Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Chevy Chase Women's Club Antiques Show or A Fellini Movie?

I felt like I was in a Fellini movie this past weekend when I exhibited my country antiques, folk art,  a few French things and a couple of mid-century chandeliers that are to-die-for-marvelous at the 49th Annual Women's Club of Chevy Chase Antiques Show. 

For the back story:
As a result of the economy,  many dealers are in a very bad mood, and the 96 year-old Chevy Chase Women's Club has definitely seen better days. 

Disregarding what they actually tell you, many antiques dealers are not doing well and some are barely hanging on. Prices are all over the place and the smart ones (the ones that are selling) have adjusted to the new economy. Others are hanging on to those old inflated prices and their inventory is barely moving. I have seen some dealers go home from a show having sold nothing. Items that were purchased prior to the recession are at prices they cannot sustain now. On the other hand, customers are holding on to their pocketbooks and buying with more caution than many dealers are accustomed to seeing. Thus, the dealers are a grouchy bunch!

The Federation of Women's Clubs is a typical example of an organization that has not kept up with the times. Some clubs in the Federation own costly properties that cannot be maintained and have become a drain on club finances. Also, membership is dwindling in most clubs. One wonders if these once relevant clubs will find a way to reinvent themselves and grow a new membership. Since, most club activities are charitable, one hopes they can do it and do it quickly. 

I was amazed at the Chevy Chase Club members--the member volunteer who made the fabulous chicken salad and finger sandwiches for lunch was 94-years-old!  She had no help in the kitchen and was working all day for 2 days. The food was delicious, but where was her help? 

I sat at lunch with another charming member who described herself to me this way, "I am 85-years-old, have had 9 boyfriends in the past 20 years. They all died." She went on to say, "Men just don't take care of themselves." This little ball-of-fire  worked the show both days, all day, and opening night, wore a leather mini skirt and had a smile on her face the entire weekend, even when encountering more than one really grouchy dealer. I was awestruck. 

Following are some pictures of the show.

 Hearthside Antiques, Poolesville, Maryland

My space
Gabriel Gibson Decorative Arts, Germantown, Maryland
Coming soon to www.vandm.com

I sold some this weekend. 

Sold this tool chest. 

Hooked rug from Indiana-I came so close to selling this. Part of me was disappointed, the other was relieved that I can use it in my bedroom for a little while longer.

A dealer wanted this iconic tinsel painting, but couldn't afford it. She was grouchy about not being able to afford it---I think she wanted me to give it to her. 

My smalls always attract much interest, especially the sewing manual from Reading, PA (bottom). The 1840s huswife (center right) was ignored this show, but was studied by all at the Oatlands show. Chevy Chase was a very different audience than Oatlands.

From the balcony looking down on the crowd.

Gold Leaf Antiques, Atlanta, Georgia
Donald and Duane
Donald gave me many tips on setting up the space. 
These guys had a $98,000 diamond ring!

Loved these chairs-they are in peach suede and are $2500 each.
A Room With A View, Middleburg, Virginia

My French sunburst mirror-this is the real thing!
Gabriel Gibson Decorative Arts

The Brills have been doing this show for 30 years. They sold the beautiful chest at the end of the room. 
Brill's Antiques
Judy and Jerry Brill in Newport News, Virginia

Donna Radner is a Chevy Chase fiber artist working in quilts for the bed and the wall. Here she is admiring my antique "Flying Geese" quilt from Pennsylvania. It was made by a member of the Swartz family.

Here is my assistant packing up the Lucite chandelier. I did well at this show and had fun, too.

This was my favorite object in the show. How pretty!

Promoter Dordy Fontinel on the phone. 
She is an amazing and sweet woman who works very hard to make the show profitable for the club, dealers, and customers.

A list of Dordy's upcoming shows from the Chevy Chase catalogue.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Weekend at the Hunt Country Antiques Fair 2009

Some of my items at the Hunt Country Antiques Fair. 
The Hunt Country Antiques Fair, known to collectors as "Oatlands" is back after several years at a different location. A big crowd turned out Saturday and Sunday to ogle the antiques and hunt for that elusive prize. The weather was perfect and the pickings were good.

