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Monday, January 31, 2011

Yelpers help us.

In an effort to leave no stone un-turned, I have listed our Nashville shows on Yelp. Click here for the listing and say something nice.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

When you find the best word- use it.

There is a hubbub in the Antiques business over the uses of the words antique and vintage. What is antique, what is vintage and why does the word vintage scare the be-jeeeesus out of people who love the word antique. (Full disclosure)- I grew up with the word antique and in fact, we were childhood friends. Like many childhood friends, you are friends simply because of the fact you grew up together. Being drug to nearly every show, shop and auction imaginable made me comfortable with my friend. But now, 30 plus years later, the friend I have had all these years has changed. My friend hasn't kept up on style, trends, marketing and now seems to be kind of a drag. Other people in my age group have become friends with words like vintage, design, art, repurpose & recycle. Although I'm familiar with those words, they make my friend antique feel scared. I need to have a talk with my old friend and tell him that those new words shouldn't threaten him. He should get to know these new words and make friends with them. Those words might help him connect with a whole new generation of actual real young people friends. One of the definitions of the word vintage is-a period of origin or manufacture. Everything produced is therefore of a "vintage".

In business we strive to frame ourselves in the best possible light. If my old friend antique is keeping potential customers away, then we need to find a better word. Not exactly sure what the word is, jusk asking for the license to use it when needed. Antique- I'm not leaving you, but just want to add some new friends.

Friday, January 28, 2011


On the Road and New Ideas-

Dispatched a crack team to cover this weekend's York, PA show. The show always features a top notch collection of dealers and is hoping to build on encouraging signs seen in New York last weekend. Report to follow. Also, Harvey Pranian- long time Chicago dealer is trying out a new idea. Harvey has assembled a group of artists for a "pop up" gallery in Evanston, Illinois.

To quote the release:
"As the recession has taken its toll on retailing, empty stores throughout the Chicago area are turning into “pop-up” art galleries. The temporary galleries, which began in London and have also sprung up in New York, Paris and other cities, provide a showcase for many artists at a time when conventional galleries are closing or struggling to survive. Whether the popularity of the temporary galleries can help revive business activity in their neighborhoods is hard to assess, but if offers an exciting cultural opportunity for artists and public alike."

For full details click here

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

John Melby, International Man of Mystery

I talked to John Melby the other day. He’s the owner of Saltwater Gallery in Eastport, Maine. He says he’s so far north that he can look out his window and see Canada. I don’t know anybody else who can say that. I asked if he could send me a couple of photos of some of the items he’ll be bringing to Nashville in a few weeks. But unfortunately for me, he’s all packed and ready to head for Nashville, so no photos for me to preview. See??? I’ve been telling everyone that folks are anxious for Nashville Week. You know how it is. When you can’t get any hints about what might see, you get even more curious. I’m definitely getting that kid-before-Christmas-feeling…just 21 more days to wait.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Back on the same page!

One of the things that we have heard over and over again in the last few months from customers, dealers and nearly everyone we run into is "can't wait until Nashville". In New York last week, many long time customers from California and New York commented that the level of anticipation was off the charts. Some of this may just be an anticipated break from cabin fever, but I think there is something more substantial. The last two years, our shows were separated from their traditional complement, Heart of Country. Despite rumors to the contrary, this separation was simply the by product of complicated facility issues.

This February 17-19, Tailgate and Music Valley will once again correspond with Heart of Country to form what simply has been known in the business as "Nashville". For those of you who have been, we invite you to join over 300 dealers for great antiques & fun. If you have never been, it's an opportunity to take advantage of 3 great shows, wonderful merchandise in a unique mix you won't find anywhere else and to take advantage of the fun that Nashville has to offer. There will be a shuttle service between the shows, making it easy to shop all three shows. Visit either the Tailgate or Music Valley websites by clicking the links to the right, or visit Heart of Country by clicking here for further information.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Signs of Optimism

Just flew in from Americana Week in New York and boy are my arms tired. With apologies to several generations of comedy, I arrive home more optimistic than ever that perhaps we are continuing an upward trend in the business.

