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Friday, December 31, 2010

Last few hours of 2010.

Happy new years to our several loyal readers. Here's to a prosperous 2011 for all.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A few of my favorite things.

One of the perks of the job is having access to a lot of cool stuff for the house. The jelly cupboard came from Springfield, the totem pole from Farmington and the painting is from Nashville. Beats the heck out of Pottery Barn any day of the week.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The travel season begins.

One of the first changes of the New Year is a dramatic increase in travel to shows to recruit dealers- between now and February Nashville, somebody will be in:
Hudson, Ohio
New York
Springfield, Ohio
York, Pa

Gas up the car and see you soon!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Awaking from the holiday slumber.

I guess people begin to suffer some sort of holiday fatigue after Christmas. The phones were active today as we booked 5 vendors for our February Nashville shows today. Things should really heat up next week after New Year's Day. Time to get back to work.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Off topic, but on topic

Graham has hi-jacked the blog to post his final Santa Claus list for this year. Graham submits the following requests to Santa for tomorrow:

Radio Controlled Helicopter
Bouncy Gym
Dinosaur (didn't specify alive or toy version)
Rocket Ship(again no specification)
Pair of Clothes
Box of Pills(for Mommy's cold so she feels better)
A Tree
Forest with Animals
Makeup for Mommy

Dear Santa- please grant as many of our 3 year old's requests as necessary.

Graham's Mommy & Daddy

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Joe Cardetti, Game On

What were you doing 43 years ago? Joe Cardetti was buying and selling antiques. So, when he told me that he’d seen lots of fads (in decorating and antiques) come and go and that he’d weathered the economic highs and lows of the business over those years, I believed him. The owner of Kracker Barrel Antiques, he’s from St. James, Missouri, “right in the middle of the state”. Joe deals in American Country and his specialty is folk art with an emphasis on silhouettes, lighting, portraits and great handcrafted smalls and “that tell a story”.
Joe’s a twelve year veteran of the Tailgate Show and he’s quick to share his thoughts about the upcoming Nashville Week. “Knowledgeable”! In a word, that’s how he describes the customers the shows attract. “You get a quality of buyer you don’t find at other shows”. Of course that means you’ll also find a quality of merchandise you won’t find at other shows. He explained that 80% of the shoppers who come to the Tailgate and Music Valley shows drive for more than two hours to attend. “That makes it a destination” and they come to buy. Because of this, he believes the dealers will be bringing some of the very best antiques the country has to offer. Cardetti proclaims that as far as dealers are concerned, the upcoming Nashville Week “is gonna be game on”.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Saturday Morning Thoughts

Random thoughts on a Saturday morning:

1. Happy Holidays to everyone who visited the blog this year. If you like it, pass it along to a friend, new blog followers make a great present.

2. Here's to a prosperous New Year for the business. Let's hope that major shows in the first 2 months of 2011 kick off strong.

3. Snow is pretty for the first few hours, but spring cannot arrive too soon.

4. Working on a lot of new blog content, dealer interviews, photos and the return of the popular "up on my soapbox" feature.

5. Toys R Us is not a good place the week before Christmas, a lady was actually taking things out of our cart when we weren't paying attention. Savages!

Happy Holidays,


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Preview of Coming Attractions

Part of the excitement of Nashville Week is wondering what you’ll find. Here’s a peek at a few of the great things you’ll find in Tom Delach’s booth at Music Valley.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Whole Nashville Experience. Oh Yeah.

