Unfortunately, there won’t be an important antiques show in downtown Chicago this spring

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.


The Chicago Merchandise Mart

The Chicago Merchandise Mart

You probably remember there was no antique show at the Merchandise Mart this past April. It all started when the Palm Beach Show Group couldn’t reach agreement with the Merchandise Mart and went off on their own to create a show at the Navy Pier. As a result, the Merchandise Mart couldn’t get enough exhibitors for their show and shut it down. With higher expenses for the dealers and lower sales at the Navy Pier, many of the show exhibitors balked and did not resign for another Navy Pier show. So the Merchandise Mart is reluctant to start another antique show and the Palm Beach Show Group doesn’t feel like gambling on a second Navy Pier show.

An aerial view of Chicago's Navy Pier

An aerial view of Chicago’s Navy Pier

Where does that leave the dealers and the public? Between a rock and a hard place. It feels like a bad case of Humpty Dumpty — all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again. Now everybody suffers. I know I feel it. Chicago is my best city. The fewer times I exhibit there, the lower my income — plain and simple. I’ve built up a great clientele there over many years and now there are very few opportunities to exhibit. There’s no more Arlington Racetrack, no more Rosemont summer show, and now no downtown show. UGH!!

I spoke to one promoter who is looking for a downtown facility to host a smaller show, but who knows if that will become a reality. In the meantime, I’ve got to rely on only two shows in the greater Chicago area — the fall show in Winnetka and the Chicago Botanic Gardens in the spring. It’s frustrating when I have no control.


miami-national-show-1-2015I’ll be spending the next month and a half looking for treasures to bring to Florida for our southern circuit. So far the buying has been great, so look for lots of new goodies. The Florida shows begin with the Miami National Antiques Show on January 24, 2015.

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. 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 Chicago Merchandise Mart has canceled their 2014 spring antiques show

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.

The aisles were jammed at the Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antiques Show.  Let's hope we can see the same crowds in Chicago.

The aisles were jammed at the Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antiques Show. Let’s hope we can see the same crowds in Chicago.

The Chicago Merchandise Mart has decided to cancel their 16-year-old spring antiques show, at least for 2014, and likely for good. The news is so new that the 2014 dates are still listed on their website as of this writing, merchandisemartantiques.com. What a shame! This was one of my favorite shows of the year — elegant, personal, easy, productive.

So what happened? In one word, competition. The Palm Beach Show Group decided to hold a major antiques show in Chicago the same week as the Merchandise Mart. There aren’t enough good show dealers to fill both shows the same week, so something had to give. I couldn’t understand why the Palm Beach Show Group decided to hold their show the same week. I sent emails, I asked questions, but basically got the runaround. It wasn’t until the Merchandise Mart canceled their show that I probably got closer to the truth. Apparently the Palm Beach Show Group tried to buy the Merchandise Mart Antiques Show, but was unable, for whatever reason(s). It looks like they intentionally chose the same week to drive the Merchandise Mart out, and they succeeded. Too bad, because I think the Merchandise Mart would have been better off with the Palm Beach Show Group in charge. It would have been the best of both worlds — the Merchandise Mart is a great location and the Palm Beach Show Group are great promoters. Additionally the Mart may have soured on all art and antiques fairs. In early 2012 they shut down their annual modern art fair.

An aerial view of Chicago's Navy Pier

An aerial view of Chicago’s Navy Pier

Now that the winner of the duel has been decided, we wish the Palm Beach Show Group success with their new Chicago International Art, Antique & Jewelry Show at the Navy Pier, April 24-28, 2014. I’ve signed up, chosen a booth and listed the show on my website calendar. I’ve heard complaints about the facility — it’s hard to park, etc., etc. But now there’s only one good game in town, so buyers will somehow find their way. If history is any indication, attendance will surely pick up because of good promotion. We have to hope that there will be real buyers in the large crowds, which will make the dealers happy and the show succeed.

We’ve been buying for the last several weeks, and will continue to buy more, in anticipation of our four shows down south, starting with the Miami National Antiques Show on January 24, 2014 and ending with the wonderful Grove Park Inn Arts & Crafts Conference, February 21 – 23, 2014. We last exhibited there a few years ago and couldn’t exhibit again because of scheduling conflicts. This year there were no conflicts, so we’re happy to return. It will immediately follow the important Palm Beach Antiques Show.