Thoughts on each show:

TAAS- or the The American Antiques Show held by the American Folk Art Museum. This show features a selection of dealers focusing on high end Americana and Folk Art. As usual, it didn't disappoint. Tremendous examples of Folk, Country, Formal, Art, Jewelry, Textiles with a smattering of Silver, Arts & Crafts and a few other surprises. An informal survey of dealers indicated an uptick over last year. No shortage of amazing material, but also a little more range than in the past.

Antiques at the Armory- The Stella offering held at the armory at 26th & Lexington Avenue was home to approx. 90 dealers is much more diverse than TAAS. Think Americana, Decorative, Jewelry, European Decorative with a touch of Oriental and African Art thrown in for good measure. The Armory featured a high level of presentation value and everything from 6 figure weathervanes to jewelry under $100.
Show opened a little slow in the morning on Friday due to about 5 inches of snow in the New York Metro, but built a solid crowd as the day wore on. Dealers again seemed to echo TAAS sentiment that things seemed to be looking up. Saturday gate was strong with one dealer I spoke with reporting multiple sales and a good show overall.

The Pier- Again held by Stella Management- the most diverse show of Americana Week offers an expanse and range not matched by the other shows. The most eclectic of the events offered nearly 200 vendors, including many usual pier exhibitors, plus a book fair. Although we had to leave about mid-way through opening day, it was apparent that the pier was following suit with other events.

Winter Show- Couldn't fit in a trip to the Winter Show, but heard perhaps the most glowing reviews about the results here. Word of mouth had Americana and Folk Art being well received and some expceptional results. This reportedly included a 7 figure folk art sale. More details if I can confirm some things later.

Our results- Had a very strong response to Nashville and Harwinton from dealers and customers. Should have at least 12 new vendors to add to both shows and a lot of optimism regarding Nashville in less than a month. Many New York and Los Angeles buyers repeated the "see you in Nashville" mantra we hoped to hear.

Although these shows represent the highest end of our business, as I often am fond of saying- we are all very connected. Good news in New York means a much higher likelihood of good news in Nashville, Harwinton, Springfield and everywhere in between.

Friday, January 21, 2011

New York Photos

Here is the link to a great photo gallery from New York--

Click Here

Thursday, January 20, 2011

So Many Great Photos. So Little Space.

I talked with Iowa dealer, Paula Van Deest last week about how quickly Music Valley and Nashville Week are approaching. She’s excited. Who isn’t? I asked if she’d be willing to share some photos of some of the items she’s held back for the show, and she really came through. She sent photos of eight terrific pieces she’s bringing. It was tough to decide which ones to post. So, here’s a look at four of them and you’ll just have to wait to see the other four, but believe me, you’ll definitely want to get to her booth. In the mean time, I know you’ll enjoy these photos of her collection of articulated hands, a pair of carved stone tree trunks with the names Minnie and Charles, this rare Martha Chase hospital doll (4 year old boy) and an awesome third phase Navajo Chief’s blanket.
Paula was quick to let me know how much she enjoys doing Music Valley. She said she really appreciates that the show is all indoors, so there’s no fighting the elements, and the easy parking is a big plus. Of course, she pointed out, “The great restaurants and entertainment in Nashville make trip even more fun”.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Strong Market Reported

Ted Fuehr of American Spirit Antiques in Shawnee Mission, Kansas, recently shared a rousing review of the shows he’s done over the fall. He said he found the market to be strong and very active. When asked about the uptick in his sales over the past season he explained, “I always try to give great value for the money”. Good strategy. And, like the rest of us, Ted’s excited about next month’s Nashville Week. He believes customers are “hungry to come back to Nashville” especially now that the shows are back together on the same weekend.
Ted’s become known in the business for his inventory of fine quality, pre 1860, high country American furniture. You’ll want to check out his selection of tiger maple, flame mahogany, flame birch and figured cherry furniture in styles including Queen Anne, Chippendale, Federal and Sheraton. In addition, you’re sure to find great spatterware, weathervanes and an extensive selection of paintings from New England, North Shore and Boston School painters. Ted’s been good enough to provide us with a few sneak previews of some of the treasures you’ll find in his booth at the upcoming Antiques at Music Valley show. Some of the great things he’ll be bringing include this Chippendale tiger maple chest, a southeast Massachusetts highboy and the sailboat and banner weathervanes shown here. Make sure to ask Ted for the details.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

