Published: June 15, 2004
Flamingo Promotions dove into the Rhinebeck antiques market for the third year May 28-30 with The 3rd Annual Rhinebeck Tailgate Antiques Show at St James Church on the Albany Post Road, Route 9.
Tailgating in the business of antiques shows is when a show promoter produces an antiques event at about the same time and in a place near the location of a long established and successful show. The Rhinebeck Antiques Show, a Memorial Day Weekend tradition of long standing, has been full for many years, turning away dealers. John and Tina Bruno, the Flamingo owners, saw an opportunity to produce another event to expand the market for the customers and thus created their first tailgate show in May 2002.
The days and hours of operation are similar but just different enough to allow visitors to come to both shows. The opening was Friday afternoon, which gave dealers at the other show time to travel six miles down the road to shop. Those who did shop found many additions for their inventory and collections. That evening there was some traffic from the “Weekenders,” those people, usually New York City residents who have second homes in Dutchess and nearby Columbia counties. Saturday continued the tailgate pattern opening early at 8 am, two hours before the main show.
These hours and days of operation “did give the show attendance boosts as [we] saw dealers from the other show and customers coming here first then hustling up to …[Rhinebeck]…” said Tina Bruno. Overall attendance was disappointing but the Brunos are committed to this show and plan some minor changes to their hours and more direct marketing and ad campaigns before the fall dates to continue to build the show.
Glen and Jenni Rice, the California transplants to Higganum, Conn., have been showing up at a great many shows in their new home area. Here they had an assortment of early American made stoneware, country furniture and some early textiles. Ellen Asbell, Oley, Penn., came with a wide variety of early and antique furniture and accessories.
Early American furniture, most made in a primitive style, is the staple of Bob Campbell’s inventory. The Basking Ridge, N.J., dealer also finds old clock faces, which he converts into electric kitchen time pieces. From New York’s Mohawk Valley area came Mark Wheaton with a collection of painted blanket boxes. From his shop in Mariville Lake, N.Y., he also had an early northern pie safe, lower to the floor and vented only to the front, unlike mid-Atlantic and Southern styles that needed more ventilation and higher ground clearance.
From Long Island, Platypus Antiques, Dix Hills, N.Y., is a dealer of painted country furniture and accessories. David and Eileen Nelz had an assortment of furniture and very interesting accessories. There was a painted shield, shaped like a police officer’s badge, painted red, white and blue, about a foot and a half tall with no explanation as to what its use had been, but it will make a great wall hanging for someone.
A dealer not often seen in the Northeast is James Island Antiques, of Charleston, S.C. For this show and another they plan to do while here, they had a large selection of mostly English porcelain. Country Huzzah, Burke, Va., came with Nineteenth Century accessories and some furniture. Of particular interest was a faux grain painted American Chippendale chest of drawers.
Liz Keesler, Castle Creek, N.Y., had an early manufactured beehive. (They were often called bee skips or simply skips as farmers would move them from field to orchard and back to aid in pollinating crops and to alter the flavor of the honey…A farmer would “skip” it from one location to another.)
Tina Bruno in a postshow interview emphasized she was “…still positive about this show; it’s in the right place, the right time and we will keep building on what we have begun.” Their next show in Hyde Park will be Columbus Day Weekend, October 8-10. They also produce several Long Island shows; the next is The Southampton Classic at the Elks Field, June 26-27. For information, 631-261-4590 or www.flamingoshows.com.
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