Wow. It’s contagious. After talking with Music Valley dealer, Karen Buckingham, I’m more excited about Nashville Week than ever, and so is she.
Although she’s lived in Texas for nearly thirty years, her accent will tell you she grew up in New England. Karen has an interesting background. “As a kid, back in the 60’s” she began going to the markets in Brimfield, Massachusetts to carry her mom’s purchases. Before she knew it, both she and her sister had become dealers. She told me, “I collected myself into the business. Once your house is full, you have to sell”. Sound familiar? Although her home’s in Texas she maintains her membership in the New Hampshire Dealers Association and she does shows across the map from New England to Texas.
Her taste in antiques is high country. In her booth you’ll find an elegant mix of American antique furniture in paint or original surface, early wallpaper boxes, pewter, great primitive hooked rugs and wonderful landscape paintings and portraits. She’s especially drawn to early portraits of children because she finds them to be a bit more colorful. And about her painted furniture, which she usually finds in New York, New England and Pennsylvania, she does her own dry scraping. She’ll find a great piece that’s been “over painted” and she scrapes it down to the original paint, all by hand. It’s very time consuming and labor intensive but, she says she found out while raising teenagers that it’s cheaper than therapy. You’ve got to visit her booth….she’s a hoot and her inventory is amazing.
Karen was quick to point out that the talk at antique shows is all about Nashville Week. Folks are just plain pumped about the shows being back together again. She loves the idea of running a shuttle between shows. “That’s going to be great for customers who fly in to shop”. She’s emphatic, “Customers want the whole Nashville experience. They want to shop all day, go back to their rooms to rest and hit the restaurants at night”. Yep, that’s what we want, The Whole Nashville Experience

Monday, December 13, 2010

Antiques Week In Nashville Preview

Over the course of the next two months we will use the blog to preview our upcoming Antiques Week In Nashville- February 17-19, 2011. In addition to Tailgate and Music Valley at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, we will once again correspond with Heart of Country at the Opryland Resort. In order to make the Antiques Week Experience as enjoyable and convenient as possible, we will be running a shuttle service between the Fairgrounds and Opryland. Stay tuned for details.

The blog will feature all current information about the shows, dealer lists, profiles, news & photos of what you can expect at the shows. Check back often as we will try to update daily.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Managing Change

We are told early in life to expect change. Some of our youngest lessons involve the change that growth brings. "The only constant is change". For something that appears to be so inevitable why are we for the most part horrible at managing change? Let's face it, we live in a world that most of us would have had a hard time imagining 20 years ago. The Antiques & Art business has been affected by a difficult economy, globalization, changing consumer tastes, behavior and trends and the fact that we no longer have main-stream media doing our marketing and pr for us. If I had a dollar for every time I heard the phrase "good old days" in reference to the business, I would be in French Polynesia on my own private island instead of blogging on a cold Sunday morning listening to Blue's Clues in the background.

I am taking a personal pledge to strike the phase "good old days" from my vocabulary. The good old days by definiton (old days don't come back- if they did, I would like a do-over on my 21st birthday) are not coming back. I would like to replace the phrase with "good new days". I encourage others to adopt a Good New Days Policy. We can impact Good New Days. How can we embrace the challenges presented to the business and plan for the "Good New Days". I relish the challenge and hope you do as well.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A needed reminder

Leave it to Randy Farmer at Artifacts in Nashville to shine the light on a much needed reminder. I need a haircut.

Harwinton Update

This is an update on the growing list of dealers for the June Harwinton Show. Shaping up nicely-

Andy's Antiques
Anne Hall Antique Prints
Arlene Rabin
Art & Antique Gallery
Back Roads Antiques
Bill Scott's Antiques
Bob Kretchko Antiques*
Chelsea Hill Antiques
Classic Touch
Collection Agency Antiques
Colophon Books
Country Peddler Antiques
David Zabriskie*
Dennis & Valerie Bakoledis*
Diane Belford
Dee’s Antiques
Don & Marta Orwig*
Dudley Hill Antiques
Hartman House Antiques
Hawkins Quilts & Antiques
Higganum House Antiques
J & G Antiques
J & J of Tuscon
John Gould Antiques*
Judith & James Milne*
Kevin Walsh
Kim & David Leggett
Lepore's Antiques
Mad River Antiques*
Mario Pollo*
Nancy & Craig Cheney*
Nancy Hagen Antiques
Noble Peddler
Nook N’ Cranny Antiques
Old Lamps & Things
Otto & Susan Hart*
Paul & Karen Wendheiser*
Peter Moses
Phyllis Pasternak
Richard DiFillippo
Richard & Carole Pleines
Ryan's Antiques
Schoolhouse Antiques
Steve Smoot Antiques*
Storb Antiques
Strawhat Antiques
Stu Magdefrau
T & F Trunks
The Jewelry Lady
Thomas R. Longacre*
Thymes Remembered*
Tither & Sears
Tom O'Hara's Easter Hill Antiques
Two Of A Kind
Two Sides of a River
Vee Kausel
Victor Weinblatt*
Victorian Rose
Worden Select Objects
Yesterday's Dreams