An Interesting Week

This week serves as a reminder that we are all very directly connected in the antiques business. Starting out this weekend, we host perhaps our most humble, grass roots event of the year, the January Springfield Antique Show & Flea Market. It truly exemplifies the rebirth of the annual market. Springfield slowly grows through the year until it reaches it peak at the May and September shows.

A few days from now, we will travel to "Antiques Week in New York", the annual happening that attracts all the movers and shakers in the business. High end doesn't begin to describe the offerings (although there is plenty of range to the shows as well).

Several years ago, a Springfield dealer was shopping at a show and purchased a piece from a dealer at the "top of the foodchain" who only exhibits in New York, Philadelphia and Manchester, NH. The item purchased had made the rounds so to speak, and it was priced accordingly. Still nearly $10,000, but significantly less than it might have been in New York.

This piece came to the May Extravaganza, and was sold for a very nice profit. It would shock many to know that the item that didn't sell at the highest end shows in the country found a happy new home at humble Springfield. Remember, that despite some perceptions to the contrary, we are all strangely connected.

Friday, January 14, 2011

For those of you who don't have 26 minutes and 50 seconds.

A small excerpt from the Podcast was put up on a post on Urban Art & Antiques. Much quicker than me babbling for nearly a half an hour. My wife even refused to listen to it, excusing herself with the fact she has to listen to me babble all the time. Note to self- be more appreciative of Kelly. Click here to read the excerpt.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Who won’t? It’s a no brainer if you love antiques and travel. Shirley and Pete Pijnappel do exactly what lots of folks only dream of. They spend three month a year, based out of their apartment in northern Europe, shopping antiques markets large and small, and combing the countryside for their inventory. They’ve done this for twenty-five years so, they’ve made lots of connections in the local antiques business. They’re keys to successful buying are, the length of time they’re able to spend in Holland, Belgium, France and Germany and the friends they’ve made along the way. Pete will tell you that, during their travels, he loves being able to “hand pick directly from the source”.
If you’re wondering just exactly what it is they look for, even they find it tough to define. Shirley calls it “antiques for decorative purposes”. I like that. It’s a good way to describe their unique, eclectic blend of antlers, early fireplace, tramp art and just plain amazing items.
In this high-tech age of internet self promotion, they are the exceptions. They take a decidedly low-key approach to selling in an effort to prevent what Pete sees as “overexposure”. What that means for shoppers is…you can’t get it on their website; you probably can’t even get it in the U.S. You’ve got to get to their booth at Music Valley.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Just what the world needed.

Did a podcast interview today for talked about the challenges the business faces in attracting a new generation of customers. Click here if you have nothing better to do for the next 26 minutes and 50 seconds. Be sure to check out the site as it has really good info and insight.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

And the pictures start arriving.

Photos for Nashville start arriving. First up, from Sharon Pesek:

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Updated Nashville Exhibitors List

Below is the rapidly growing group of outstanding vendors you will see in Nashville February 17-19 at Music Valley & Tailgate

