Published: December 18, 2018
Family, friends and colleagues were shocked and saddened to learn of the unexpected passing of Robert J. Perry, of Orchard Park, N.Y., on December 7. An antiques dealer beloved by colleagues in the trade and known for early Americana, folk art, paintings, painted furniture and textiles at many antiques shows, Bob was 54.
American flag specialist Jeff Bridgman, Dillsberg, Penn., remembers doing shows together, splitting booths and/or setting up next to one another in order to share work and expenses. “He was but a couple of years older than I, yet he started in the business younger than I, perhaps around age 13, and always bragged that he ‘never had a real job.’ Always interested in antiques, from a very early age, he was a wealth of knowledge and I can correctly call him a mentor. He was an expert in many fields, including Christmas objects, dolls and bears, American furniture, paintings, textiles, stoneware, pantry boxes and the like, textiles, etc, etc, etc. And he was a dealer’s dealer. Buy it, let it go and buy something else. Learn about it, fix it, learn some more, share the knowledge and make lots of friends along the way. His enthusiasm for antiques and life was nothing short of contagious. He helped move me into my house 20 years ago. Seems like yesterday. Goodbye, Bob. You will be sorely missed, and the antiques world is a lesser place today without you. May some of your neverending energy for early American things pass on into all of us today.”
“I remember meeting Bob back when I was an executive director in the film business,” recalls Nancy Fishelson, who has exhibited with Bob over the years. “It was probably the 1980s. We became friends and started doing shows together. He had a great eye and was unbelievably knowledgeable, very smart – he just really knew the business and knew merchandise, could spot a fake and could instantly spot what something was when other people couldn’t. And that served him well. The only job he ever had was selling antiques.”
Bob was a graduate of Eden [N.Y.] High School and was the beloved son of Mary Agnes (McCready) and the late Richard Perry; nephew of Catherine (Mark) Block of Syracuse, N.Y.; Thomas (Rebecca) McLellan of Syracuse; also survived by aunt and uncle Anita and Frank Pedreira.
A Mass was conducted on December 18 at Our Lady of Victory Basilica in Buffalo, N.Y. Interment was at Friends Cemetery. Lombardo Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements and online condolences for Bob’s family may be posted at www.lombardofuneralhome.com.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm