Published: January 16, 2007
A sparkling dragonfly pin twinkled from amid a display case while several rows over a grouping of rings invited second glances. Rows of chunky Bakelite bracelets and necklaces arranged by color caught the eye.
Jewelry enthusiasts were in their glory at Cord Shows’ 21st annual Stocking Stuffers show at the Civic Center December 10, which heavily featured jewelry but paid equal attention to other smalls: silver, frames, miniature art, glassware, ephemera, advertising tins and more. The rule with this show is the items must be six inches or less and several first-time dealers laughingly quipped about going around their store with a ruler for the first time ever to decide what to bring to the show.
“The show went really well. We had 720 people and it’s a nice-sized attendance for a one-day show,” promoter Vivien Cord said. “It’s a tradition and just a fun show all the way around for everyone who participates and attends.”
Good sales were held by The Farm Art & Antiques for the Home & Garden of Duanesburg, N.Y., which sold more than a dozen pieces of pottery and David C. Virrill of Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., whose handmade and painted ice fishing decoys scored with buyers with 16 off to new fishing spots or prime real estate on a whatnot.
Martin Brayer of M. Brayer Estate Jewelry, Westport Conn., reported having a good show, noting many of the well-established firm’s customers come to the show, which he has done for over four years now. Sales ranged the gamut from low end to high end.
Witchtree Antiques, Woodbury, Conn., sold Christmas ornaments, silver, china and lots of glassware. Louis Beauchamp said he sold “real” stocking stuffers and while no single item cost more than $100, the quantity he sold made it a worthwhile show. He praised the show promoters as gracious and always going the extra step to make the show an easy one for dealers to do.
While numbers may have been a bit off, Jamie Shenkman of Jamie’s Antiques, Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., said she had a fun show. “My favorite sale was a huge three-tiered Valentino necklace of translucent, smoky plastic beads punctuated by see-through green floret pendants set with rhinestones. The same customer bought dangly silver 70s clip-on earrings and two English Art Deco frames.” Another interesting sale was to a man who purchased a 5-inch Karl Lagerfeld gold tone starfish brooch set with faux pearls and shell earrings for his wife, she said.
The mother-daughter team of Lara Joyce Antiques, Westfield, N.J., reported a variety of items sold. Sales included miniature candlesticks, hair jewelry, Black Forest boxes, several mother of pearl handle silverware and some serving pieces
Connie Brown, familiar to those who navigate the antiques show circuit for her textiles and quilts, had been putting in long hours the last few weeks with the opening of her new bricks and mortar location, Connie B’s at 15½ Wall Street in Norwalk, Conn., and almost didn’t make the show. She called Cord up the night before the show to beg off from exhaustion but changed her mind. During the show, which only took her minutes to set up for, she was all smiles.
Farida’s Jewelry, New Rochelle, N.Y., deals in smalls as a rule so she rated the show a great success and enjoyed catching up with old customers, making new ones and being able to buy from other dealers. Her best sale was four vintage purses that she sold to another dealer early in the show, who fell in love with one bag but then couldn’t decide among the four and ended up taking them all home.
Vintage purses were also front and center at Vintage With a Twist, Westchester County, N.Y., where Elaine Klausner also showed cookie cutter molds and the obligatory offering of glass ornaments, the latter inviting trips down memory lane from several passersby as they recalled family Christmas trees of yore. Several evening purses found new homes and an artist who creates shadow boxes bought many tiny crocheted animals for a project she is working on.
“The show turned out to be very busy. I noticed that most people were shopping for gifts and loved the whole concept of little 6-inch things,” Klausner said. “There seems to be quite a following for this show. The changed one-week earlier date of the show was really a good thing. The crowd seemed to be just starting their Christmas shopping so there was an excitement in the air.”
A positive energy did seem to fill the Civic Center, which was starting to fill up shortly after the show opened. By 11 am, carefully wrapped packages and money were changing hands in rapid succession across booths in every aisle.
The show attracted buyers from all walks of life and several dealers said they were gratified to see a younger generation in attendance as young families brought their children to introduce them to a love of antiques. One dealer overheard a father tell his daughter that anyone can shop at the big box stores as he tried to impart the joys of antiques.
Nancy Craig of NCC Antiques, Dover, N.H., said her best sale had little to do with price and was to a ten-year-old boy, a budding Civil War enthusiast, who purchased a chalkware statute of his hero, Abraham Lincoln, for $6. He later returned and bought several things on his holiday gift-giving list. “Maybe he’s already seeing the value of antiques as gifts,” she said.
Craig enjoys dealing in “regular” antiques that are part of the ordinary’s person’s life, details of which she likes to pass on to customers, such as telling the buyer of a pair of crocheted doilies that they came from an older woman in New Hampshire, whose mother made them in Sweden many years before. “I think that when we antique dealers acquire the physical possessions of a person’s lifetime, that — if we can — we owe it to that person’s memory to pass along a little of them and their history with the object.”
Vicki Turbeville of Southwestern Jewelry, New York City, said vintage buckles and belts continued to be strong holiday gift giving choices. “There were a few ‘secret’ presents purchased after the browsers left my table, with the buyer circling back to make the purchase. It’s always fun to be a co-conspirator in giving someone something they really want!”
Stone Cottage Antiques, Newtown, Conn., was offering an 1830 miniature theorem watercolor, jewelry, silver, frames and glassware at the show.
Great Estates, Milford, Conn., concentrates on offering Victorian furnishings and stocks her booth with period accessories. Key sales included a piece of Royal Bayreuth porcelain and a sterling silver vase with fine repousse work.
Blackbird Antiques & Collectibles, North Egremont, Mass., reported moderately priced jewelry sold well.
Fool’s Gold, New York City, said customers sought her out and commented on her colorful display, which was filled with Bakelite jewelry in corals, browns and other hues. One customer came back four times and purchased a good piece of Bakelite each time. “It was a fun day. People would stay at the booth for a half hour or more trying on things and deciding what to buy,” said Sheila Strong.
The show will be back December 9 and Cord Shows has several other antiques shows on the calendar between now and then. For more information, www.cordshows.com or 914-273-4667.
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