Published: August 7, 2001
By Steve Sundlof
RHINEBECK, N.Y. – Rhinebeck- in a word, Wow! Jimi Barton and his entourage of talent took the Dutchess County Fairgrounds by storm and embraced the best New England show this summer. 170 dealers vied for the market share and found buyers weren’t thinking about the economy. Several booths all but sold out and the waiting list for next years’ ‘Summer Magic Show’ added a new batch of eager dealers. The market changed all right; they all took a bus and arrived at Rhinebeck on July 28.
A dealer, who wished to be unidentified, replied, “I sensed the morning rush crowd count was lower than usual, but I managed to make a substantial sale during the first few minutes. There certainly was a largely retail crowd and people tended to view the whole show before making any decisions on purchases. Another large sale was made shortly before closing and I had customers buying smalls right up the last minute.”
“I spoke with other dealers I know well who said they had sold only smalls, while my experience was generally w/ larger and fewer transactions. Overall my sales were good and substantially higher than my projection, even though my setup day sales and purchases were minimal “
“Packout was not a problem; it is amazing to see that some vendors can be out of the venue within a half hour of closing. One might ask that vans and trucks parked at main building entrances leave a little more room for dealers moving merchandise out to the second row.”
“The show date in July is seemingly acceptable to everyone and is becoming a tradition; I spoke with lots of tourists and out of towners who just happened to be there. I had my poorest Brimfield July and my best Rhinebeck one, so I cannot make any generalization. I have no suggestions for Jimi Barton and his fine staff, apart from don’t change anything that isn’t broken. We have a good thing going here.”
Elizabeth Robinson of Acorn Antiques, Westerly, R.I. summarized, “Attendance was very good. Jimi Barton’s shows run ever so smoothly and he and his fine staff couldn’t do more to help the exhibitors. Overall sales, for me, were a little above last year’s July Summer Magic Show.”
J & M Stone of Hamilton, N.Y. exhibited a $125 watercolor & pencil “Woodland Cottage” scene; a grained frame with daguerreotype; an old “sleepy eye” stein, $375; a White’s Utica stein, unused, $3,000; an architectural wall shelf, $100; a Pennsylvania Redware cheese drainer, $750; a folk art cane with snake, $550; an Athens crock, $250; an early painted pine mirror with one-piece frame, $175; and a selection of early mirrors- all $100.
Tim and Charline Chambers of Missouri Plain Folk stated, “We are indeed Rhinebeck veterans, however this was our first effort at Jimi’s summer venue. It was a pleasurable experience from the beginning.”
“I have noticed that anytime you speak with Jimi about the Rhinebeck shows that he speaks of them almost as if they are a “living” thing. It is my opinion that Jimi has indeed made them as such. They have a distinct feel and a personality that even seems to rub off on the exhibitors. Understanding that I see a lot of the same folks at any number of events, it’s interesting to note that we as a group seem to slip into the Rhinebeck feel when we’re there. I would attribute most of this to the show’s personnel and the professional manner in which it is run. A friend of ours who was there to do his first ever “Rhinebeck” told me he had no idea that a show could be run so well.”
“We were a bit concerned coming to a venue where we already exhibit twice a year; as they say, “familiarity breeds contempt”. Apparently this isn’t true in all cases. Although it would have been nice to pick up new clients, I’m pleased to say we saw our regulars and they seemed to be in a shopping mood.”
“One of the great things about this market is the receptivity to unusual material. My wife and I are attracted to visual pieces and find Rhinebeck an excellent outlet for these rdf_Descriptions. At this particular show we found homes for a 1940s Goodyear bicycle frame on a stand, a dairy sign from a 1950s corner market, as well as an incredible 10-shelf from an 1850s Illinois barn. These pieces along with the eclectic mix of folk art objects and smalls that we sold made for a super show.”
“All things considered, summer is a tough time in the antiques market. There are so many things that compete for everyone’s time and slipping a great antique market in there is quite a challenge. Once again, Jimi and “Rhinebeck” have risen to the task. Being a one-day format it is easy on both the dealer and the collector. As an exhibitor I am pleased to have an opportunity to be involved in a quality summer market.”
My Country’s Folk Art, New Windsor, N.Y., had a great wood “Fresh Catfish For Sale” sign, Mississippi, 12 (H) by 42 inches (L), hand painted by “Heseling”; a “Cash Store” sign, rendered in wood was readable on two sides, circa 1960 listed at $1,200; a school bus yellow child’s sled with original quilt, $250; a handmade game, “Grand Turf Massacre,” $195; and an Indian barber pole, circa 1920, $1,000.
Also featured were a vintage “Free Grandstand banner for $70; a painted wooden game board; a Nineteenth Century iron rooster, $650; a circa 1940s “Worms 15¢”, $65; a metal owl mailbox, $200; and a copper and cast zinc horse weathervane by J. Howard & Co. for $17,500.
Howard Graff, Colt Barn Antiques, Townshend, Vt., declared,” The show truly was fantastic–certainly for me–the gate was up about 85 over last year’s record. A small increase, but nevertheless an increase considering what is happening at other shows. Jimi sure does bring them in. And they were buying!”
