A visit to the Parma Merchant’s Fair, October 3-5, 2013

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.

Loading in at the Parma show at the Thursday opening

Loading in at the Parma show at the Thursday opening

To say the least, this has been a memorable trip, with some nice highs and some unpleasant lows. If you follow my blog, you know that I was invited to attend the Mercanteinfiera Parma (Parma Merchant’s Fair), which included airfare and hotel. It opened to dealers only on Thursday, October 3rd. Basically it’s a unique combination of the Brimfield and Miami Beach shows. As in Brimfield, the exhibitors unload and set up at the same time outside dealers wander about. As in Miami, the show is indoors and opens to the public after the first two days of setup.

Lia is in front of a fabulous garden display at the show

Lia is in front of a fabulous garden display at the show

The show is very large, with about 1,000 exhibitors, spread out over three huge buildings. That may sound gigantic, but it’s my understanding the show used to be even larger a few years ago, filling six buildings. I suppose that’s why the fair is sponsoring outside dealers to attend the show. That would be great if an American city were to do the same thing for its big shows, like Miami Beach, but the odds of that happening are just about nil.

An amazing 8' tall building model, sold at the show

An amazing 8′ tall building model, sold at the show

Unfortunately, we had a couple of nasty problems, the worst of which was losing our passports. What grief! We had to spend all day Friday driving to and from the American Consulate in Milan to get emergency passports. That made it impossible to visit the show on Friday. Then amazingly on Saturday, we received a call from the police department in Milan, notifying us that our passports were found. What great news! What terrible timing! If only they had called the day before. Regardless, we were thrilled to get back our portfolio and made whole again. The portfolio contained our passports, some documents and a SIM card for my phone. Phew!

Need a litter for an aristocrat in your family?

Need a litter for an aristocrat in your family?

Shopping the show was interesting. Our main focus was to buy good quality French glass by Daum or Gallé, but that proved impossible. We did find some Gallé and Daum, but none were the quality or the price we were looking for. Everything I already have in inventory is better quality and priced better than what we found. So what did we buy? A 1960s Pan Am model airplane; a beautifully painted enamel on copper plaque of Leda and the Swan; a wonderful Sandoz ceramic fish; a period glass Coca-Cola tray; and five 1920s German bisque naughty dolls — not what you expect to find in our booth at a show, but different and interesting.

A similar German bisque bathing beauty to the five we purchased

A similar German bisque bathing beauty to the five we purchased

Now for the story of the German naughties. We were running out of time on Saturday, our last day at the show. We found a booth with five 1920s German bisque naughty dolls, with original wigs and clothing. They were all in amazingly good condition, except for minor damage to one. Lia paid $2,000 for a similar one a few months back, so we asked the price. We were prepared to pay $1,200 for one. The dealer said he wanted to sell them as a group. How much, you ask? $550!!! I couldn’t believe it was for the whole group, but it was. Dealers clearly remember every single time they make a score and this was one of them. Lia was on a high for hours. Fortunately for her and unfortunately for me, Lia collects them, so the profit will not be realized for a long time.

Wonderful 12" Daum rain scenic vase, just in

Wonderful 12″ Daum rain scenic vase, just in

Click here to view my new website and look around. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps.

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