And the Show Does Go On:
By Genevieve S. Ward
WILTON, CONN. – At a show that is infamous for its selection of Americana, the Wilton DAR Antiques Show performed well beyond its expectations on September 16.
Show manager Marilyn Gould was widely applauded by dealers for her decision to donate all show proceeds and to the New York Fire 9/11 Relief Fund and the New York City Police Benevolent Association. Approximately $12,000 was raised from early buying and contributions, and Gould estimates that, when all the numbers are in, the total donation will be around $30,000.
“It was a difficult decision,” she recalled. “For the 24 hours it took us to decide, we went back and forth between our options.
“There were two reasons we went ahead with the show. First, Mayor Rudolph Guiliani’s statement about the need to return to some normalcy really hit home with me. Second, as a member of Wilton’s crisis team, I met everyday that week with members of clergy and the superintendent of schools. We really agreed that we should resume a normal life as much as possible.”
Gould noted that two dealers who could not make it were replaced by Portland Antiques of Portland, Me. and Country Loft Antiques of Woodbury, Conn.
Six of Wilton’s own firefighters, who had worked at Ground Zero, attended the show to speak with customers and share their experiences.
The gate was down by 65 percent, according to Gould. There were about 1,200 customers during regular hours and 225 for early buying. Still, many shoppers didn’t go home empty-handed.
It was no surprise that Jeffrey Kohn, MD of With All Due Ceremony, Elkins Park, was giving out flags to children and parents. His collection of historic flags were also popular. He recalled, “I had a great show selling all across the board [including] signs, flags, and folk art. I had already planned to bring a group of powerful important flags that were great folk art design. I sold several smaller parade flags in the $500 to $1,000 price range.
“I think the attendees really appreciated what Marilyn did,” Kohn continued.
Norma Chick of Autumn Pond Antiques, Bolton, Conn. also reported a good show. She noted, “It was actually much stronger than I expected with the horrendous events of the week. I sold some wonderful pieces of Delft, a small Eighteenth Century English lowboy, and a Nineteenth Century painting and mirror.”
She reflected, “I feel that people needed to get out, away from the sadness and horror that have been with them all week, and put it aside for a short while.”
William and Teresa Kurau of Lampeter, Penn.were in agreement. “We did not know what to expect from this show so soon after the tragedy in New York City. Knowing that [the proceeds were being donated] made it more bearable.”
Their sales included historical Staffordshire including a rare New York Bay plate by Joseph Stubbs, spatterware, pearlware, Delft, Eighteenth Century pottery and Currier & Ives lithographs.
Russ Goldberger of Rye, N.H. stated, “Karen and I came down on Friday with some concern, having spent the week glued to the news reports. After dinner with dealer friends on Friday night, you were glad to have come. It was good to get back into some semblance of normality.” The Goldbergers sold gameboards, trade signs, and some decoys.
Russ continued, “Our hats are off to Marilyn Gould, who clearly spent considerable time weighing her options, including cancellation, but decided to go ahead. It was a fitting and generous gesture for Marilyn to donate the gate proceeds to the New York fire and police disaster funds.”