Published: December 6, 2011
The Pier Antiques Show has built a following for presenting a solid and interesting mix of traditional antiques, Modern and design offerings, as well as collectibles at its shows. The November 19′0 edition lived up to its standards and then some.
With 500 exhibitors filling Pier 94, Stella Show Mgmt Co. also presents its popular Fashion Alley section of the show that draws in buyers seeking vintage couture and jewelry. The promoters upped the ante with a fall autograph show this year featuring 15 dealers from the Professional Autograph Dealers Association, ensuring there was something for every taste at the Pier.
“We are just getting out a survey this week to the dealers but things seemed very positive. The opening line was the longest ever,” said Jeanne Stella after the show. Indeed, the line by 10 am when the gate officially opened had not only filled the lobby with buyers, but snaked around the outside of the building forming two lines heading off in opposite directions.
Americana and traditional antiques show fare were ably represented with such dealers as Art & Antique Gallery, Worcester, Mass. Standouts among elegant oil paintings included a Hayley Lever painting of a wagon crossing on a snowy winter’s day, Louis Ritman’s “The Looking Glass” and John White Alexander’s still life titled “Beautiful Flowers.” A more modern feel but equally compelling was achieved by Blanche Lazzell’s colorful “Shore Boats.”
One of the most talked-about objects at the show was a folky and handmade life-size horse in the booth of Kabinett & Kammer, which is a contemporary curiosity shop of antiques, natural wonders and art. With an upstate location since 2007, the company opened a branch in New York City in March, so it did not have far to travel to do this show.
Dealer Sean Scherer said the turn-of-the-Nineteenth Century tack shop display figure was made of paper mache and was the hit of the show. This was the dealers’ first antiques show and Scherer was pleased with his decision to test the waters. The dealers mostly sold taxidermy mounts and the most interesting objects seemed to be the big sellers, including an antique bear skull and a Coney Island shooting game target, as well as Nineteenth Century prints and a charter.
Modern design was also well represented at the Pier. Among its purveyors were Linda and Dennis Elmore, Westfield, N.J., who seemed to have little in the way of merchandise to pack up by the show’s end Sunday afternoon. “We had a great Pier Show,” said Linda Elmore. “Among the things we sold was a pair of signed Danish chests, a Lucite-based center table, a pair of Bruno Mathsson webbed arm chairs [very popular with the attendees], a pair of 1950s Italian calla lily-shaped lamps and numerous decorative small items. Also, a nice set of zebrawood Italian bar stools. Essentially a clean, timeless, Modern design was our focus.”
The industrial look was elegantly captured in the booth of Strawser & Smith, Brooklyn, N.Y., which featured a fetching pair of wooden chairs with their seats upholstered in an aviation-themed fabric, while oversized artworks of machines hung on the booth walls.
A great showing was also had by Nancy Steinbock Posters, Chestnut Hill, Mass.; Steinbock reported this was her best Pier Show since 2007. The vintage poster dealer only does the November edition of this show and said while many people were still price-conscious, it was a healthy sign that more people seemed to be buying again. Sales ran the gamut from posters relating to fashion, American literary, military, travel, bicycling and expositions.
Fine art was showcased at Alexander Gallery, New York City, which presented a select grouping of small European works of art from the Eighteenth⁎ineteenth Century, and in the booth of From Here to Antiquity, Cheshire, Conn., which filled its walls with fine paintings. Standouts included “Apple Blossoms and Tea” by American artist Theodore Wores (1859‱939) and “Young Beauty with Flowers” by Italian painter F. LaRosa, circa 1880‹0.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? Without playing favorites as to who had the best mirror, it can be said that several fine mirrors were spotted around the show. Titus Omega, London, featured a whole wall of mirrors, including several nice oval examples and two mirrors with metal frames carved in relief, while Bob Withington Antiques, York, Maine, had a large overmantel mirror with an elaborate stone frame. Mark Morris, Wadsworth, Ohio, showed an ornate mirror and Worden Select Objects, Burr Oak, Mich., offered a wonderful carved tramp art frame.
Aleta and Harvey Weinstein, New York City, featured a number of standout lamps, including an early 1900s, three-color rose Pairpoint puffy lamp and an early 1900s Handel 18-inch bird lamp but it was their Tiffany lamps that were the cream of the crop, especially an early 1900s linen fold example with linen fold glass top. The vertical striations on the vase-body of the lamp were a near perfect match to the shade.
Several dealers took to the Internet both during and after the show to rave about it. Among them was Philip Chasen Antiques, East Norwich, N.Y., who blogged, “Most of the dealers I spoke to were either pleased or at least satisfied with their results. Personally, my show was good. Interest and sales were greatest in Daum Nancy glass and Tiffany Studios glass and objects.” A standout sale was a rare A. Walter pate-de-verre miniature tumbler.
Heather Karlie Fine Art & Antiques, New York City, took to Facebook to say how pleased she was with the show. “The buyers were at the Pier Show today in full force!” Her The sales Saturday included a midcentury bar cart, a pair of lamps, a faux bamboo coffee table, a contemporary slatted bench, pottery and more. The show started off equally strong Sunday and stayed that way. “Even though I needed the rental truck last night, I had far less to pack. Another great thing are the Monday phone calls, ‘Umm, hi, do you still have..’,” she said.
Another happy dealer posting on Facebook was Michael Rodriguez of The Missing Link, New York City: “Dear Irene and Crew, Thank you for another great Pier Show. All of you work so hard and it shows. Great crowd of people in part by you giving so many comps to share with people who might not have come to shop otherwise.”
