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The Pier Antique Show

Julie Schlenger Adell | March 29th, 2014

David Allen Fine Arts, Arlington, Virginia, had a lot of traffic. Allen “usually sells $20,000 to $30,000 here at the show,” and sometimes sells things for a lot more. He offered a port wine server with spigot, stamped Tiffany, that he found in Italy, for $3500 (middle shelf, second from the right). He didn’t bring any prints with him but said that they are available on his Web site.

Roberta and Seymour Barget of Barget Antiques, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, have been exhibiting at the Pier show for 15 years. They buy and sell silver, glass, and porcelain. They sold a pair of hand-blown jugs with silver mounts and more. On the upper shelf is a Cambridge and Farberware decanter with eight glasses and a tray from the 1950s, with an asking price of $255. Below is a set of 12 Cambridge cobalt goblets for $295, a set of vintage cordial glasses for $120, and a Cambridge keyhole vase for $60.

Mary Anne Newman of Madison, New Jersey, has showed at the Pier show for 20 years. She sells mostly Italian and French linens, including tablecloths, runners, napkins, bed linens, handkerchiefs, and baby dresses. Lately women are bringing her “bags of linens to sell so they can buy jewelry.” Newman, whose daughter helps her run the business, also sells silver jewelry and silver serving pieces. Sales are up in silver, she said.

The Gryphon’s Nest, Kalamazoo, Michigan, offered these silver castle-top calling cards. Bradley M. Bloom collected 34 of them and was asking $22,500 for the collection. The cases were made between 1850 and 1870 by Leonard and Wilson in Philadelphia and measure approximately 3½" x 2½". They are engraved with historical American sites and buildings, and one depicted Battle Abbey in Sussex, England.

New York City

There is something for everyone at the long-running Pier Antique Show.

Insiders knew to be first in line when the doors opened to the entrance of Pier 94 on the Hudson River to score treasures from what seemed to be an endless number of jewelry dealers, to scope out silver and decorative objects, and to find the perfect painting for that particular spot on the wall.

The Pier show, known for its eclectic nature, was bought last year by U.S. Antique Shows. Their debut show last November, in the time slot that has historically been a stronger show because of its proximity to the holidays, was well attended and well received by both collectors and dealers.

This time, however, the March 29 and 30 dates conflicted with the Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show held at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood.

A majority of the vintage clothing dealers usually ensconced in the “Fashion Alley” area of the Pier show opted to participate at the show in Chelsea. This left a noticeable empty area on one side of the space.

 There were approximately 350 exhibitors, about 50-75 fewer than in November, said a spokesperson for U.S. Antique Shows, primarily because of the vintage clothing show conflict.

 The first day of the show, although a blustery rainy Saturday, was busier than the second. In the final hours on Sunday, bargain hunters, including exhibitors, could be seen searching booths for end-of-show deals. That is customary, as is “the good action, dealer to dealer” at setup.

Also customary at the Pier show is the diverse nature of the crowd as well as the mix of offerings at many of the hundreds of booths. Jewelry was everywhere.

“There’s an eclectic mix” at this show, said one longtime collector. “It’s not the best of the best, but there are ‘diamonds in the rough.’ And the people-watching is great.”

Dealers also are self-proclaimed eclectics. “I love everything,” said a dealer from Lambertville, New Jersey. “So I don’t specialize.”

The Pier show “allows for the beginning collector to the most advanced,” and that is part of its appeal, said another collector.

“Oh, this guy’s got great stuff,” said a man to his companion as they rushed toward a booth. In less than three minutes they bought two prints and a blue and white ceramic tray.

Potential buyers could choose from mid-century furniture, kitchen kitsch and other collectibles, paintings from all periods, art glass, silver, industrial design items, antique to present day jewelry, antique linens, and some vintage clothing and handbags. Continuing the eclectic theme of the show were booths advertising Shen Yun, the classical Chinese dance and music company, pet adoption, an autumn antiques show in Italy, and financial planning.

U.S. Antique Shows will hold the next Pier Antique Show on November 22 and 23, a few days before Thanksgiving. Further information is available at (

This pair of 1960s lamps made by Laurel Lamp Mfg. Co., Newark, New Jersey, measuring 4'6" high, with glass trays, was $1450 from Linda Elmore of Westfield, New Jersey.

French Bakelite bracelets and necklaces were displayed at Olivia Garay Vintage Jewelry, New York City and South Beach, Florida. The bracelets were $35, and necklaces were priced at $45.

Joe Keller and David Ross of Keller & Ross, North Reading, Massachusetts, buy and sell American dinnerware. Their book Jadite: An Identification and Price Guide, published by Schiffer, is in its third edition. The jadite on the shelf, made in Ohio and Pennsylvania in the 1940s, ranged in price from $10 to $500. Canisters were around $200.

Leanne Lipston of Inddesign, Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania, loves circles, geometric forms, metals, wood, and the aerodynamic shapes of airplanes and helicopters. On top is a part of a plane’s wing. A polished aluminum airplane propeller was $900; an “A” from a sign in Pennsylvania, possibly from a theater, was $250; and the circle, a stator, part of a plane’s engine, was $1200.

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

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