Most of us are now home–or well towards home–after yesterday’s close of the show. You saw the show going up–a process requiring two full days from each dealer, plus the days to build the walls, paper the booths and install electricity. While we do our booths, the various show committees labor to transform a sterile building into a magical space suited to grand parties, interesting lectures, and the sale of fine antiques. Then in three to four hours everything is packed in boxes, loaded on trucks, walls are taken down and the building will once again be empty!
NEW this year at Jacksonville was a Young Collectors Booth in which young committee members worked to create a great setting filled primarily with antiques “borrowed” from the dealers–all to be sold to collectors young and old, mostly priced $50.00 to $400.00. Shows have long struggled to convince young buyers and others with limited resources that they too could begin a collection at their show. Some years ago the younger set in Houston started a Young Collectors Booth at the Theta Show, with every item priced below $400.00 in a show with a vast number of pieces priced above $50,000.00. It has been a huge success both with the dealers making lots of small sales and for the clientele finding very affordable buys of guaranteed high quality! This was the inspiration for Jacksonville’s new event (and I might add suggested to this year’s Jacksonville show chairs by my partner and daughter Elizabeth who at 35 has a keen sense of what excites her age group).
The neat twist added by the Jacksonville crew was to create a theme–a den for men filled with many items ideal for men to collect, their wives to give them–and happily for many moms attending the show to acquire for their kids! Here are two shots of their set-up:
Wing chair is new and borrowed for color and to show blending old and new--it was not for sale.
Modern bookcase for display and the antique table was quite a bit above $400.00!
They worked so hard on the project and sold dozens and dozens of antiques to the joy of the dealers–truly a fun time for all.
One of the most colorful booths in the show is Kinda Ketterling’s wonderful majolica, set in a lavender booth that adds panache to her brilliant antique English, French, American and German majolica. In the Grand Court bathed in bright sunlight, her booth sparkled!
Linda in her booth!
More wonderful antique majolica
While for centuries majolica was tin glazed earthenware (delft and faience mean the same general thing), the majolica seen here, and now avidly collected, is lead glazed, a product of some the greatest and most eccentric ceramicists of the 19th century. Because the body of both the early tin glazed pieces and the later lead glazed is relatively low fired it is not unusual to find many minor chips on the early pieces (generally the preference is to not repair) and minor rim repairs on 19th century examples as the chips are so much more disturbing visually. Such repairs are considered normal for the product.
Lisa and Steve Sherwood's booth
Look carefully and you will notice in the Sherwood’s booth tables and cabinets of 18th and 19th century blue and white porcelains and delft, as they are leading suppliers of the rage among collectors and designers for blue and white (a classic historic design change, as blue and white seems to burst forth and fade in cycles about every 10 years). Their stock is primarily Chinese porcelain and Dutch faience.
One of the leading dealers in fine antique rugs in America is Dana Kelly of Lexington, Kentucky. He is not actually using a prayer rug on the right side of his booth–just checking some inventory cards before sending a quantity of carpets on approval!
Frequently dealers let clients try items in their homes, even over night at shows, or take major pieces to show to clients in their homes. No one does that more often than the carpet dealers where issues of size and color are both equally important! I cannot count the times Elizabeth and/or I have spent hours in clients’ homes all over America trying pieces, rearranging rooms to accommodate new pieces, planning for future additions to complete a setting for a client–all part of the service dealers provide their clients.
And after a successful show that saw a resurgence of buying and attendance, I am about to curl up in bed, read a novel, and fall asleep!