of the last century. Combining the two similar but separate regimens has been beneficial in attracting a larger audience, according to Flamingo’s John Bruno, who with his wife, Tina, produces this and many other shows on Long Island.
John Bruno said, “There was a larger than normal crowd this month because of a stronger commitment to the advertising and the combined offerings in the show. We also had a marked increase in the number of young people, due in part to a reduced admission price for young collectors.” Combining antiques from about 20 dealers with the 50 book and ephemera exhibitors was begun last year with good success for all. The antiques added interest for the book and ephemera crowd, and Bruno said there were many in the audience who came for the one and bought both antiques and the books and ephemera.
The Long Island Antiquarian Book Dealers Association is the sponsor of the paper part of the show. Its president, Arnold Cohen, told of a customer who put aside a stack of books in his booth to take home, then went to the antiques section and spent all the money she brought. Cohen mentioned to her that the promoters provide credit card service, so she gladly put the purchases on plastic and went out for more.
Antiquarian book fairs including ephemera have interesting things, very special objects that hold high esoteric values in the minds of the public and among collectors. Northport, N.Y., dealer Joan Roberts had a first edition of Pooh: His Art Gallery by E.H. Shepard, a book of the watercolors that had been the illustrations in some of the early Winnie the Pooh books.
Somewhere in Time is the business name for Jean Gonzalez from St James, N.Y. Her collection at the show included a signed copy of Let Us Have Faith , the book by Helen Keller, who was an inspiration to many people for her courage and success in dealing with her hearing and vision handicaps.
The dealers are all collectors as well, and their offerings generally reflected their own area of great interest. Scott Condello had an original photograph of Admiral Chester Nimitz signing the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II; the photo had been signed by the admiral. Condello is a dealer from North Wales, Penn., whose business, The Sword and Penn, specializes in autographs and other memorabilia of this type.
When asked about the most interesting piece in his collection, Peter Stevens moved immediately to a large folio-sized hardcover book, The Chef’s D’Oeuvre D’Art, published in 1878 in France. The book contained engravings of paintings completed by the chefs of Paris in that period and the price of the book was $125.
A collection of posters included one in which only six dwarfs were depicted in a poster advertising Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs . Carl Barks was one of the artists working for Disney Studios in the early days of that business. His work was reproduced in a book of which only 5,000 copies were printed, so it is a treasured edition now. Bethpage, N.Y., dealer Neil Shapiro was offering a copy for $950.
Among the dealers exhibiting with a general line of antiques were Karen and Albert Williams of nearby Hempstead, N.Y. Their collection was predominantly Edwardian furniture and home accessories, including an Art Deco cupboard with leaded glass in the doors’ windows. Curios and Irresistibles is Mary Meyers’ collection of late Nineteenth Century art glass. The Dix Hills, N.Y., dealer also offered framed gravure prints of late Victorian fashions.
Steve’s Antiques is the jewelry collection of Steve Fishbach. A full-time school teacher in New York City, this Great Neck, N.Y., resident said, “As a kid, I began selling jewelry I could buy at my father’s Brooklyn drugstore.” His business, while part time, has him at shows and buying appointments in his spare time. Carolyn Ferretti trades in dolls from East Rockaway, N.Y., under the business name Memories. From Hempstead, Tom O’Connor had his collection of Edwardian furniture organized into a room setting.
Flamingo produces a variety of shows on Long Island and New England. This show is twice a year, with the next installment November 3‴. Among other upcoming events will be the Sturbridge Book and Ephemera Fair at Sturbridge Host Hotel on May 11 and 12 during Brimfield Week, Start of Manchester in New Hampshire on August 7‸ and the Granite State Book & Ephemera Fair on August 9.
For more information, www.flamingoshows.com or 631-261-4590.
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