1750 House
4 Friends and Brothers
Alter Antiques
American Heritage Antiques
American Spirit
Anne & John Childs
Antiques Art 'n Treasures
Antiques On Holiday
Barbara Irwin
Barry Ezrin
Benting & Jarvis
Betsy Bond Dallaire
Bette & Melvyn Wolf
Bob Techau
Bobbie Pries Antiques
Brad Selinger Antiques
Buckingham Antiques
Cabins on the Hill
Calkins House Antiques
Carnine Antiques
Carol Kouyoumdjian
Carter's Antiques
Coleen Freese
Country Corner Antiques
Country Folks Antiques
Country House Antiques
Country Squire Antiques
Country Treasures
Coxs' Antque Gallery
Craig Ringstad Antiques
Creekside Ferns
Crescent Moon Antiques
Dan Freeburg
Danny DeToma
Datha Doolin Antiques
Dave Noll Antiques
David & Kim Leggett
David And Carroll Swope
David Horst
Dennis & Dad Antiques
Dick & Joan Anderson Antiques
Don & Marta Orwig
Don Schweikert
Donny Sievert
Easter Hill Antiques
Edna Hoffman
Edward Sullivan
Elva Needles Antiques
Estate Buyers
Finish Line Collectables
Frontier Homestead
Grey Herron Atiques
H. J. Hall Antiques
H. M. Davidson
Hartman House Antiques
Hart's Country Antiques
Heart 'n' Hand Antiques
Higganum House Antiques
Hodenius & Kelly
Hothouse Market
J. Compton Gallery
Jan Raber Antiques
Jason Parker Counce Designs
Jean & Roy Doty
Jeff Walton Antiques
Jelly Cupboard Antiques
Jennifer Marlow Antiques
Jim Hirsheimer
Jim Wark
Jo Ann Garrett
John & Deborah Melby
John Hirschelman
John Kennedy
Judson and Karen Fults
Kathy Hind
Kevin Scanlon
Kim & Mary Kokles
Kim Baye
Kim Logan Antiques
Kindred Spirit Antiques
Kindred Spirits Antiques
Kracker Barrel Antiques
Liberty Tree Antiques
Linda Beechum
Little Davie
Lock 147 Antiques
Longpoint Creek Antiques
Mad Anthony Books
Maine Attic Antiques
Man In The moon
Marie Miller Antique Quilts
Marjorie Staufer
Mark Baye Refinishing And Antiques
Mark Miller
Marliyn Angel
Marvin & Leslie Wies
Mary Elliott
Matthew Ehresman Antiques
Matthew House
Metals LLC
Michael Holper
ML Fancy Antiques
Monty Young Antiques
Mountain Lodge Antiques
Munday & Munday
Nancy & Craig Cheney Antiques
Nancy Wells
Nicholas Domenick
Oakland Art & Antiques
Old Favorite Antiques
Old Glory Antiques
Over Hill Over Dale
Paddlewheel Antiques
Pam Bauer
Period Antiques
Perkins & Menson
Peter Timm
Pijnappels LLC
Plain N' Simple Antiques
Poor Horse Antiques
Quintessential Antiques
Remember When Antiques
Richmond House
Rick Norton
Ridgefield Gallery
River Cabin Antiques
Riverview Antiques
Robert M. Conrad Antiques
Robert Perry
Robert Zollinhofer
Ruchelle Davis
Russel Lintner
Ryan C. O'Reilly
Sandy Moore
Sawyer Creek Antiques
Scherre Mumpower
Schoolhouse Antiques
Scott's Antiques
Seaborne & Associates
Sean Davis
Serendipity Antiques
Sharon Pesek
Sniktaw Antiques LLC
Some Sharp Antiques
Sport & Spool Antiques
Stephen-Douglas Antiques
Steven F. Still Antiques
Steven Peterson
Suhrprise Shop
Susan Heider
Suzanne Baker
Tavern Creek Antiques
That Old Log House
The Buttr'y
Thomas Hoke Antiques Warehouse
Thomas M.Rawson Antiques
Timber Ridge Antiques
Timber River Farms
Tom Delach
Tom Tuggle
Tony England
Town And Country Custom Framing
VanDeest Antiques
West Branch Antiques
William Cawood
Worden Select Objects
Yvonne & Mason Romans

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Day in the Life.

With apologies to the Beatles, a quick update on the pre-show going'on. Our expedition to Atlanta paid huge dividends with a double digit haul of new vendors for Nashville. Tailgate is getting really close to being a sell-out. All of you last minute fence-sitters better call soon.

The first Springfield of 2011 is next weekend, the 15th & 16th- featuring a specialty toy show on Saturday.

