Published: January 26, 2016
EAST COAST — As the first major East Coast snowstorm of the year hit over the weekend, dumping snow from the mid-Atlantic region to New York City, causing much coastal flooding, especially in New Jersey and around Ocean City, Md., the timing could not have been worse for the antiques business.
In New York City, Americana Week was in full swing when the snow began falling Saturday morning. Broadway plays canceled all performances for the day (a rare occurrence) and with public transportation shutting down early afternoon, the Winter Antiques Show (which runs through January 31) and the inaugural edition of The New York Big Flea (which had opened that morning) were among the shows that closed early but reportedly saw a strong attendance Sunday. Dealers scrambled to find dinner Saturday night with most restaurants and businesses shuttered, as well as finding a way back to their hotels. Several galleries participating in Master Drawings New York were closed but returned to a normal schedule Sunday.
“We had people coming in all day Saturday, though not a lot,” said Brad Reh, who managed his second annual antiques and design show at Wallace Hall. “At about 2 pm, everyone’s phone started chirping with the travel warning but the dealers were in no hurry to leave. Finally at about 4:30, I was concerned about how they would get back to their hotels and I wanted them safe before it got dark. They slowly began to get their coats on and leave but not in any rush to do so.”
Several auctions slated to go off over the weekend were also postponed, including Keno Auctions, which pushed its auction planned for Sunday, January 24, back a week to Sunday, January 31, at 127 East 69th Street, New York City, and S&S Auction in Repaupo, N.J., which delayed its January 24 to Tuesday, January 26, at 1 pm. Freeman’s rescheduled its European art and Old Masters auction from January 25 to the following day, January 26. Its preview for the sale was closed both Saturday and Sunday as Philadelphia recorded its fourth largest snowstorm ever with up to 22 inches in some places. Fairfield Auction extended its online auction through Wednesday, January 27. The in-house preview at 707 Main Street, Monroe, Conn., originally slated for Saturday, was postponed to Tuesday, January 26, 11 to 4.
Washington, D.C., was among the hardest hit areas with 28 inches of snow officially recorded at the Dulles Airport, and this storm was the first to dump more than 2 feet of snow on both Baltimore and New York City. D.C.-based auctioneers Weschler’s kept its doors closed on Monday, January 25, but would reopen Tuesday for its Metro auction exhibition. Dordy Fontinel Show Management canceled the 24th Hunt Country Winter Antiques Fair that was to take place January 23–24 in Middleburg, Va.
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