Wonderful Tiffany Favrile vase with wheel-carved leaves, just in

Wonderful Tiffany Favrile vase with wheel-carved leaves, 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

The almost complete results for The Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair, April 26-29, 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.

We received many compliments

We received many compliments

It’s Sunday afternoon as I write this blog. The show continues today until 6 PM, and then finishes tomorrow, Monday, at 3 PM. Monday is usually a complete washout, so I don’t see any reason to delay my post until Tuesday. If anything significant happens on Monday, you’ll hear about it on Thursday.

The show started last Thursday with a very well attended preview party. Amazingly, business was good at the party, but only to my existing clients. If there were no party, they would have made the same purchases the next day. Attendance was fairly light on Friday, as the party stole much of the thunder of opening day. It continued only at a moderate pace for the entire show.

Important Daum farm scenic vase, sold at the show

Important Daum farm scenic vase, sold at the show

Personally, my show went well, but not as I would have guessed. My best client, who I had hoped would be a substantial buyer, bought nothing. Luckily, other clients stepped up to the plate, so we’re pleased with our results. As expected, most of the action was in French glass and Tiffany lamps and glass.

In asking around to a handful of dealers, I heard the following comments. An Art Nouveau dealer, new to the show, was very pleased with his results and is looking forward to next year’s show, while a Tiffany dealer, not new to the show, reported disappointing results. A majolica dealer said she had a good show. Among general dealers, one was very happy and another unhappy. A dealer in general merchandise and jewelry said he brought less this year, but sold more jewelry. An art dealer told he made only two sales and broke even. A silver dealer was pleased that his results were much better than last year, and finally a furniture/Americana dealer was very unhappy with his results. Overall I heard more good reports than bad.

Gorgeous Gallé fuchsia blownout vase, sold at the show

Gorgeous Gallé fuchsia blownout vase, sold at the show

Many of the dealers at the show are up in arms about the proposed Navy Pier show by the Palm Beach Show Group. PBSG intends to hold a show the same weekend as the April, 2014, Merchandise Mart show. Not sure why PBSG wants to do that, as there isn’t enough buying power in Chicago to support two major antique shows at the same time. We’ll see what shakes out.

No shows until late July, but we’re still very much in business. Please don’t hesitate to call or write. We’re always interested in buying, selling or trading.

Fine Argy-Rousseau pate-de-verre moth paperweight, for sale at the show

Fine Argy-Rousseau pate-de-verre moth paperweight, for sale at the show

Click here to view French cameo glass for sale. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show.

Wonderful Tiffany Favrile blue decorated mini vase, for sale at the show

Wonderful Tiffany Favrile blue decorated mini vase, for sale at the show

Look around my website. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. I regularly add Tiffany vases, lamps and desk accessories, as well as French cameo glass by Galle and Daum Nancy and etchings by Louis Icart. Here’s the link. Philip Chasen Antiques.

The Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair opens to the public this Friday, April 26, 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.

Our booth is almost set up

Our booth is almost set up

The Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair will host a preview party tonight, April 25, 2013, and then open to the public tomorrow, Friday, April 26, 2013, at 11 AM. It will continue until Monday, at 3 PM.

One of two Norman Rockwell paintings on display at M.S. Rau of New Orleans

One of two Norman Rockwell paintings on display at M.S. Rau of New Orleans

The show looks fabulous, with the usual coterie of important national dealers. There have been some dealer changes, as always happens, but the replacement dealers are all from the A-list. The show is classy, fun, intimate,and crowd-pleasing. If you’ve never visited this show, it’s worth a trip from anywhere.

Best of France has a few unique items

Best of France has a few unique items

I made a few inquiries about the future of the Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair. Management told me the rumors of the show’s demise are untrue. They will be passing out renewal contracts on Saturday. So I stick by my opinion that the arrival of a new antique show at the Navy Pier in April, 2014, the same weekend, is a big mistake. I hope the Palm Beach Show Group will reconsider, and change their dates.

Fine Argy-Rousseau pate-de-verre moth paperweight, for sale at the show

Fine Argy-Rousseau pate-de-verre moth paperweight, for sale at the show

Click here to view French cameo glass for sale. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show.

Wonderful Tiffany Favrile blue decorated mini vase, for sale at the show

Wonderful Tiffany Favrile blue decorated mini vase, for sale at the show

Look around my website. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. I regularly add Tiffany vases, lamps and desk accessories, as well as French cameo glass by Galle and Daum Nancy and etchings by Louis Icart. Here’s the link. Philip Chasen Antiques.

