What will happen to antique shows?

Our booth last year at the Baltimore show

The promoter of the Baltimore Summer Antiques Show, Scott Diament, told me in an email that the show has been postponed to November 12-15, 2020. Personally we decided that we would not exhibit this year regardless. Most of the exhibitors and most of the attendees are senior citizens and therefore part of the most vulnerable part of the population. I can’t imagine dealers or attendees willing to risk their health to travel to the show. Will the situation will be materially better by November? Doubtful, in fact it may be worse. The Spanish Flu of 1918 came back with a vengeance in the fall.

Our booth in Miami Beach, January, 2020. Seems like a lifetime ago.

What makes any show attractive is its size, diversity and quality. Baltimore and Miami Beach are the best examples. They attract serious buyers willing to travel great distances. Serious dealers, serious buyers — the formula for success. Shows that rely only on local clients often struggle as there aren’t enough good clients to go around.

The Chicago Merchandise Mart show was postponed from this month to the fall.

The antiques show business has suffered over the last decade as a result of the graying of the dealers and clients. There are far fewer dealers and far fewer clients than even a decade ago. Many shows have folded permanently. Unfortunately I think the pandemic will accelerate the process. I wonder if there will be any decent shows left when the crisis is finally over. And that won’t happen until not only the creation of a vaccine, but the actual inoculation of the public — a process that could take 12-18 months.

I really miss the good shows, but wishing will not make them appear. In the meantime, tune into my blog and check my website. I really will be working on listing more and more items.

A few results from Treadway Gallery’s Spring auction, May 3, 2020

Sorry, no new post this week. There isn’t much happening, so I can’t think of a new topic. I’ll have a new post next week.

Treadway Gallery, Cincinnati, OH, held a Spring auction on May 3, 2020 with his usual assortment of art pottery, Arts & Crafts, art glass and a few lamps. There wasn’t much special in the sale, so the items sold in the range of $33 – $23,750, with most items selling well below $5,000.

Gallé Faience pottery, Treadway lot #235

That lot #235, a 9″ tall Gallé Faience pottery vase, was the top lot of the sale, was a surprise to me and I’m sure to everyone except the final two bidders. Historically Gallé pottery never had much of a following, so prices were generally soft. I do love this rare example, in the form of a flower with hand-painted fairies, but the price was an historical aberration. Two bidders were both determined to buy it, so they fought all the way to $23,750, including buyer’s premium, from a pre-sale estimate of $1,000 – $1,500. Kudos to the consignor.

Tiffany Studios 7-light lily table lamp, Treadway lot #264

The second best performing lot of the sale was #264, a Tiffany Studios 7-light lily table lamp with an original gold doré base. It sold within its estimate of $10,000 – $15,000, realizing $13,000, including buyer’s premium.

Viking Craft brooch, Treadway lot #193

There were some good bargains at the sale. For example lot #193, a 2″ sterling silver and moonstone brooch by Viking Craft sold for only $33, including buyer’s premium. I would have bought it in a heartbeat at that price, had I paid attention.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.

Daum Nancy Blackbird vases are rare and beautiful

Daum Nancy liked to repeat decorations on different shaped vases and lamps. There are many examples including seasons and flowers. Blackbirds rate as one of the most collectible and desirable decorations. They’re quite rare, so I’m only able to acquire an example every few years. Amazingly I have three examples now for sale.

Following are three examples I’ve previously sold.

A sold Daum Nancy Blackbird pillow vase
Another sold Daum Nancy Blackbird vase
Still another sold Daum Nancy Blackbird vase

The two Daum miniature Blackbird vases pictured below are doubly rare. First the decoration is rare, and second it’s even rarer to find it on miniature vases. The vase on the left measures 3″ tall and the tumbler on the right measures 1¾” tall. The blackbirds continue around the vases. They’re great examples.

These two rare Daum Nancy Blackbird miniature vases are for sale

The Daum Nancy Blackbird vase pictured below is probably the biggest and best example that exists anywhere in the world. I’ve never seen another that comes close to it in size (28″ tall) or quality. There’s never much detail in the blackbirds on the smaller vases, but on this example, there’s a much bigger canvas, so the birds are highly detailed. It had to have been painted by one of their most talented artists. If you want the best example in the world, it’s for sale here.

The rarest and best Daum Blackbird vase (28″ tall)