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The 2013 San Francisco Fall Antiques Show

Alice Kaufman | October 23rd, 2013


A group of seven split earrings (five shown) from 5th- century B.C. Dong Son (Vietnam/Cambodia) was $7000 for the group at Susan Ollemans, London. Ollemans is a 12-year show veteran.


Sarah Stocking, whose gallery is in Jackson Square, San Francisco, was asking $16,000 for this special edition of an 1897 framed color lithograph poster calendar that included the cover (shown here), 12 calendar pages (each 21½" x 17½"), and a proof sheet. Stocking has been exhibiting at this show for five years and said attendance was up and business was good.

San Francisco, California

San Francisco Fall Antiques Show stories usually start with opening night preview party disasters—San Francisco Giants World Series games, a dock strike that reduced some exhibitors to displaying large photographs of their inventory, and more. But the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) strike was promising to be the biggest opening night disaster ever, as BART-less commuters clogged streets, highways, and bridges until it was settled the day before the famous party. Did the party organizers make contingency plans for the October 23-27, 2013, show?

“No,” said show cochair Michele Goss. “There was no plan we could really make. We can’t helicopter people over.” Although actual figures were not yet calculated, Goss believed that attendance was up for both the party and the show itself. Sixty-two dealers exhibited, the maximum ever “except for a show [show creator] Toby Rose produced, when we might have had sixty-three.” There were more than a dozen first-time dealers and some who returned after being away for a few years.

The show’s new director, Ariane Trimuschat, brought several innovations to the show—guided tours of the booths by volunteers (advisory committee chair/jewelry designer Toni Wolfson on jewelry, for instance) and sponsor-based informal talks in the afternoon in the food area, such as a talk by appraiser Paul Novak on buying art and antiques at auction, sponsored by Michaan’s Auctions. Both activities proved to be “very, very popular,” Goss told M.A.D.

Sales, Goss said, were “good overall, not fabulous, with the vast majority of dealers going away happy. And even if they didn’t sell an object at the show, collectors frequently call after the show to buy something they’ve seen and been thinking about.”

Goss and her husband collect “a lot of stuff—jade, porcelain, china, glass, silver, paintings.” Did she buy at this show? “Something for a Christmas surprise, nothing major. I try not to favor certain dealers over the others.”

The 2014 San Francisco Fall Antiques Show will open on Wednesday, October 22, and will run for four days through the weekend. The theme will be the Gold Rush, but it remains to be seen if the San Francisco 49ers cheerleaders, the Gold Rush, will entertain at the preview party. For more information, contact Enterprise for High School Students (the show is their largest funding source) at (415) 392-7600, ext. 1 or (www.ehss.org), or see the show’s Web site (www.sffas.org).

This circa 1930 wood three-tier spool table in red, white, and blue with stars with an “as-found painted surface” was priced at $4500 at American Garage, Los Angeles. On top of the table were early automobile turn signals on contemporary stands, priced at $1500 for the set of seven. Six-year show veteran Michael Ogle said that the show had been “fantastic.”

At Richard Gould Antiques, Los Angeles, this partial Chinese export coffee set was priced at $2000. The 1875-90 set was given as a wedding present to Sudbury, Massachusetts, innkeeper Ezekiel Howe, whose Howe’s Tavern became the Wayside Inn and was the subject of a Longfellow poem. Provenance included Neiman Marcus in the mid-1960’s.

Peter Fetterman of Santa Monica, California, was asking $9500 for Berenice Abbott’s 1954 (printed later) photograph of Frank Lloyd Wright, 19½" x 15 1/3", 30" x 24" mounted, signed in pencil, with “Abbott, Maine” stamped on the mount.

This circa 1900 sailor-made model of a four-masted ship in its original builder’s cradle cost $6500 at first-time exhibitor Frank’s Fisherman, San Francisco. The ship measures 61" long x 43" across the yardarms and has some restoration to the rigging and surface. How was the show? “I’m getting the right people. I’ve met collectors I’ve only heard about but never met.”

At Earle D. Vandekar of Knightsbridge Inc., White Plains, New York, this circa 1885 English woolwork of a Great Eastern Railway steam train, #165, 18" x 25", was priced at $4500.

Spencer Marks, Southampton, Massachusetts, was asking $49,000 for this 1870-75 Tiffany & Co. coffee and tea service, “most certainly designed by James Whitehouse, whose work is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.”


Originally published in the February 2014 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2014 Maine Antique Digest

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