Big goings-on at the greater Chicago antiques shows

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.

I completed all my plans for three back-to-back greater Chicago area antique shows in April, which included non-refundable airline, hotel and car reservations. Serendipitously, I found out that the first show, the Arlington Park Racetrack Antiques Show, had been cancelled. I really don’t know what I would have done if I had shown up to Arlington Racetrack and found out there was no show. Mixed emotions — sorry the show was cancelled, but relieved I had enough time to change my plans.

merchandise-mart-4-2013

Next, I found out that the long-time director of the Chicago Merchandise Mart Antiques Show, Laurette Lutiger, left the Mart to work for another show promoter, the Palm Beach Show Group, promoters of the Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antique Show and the Baltimore Summer Antiques Show. I wish her the best of luck in her new job.

chicago-botanic-garden-3-2013

So now our show schedule in Chicago begins with the Chicago Antiques & Garden Fair at the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL. It will be our first time there. Hopefully the show will be good for us, so we can make it a regular show on our schedule. We have many clients in the greater Chicago area, so if a show fails, we need a replacement. We’re bringing an impressive group of items that will be shown for the first time in Chicago, including Tiffany lamps and glass and French cameo glass by Gallé and Daum. Please visit us at the show. It opens to the public on Friday, April 19th, at 10 AM, and continues until Sunday, April 21st, at 5 PM. Click here for more information about the show.

Wonderful Tiffany Favrile red Tel-El-Amarna vase

Wonderful Tiffany Favrile red Tel-El-Amarna vase

I recently listed over 15 new items, including several Tiffany lamps and vases, as well as two fine Grueby vases. Click here to view the Tiffany lamps for sale. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show.

Fine Galle Plum blownout vase, recently purchased

Fine Galle Plum blownout vase, recently purchased

Click here to view French cameo glass for sale. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show.

This superb Galle fuchsia blownout vase has great color and just arrived

This superb Galle fuchsia blownout vase has great color and just arrived

Look around my website. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. I regularly add Tiffany vases, lamps and desk accessories, as well as French cameo glass by Galle and Daum Nancy and etchings by Louis Icart. Here’s the link. Philip Chasen Antiques.

The results of The Chicago Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair, April 27-30, 2012

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.

The Merchandise Mart show didn’t end until Monday, so this week’s blog was postponed until Tuesday so I could report final results. Consequently, there will be no Thursday post this week.

Tiffany 20-inch diameter Lily Pad table lamp, sold at the show

This was an interesting show. There were substantial differences between my expectations and the results. A few weeks ago at the NYC Pier Show there were lots of new people and real action that I thought would carry over to the Chicago Mart show. But it didn’t. New York seems to have recovered from the recession sooner than Chicago. There were fewer people attending than some past years and many dealers saw less business. Here are a few results.

Our booth

Personally, my show was superb — the best show I’ve had at the Mart. Sales were best in Tiffany lamps and glass, Daum Nancy French cameo glass, Icart etchings and illustrator paintings. American art pottery was slow, as well as some of the other usual suspects, like art glass shades. Most of my business came from my very loyal clients (thank you, thank you, thank you). I was gratified to see some interest and sales coming from new blood.

Lia's got a few minutes to knit during a slow period at the show

In asking around, I heard results from “poor” to “great”. What I did notice is that many of the dealers who did well are good business people. They know what to buy and how to sell. The merchandise doesn’t jump off the shelves into the client’s hands — it has to be sold. That doesn’t mean being unscrupulous, it just means convincing a client that they would be better off buying than not.

It's time to start packing up and go home

OK. Here’s some of the scuttlebutt. One silver dealer did very poorly — not sure if they even opened their books. Another silver dealer did fairly — they made their expenses and a little bit more. A major diversified dealer told me he covered his expenses (very high because of a huge booth) and earned a little because of a big jewelry sale. Another diversified dealer did very well — they have great items and know how to sell. A dealer in Russian items only did OK. A dealer in furniture and bronzes was contemplating not returning until he made a major sale on Monday. I’m happy to say he’s returning. I did hear of a few dealers who did poorly and will not be returning. A first time diverse dealer at the show who sells a lot of jewelry was one of the people who told me his results were “great”. You know he’s coming back.

Our next show won’t be until July, but we’ll still be very much in business (except for a two week well-deserved vacation). Don’t hesitate to call or write, and let me know what you’d like to buy, sell, or trade.

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A wonderful Martin Brothers stoneware face jug

Look around my website. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. I regularly add Tiffany vases, lamps and desk accessories, as well as French cameo glass by Galle and Daum Nancy and Louis Icart etchings. Here’s the link. chasenantiques.com

The Chicago Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair preview party is tonight, April 26, 2012

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.

Lia is setting up our glass and ceramics

Setup went well at the Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair. We doubled the size of our booth, so we had lots of space to properly exhibit our special selection of lamps, glass, ceramics and paintings. You’ll have to come in person to see the completed fabulous display.

The Best of France has a great display of furniture and bronzes

The show is about 10% larger than before, with several exhibitors on the north side of the show floor, where previously there was no one. I walked the entire show and was blown away by what I saw.

Toulouse Antiques has fantastic paintings and 19th Century antiques

I assure you, this is one show you shouldn’t miss. The exhibitions are very high quality and very diverse. Almost everything that could interest you is on display. The show opens to the public this Friday, April 27th at 11 AM. The preview party is tonight, to invited guests. The show is killer, so make sure you come!! Then come to my booth and tell me I was right.

John Atzbach Antiques has fabulous Russian Imperial antiques

Our next show won’t be until July, but we’ll still be very much in business (except for a two week well-deserved vacation). Don’t hesitate to call or write, and let me know what you’d like to buy, sell, or trade.

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A wonderful Martin Brothers stoneware face jug

Look around my website. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. I regularly add Tiffany vases, lamps and desk accessories, as well as French cameo glass by Galle and Daum Nancy and Louis Icart etchings. Here’s the link. chasenantiques.com

The Chicago Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair opens this Friday, April 27, 2012

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.

The Chicago Merchandise Mart is located downtown, on the river, a few blocks from Michigan Ave.

The Chicago Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair opens this Friday, April 27th at 11 AM, and continues until Monday, April 30th, at 3 PM. It’s Chicago’s best antiques show and one of the best in the entire country. The quality is very high throughout, with many of the exhibitors displaying at very few shows. Some of them will travel from around the world to exhibit at this show. It’s an opportunity to see amazing exhibitions that exceed the quality and breadth of many museum’s collections.

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago will benefit from the preview party on Thursday night, April 26th. They treat people with a variety of diseases ranging from cerebral palsy and spinal cord injury to arthritis and chronic pain. Most of you know I’m not a fan of preview parties, but this one is a cut above many of the others. The Merchandise Mart treats its dealers well, unlike some other promoters. There’s plenty of food and drink for everyone. All you get at some other shows is a clear plastic box with a half sandwich, a cookie and a few grapes. I’m not joking and I’m not exaggerating. It’s shameful.

One of two Tiffany Studios 10-light lily lamps I'll have at the show

I’m bringing a fantastic assortment of Tiffany Studios lamps and glass, French cameo glass by Daum Nancy and Emile Gallé, stoneware by the Martin Brothers, superb American illustrator paintings and a large collection of Louis Icart etchings, including some very rare ones.

Fantastic original oil painting for the 1934 movie poster of East River

The show is worth a trip from anywhere, so walk, drive, fly, or do whatever it takes to visit. Chicago weather at this time of year is usually fantastic, with tulips in bloom on Michigan Avenue, although they may be finished this year because of unusually warm weather in March.

Our next show won’t be until July, but we’ll still be very much in business (except for a two week well-deserved vacation). Don’t hesitate to call or write, and let me know what you’d like to buy, sell, or trade.
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A wonderful Martin Brothers stoneware face jug

Look around my website. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. I regularly add Tiffany vases, lamps and desk accessories, as well as French cameo glass by Galle and Daum Nancy and Louis Icart etchings. Here’s the link. chasenantiques.com

Results of the Chicago Merchandise Mart International Antiques Show, April 29 – May 2, 2011

Saturday afternoon in my booth

The Chicago Merchandise Mart International Antiques Show ended on Monday, May 2, 2011. Many of the dealers were pleased with their results, but a few were not. Following is some of the scuttlebutt.

