Published: June 24, 2015
Mount Bethel, Penn., dealers Al and Jessica Conti decorated the entrance of their Vintage Matters booth with a military map case and a checkerboard made from old kitchen tile.
REVIEW AND PHOTOS BY CAROLE DEUTSCH
STANHOPE, N.J. — After a brutal week of foul weather that brought torrential rains, high winds and well-below normal temperatures, the promise of summer returned just in time for the first Waterloo Village Antiques Fair in ten years on June 6–7. The popular show closed a decade ago due to issues with the State of New Jersey’s department of parks and forestry regarding a 40-year lease it had with a foundation that closed. The Waterloo Park then lay dormant, much to the disappointment of the many buyers and dealers who found the Waterloo Village Antiques Fair to be one of the highlights of the antiques show circuit.
One dealer, who had a bird’s-eye view of the entrance gate on opening day, described it well. “The show opened at 10 am; at 10:01 I looked up and a rampage of customers were storming through the gate. It was like a ‘happening.’”
Credit for the reopening of the landmark show goes to the efforts of Allison Kohler of JMK Shows & Events. Kohler decided it was time to resurrect the historic show and said she is so glad she did. “I cannot tell you how blown away I am by the success of the show,” she stated. “The reception has been extraordinary. For the first year back, I could not have asked for more. I can’t remember such a successful beginning of a show. We had more than 1,100 attendees on Saturday and a two-day total of more than 2,000 people. Groupon brought in 460 and many of them were young people. This show had 50 vendors and virtually all are coming back to the next Waterloo fair on Labor Day weekend, September 5–6. They were picking up contracts on their way out. I fully expect that both the vendor and customer base will be even greater due to the inaugural success of this show. Happy customers, happy dealers — that’s what this show was all about.”
Dealers who attend as many as 65 shows a year applauded the return of Waterloo and voiced their appreciation for Kohler’s exhaustive effort. Many unique items of interest could be found at the show that was represented by moderately priced collectibles and high-end investment art, artifacts and furnishings.
David Lowe, owner of Across the Pond Antiques, has a stellar collection of cigarette cards from 1886 to 1939 that are framed in complete series. “One man walked into my booth and said, ‘I’ll take that, and that, and that and that,’ and never asked the price,” Lowe happily reported. A woman who was on her way to appear in a Gilbert and Sullivan show that was being presented nearby decided to stop at the fair on her way and was thrilled to find a set of Gilbert and Sullivan cigarette cards that she could not resist purchasing from Lowe.
Anita De Old’s booth, A Touch of Glass, excited customers with a collection of ladies’ hatpins that dated from the Civil War to the mid-1920s. “When women began to cut their hair in the Roaring Twenties, it was the end of hatpins. Collectors use them today in a vase as ‘flowers that will never die,’” De Old commented. However, one woman who could not get enough of the dazzling beauties stated that she “has never seen anything like them” and was buying them to use in her hair in place of hair combs and barrettes. What was old is new again.
One item that generated a good deal of attention at the show, and will no doubt never be used again by any woman ever, was a vintage hair curling iron made from a multitude of heating coils that were all hanging from electrical cords that were connected to a large metal overhead receptacle. Back in the days of early curling irons, this element often caught fire, but that did not deter the women of the time from using it to achieve a stylish coiffure. This curiosity was found at the booth of Patrick Thomson and was not displayed with a price ticket. “Everyone is interested. I am not pricing it, I am entertaining offers,” he stated.
Other items that generated a good deal of interest included a selection of fully restored National cash registers from Joint Venture Antiques. Three rare and highly presentational red brass and oak machines that dated from the turn of the century to 1912 were all custom made and had their original labels.
Antiques From Home, presented by Judith Lesser, was a popular booth that drew a good deal of interest with a collection of pottery from the British ceramic artist Clarice Cliff, one of the most influential ceramicists of the Twentieth Century. Examples of her work included her celebrated “Bizarre” pottery.
The Waterloo Village Antiques Fair takes place at 1053 Waterloo Road. For information about the Labor Day weekend show, www.jmkshows.com, 973-927-2794 or 973-224-2797.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm