Opening Day Attendance Up At The Spring Pier Antique Show

 NEW YORK CITY — Capacity crowds once again lined the foyer, parking areas and surrounding sidewalks of the Passenger Ship Terminals on the west side of Manhattan, awaiting the opening of the spring Pier Antique Show on Saturday morning, March 29. The two-day show, New York City’s largest antiques event featuring nearly 400 dealers, took place at Pier 94.

As the crowd rushed onto the floor, shoppers barked out questions for prices, and “I’ll take that” was heard over and over. Many of the dealers commented about significant sales, including Connecticut dealer David Smernoff, From Here to Antiquity, exclaiming, “I sold more than 35 paintings!”

“We are thrilled to report that exhibitors’ experienced a dramatic uptick in sales, far greater than in recent years,” said Dan Darby, U.S. Antique Shows’ group show director. 

In typical Pier style, the show is semi-segregated, with Twentieth Century booths filling the front-right side of the T-shaped display area of the show, Continental and decorative antiques dominate the expansive front-left and Americana and general line antiques extend the length of the pier. Fashion Alley and a small book fair traditionally occupy regions at the rear of the pier; this year, however, those dealers were interspersed, giving the show a little more flavor. 

“We had a great show and the turnout of attendees was tremendous, with many lined up at the ticketing gate. I think a lot people left the show with some really terrific pieces!” said Cory Margolis of Mantiques Modern, New York City, who carries both modern furniture and home décor items.

Maine dealer Bob Withington, well-known for his weighty garden ornaments and outdoor decorative accoutrements, was once again busy as the show opened to the public. Placing a seemingly endless supply of sold tags on merchandise, the dealer’s booth was plastered in red within a half-hour of opening.

Martin Chasin of Martin Chasin Fine Arts, Fairfield, Conn., has exhibited at the Pier Antique Show for 21 years and was thrilled with his sales. “It has been a wonderful selling show for me. I sold two sets of Tiffany & Co. flatware. There was a mob scene of buyers opening day. It was very, very good!”

Art dealer Bill Union, Art and Antique Gallery, Worcester, Mass., displayed a wonderful piece of illustration art, a J.C. Leyendecker oil on canvas, probably executed as a New Year’s Day theme for a magazine. An Antonio Jacobsen ship’s portrait was also offered, as was a nice landscape by A.T. Bricher.

Douglas R. Wyant Antiques, Cassopolis, Mich., offered a grand selection of merchandise, including a Heinz Ketchup advertising sign emblazoned with a huge red bottle against a yellow backdrop. A large bowling alley sign in the form of an oversized pin was on the opposite wall; hanging nearby was a tike’s “Lil’ Tiger” Schwinn bicycle in excellent condition. Wyant began making sales as the doors to the show opened and seemed to never slow down.

An unusual collection of Indonesian construction workers’ hard hats with elaborate repousse decoration was attracting the looks of shoppers. The pieces, some of them — such as Doc Cole’s helmet — sported graphically erotic images, while others were designed with examples of buildings on which they worked. The collection was offered by Bob Lerch, New York City.

A large carved stone patriotic architectural element was at Lawrence Michael Antiques, Bedminster, N.J. The piece, measuring almost 4 feet tall, depicted a spread-winged eagle atop an American shield.

There was a huge selection of jewelry at the show, with lots of special examples of diamonds and other pieces fashioned with precious gemstones. Understated in its glitz appeal, a spectacular abstract silver necklace designed by Astrid Fog for Georg Jenson was at Drucker Antiques, Mount Kisco, N.Y.

The works of Louis Icart were prevalent at, West Chester, Penn. Among the offering were numerous colorful etchings, including “Thoroughbreds,” “Miss America” and “Sleeping Beauty.”

U.S. Antique Shows now produces nine shows nationally. The Pier Antique Show is conducted semi-annually in March and November. The next New York show scheduled for U.S. Antique Shows is the New York Antique Jewelry & Watch Show, July 25–28, at the Metropolitan Pavilion. For information, or 239-732-6642.

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