Published: December 3, 2002
By Susan and Al Bagdade
CHICAGO, ILL. – Now in its tenth year, the Sacred Heart Schools’ Antiques Show returned to its new home at the Broadway Armory on October 25-27 for a small, but appreciative audience of collectors, designers and browsers. The show is presented by the Parents’ Auxiliary of Sacred Heart Schools in partnership with Wendy Management.
Nearly 50 antiques dealers set up in the armory. Since they have moved to this facility, each exhibitor has more space for roomlike settings. This year there were 15 new dealers at the show due to some last-minute cancellations. Though there was room for a few more dealers, Meg Wendy said, “We try not to grow too much in order to protect the dealers. There is only a certain amount of dollars that will be spent, and if there are too many dealers, it is spread too thin.”
Activities started with the preview party where Bill Kurtis, nationally known television journalist, and Donna La Pietra, Emmy award-winning documentary producer, were honorary chairpersons. Proceeds from this celebrated fundraiser benefited the schools’ academic and scholarship programs. More than 600 people came to enjoy early buying privileges, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and the always popular silent and live auctions, which generated a lot of attention and strong bidding.
Martin International from New York City and Portland, Ore., is a 10-year veteran of the show. The dealer specializes in fine period jewelry from the likes of Cartier, Van Cleef and Arpels as well as Tiffany. Diamonds are their specialty. They were sharing their space with Sharon D. Grau, a direct importer of pearls from Tahiti, Indonesia, mainland China and Japan. She featured very unusual compositions and scarce pearls and had a lot of interest. Mostly she sells to the fine jewelry trade.
Michael Donovan from Nashua, N.H., displayed a room setting filled with natural wicker pieces. One customer said, “He has the best wicker I have ever seen.” A settee with curlicues that had “all the bells and whistles” was one of many available rdf_Descriptions.
At The Country Squire from Boston, the exhibit was a “recreation of an 1890s officer’s tent in the Indochine campaign,” said Lew Alessio. One customer said, “I give this booth an A-plus for show setup.” There was miniature furniture, leather books, tea canisters, horse antiques, canes and leather furniture.
Early in the show, The Merchant Princess from Macon, Ga., sold an oil lamp base, and had serious interest in lamps, chandeliers, chaises and a hold on a console. These exhibitors believed that “the show looks beautiful this year.”
Kip McKesson of Global Imports from Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, sold a stool, four baskets, five hats, a chair, a necklace and a wooden bowl. At least “I have my expenses covered,” said McKesson. “One has to remember that African art is not a necessity,” McKesson concluded.
Tutto dal Monto from Penn Valley, Penn., had a large exhibit featuring Shelley, Quimper, silver plate, sterling silver, picture frames, Victorian jewelry, Bakelite bracelets and celluloid from the 1920s to the 1950s, Royal Winton china and English cottage ware, Clarice Cliff, Goldscheider figures from circa 1930, British royalty commemoratives and suffragette jewelry.
A new exhibitor was Douglas-Rosin Decorative Arts and Antiques from Chicago. Gene and Barbara have recently moved their antiques business to 730 North Wells. Early sales included a Czech peacock lamp, a pair of Egyptian Revival lamps, an Art Nouveau watercolor and a rare small piece of Loetz art glass.
Jesslyn James of The Gallery of European Art from Paris sells artwork from La Belle Epoque, including such artists as Helleu, Lautrec, Belleroche and Legrand. James said, “My phone gets busy with stockbrokers when stocks go down. Art is a good place to put money for long-term investment.”
New exhibitor Suzanne Sarvari Crofoot from Lakeville, Ind., said, “I had good preshow sales with decorators. It is a gorgeous, premier Chicago show.” She had an Eighteenth Century delft polychrome charger for $2,900, and a Nineteenth Century Regency-style rosewood bookcase with black marble over glazed panel doors flanked by tapered pilasters with brass marquetry paw feet for $6,900.
At The Treasure Chest from Highland Park, Ill., beaded bags are a new rdf_Description in addition to jewelry. Owner Judy Rosenbloom reported selling “tons of the purses. Most of the bags were in the $400 to $1,200 price range.” Rosenbloom said, “We are also selling small diamond and diamond and pearl earrings, jewelry that can be worn for both daytime and evening. The smaller price point in the $2,500 range and under is what is selling.” Although there was “interest in some big things, people are slower to make decisions on bigger pieces,” Rosenbloom concluded.
Painting dealer Lynn Rogers from Oakbrook, Ill., said, “This is a Sunday show. People have to think about it since they are slow in making decisions. In some ways people are buying better paintings since they are fixing their houses and spending more time at home. Business is stronger than ever. Antiques are better than stocks.” Other dealers agreed that this is a Sunday show, but they did not necessarily find that business is stronger than ever.
Fraida Aland of Rare Finds, Ltd from Northfield, Ill., had her usual strong selling show. Tons of fireplace equipment sold as well as porcelains to decorate with for “doing a hutch.” Aland was also showcasing bamboo furniture, boxes, scales, brass and wooden candlesticks, canes, silver toast racks, leather furniture, biscuit barrels, circa 1880 brass picture frames, three-tier stands, barbola mirrors and silver.
From Milwoukee, Wis., Flapper Alley always has a strong showing at Sacred Heart. This year they sold cocktail wear and vintage clothing, handbags, linens, a crazy quilt and interesting smalls.
New exhibitor Hamshere Gallery from London has one of the largest collections of canine, equestrian, and sporting, antique and period jewelry in the world. They also have added dog paintings dealing with the collecting of pedigree or sporting dogs. By Saturday they had some jewelry and a painting, so “it is potentially a good show” said John Hamshere.
Proarte Gallery from Miami, is another newcomer to Sacred Heart. Giuseppe Concepcion was in Illinois for the first time. He believed that “this was an elegant, well-managed show.” He has had more interest from potential clients in the last four or five months. Generally, “the Midwest customers are more interested in purchasing than those in the East.” Concepcion sold a Keith Haring, some vintage posters and had interest in a Marc Chagall lithograph from 1970.
Zane Moss has been at all ten Sacred Heart shows. Sales included a Regency ottoman, a chest, a commode, a stool and sconces. Vicki Moss believed that “it’s been quieter than it should be. The show has never looked better with great variety and a better mix of dealers.” There was just not the usual designer traffic and sales that there had been at past shows.
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