“I sold two big pricey cupboards in the first hour of the show along with a very unusual three-piece Fleur des Lyes iron fire back. Also selling were a fine early cement bird bath along with a cement sundial stand, a lawn sprinkler, spatter ware bowls, a soapstone griddle, a fine oil painting, iron garden borders, table lamps and numerous smalls.”
“All in all an excellent show. The public was very enthusiastic and several people commented on the wonderful diversity of merchandise and the appearance of many new dealers who had not shown before. And they were very pleased with the quality–dealers were excited with the availability of excellent merchandise both during set up and during the show.”
“I think July is an excellent time for a show–particularly for dealers looking for pieces for the shows in Manchester N.H. the first week in August. And Jimi is certainly to be congratulated on his attention to details, his superb staff (the porters particularly are the best) they are very loyal to Jimi and give him their all. And his pack-out is truly the best. In seven minutes he and Bruce had the dealers with vans in place and ready to go. It could not have been easier.”
“Also, there is no show like Rhinebeck for set-up. Jimi is very concerned with the comfort of the dealers and provides them with a food service (We call it Jimi’s Diner)- an endless variety of pastries, bagels, fruit and coffee. And on Friday about 2 pm he served a great treat of cold watermelon which was appreciated by all.”
Marilyn Saland, Scarsdale, N.Y. displayed a late Federal mahogany card table, circa 1810, that featured acanthus carved pedestal and carved legs ending in paw feet for $2,895; Wedgwood flow blue “Chinese,” circa 1913, $150; a Nineteenth Century blue covered vegetable dish, Hong Kong, $595; a country pine bookcase with carved crest, 1890-1910, $495; a Victorian reverse-painted tinsel picture, $125; a blown ruby glass decanter; and an American pine four-drawer bureau with washstand, $995.
Also, an Old Lyme School oil on canvas, attributed to Ben Fisher, $950; a pine bucket bench in mustard paint over old brown, $395; a range of doorstops-floral, windmill, a masted ship, and a stage coach; a French market basket, $195; a French faux bamboo framed mirror, $125; signed Bradley & Hubbard bookends “Homer”, $225; and a country Sheraton one-drawer serving table, circa 1840 for $695.
Jeff Hoffman of Netherwood, Salt Point, N.Y. stated. “We really enjoy doing the summer show at Rhinebeck. It’s lighthearted, yet one can find serious antiques; there is a great mix of dealers and antiques. I don’t think there is a formula for what we can sell there, as the Mid-Hudson Valley is an extremely diverse area and we can sell diverse things at this show. Of course there is always an emphasis on Quality. Jimi Barton does a great job hand picking his exhibitors, and he and his staff make it a pleasure to exhibit there.”
Thomas & Julia Barringer of Stockton, N.J. featured a Pennsylvania church scene, pastel & pencil drawing, mid to late Nineteenth Century, $875; an “A.G. Carver” large flesh fork, 1882, Pa., $375; a rare wrought iron flesh fork with stand; a Nineteenth Century griddle; a “rolling” wrought iron coffee roaster, early Nineteenth Century, Pa., $450; a geometric hooked rug, mid Twentieth Century, $525; a Mennonite wool quilt, circa 1880-90, Pa., 81 by 96 inches, $2,100; and a diminutive saw buck table with original mustard salmon paint, mid Nineteenth Century, New England, for $1,150.
Mad Parade from Chicago, Illinois brought a Minnie & Mickey opposing crank whirl-a-gig, 1930s; an adjustable six-arm spool wheel, $95; a Bally-Hoo game, an early pinball-like game, $395; a 16-drawer enameled kitchen cupboard; a marquetry Foley heart lamp ending in metal claw feet; a tin Lipton’s Yellow Label Coffee sign, large rough twine balls; a Maxwell Street, Chicago fuel pump front with mirror; a 15-stem candelabra, rendered in wrought iron and wearing blue paint; and a carnival clown ball toss.
Owner, Scott Filar had a strong show and the 16-drawer kitchen cupboard sold retail to a couple from Pelham, N.Y.; the six-arm spool sold along with the Foley heart lamp. Filar replied, “Though the drive is long I look forward to Rhinebeck as it allows me to keep in contact with clients. Sales were at least double that of the spring and fall show and Jimi is to be commended for the way he operates the show.”
Dennis Raleigh, Midland, Mich., displayed a signed oil on canvas, “Green Shack” by Maine artist Wm. Kurlund, 1930, for $795; a collection of 1950s bow ties, $350; a decorated 1802 blanket chest, $4,100; a Nineteenth Century drawing of a clipper ship in full sails built in Boston, 1832, $750; a wood make-do wall candle sconce with glass mosaic light reflector, $1,250/pair; a pair of mallard decoys, Mason Decoy Co., Detroit, Mich., circa 1910, $1,600; silhouette portraits in gilt frames; a fish weathervane from a boat house on Mohegan Island, $395; and a 16-drawer nut & bolt case from a Cushing, Me. Hardware store.
Rhinebeck seems to be the exception to the rule concerning recent show trends; seldom does one hear so many dealers so impressed with overall sales. Rhinebeck is riding the euphoric wave of success brought on by the extreme attention to detail of Jimi Barton and a strong staff. Barton has vetted dealers carefully and this simple fact allows buyers to buy in confidence. “Summer Magic” it was. Jimi surely hopes the Indian Summer will visit his next show, October 13 and 14.
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