*-new vendor

What's Coming Up

Getting ready for the holiday's as well as beating the drum for upcoming shows. Look for more in our dealer profile series as well as news, notes and photos to entice you.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Passion For Pewter

It’s irrefutable. Dr. Melvyn and Bette Wolf are the ultimate authorities on all things pewter. This Flint, Michigan couple has been collecting pewter since the 60’s and began exhibiting at antiques shows in 1975. They’ve served jointly as President of the Pewter Collectors Club of America and authored hundreds of articles for the organizations bulletins. Mel has been serving on the organizations board of governors for the past thirty-nine years. Most importantly, his articles on American pewter porringers, candlesticks, chalices, measures and lamps are considered the industry standard by which pewter pieces are evaluated. They are not only experts in American pewter but British pewter and Continental pewter as well.
Mel and Bette don’t have a shop and they aren’t set up in an antiques mall. If you want to see the most amazing and definitive display of pewter you will ever come across, you’ll have to visit them this February at the Music Valley Antiques Market in Nashville, Tennessee. As they’ll tell you, “We display more pewter at an antiques show than any other dealer”. You’re sure to enjoy dealing with Mel and Bette. They’re an interesting and engaging couple and they generously share the incredible knowledge they have gleaned from forty years of collecting and handling pewter.
And, if a visit to their booth peaks your interest in pewter, you’ll want to pick up a copy of their book, An American Pewter Collection: The Collection of Dr. Melvyn and Bette Wolf published by the Wolfs in April 2006.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

So, What The Heck Is A Sniktaw????

That’s the first thing I wondered about the name of Jerry and Luan Watkins’ antiques business, Sniktaw Antiques, LLC, a.k.a. Sniktaw Trading Company. I’ve been around the antiques business for more years than I care to admit and I have a nodding acquaintance with most Native America Tribal Art so I wondered why I wasn’t familiar with this word. Hmmmm. Turns out it’s their last name spelled backwards… clever, creative, whimsical. That’s their style.
Jerry and Luan began collecting their eclectic mix of antiques in the early 80’s and by 1991 they had turned their passion into a business. They left their home in Houston, set up shop in Gurnee, Illinois, and have never looked back.
Luan has a great eye folk art. She stocks fascinating collections of hand carved cookie boards, sewing and textile items, handcrafted hearts of all kinds, amazing antique handmade toys and lots more. Jerry’s collection of fun, colorful and completely unique carnival and shooting gallery items will absolutely blow you away (pun intended). How cool would a colorful antique game wheel look hanging in your family room? Make sure you check out their booth at Jenkins Management’s Antiques at Music Valley Show, this Feb. 17-19. It’s sure to be a show stopper. And, if you want to see one of the best web sites in the antiques business go to

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Meet Bobbie Pries

Bobbie Pries is a 35 year veteran of the antiques business. During this time, she’ll tell you, she’s seen plenty of changes in the business. One thing however, has remained constant and that’s the extraordinary quality of her inventory. Bobbie is known for offering the best in 18th and 19th century American antique furniture in original paint or original finish as well as appropriate “smalls” from the same period. She and her husband Roger currently do only six shows a year. Doing so allows her to always have “fresh inventory and new things for each show”. Customers must agree because she’s certainly developed a following.
Bobbie feels strongly that “Hunting antiques is physical. You need to be able to touch them”. Unlike museums, antique shows allow her customers to touch and pick up items that strike their fancy. “If they pick it up, they’re less likely to put it down”. You just can’t get that buying on line. One of the things she most enjoys about doing antique shows is visiting with old friends. This includes fellow dealers and long- time customers. She graciously gives credit to those who taught her the finer points of antiques and helped her hone her eye for quality back in the early years. “I learned from wonderful dealers”, and she certainly joined their ranks. Bobbie believes that when it comes to learning about antiques, books are great, but visiting an antique show is best.