Published: March 1, 2011
Allison Kohler of JMK Shows and Events found an appreciative audience of exhibitors and show patrons when she decided to mount a reinstallation of the White Plains Antiques Show, February 12‱3.
For their part, shoppers seemed pleased to have an antiques show back at the Westchester County Center after an absence of several years. Traffic was steady both Saturday and Sunday, Kohler reported.
Dealers, too, welcomed the return of a venue like the Westchester County Center, which, well known for fine antiques shows, had not had a show of this caliber in years since the Wendy Management Company picked up and left the suburban market for the Big Apple.
“White Plains is populated with discerning consumers who have very strong interest in antiques,” Kohler said, “and we are pleased to bring a fine antiques show back to this part of Westchester County.”
Kohler added, “The feedback we received was all very positive. Customers kept seeking me out to let me know how happy they were that we had brought a show back to the area. The gate was a little more than 2,000 people, Saturday was slightly stronger than Sunday, but we did have around 100 return customers on Sunday.”
An aggressive ad campaign was initiated to get the word out to collectors and decorators. JMK covered “everywhere for a good two weeks,” according to Kohler, including the trade papers and the firm’s mailing and email lists targeting New York City, Westchester and Rockland Counties, Connecticut and Bergen County in New Jersey. “The facility [Westchester County Center] also does a great deal of advertising and had us listed on its site for things to do, as well as a 15-foot banner out in front of the building for a couple of weeks,” said Kohler. She initially sought a roster of 70 dealers, but settled on a critical mass of just 60, which came from her cadre of exhibitors, plus new prospects she had garnered at recent antiques shows.
And when the doors opened at 10 am on Saturday morning, the show was more than ready for its closeup. Walled and papered room-setting booths filled the large, well-lit space, aisles were comfortably apportioned and there was a nearly perfect mix of specialties by exhibitors from several states presenting American and Continental furniture, estate and designer jewelry, fine art, Oriental rugs, textiles, lighting, clocks, silver and more at prices both the new and seasoned collector could countenance.
As for sales, invariably, it depends on who you talk to. “Many people were in the black and did some business, a number had very good shows and then there were some for whom it was not so good,” said Kohler “Artwork, paintings, posters, jewelry, porcelains and furniture all sold, as did many decorative items.”
Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Americana and folk art are the specialties of both Frank Gaglio of Rhinebeck, N.Y., and Melissa Bourque Antiques, Garrison, N.Y.
These exhibitors’ respective booths were positioned at the rear of the show floor. Bourque showcased painted furniture and accessories, high country and formal furniture and period paintings and watercolors. A late Nineteenth Century hooked rug with “Sunbonnet Sue Chasing a Duck” had been mounted in a frame, and an arresting Nineteenth Century folk art watercolor painting of a Hudson River scene from a Peekskill, N.Y., residence came with interesting provenance. The dealer had sussed out that the piece, inscribed “A View from the Front of Residence of Col. J.A. Hyatt,” could be pinpointed to a specific address on Hudson Avenue. Today, said Bourque, that address is a tenement.
A sweet piece of furniture in Bourque’s booth was a stretcher-base tavern table from the late Eighteenth Century with a single-board pine top and maple base.
Gaglio’s booth centered on an oil on canvas portrait of George Washington, circa 1840‱850, and an American copper eagle weathervane, circa 1875, with a great surface. A folky pair of cat-form andirons, circa 1920s, and a pair of similarly themed hooked rugs, one circa 1890s and the other dated 1908, were other booth standouts, as were a set of Punch & Judy hand puppets, a great pair of blue snowshoes, a rustic Adirondack twig rocker from the 1920s and a carved and painted wall pocket from New York state, circa 1880.
Agreeing that the show was a successful new venture for JMK, Gaglio also noted some of his own sales, which included an exceptional wallpaper-covered hat box signed Boston inside, a garden fountain and several interesting accessories.
Trying out the show for the first time †with overall good results †were fine art dealers Steve and Doris McKell, Tradewinds Fine Art, Narragansett, R.I. “Saturday we sold just three paintings, but Sunday the buying activity picked up and several more sold, including paintings by Pal Fried, Reginald Marsh, [four] Hudson Valley landscapes by William Heffernan, [two] Bena Frank Mayer watercolors, a Hudson River School painting, a Venice scene and a Nineteenth Century floral still life,” they said.
