The results of the Toomey & Co. Art & Design sale, September 16, 2018

I am now publishing once a week, on Monday.


Toomey & Co. Auctioneers, Oak Park, IL, held an Art & Design sale yesterday, September 16, 2018. Included in the sale were a number of ceramic and glass lots by Newcomb College, Tiffany Studios, Gallé and Daum — the subject of today’s blog.

Newcomb College chocolate set, Toomey lot #214

Lot #214 was a Newcomb College chocolate set. It sold well, exceeding its high estimate of $12,000, realizing $16,250, including buyer’s premium. I’m quite fond of the work of Newcomb College, but I tend to buy only scenic vases, rather than floral items. It’s just personal taste and what sells best for me. I had no interest in this lot.

Tiffany Studios Grapevine carriage clock, Toomey lot #391

I tried to buy a very nice Tiffany Studios Grapevine carriage clock, but couldn’t because the price was too high for a clock with damage. Two glass panels were cracked and the door hinge was broken. It sold below it’s aggressive estimate of $4,000 – $6,000, realizing $3,250, including buyer’s premium.

Daum Prairie vase, Toomey lot #475

The best French cameo glass vase in the sale, a Daum Prairie vase did very well. It sold for $20,000, including buyer’s premium, against a pre-sale estimate of $5,000 – $7,000. Prairie vases are rare and very desirable, but this example didn’t have the best color and had some minor damage to one of the flowers, apparently from a slight impact somewhere in its history. I would have bid more strongly than I did if the condition were perfect. I was not the buyer.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.


No shows until Antiques + Modernism Winnetka (IL), November 1-4, 2018. We always look forward to our twice yearly exhibits in the greater Chicago area. But remember we’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. 

I recently listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

What is the future of antique shows?

I am now publishing once a week, on Monday.


Remember the Pier Antique Show in NYC?

What is the future of antique shows? Will they fail or survive? It’s an existential question for antique dealers like myself. We used to exhibit at more than twenty shows per year. Now we’re down to six. Important shows have folded, like the Pier Show in NYC, which I really miss. It’s amazing that we have no show in NYC.

The Baltimore Summer Antiques Show is held in the Baltimore Convention Center

The recent Baltimore Summer Antiques Show was the smallest it’s been in decades, as the attrition rate among dealers is high and increasing. Most antique dealers are in the age range of 60-80, with very few younger dealers coming in to take the places of the older ones retiring or dying. If 50-100 dealers a year drop out of important shows like Baltimore, the shows will reach a critical mass, below which they will fold. Personally I never saw this day coming until I had an inkling about 10 years ago.

Auction houses, on the other hand, are doing brisk business. Many of the baby boomers, who form the majority of collectors, are aging out. Their children consign their estates to auction, many without reserve. Auction houses don’t really care what they’re selling, as long as they’re selling. If items have no reserve, they’re guaranteed to sell and the auction houses are guaranteed to make their commissions.

Morphy Auctions in Denver, PA, is doing a brisk business

I never intended to retire from the antiques business, but the business may retire me. I’m switching tactics and trying my best to do more business from my website. If I could replace the income generated from antique shows with income from my website, I’d be a happy camper. Since a lot of the action has shifted to auctions, I utilize those too.

The future of the antiques business for me is murky. The changes are happening quickly and I’m trying to adjust accordingly. Only time will tell, so keep tuned.


No shows until Antiques + Modernism Winnetka (IL), November 1-4, 2018. We always look forward to our twice yearly exhibits in the greater Chicago area. But remember we’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. 

I recently listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

The results of the Baltimore Summer Antiques Show, August 30 – September 2, 2018

I am now publishing once a week, on Monday.


There were a couple of hundred people at the opening on Thursday

Thursday, 6:50 PM Opening day is almost over. More or less, it’s been like other opening days for me in Baltimore — namely, lots of interest, but very few sales. However, it was a good day because we sold a Tiffany 7-light lily lamp to a new client, plus I made important private sales by email. If history repeats itself, business should be just fine later in the show. That’s my plan, but el hombre propone y Dios dispone.

We sold a Tiffany 7-light lily lamp at the show

Our booth was crowded early on Thursday afternoon

Friday, 3:10 PM The day started off with good attendance and interest, but slowed down dramatically by mid-afternoon. We made one Tiffany vase sale and hope to make another before the day is over. We’ll see.

We sold this lovely Gallé vase at the show

Friday, 6:30 PM A “be-back” (that’s what antique dealers call people who say they’ll be back) came back and purchased a very nice Gallé vase, so the day was decent (except for all the hours of sitting around crawling out of my skin).

Saturday, 2:30 PM Attendance and interest has been good at the start of every day, but the sales haven’t been coming as fast as they should. We sold a small KPM plaque to start the day and nothing since, but I’m optimistic the day will end well.

Saturday, 6:30 PM I was incredibly busy during the day with inquiries. At times I had to speak to several people simultaneously, but it only resulted in a couple of small sales. However, the day ended well, mostly because I made several important sales to my private clients by email. Thank goodness for my private clients.

We sold this beautiful Tiffany Studios Linenfold table lamp at the show

Sunday, 6:30 PM The show is over and I’m very pleased. Attendance was lighter today and there was less interest, but I sold a Tiffany lamp to a new client and a pair of candlesticks to another. Sales to new clients is very important.

Overall we’re quite pleased. Interest and sales in Tiffany lamps and glass were strongest. The show was smaller, but attendance was good, so the dealers benefited. Whatever buying power the public brought was spread over fewer dealers. I did hear a few complaints, but most dealers I spoke to were pleased.

Now we’ll take some time to smell the roses, but we’re always doing business, so keep in touch!


No shows until Antiques + Modernism Winnetka (IL), November 1-4, 2018. We always look forward to our twice yearly exhibits in the greater Chicago area. But remember we’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call.

I recently listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.