By Genevieve S. Ward
NEW YORK CITY – To the delight of collectors and antiques dealers, Stella Show Mgmt. Co, took over Piers 88, 90 and 92 for yet another weekend on March 9-10 to wrap up the Spring Triple Pier extravaganza. While the show’s first weekend always attracts first-rate crowds to the booths inhabited by veteran dealers, the shows this year were comparable in attendance. Overall, attendance for both weekend was up at least a few hundred from last year’s gate.
According to Stella president Leanne Stella, about 25 percent of the first weekend’s dealers return for the second. That leaves a lot of room for newer or lesser-known dealers to build up a steady clientele as they conduct business . Some dealers remarked about the freshness and creativity they noticed at , where about 90 new dealers exhibited.
The gate for the first weekend of Triple Pier was 9,800, and brought in upwards of 9,600. The buying crowd for , however, had a larger impact on sales. Stella attributed this to the fact that the second-weekend buyers were mostly retail, so there were less dealer sales and less bargaining power on the part of the customer.
Jeffrey Kohn of With All Due Ceremony, Elkins Park, Penn., brought a set of four decorated flight bags to hang amid his usual collection of American flags and advertising signs. The bags, painted with models representing the stylized art of the World War II era, were decorated similar to the flight jackets that the troops would have worn. The bags were probably owned by post-occupation forces in Korea.
Lawrence Farms of Chappaqua, N.Y. enjoyed the south window view from Pier 90 and exhibited a circa 1790 cherry New England Chippendale chest, a Nineteenth Century English wheelback Windsor chair, a circa 1825 primitive portrait and a Bargeware teapot, labeled “J.H. Wheaton, Linton, 1844.”
Balsamo Antiques, Pine Plains, N.Y., brought sets of apothecary jars that bore colorful French labels. On top of a Nineteenth Century French dining table was a set of English leather Victorian trunks that resembled oval hatboxes. Also in the booth was a large Asian mica screen.
Some of the collectibles offered by Blackbird Antiques of Great Barrington, Mass., included Steiff tigers in several sized, Black Americana, cast-iron doorstops and plenty of Bakelite.
Portland, Maine, dealers Willmert-Newell brought a collection of vintage fans, and a set of 1960s eight turquoise vinyl and spun aluminum chairs from a TWA airport terminal, which sold as the show closed to a retail customer. The dealers noted, “We sold most of what we brought as well as what we purchased at the show.” Items that went quickly were garden-related pieces such as iron and rattan furniture, as well as Modern and Retro pieces.
Tramp art was plentiful at the booth of Ronnie and Guy Weil, New Hope, Penn. In addition to the dealer’s usual trove of unique pieces, such as a set of old dumb bells in many varying sizes, there was a large white painted tramp art frame, a tramp art vanity set embellished with red velvet and several hanging tramp art cabinets.
A highlight of Linda and Howard Stein’s booth was a rare Old Hickory bench from Martinsville, Ind. Dating to the 1920s or 30s, the Solebury, Penn., dealers indicated that it was probably a custom piece, as it featured a separate caned cushion fitted inside with springs.
When Praiseworthy Antiques dealer John Lynch was looking for something different to bring to Triple Pier, he came across a sweater that had been in storage for years. He did not wear it to the show, however, but hung it on the back wall of his booth, covering about six feet square of wall space. The enormous sweater was mounted onto a wooden rack. The navy Sha-ker-knit sweater was punctuated with a large orange “B,” which the dealer attributed to Bucknell University.
Lenny Kislin of Bearsville, N.Y., brought a set of Mason’s shields with the letters “B,” “F” and “C,” which stand for Brotherhood, Faith and Char-ity. Also on display were two paper mosaic portraits by B. J. Taylor of Theodore Roosevelt and Senator Borach. A machinist-made model of a newspaper press was also a unique find — it actually works.
Bob Barker of Poverty Hollow Antiques enjoyed his first Stella show that weekend. In his other life, Barker cultivates, enjoys and shares the world’s largest collection of peony varieties at his home in Redding Ridge, Conn. At the show, however, Barker sold quite a bit of glass, as well as paintings, and furniture.
At Pier 88, Chick Darrow’s Fun Antiques & Collectibles of New York City had on display a pair of large Italian Mickey and Minnie Mouse store display dolls, as well as the first MAD doll, issued in 1960. George Darrow, who is the second-generation proprietor of his father’s shop on First Avenue (between 60th and 61st Streets), brought his young son Dante to the show to learn the trade. The shop has been in the same neighborhood since 1962.
Ed and Betty Koren, who exhibited on Pier 88 as Bridges Over Time Antiques of Walden, N.Y., noted that the weekend was successful. Mr Koren recalled, “It seemed that traffic was a little slower than last year, but we still had a successful show.”
Sales for the Korens included Danish rosewood pieces from the mid 1960s, some blonde Heywood Wakefield pieces, a 1930s sculpture by a noted woman artist, and decorative accessories. “It was great to be back doing a show in New York and at the Piers. The mood was great and the energy level was terrific,” he reflected.
Barbara Gerr of Absecon, N.J., brought an extensive collection of Roseville pottery. She and partner Arnie Small reported to both regular customers and new collectors, “several of whom purchased multiple pieces of Roseville from us,” said Barbara.