Unsold but garnering considerable attention in their booth was a small and rare gem by William Rimmer (1816‱879), titled “The Lions Den” and palpably depicting the restive animals peering out from their circus cage prison.
David and Donna Kmetz, Douglas, Mass., also filled three walls with paintings by listed American artists from the late Nineteenth to the mid-Twentieth Century. Their emphasis is on New England Impressionism, and the dealers also had a small jewel-like painting on view †this one by Loris Alvin Withers, who was born in 1891 in Philadelphia and later lived in Port Washington, N.Y. “Stream at Pont Aven” was a diminutive oil on board, just 7 by 9 inches, signed lower right, but packed a strong visual punch of prismatic light-dappled trees and pond with residence in the background. The sparkling quality of her brushstrokes may have stemmed from her experience as a creator of many stained glass windows, said the dealer.
Another first-timer at a JMK show was Neil Ingber, Westport, Conn., specializing in Twentieth Century design. A 1939 New York World’s Fair service flatware for eight by William Rogers & Co. was attracting notice, and Ingber, who admitted to being physically exhausted after the two days, said his time was well spent meeting new potential customers for his merchandise and establishing long-term contacts. He gave Kohler high marks for reviving the show, saying, “A new show is always a gamble. This one was well-received.”
Gary Bardsley Antiques from Sudbury, Mass., showed an eclectic range of materials. He had formal furniture, such as a Nineteenth Century English mahogany partners’ desk, weathervanes, lighting, even a pair of Nineteenth Century Staffordshire King Charles spaniels with the unusual separation of the front legs.
Christine Magne, Antiquaire of Philadelphia, specializes in French and European antique furniture and decorative arts from 1600 to 1900. With her husband, the dealer is also developing a collection of Old Master drawings by Italian, French and Dutch artist from the Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries, which pair very well the couple’s inventory of formal furniture, porcelain and faience, textiles, silver, lighting and clocks. One example on view was an Italian (Roman or Bolognese) School early Eighteenth Century black chalk study of a standing male nude seen from behind by the Circle of Giovanni Battista Piazetta (1683‱754). An English game table of Caribbean mahogany in accordion form with locking underboard was from the George II period, last quarter of the Eighteenth Century, and a Regency (1715′3) period chair a la reine (flat backed) was in molded beech wood sculpted with shells and other motifs.
There was no shortage of jewelry at the show. It dazzled abundantly at showcases commanded by London’s Sue Brown, Anita Taub, Wistaria and Brad Reh from Southampton, N.Y. A highlight at Brown’s booth was a gold quartz bracelet from San Francisco’s Gold Rush period, circa 1860‷0, flecked with glittering Sierra Nevada finds. Reh featured a timely Valentine’s treat †an Oscar Heymann brooch, circa 1970s, in the form of a bouquet of diamonds set in platinum with an 18K gold stem, as well as a French 18K gold bracelet with a floral diamond theme from the 1940s.
Print dealers were well represented, too, including Richard and Joyce Krieg, Maile Allen, Antique Prints & Papers and Lynne T. Ward. Collectively, they covered the map of interest ranging from botanical prints, natural history subjects, fashion illustrations and architectural engravings †and, of course, maps. Allen, the Colonia, N.J., specialist, concerned about the potential wear-and-tear inflicted on a collection of loose American maps dating from the 1730s to the 1850s, decided to frame them and display them on the wall of her booth.
“I have never seen anything like it,” marveled Nancy Steinbock, the vintage poster dealer from Chestnut Hill, Mass. She was referring to a rare United Jewish Appeal poster that was printed after World War II showing a small boy in ravaged surroundings. Among the dealer’s large collection of vintage poster art with subjects including planes, ships, travel, fashion, fairs, circus and others, were a couple of rare examples by E. McKnight Kauffer (1890‱954), an American artist born in Montana who went to England and made his fame there. Done around 1920, the Deco style examples Steinbock displayed †”Aster Time Kew Gardens” and “Flowers of the Riverside” †showed the artist’s range from Japanese woodblock-inspired forms to Arts and Crafts style.
“Overall, I am very pleased with the show and the weather was fantastic,” concluded Kohler. “We will be going back twice in 2012 †February 11 and 12, and October 6 and 7. This year, the October date falls on Yom Kippur, so we are bypassing it.” For additional information, www.jmkshows.com or 973-927-2794.
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