Crossing the Potomac River on the General Jubal Early at White's Ferry, Maryland

One of my favorite things about participating in a show in Virginia is the early morning ferry ride across the Potomac River. The dew is just starting to evaporate, the river is still and calm and a Blue Heron sits on a rock near the shore watching us as the ferry glides from one side of the river to the other.

The Potomac River at White's Ferry 

A row of canoes on the banks of the river 

Saturday began surprisingly well with a long line of people waiting to get in when the gates opened at 10 AM. At Gabriel Gibson we had many people looking and complimenting us on our inventory. The album quilt from Westminster, Maryland was especially a big hit. My 1850 farm table and 2 silvered glass (mercury glass) vases sold right away to a lovely woman furnishing an 1826 house in Hagerstown, Maryland.

Album Quilt Top made in Westminster, Maryland around 1850

Several friends and clients came out to see me. Patrick Sheary, former colleague and current museum curator seemed to be especially interested in some of the folk art for sale.

Patrick Sheary, curator, examines a folk art toy from Pennsylvania.

One of the trends evident at the show was  the popularity of  country furniture. It never seems to go out of style.  Almost every dealer who had furniture sold at least one or two pieces.

Gabriel Gibson Decorative Arts prior to set-up

My show neighbor in his space.  

Above is Bill Owens of North Carolina. He had wonderful early country furniture and he knew everyone!

I sold this silvered glass vase along with another.

Lovely Dorothy Thorpe etched crystal plates and martini glasses. Note the fabulous rolling bar cart. I saw one a few months ago on 1st Dibs for $1800. Mine is only $1200 and is so classy.

Puppy Pillows
I just couldn't resist these two silk embroidered puppy pillows. I bought them immediately and put them in my space. The pekineese are really adorable with their blue and green eyes. I have a Beagle so I love anything that represents the breed.

Sock Monkey
This sock monkey sold on Sunday.  I have always heard that "cute" animals sell well. I believe it-all my "cute" things sold while the really rare French ceramics were left unsold. The French objects and pricey textiles will soon be posted on my website at www.vandm.com. The site will be online in a few weeks. The adorable sock monkey is perched on top of a perfect pair of imitation alligator vintage luggage. It is an early Samsonite. The inside is as perfect as the outside. I even have the original keys. 

Mom's bakery in Leesburg

Whenever I am in Leesburg I have to make a quick stop at Mom's bakery for a sweet treat. Mom's sells the best pastries and coffee in Northern Virginia. The aroma of cakes baking hits you the second you walk in the door. I like to just stand there and smell it! If you find yourself in the area drop by and try the whoopie pies, buckeyes, and beautifully hand-decorated sugar cookies. They also sell a nice Costa Rican coffee.

All photographs courtesy of Nancy Gibson, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My Week Working the Fields of Brimfield

Brimfield at 6 AM the morning of the first day. It's quiet for now, but in two more hours it will be packed with people looking for that one-in-a-million "find."
The line for breakfast was always long this early in the morning. 

My first prize of the day.
1960s-1970s Needlework

And then I found this one. I love these pieces.

She must have found a lot of Wedgewood because I saw her all morning pushing that cart back and forth from one field to another filled with stuff. 

It was early and these guys already looked tired. They probably stayed up too late counting their money.

I found this pretty Postage Stamp quilt. 

This tent looked interesting. I bet I walked by it 100 times in the week I was there.

I love signs and so does my daughter. I almost bought this one.

Here is another object I almost purchased. I decided this sampler was nice, but too acidic. I didn't want to pay the high price the dealer was asking and then have to have it conserved. I kept walking.

Interesting birdhouse.

I bought this child's nursery rhyme quilt.

And this tinsel painting

And this tinsel painting in a fabulous arts and crafts frame. 

And this fabulous orange mid-century quilt. I love orange in quilts. You rarely see it.

And another tinsel painting, c. 1850. This one has a rare white ground. Probably in its original frame.

By the end of the day it was crowded and I was so tired, but kept looking and buying. 

Mexican Sterling Silver Bracelet
This one is very beautiful. 

I was lucky to find a large amount of 1950s furnishing fabrics in PERFECT condition. 

All will be for sale in about a month in my new shop at www.vandm.com.