Working on promotional stuff for Nashville and Harwinton.

Exciting stuff soon.

Friday, January 7, 2011

More from the photo shoot.

Been busy for a few days- booking dealers left and right. Sent correspondents to cover Scotts in Atlanta. Business seems to be trending in the right direction to start 2011. Another photo from our shoot the other day. Working on brochures. Lots to do.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Photo shoot!

Working on a photo shoot today for upcoming shows. Got to play creative today. Our first official foray into professional photographer, models, set design. Just a sample shot from my camera, not finished product. Look for new flyers coming soon.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Wanderer stops wandering long enough to be interviewed.

We are honored in the New Year to have a rare opportunity to speak with a living legend in the world of Antique related blogging. Ladies and Gentleman- an interview with the Antique Show Wanderer, a man of many pictures and a few wise words- his work may be seen at:
Insider: What inspired you to take your propensity for aimlessly wandering
antique shows and your unique perspective into the blog?

1. A life-long inclination to share experiences with others regardless of their
interest to listen

2. To generate a positive perspective in regards to the business with the desire to capture moments of a narrow time/space view with a camera.

Insider: To what do you attribute your unique photographic perspective. In many instances, I will look at your posts from shows I've attended, but when I see the your photos, I wonder- was I really there?

1. An effort to see beyond what I am expected to see.

2. To study the lines, shapes and contrasts more than the mere objects themselves.

3. Perhaps to see (objects) without context to their assigned purpose.

4. Man is of nature.... nature is in harmony....avoid the distractions.

Insider: When you tie the in the narrative aspect of your posts, do you have an idea in mind, or is it a reaction to the photos that leads you into a direction?
It’s the MacGyver school, you work with what’s available combined with the old adage "a picture tells a thousand words"

Insider: What show would you most like to wander not currently on your schedule?

While there are more than a few shows not currently on our schedule that I wouldn't mind "wandering" at, most of them are shows that I have attended in the past. One exception is Christie's in Ontario, this is one I've always wanted to participate in but never have.

From a similar thought are shows that I currently attend but do not have the "comfort zone" to take the photos I need to properly cover the event. Two that come to mind are Brimfield, where too many dealers take issue with strangers taking images..... superstitious?......and the TAAS show, where I feel taking photos would be too invasive.

Insider: Just to clarify- if a picture is worth a thousand words, a picture taken at a Canadian show would only be worth 973 words with the exchange rate, and that I too have received the scornful eye from a dealer at Brimfield- maybe it’s just the high tax base in Massachusetts. Also, perhaps we could request joint media credentials for TAAS because we are informing many tens of readers.

Last question- If you could be transformed into any antique/vintage item for posterity, what would it be and why that item?
Wanderer: 973 words but the language is much richer in Ontario, thus, I would recalculate at about 1063 words. Posterity would be determined by the longevity of the item, thus I would choose to be a pillar at Stonehenge. Great views, plenty of interesting visitors, and, of cours,e being stone.... longevity.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Preview of Coming Attractions

When I spoke with Carol Meekins, of Country Treasures Antiques, yesterday she was quick to let me know how thrilled she is that “the shows are back together and, all of the customers will be back in Nashville at the same time.” Yep, it’s pretty exciting.
If you don’t know Carol Meekins, you definitely need to meet her, especially if you’re into great country antiques. She has an amazing inventory of every kind of high quality country antique you can imagine. So, are you coming to the Antiques at Music Valley show looking for the perfect cupboard for your home? She’ll probably have it, whether it’s a step back, a flat wall, or hanging cupboard and, it’ll be in original paint. Are you looking for apothecaries, a dry sink, weathervanes or a pantry box? She has those too. And then there are her children’s antiques, guaranteed to melt any grandmother’s heart.
Carol was kind enough to share some photos of a few items you’ll want to look for in her booth. Make sure you talk with her about the provenance of her iron swan. I hope you’re as interested as I was when she explained that it came from the estate of descendants of Edgar Allen Poe. Now that would start a conversation your guests will remember.