An important Art Nouveau dealer is not returning because he did not do enough business after having exhibited at the show twice. An important dealer of Art Nouveau, 19th century and Asian antiques only had a fair show, mainly because he sold Chinese antiques to Chinese dealers. (The Chinese market is red hot because of the new wealth in China. Chinese buyers are repatriating fine Chinese antiques.) A dealer in Russian antiques only had a decent show. A dealer in French furniture and bronzes did very well, exhibiting for the first time at the show. Another dealer who deals in general, but fine antiques, did very well. An important dealer in general, but fairly unique items, only had a fair show. Another who deals in mainly 19th century fine antiques and art only had a fair show. An English dealer of silver had a very good show. A domestic dealer of silver had a barely passable show. An English dealer of ceramics and other objects barely made expenses. (Last year was much better for them.) Finally several dealers in Asian antiques did well.

One of the fine sold Daum Nancy vases -- "Rain"

Personally, my show was very good. I have to thank all of my loyal clients, who made a point of visiting my booth and purchasing from me. Interest and sales were best for Tiffany lamps and French glass by Gallé and Daum Nancy. I was disappointed that few of my sales were to new people, but thankful for the good show.

Where else but my blog can you get such accurate information about a show? NOWHERE! Most people who write about antiques have an agenda, but I don’t. I’ll tell you like it is. So have you told one of your friends to read my blog? Send them the link. http://blog.chasenantiques.com

So what was the consensus? Many dealers did OK, some did well, and others only had fair shows. I didn’t hear from a single dealer who had a great show. The best I heard was “pretty good”. Business was solid, but not ebullient. Overall, there have been better years, but almost every dealer is returning, with the exception of a few. So that means they think Chicago is a good city to exhibit and the Chicago Merchandise Mart is a good venue to exhibit. The Mart does a really fine job of making the dealers feel like they’re important. Kudos to the staff of the Merchandise Mart.

A Tiffany Studios 7-light lily lamp, similar to the one that I will be getting soon with a fine patina

I’m in the process of acquiring some wonderful Tiffany Studios lamps — a 7-light lily with beautiful shades and a fine patina, a 20″ Dragonfly and a 16″ Poinsettia. I should have them reasonably soon, so email me if you’re interested and I’ll send you photos as soon as they’re in my possession.

Check out my new Tiffany, Daum, and Gallé acquisitions. I just listed a couple of important Tiffany vases, straight from a private home. I also listed about ten Daum and Gallé vases plus about 10 Tiffany Pine Needle and Grapevine desk pieces. I’ll be listing even more Pine and Grapevine pieces within the next few days. Here’s the link. chasenantiques.com

The Chicago Merchandise Mart International Antiques Show preview party, April 28, 2011

Results of the show Tuesday afternoon, as the show ends Monday, May 2.

My booth during the preview party

I started writing this blog from my booth at the preview party of The Chicago Merchandise Mart International Antiques Show. I’m glad to say that I couldn’t finish writing it there because it was fairly busy later in the evening. At first there were quite a few people, but very few questions and little interest. Things picked up during the latter half of the party, resulting in a couple of sales and one item on hold. Pretty good for a preview party. The preview party in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago was also good. To the credit of the Merchandise Mart, the food and drink were excellent and plentiful, as always.

Some of the unique items in the booth of M.S. Rau of New Orleans

This is really a show you should make the time to visit. There are very few shows in the US with the same quantity and quality of dealers. M.S. Rau of New Orleans has an enormous booth filled with one-of-a-kind rarities. Green River Stone Co. has wall plaques of river animal and plant fossils over a million years old, removed directly from the river. The diversity of dealers in this show is wonderful, from Asian to art to Chanel purses to silver. There are no junk dealers in this show.

Green River Stone Co. fossils

You’ll surely like what I’ve brought, including many items which will be exhibited for the first time; European ceramics by Clement Massier, Dalpayrat, Zsolnay, and Amphora; Daum vases including a very rare and fine mushroom example, Galle vases and Icart etchings. I hope you come and visit. The hours are Friday 11 AM – 7 PM, Saturday 11 AM – 7 PM, Sunday 11 AM – 6 PM and Monday, 11 AM – 3 PM.

One of the fine new Daum Nancy vases I will be exhibiting for the first time.

Check out my new Tiffany, Daum, and Gallé acquisitions. I just listed a couple of important Tiffany vases, straight from a private home. I also listed about ten Daum and Gallé vases plus about 10 Tiffany Pine Needle and Grapevine desk pieces. I’ll be listing even more Pine and Grapevine pieces within the next few days. Here’s the link. chasenantiques.com