Published: April 5, 2011
Excited and enthusiastic, Pennsylvania collector Neil Rosner, who rose that morning well before the sun did, scurried into the Convention Center at 6:45 am to secure his spot in line for the opening of the Atlantic City Antiques Show. Rosner was the first of more than 500 that would form a long line of shoppers awaiting the 9 am early buyer’s opening for the show.
The mood was upbeat as JMK Shows manager Allison Kohler opened the show to the public and Rosner and a long line of patrons rushed onto the floor. It took several minutes for those at the end of the line to finally make their way onto the show floor, but as evidenced by the number of bags being toted around by many in the crowd, it was worth the wait.
This is the second year for the JMK-produced Atlantic City Show, taking place March 19 and 20, and although smaller than last year’s event with management reporting 250 dealers, it was lively and upbeat.
Kohler reported that the convention center is “committed to us, they want us back and are working hard to make sure this show remains viable.” For this most recent show, management was able to cut booth rents in half, something that will remain in effect for the 2012 show.
Kohler commented that the gate was up from last year, with just under 7,000 in attendance. “We had a much bigger crowd on Saturday and the gate was steady throughout the day,” she said. The promoter also commented that Sunday’s gate was up from last year as well.
To call this show fun would be conservative, it is filled with things that make you smile. Furniture is not a big thing here, with only a handful of booths catering to those who love their wood. Victorian, Modern, classical and even some early American furniture was seen here and there around the floor, but Atlantic City is all about smalls.
The merchandise ranged from Tiffany, Pairpoint and Handel lamps to naughty pulp paperbacks. There are more museum-quality toys on the floor than you can shake a stick at, superb pottery ranging from the rarest Roseville examples to Danish Modern pots, coin-op machines and trade stimulators, cut glass and Orientalia, even a piece or two of blue decorated stoneware. Couture is popular with Pucci dresses and Chanel handbags †and let us not forget the Louis Vuitton guy that has everything from golf bags to steamer trunks.
“I had a lot of people come up to me during the show and they were very vocal about the quality of the show,” stated Kohler. “They said they were happy with the way it looked last year, but that this year looked even better,” she added.
Kohler’s smile and enthusiasm are infectious †and one cannot help but grin right along with her when looking over the amusing and extremely rare items such as the Flash Gordon child’s red rubber helmet that still retained the chin straps in the booth of 20th Century Objects, East Hampton, Conn., or the selection of robots from the 1960s and 1970s, with mint, in-the-box examples named “Zoomer,” “Sparkling Mike,” and “Machine Robot” that were seen at Miami dealer Gerrie Brand’s booth. Or the stylish tin litho “Space Patrol ‘Super Cycle'” displayed at Main Street Antiques. Or the set of skittles in the form of a reclining clown on wheels with smaller clown skittles stored in a compartment on his back at German Antiques Toys, which had made the trip to exhibit at the show from Lengenfeld, Germany.
American art pottery authority Arnie Small was on hand with a stellar selection of pots displayed in the booth of Barbara Gerr Antiques, Galloway, N.J. Rare Roseville examples of Futura filled multiple shelves of the showcases in the booth, the bottom shelf was dominated by two large and colorful jardinières, one in the Beneda pattern and the other in Pine Cone. The dealer also displayed a strong selection of Fulper, Newcomb and Rookwood potteries.
Ray Kisber, Hampstead, Canada, was one of the dealers that presented an assortment of furniture. Twentieth Century Modern furniture ranging from chrome and webbed bentwood seating to Nakashima-style slab tables. A case filled with a selection of rare, aluminum-bodied gas engine powered “tether” race cars was also attracting attention throughout the fair.
Hazelton, Penn., dealer Bob Nance offered a nice assortment of fun materials, ranging from a Ward’s Orange Crush syrup dispenser in the shape of an orange, a large belsnickle figure of Father Christmas, an early “ring” microphone and a collection of Howdy Doody memorabilia.
Great smalls were offered at Charlene Upham Antiques, Mardela Springs, Md., with folky items in paint, including a patriotic child’s sand bucket emblazoned in red, white and blue with crossed flags, shields and “Sea Side” across the front. A nice Fish cast iron doorstop in the form of a sailor was in excellent paint.
Obnoxious Antiques, Beverly, N.J., †unusual name, and fittingly, unusual stuff. There was the circus banner for the “beheading” side show, bumper cars, a booth from an early soda fountain, barber poles, trade signs and trade stimulators, including a “Shake Hands with Uncle Sam” that measured the strength of your grip.
Sporting sold tags early in the show, a large Wurlitzer jukebox and an unusual coin-op amusement park driving game found buyers right off the bat at You Ain’t Seen Nothin Yet. A large shoot-the-moving-bear shooting gallery game was also available.
A nice set of Norman Cherner bent plywood side chairs, a Jarvie-form candlestick and a Bogart/Bergman poster for Casablanca were at K Rothschild-Jansen, Green Village, N.J.
Steuben, Tiffany, Webb and Durand glass was offered in numerous booths, including that of Allan Teal and Dottie Freeman, Chester Heights, Penn., as well as the Emporium, Great Barrington, Mass.
A wonderful selection of paintings included an Antonio Jacobsen ship’s portrait at Art and Antiques, Worcester, Mass. Two Parisian street scenes by Edouard Cortes were among the offering, each priced at $40,000. The dealer pointed out two paintings by artists in vogue in today’s marketplace, a David Burliuk painting priced at $8,500, and a Bryant Chapin still life at $4,750.
Litchfield, Conn., dealer Jack Papadinis was among several in the show with a good selection of leaded and reverse painted lamps by Tiffany, Pairpoint and Handel. A colorful “Junglebird” Handel lamp was featured in the booth alongside a Handel cylinder desk lamp and a Tiffany acorn leaded lamp.
For information, 973-927-2794 or www.jmkshows.com .
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