Gary Sullivan's Antique Clocks and Furniture Blog


Antique Clocks and Furniture

Antiques Week Update
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We have been very busy the last several months and the blog has been an unintended casualty. Preparing for the only show that we do in January each year is a tremendous amount of work. This year was no different. We brought a number of fine pieces of Americana to the Metro Show which took place during Antiques Week in NY City. This was only the second year for the show, which replaced The American Antiques Show (TAAS), often referred to as the Folk Art Show. Like last year, the turnout for the Metro Show preview party was tremendous (see photo). At some points in the show, it was about impossible to move through the isles.

Metro is a nice venue and the promoters put on a first class show, but it has moved a bit toward the modern-art side for my taste. The show featured some up scale and very edgy art, which is great, but I wish it included a few more American furniture dealers like myself. Despite encouragement from me and in some cases, free passes, a large number of good dealers and collectors just never made it to the show. I think it was a mistake for so many Americana enthusiasts to skip Metro. I realize that it was brutally cold the first few days, and not conducive to moving about the city, but we had some excellent dealers offering some special pieces of Americana.

Many of the show goers were twenty and thirty-somethings, which is exactly what the promoters were looking for. It was definitely a happening event! Sadly, the younger crowd did not show my offerings very much love. I was disappointed that the show was promoted strictly as an art fair and that the word ”antique” appeared nowhere in their advertising. That certainly didn’t help me. I ended up having a good show, because two of my regular clients bought expensive pieces, but sales were off from recent years.

This is where I part ways with the Metro show. I will attend in the coming years, but not as an exhibitor. It is no longer the right fit for my “antique” merchandise. I wish them and their exhibitors great success.

New Hampshire Antiques week well attended
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I just spent two days attending the Antiques Week festivities in New Hampshire. I’m happy to report that I bought well at the three shows that I attended. The New Hampshire Antique Dealer’s Show is always a worthwhile venue. I thought I was arriving plenty early when I got in line at 8:50 yesterday morning for a 10:00 opening. I was wrong! There were already 214 people in line ahead of me. I prepaid my entrance fee and was given sticker number 215. I chatted across the tape with Derin Bray who was rewarded with number 64 for arriving at 7:30 AM. I have to imagine that the very first people in line arrived in the middle of the night! I like antiques, but I like my sleep better. By 10:00, the lobby was full and the line went out the door and up the block (see photo of the crowd in the lobby).

Peter Sawyer had advertised that he was bringing a terrific Boston block front chest, so I went directly to his booth. I was the first to see it and after a few minutes of examination, I made the purchase. I haven’t seen such a clean Boston block front in a long time. The brass is original and it has a great old surface. Peter sold it over 20 years ago and just reacquired it in time for the show. I’ll probably put it away and bring it to New York in January. By mentioning it here, I don’t think I’m giving away any trade secrets to the 3 or 4 people who read my antiques blog.

The other two shows were good as well. Frank Gaglio’s Mid Week Antiques Show has always been a dependable source for me and this year was no different. I was very impressed with Karen Disaia’s new show, “Antiques in Manchester: The Collector’s Fair”. It was was a terrific show, with an impressive roster of dealers. I bought objects from three of them, including an unsigned lyre clock and a nice Queen Anne Boston wing chair.

Accumulating fresh merchandise for “Antiques Week” in January
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We have just acquired a few special items that will appear at the opening night preview party for the 2012 Metro NYC Show in January. If you are planning your visit to New York for the festivities, you’ll notice one major change in the Antiques Week schedule. There will be no 2012 TAAS Show, at least not by that name. In 2012, TAAS, also known as “The American Antiques Show”, also known as “The Folk Art Show” will live on in slightly different form. The venue has been taken over by The Art Fair Company and now goes by the name of The Metro NYC Show. It will be held at the same Metropolitan Pavilion location on on the same dates, as the TAAS Shows were.

As in previous years, a preview party will take place on Wednesday evening, January 18th, with the show going from Thursday through Sunday, January 22nd. The core group of antiques dealers who previously did the TAAS Shows will return for this new show. A nice addition will be some exhibitors handling slightly more modern art, such as photography. We are excited to be a part of this event, as The Art Fair Company puts on a very upscale fair. They are well known for their enormously popular “SOFA” art Shows in Santa Fe, New York and San Francisco.

As in years past, the preview party will be to benefit The American Folk Art Museum. One new twist at this year’s gala event will be the fact that the first hour of the preview party will be by invitation only. No tickets will be sold for that time slot. Only invited guests and the best clients of the exhibitors will attend that first hour. Tickets for the remainder of the evening will be available for $75. If you haven’t made your way onto our preferred client list, you are running out of time!
In the months leading up to the show, we accumulate fresh merchandise and hold it for the show. Our clients know that some of the best pieces that we handle appear for the first time at the show. This year will be no different.

We are also planning a “booth talk” at the show (exact time and date to be determined), where I will disassemble some vintage grandfather clocks and discuss their inner workings and the remarkable art of creating them. I’ll also discuss what to look for when considering the purchase of a vintage clock. Hope to see you in New York.