It’s been a long time since I have seen a line waiting for the doors to open at an antique or vintage event. Chicago’s Randolph Street Market is one of those innovative shows that combine antiques and vintage—vastly increasing the demographics that can be attracted.
The typical antique show goer may discard these new events as fancy flea markets, but from vintage posters to silver and pottery, much of what you’d find in a walled show is here (although there is more to sort through for higher-end collectors). Even some of the same dealers are here. Plus there’s food, entertainment and the energy that comes with a younger crowd.
The Randolph Street Market is actually several shows combined into one and includes the Chicago Antique Market and Independent Designer Market. The Independent Designer Market has the most distinct presence as it’s located on the ground floor of Plumbers Hall. When I entered the show, I had the idea that the Antique Market would be in the main hall and the “flea” outside. I was delighted and surprised to find dealers with “real antiques” in the main hall in addition to the large lot outside.
There was lots to look at from Victorian silver to Chinese carvings, paintings, vintage posters, clothing, bakelite jewelry (I’m not versed in this category, but it looks like the same type of stuff you see in the big city modern shows), taxidermy for the steampunk crowd, indoor and outdoor furniture (although nothing in the furniture category to speak of made before 1900) and more.
Appraisers including Caroline Ashley and Daryle Lambert were on hand as well.
The next market will be held June 19 & 20th when Eddie Ross of HGTV, Food Network and Martha Stewart fame (or at least notability) will have his first look at the show. I wonder if he’ll get as much attention as Martha Stewart did when she visited the Brooklyn Flea.