Published: April 6, 2004
Stella’s Triple Pier Antiques Show on March 20-21 was a big hit, according to both the dealers and the show’s founder, Irene Stella, who said the customers were back. “We were extremely satisfied with attendance,” said Stella. She added that there was a return of the decorators as well as “very strong retail buying.”
The Triple Pier Antiques Show began about 20 years ago when New York City’s Port Authority, the operators of the piers, agreed to use the then-renovated passenger ship terminals on the waterfront in Midtown Manhattan as exhibition centers. After the first show’s success in only one pier, Stella added a second pier and then the third, each housing about 200 antiques dealers. When the piers are available, Stella does it for two weekends and they have been conducted in November as well as in March.
This March marked the start of another new idea – Restoration ’04 – a show-within-a-show specializing in merchandise and services for the restoration of old and historic properties. This idea was borne out of the restorations being done in the New York tri-state area and throughout the country. People are buying rundown and out-of-date homes, lofts and other buildings then renovating them into fresh updated domiciles and workplaces. This section of the antiques show was devoted to offering sources to those people trying to do it themselves, or at least managing it themselves. For the exhibitors, it was a venue in which to show themselves, their products or services.
In a postshow interview, Stella said it had been “torture trying to get dealers, but all the exhibitors who came were happy and want to come back.” She added that Restoration will be conducted again on its own, although at this time the date and location are uncertain. It could be this fall at one of the piers or possibly the 69th Regiment Armory, if it is available.
Very interesting and unusual merchandise was offered at Pier 94’s Restoration ’04. Erickson’s Antique Stoves, Inc, Littleton, Mass., had a large inventory of early kitchen stoves, the kind seen in movies of the 1930s and 1940s – cream-colored porcelain with green or black highlights and tall legs elevating the work surfaces with waist-high ovens and fired by gas. Erickson’s also had a large selection of cast-iron wood stoves. Cottage Treasures had architectural remnants, such as restored mantels with breast walls, exterior ornamentation such as gingerbread trim and some early outdoor furniture.
Crawford’s Glass & Garden of Allentown, Penn., deals almost entirely with antique leaded glass windows. Seen at several other shows in the past, they have rolling stands that are for display of the dozens of windows they offer. New England Architectural Center came down from Newport, R.I., with doors windows and fireplace mantels as well as early lighting, both gas lamps and electric.
There were also several specialty contractors for such things as bathtub refinishing, storm windows and even design services.
But this weekend event was really about antiques.
The majority of Pier 94 was Art Deco and Art Moderne merchandise. Annandale, Va., dealer Past Pleasure Moderne had a room setting of chrome and cushioned furniture with the appropriate 1930s accessories. Preview, Del Ray Beach, Fla., had a room from the 1960s, including a lamp made from a long section of chrome pipe curved into a semicircle about six feet in diameter with a chrome ball housing a light bulb.
Depression Modern, a New York City dealer, had both a living room and dining room setting of wood and upholstered pieces from the first half of the Twentieth Century. A similar look was offered by Paul Johnson Art and Design, New York City. And Lunatiques from White Plains, N.Y., had a kitchen set of molded plastic.
Pier 94 also featured numerous dealers offering personal rdf_Descriptions, including vintage Twentieth Century glass and pottery, jewelry and a dealer of early radios and lawn sprinklers.
Pier 92 has been described by Stella as “classic antiques.” There were Virginia and Patrick Renschen, Middletown, Conn., with silver and early glass. In their collection was a “supper dish,” as Pat Renschen called it, silver plate lazy Susan with dishes on the outside and a center bowl priced at $2,000. Nineteenth Century was the focus of Steve and Lisa Fisch’s booth. One of their key pieces was a wooden dentist’s work top cabinet.
D&D Antiques of Ridgefield, Conn., had a case filled to overflowing with Staffordshire figurines. Harborview Antiques, Greenwich, Conn., had a huge collection of pillows made from vintage fabrics as well as early furniture. Duomo Antiques brought a campaign-style chest of drawers from its Carversville, Penn., home. A combination of French country and provincial, along with American country accessories, was offered by Brunswick, Maine, dealer Days Antiques.
Joan Bogart has been at the piers for most of the show’s 20-year history. This time she was suffering with the flu during setup, but still she recalled having “the strongest spring I have ever had in the building. I sold mostly garden stuff, but also a chandelier and accessories.”
Mary Stasik of Darien, Conn., offered an outsider art piece that had been decorating a wall in the children’s section of a Norwich, Conn., hospital for $1,800. Firehouse Antiques, Galena, Md., seemed to offer mostly vintage outdoor furniture, while Bob Withington had a very formal collection from his York, Maine, shop. New Jersey dealer Susan Oostdyk specializes in antique and vintage French linens, which she offered together with indoor wicker furniture.
Kristen Nerbecki, daughter of dealers Grozio Antiques, Wilkes Barre, Penn., was seen testing an early shoeshine chair. New York dealer Michael Ward offered Mission furniture, store fixtures and workbenches in his space. Otto and Susan Hart, Arlington, Vt., had a five-foot-tall knockdown dummy, which Susan Hart said came from Coney Island.
There is always great variety at the piers, and there was a lot of competition in rugs, English porcelain, traditional early American furniture and accessories.
The next pier show will be in the fall on two consecutive weeks – November 13-14 and 20-21. Each week is a different show, not simply the same dealers with the same stuff.
For information, 212-255-0020 or .
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm