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Thursday, February 25, 2010

And the recovery progresses

About 10 days post Nashville and I've started to turn a corner. Actually got out a cookbook sent to me last week by dealer Jim Hirsheimer. His wife has published two cookbooks which were recently mentioned in either Esquire or GQ. The recipe was for a great hearty Ragu. Any recipe that contains three different meats is a winner in my book. Served with gnocchi and parmesan. Lunch was very good. Starting to plan for the outdoor season in Springfield and travel to Texas for Round Top week. Thanks for the vigorous feedback on Why Antiques-Part 2-Style. Working on Part 3 in my head now.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Experimenting with blogger layouts-any suggestions.

Trying to give a fresh look to the blog with a new layout. Will be trying a few different today to see what looks best. Any fellow bloggers have any suggestions??

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Why Antiques? Part 2-Style

In the first installment of the Why Antiques? series, we tried to build a coherent argument that our first reason to try to compel people was value. Today we tackle another component- Style. In our consumer culture, we all tend to fill our life with what I will categorize as “stuff”. I am clearly guilty of falling in this category, maybe owning 2 laptops, a desktop, a netbook and currently utilizing my 5th IPhone (2 upgrades, 2 dropped and another in the dog bowl) might be a sign. The stuff I am talking about is the disposable mass produced trinkets that we live with. The nic-nacs from the mall. the coffee cup we just can’t seem to part with or the reason we keep buying more storage devices for the closet, attic and basement. The utilization of antiques in our homes and lives gives us the opportunity to replace some of the stuff in our lives with style. Imagine a world without this conversation-”Gee Jane, I just got the same picture frame at Pottery Barn, how exciting we now have the same frame.” Replace it with “Jane- where did you get that picture frame, I love it.” Antiques and vintage allow people to explore and develop a passion for the things in their homes and lives. They also allow an opportunity to stand out in the world of sameness and stuff. “Jane always has such cool stuff in her home, maybe I should go shopping with her next time”.

Style is another underutilized marketing concept in selling antiques. We tend to try to market items based upon the object themselves, rather than how they might fit in someone’s home. The business tends to try to focus too much emphasis on the collector and tends to ignore explaining to the larger group of consumers who might like to add the style that living with antiques can bring into their lives. People who have the collecting gene are a significantly smaller group than people who have homes to fill.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Slowly recovering and gathering my wits

For many customers, an antique show ranges from a pleasant afternoon experience to an all consuming passion. Even the most passionate collector only spends a day or two at a show (with exceptions). For dealers and show managers, often times feels like giving birth. Not to offend those who have actually gone through the birthing process (including my wife), I do concede there might exageration involved in my previous statement. Needless to say both childbirth and antique show particpation and production do require recovery time. Part of this process involves stepping away for a little while before making observations. I always feel it takes the better part of two weeks to figure out what really happens. I will certainly be sharing a lot more information from all three Nashville shows soon. I also am thinking about part 2 of the series "Why Antiques?". The first post which focused on the topic of "value" got quite a bit of reaction. Michael has added a lot of new flickr photos of the show which can be accessed throught the slideshow on the right. This photo is titled "crowd control" and is not security screening, just a good old fashioned ticket line.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Check out the Flickr slideshow!

Some of you may have noticed the Flickr slideshow that I've added to the blog. It already has photos from last weeks show, and staff photographer Michael will be adding more in the next few days. It was truly a whirlwind week in Music City. On my end, the normal anxiety of event management was increased by the series of storms that were plaguing various parts of the country in the days prior and during set-up. Tales of mamouth snows and treacherous journeys were common. But low and behold, most dealers and customers were successful in there treks.

Our first photo

The booth of Mario Pollo at Music Valley featured a outstanding selection including this Odd Fellows ceremonial arch. Something you don't see every day. Stuck in Nashville one more day as it is snowing at home.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Shortest post ever.

Nashville is over. Photos to come- I'm tired.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Usual Suspects.

Although the Antique Show business is a lot of fun, sometimes our vendors cross the line. In these instances, we have installed our own system to handle these violations. During set-up yesterday, these three vendors were charged with the
following violations:
1. Melby, John- intoxication via paint fumes.
2. Young, Monty- picking without a license.
3. Leggett, Kim- flaunting her wares.
All three have pleaded quilty and have been sentenced to do another show.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A show is born.

I've often said that the process of putting together a great booth is often like abdominal surgery. As the patient, you really don't want to see the process, you just want to hope everything comes out good in the end. Looking forward to a great show, the early pictures are encouraging.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Antiques Week In Nashville is Here!!

Everyone have safe travels to Nashville this week. Promise to start taking pictures as soon as things start arriving.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Weather, Packing and Thoughts

As many people in the middle of the country are receiving a winter blast, a few hundred intrepid souls are preparing to make the journey to Nashville next week. I wish everyone safe travels.
For those of you unable to attend, I promise to post next week a sampling of the best antiques event in the country. Other events may boast more dealers, New York features a much larger offering of extreme high end, New Hampshire may have more purist appeal and Brimfield and Round Top stretch for miles. But for my money, the offerings next week of Tailgate, Music Valley and the Antiques and Garden Show will offer the most diverse, wide ranging and broad appeal event in the country. Granted, I may be biased, but take the trip and see for yourself. I'm driving tomorrow and hopefully have time to continue the Why Antiques series I started yesterday. Got some good response on the topic.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Why Antiques?-Part 1

In the first of what might become a long running series of blogs, I would like to begin to make the case that why living with antiques and vintage items in your life makes sense now more than ever. I start with:


The most compelling argument that I can make to someone who is furnishing a first home/apartment is - Why spend money on a house full of items that you will be begging someone to pay pennies on the dollar at your first garage sale. Most of the furnishings that you will buy at the mall are made of fiberboard, which is basically designed to decompose in a landfill. Why not think of spending the same amount of money on something that has:
1. Already been broken in
2. Most likely made of real wood.
3. Has a life span longer than the arrival of next season's Pottery Barn catalog.
4. Has a chance to retain a significant portion of it's value.

One of the most common complaints of those in the industry is that we aren't attracting a new generation of customers to replace our aging base. My counterpoint to that argument is that we aren't marketing with compelling information in the place that the much sought after younger customers are looking for inspiration-The internet. The industry has no presence to speak of other than individual dealer/auction websites and the 600 pound gorilla-Ebay. Something needs to be developed in this area in order to begin to entice, inspire and educate new customers. Well-starting to work on that one.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

These are a few of their favorite things

Asked dealers what their favorite items that they are bringing to the show:

We are bringing a N.H. Cheese cupboard. Only other one we have seen is in the Sheldon House at Historic's 7 feet long, and 5 feet high. Quite unique!!!
Karan Oberg
Lots of early treenware and an early mannequin in original clothes. Steve and Rita Carnine...... Carnine Antiques
We are bringing part of a carousel. There are 3 short inner cornice panels which together form a semicircle, with 2 shields to cover the joints. The panels were carved in Gent, Belgium. They are extremely decorative and great above a bar or in game room. Pete & Shirley

Jon, as per your request, attached find an image of a nice grouping of soda fountain syrup dispensers.(See photo in post below) These dispensers were prominently displayed in your local drugstore's soda fountain area around the turn of the century. These colorful ceramic containers were point of sale attractions and dispensed the syrup which was then mixed with carbonated water by the soda jerk for your favorite flavored soda. The same colorful decorations which "made the sale" attract collectors today to assemble a nice grouping of these for display in their gameroom, media room, or bar area. Kim and Mary Kokles

Bringing large SEWER SNAKE for wall or garden art.


great question, and I am torn....there is the Roy Mills sentinel goose decoy I sent a picture of for the supplement. So very elegant and sophisticated for a working decoy, and then I have a fragment - a small 18th century box lid carved with hearts, stars, and eagles...hummm, in a toss up do not know which I would choose - would like to keep them both.

Cheers, leaving this morning to head to NH and then to Nashville on the weekend. hope it is warmer there - was -23 Celcius yesterday when i was shovelling out my shop......and then the wind chill.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Anyone for a Cherry Fizz or Root Beer

Since no one has taken up my offer of VIP Nashville access in exchange for Super Bowl tickets, I am going to drown my disappointment in a nice cold root beer or cherry-fizz. These syrup dispensers are from Kim and Mary Kokles of Texas.