This week my colleague Peggy Maraschiello of River Wind Antiques in CT wrote the following blog post for us all on the state of the antiques market from her vantage point – a booth at a show. Either buying or selling, Peggy’s years of experience provide a keen sense of what is up and down in this volatile market. Peggy appraises antiques, sells at Brimfield(the Antiques Show goers mecca) , and runs a brick and mortar antique store in CT. Thanks Peggy for sharing your insider insights.
What’s Hot & What’s Not after selling in Brimfield and Buying in Chicago
We’ve been selling at the Brimfield Antiques Show/Flea Market for almost 20 years. We’ve had great shows and lesser shows over the years. But since the downturn in the economy our shows have echoed the economy. I should say we do 2 of the 3 shows, May and September always foregoing the July show due to heat and better shop business during the summer.
Everyone in Brimfield had a fabulous show in May this year with hopes lifted for the economy turning around. We sold some of everything and saw dealers back from the South, Texas, California, Asia and Europe. And then July rolls around and many dealers said it was their worst shows ever…partly because of the heat, but who knows what else caused the shift.
When it came to getting ready for the September Brimfield, I felt it was time to do something different. I went through my Brimfield inventory and deleted much and reduced prices. Although I’ve been very fussy buying new inventory, I did buy from 3 estates during the summer so when it came time to pricing for Brimfield I priced with a dealer purchase in mind and it worked.
Rare items still sell well: Stangl Tropic vase , Jensen Naja Salto, Limoges punch bowl; Pedigreed items: Tiffany, Blenko glass, Lalique. Paint on furniture and smalls are still selling. I had a large hand turned bowl with old red paint and it sold. Also, several of my French crystal boxes sold. They’re still popular. And one of our favorite things went out right away. As we say, “Last in, first out.” It was a book with over 200 hand colored lithographs of fruit and flowers in original bright colors.
When I attended the Chicago Antique Show at the Merchandise Mart in early October dealers were varied in their success at the show. The mid century modern furniture and decorative accessories dealers said they did very well. Jewelry and silver continue to be good sellers.
Antique furniture continues to be slow to catch up with dealers concerned about young buyer’s taste in furniture. But we carry on with our shop and estate sales cause we still love all kinds of stuff.
Happy hunting. Peggy