Susan Wechsler of South Road Antiques, Stanfordville, N.Y., has done the January edition of the Pier Show and said this fall show was equally exciting, if a tad overwhelming. “Tons of people, most of whom come looking for antiques, and generally a very sophisticated crowd&⁰eople who appreciate good design, or the relevance of a beautiful object,” she said.
Sales were okay, she said, and included two watercolors by James Reynolds, an American set and fashion designer, as well as an American Twentieth Century landscape painting by Harry Dix, a framed Nineteenth Century uncut cloth doll from the Arnold Print Works, a set of early Twentieth Century stadium-type seats from the Star Shoe Company, a pair of early Nineteenth Century tin catch boxes and assorted other items.
“The Star seats went to a Canadian buyer who saw them the last 15 minutes of the show on Saturday and we raced to complete credit card sales and get the shipping squared away,” Wechsler said.
Catching quite a bit of attention in her booth also was a Nineteenth Century Gloeckler iron butcher’s rack, which was displayed “deconstructed” in separate pieces as it did not hang well on the wall. There was also a lot of interest in an educational diorama of a doctor’s office that is reminiscent of Norman Rockwell, and a large table with a Nineteenth Century industrial cast iron base. A couple with an apartment in Jerusalem came back several times to look, measure and discuss how the table might be shipped.
Unlike most dealers in attendance, David Rago of Rago Arts & Auction Center, Lambertville, N.J., had more than selling on his mind during the show.
Describing his multipronged approach, Rago said because they are dealers too, everything in the booth is for sale, they also meet with clients and take in consignments while at the show for future auctions, as well as talk to people about the content in the magazines they publish.
One of the original Pier Show dealers, Rago said he enjoys this show, noting, “It’s a bit of a homecoming for us; I see people I might not see all year except for at the Pier Show. We do about ten things while we’re there. It’s a lot of work, we’re talking nonstop.”
Much like the Pier Show itself, which offers something for every taste and price point, Rago said his company is a very democratic business. “This show gives us the opportunity to connect with clients across the board.”
Bruce Gventer of B&S Gventer Books & Ephemera, South Egremont, Mass., reported a good showing, “with a large, almost continuous crowd.” A display of five Torah scrolls spanning five centuries sold at the show as did an Oracles book from North Sumatra written on tree bark and a manuscript from Ethiopia. “There was a lot of interest in the exotic manuscripts and manuscript pages. The vintage erotica was extremely popular, especially the old photos,” Gventer said.
Anita S. Taub, New York City, was pleased with the strong interest her jewelry received. “There was a large crowd both days at the show, with steady traffic all day Saturday and Sunday,” Taub said, “The Stella organization does a tremendous job and brings in the shoppers. The show is also very well organized and smoothly run.” Taub saw strong interest in all types of jewelry, including necklaces, bracelets, earrings and pins.
Gary Sohmers is always a colorful character at any antiques show he does. Standing in his booth, Wex Rex Collectibles, Framingham, Mass., he was, as always, dressed in a bright Hawaiian shirt and happily posed for a photograph with a guitar under oversized die-cut signs of a pair of sunglasses and red lips. The guitar was a Fender Stratocaster in the Bonnie Raitt signature series (only 1,000 made) and autographed by Raitt herself.
Cara Antiques, Langhorne, Penn., also reported good sales on both days of the show. “We had a very successful Pier Show,” said dealer Connie Aranosian. “There was interest in all our various pottery . We sold in all the different types and, as always, the Clarice Cliff brings joy to all. The Belgian Boch Freres Keramis particularly attracts attention, and we believe the interest and sales in this pottery will really grow.”
A founding dealer with the Pier shows, Bernice Conn, Voorhees, N.J., noted her vanity jar selection always sells well at the Pier. “One of our major sales this time was a pair of bronze figural lamps,” she said, adding that Stella Mgmt consistently produces a great show and “always brings in the customers who have been coming for years because they know this show has so much to offer.”
Arthur Guy Kaplan, Baltimore, Md., featured a shell cameo from 1860 with unusual depth and fine detail that was set in a gold frame, while Koblenz & Company Antique & Estate Jewelry, Kent, Conn., offered a Canadian ammonite two-sided piece in 18K gold that featured the ammonite on the front and a Canada goose in relief in gold on the back. The contemporary piece is about 20 years old and was sold at the Freyes gallery.
Andrew Spindler Antiques, Essex, Mass., featured an eclectic booth that spanned decades. Highlights included a large square section, pen armchair with dovetailed joined arms and two cushions, American, circa 1970s; a French Art Deco charger by Longwy, slip decorated showing a clown with a flower, ball and a seated dog; and a circa 1980 lithographic reprint of a Swiss ski poster by Walter Koch, originally from 1907.
Among the standouts seen by this reporter early Saturday morning were a Chinese dresser, circa 1910, that was beautiful and unusual, especially for its mother of pearl inlay, on display at Mark Foster & Nattley Veenstra, Yardley, Penn., while Carol Weiss Antiques, New York City, offered redware in a variety of pleasing forms and sizes, along with a pile of colorful quilts.
Stella Shows’ next events will be Antiques At The Armory January 20′2 and Americana & Antiques @ The Pier January 21′2. The Pier Antiques Show returns here in March. For more information, www.stellashows.com or 973-808-5015.
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