Sun Shines on Original Miami Beach Show

Original Miami BeachWith the extreme weather most of the U.S. has been experiencing, most any event would be a good enough reason to head to Miami Beach. The Original Miami Beach Antiques Show is a particularly good one, however. Just the shear size of the event makes it hard for anyone to go away disappointed. The warm weather was icing on the cake.

For some frequent antiques show goers, just the thought of 800 dealers can make you tired. It’s good that many of the dealers at this show specialize in one thing or another. I was speaking with my sister on the phone and explained that a lot of the dealers had jewelry, and since it wasn’t a favorite thing to look at, I could move quickly through much of the show. “I love looking at antique jewelry,” was her response. “Then you should be in Miami,” I said.

Actually, I find its the booths with the most variety I stay in the longest. It’s hard to know enough about everything, so it’s here I look for the finds. It’s also sometimes thought these shows are expensive, and many people assume you can’t get as good of a price at an antique show as you can at an auction. At least in one glaring instance here I found that to be absolutely false. I knew it because I have the catalog from a major auction house and it shows the estimated price. This item didn’t sell and was through some unknown chain of events to be had at the Original Miami Beach Antiques show for less than half the low estimate.

The crowd here seemed pretty good, especially for a Super Bowl Sunday. Not only were the aisles full, but there seemed to be a good bit of buying going on. We heard one modernism/art deco dealer sold out. Another said loose diamonds were selling well. An art dealer who said he hadn’t had a particularly good show added that many other dealers seemed to be having a great show.

This show also attracts a significant international crowd, both in terms of dealers and customers. “The Italians are here and buying,” was one comment.

Some of the items we saw were revisited from the National Miami Antiques Show the weekend previous. There seemed to be a good bit of cross-over in this respect, although certainly not exclusive.

Emerson by FrenchOne item that stood out was a bronze bust of Emerson by Daniel Chester French. Offered by Post Road Gallery of Larchmont, New York, the asking price was $9,000. This booth had several items of particular interest that you might be able to identify if you regularly walk through American museums with good American decorative arts collections. Several items by Herter Brothers fall into this category.

A painting offered by Griffins Gallery of Collegeville, Pennsylvania also seemed to stand out. Once in the collection of the Chrysler Museum, this depression-era work by Jack W. Clifton title 98 Cents a Pound depicts a pig farm in Virginia.

Some of the more unusual booths featured antique safes, and another modernism falling into the category of Mantiques, although it’s not clear whether that is a family name or a masculin brand of merchandise.

Clifton 98 Cents

There was plenty for the collector, and enough booths with a look aimed at the decorator. With a strength in jewelry, it seems that vintage fashion is a natural outgrowth. While we saw some of that in the booths, there was plenty more on the floor. This includes to be what seemed to be striped pants from the 1960s or 70s. It’s clear the Original Miami Beach show is a place not only to buy and sell antiques and vintage, but to be seen doing so in vintage.

About UAA Team

Urban Art and Antiques first published in 2007. If you are interested in becoming a contributor, let us know. Email urbanartantiques (at) gmail.com

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Here’s the official press release from the show:

US Antique Shows reported brisk sales, from local and international collectors and dealers alike, at the 50th Anniversary of The Original Miami Beach Antique Show, which took place February 3-7th, 2011 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. As the largest indoor antique show in the world, the show has become known for its vast variety of spectacular antiques, international attendees and dealers spanning all regions of the globe. The show, located in Miami Beach for all of its 50 successive years, hosts more than 800 dealers.

“And our exhibitors have overwhelmingly reported to us that we were successful in achieving this.”
As this was the event’s 50th Anniversary celebration, the opening day of the show, February 3rd, was proclaimed “The Original Miami Beach Antique Show Day” by the city of Miami Beach. Attendees at the show included many international collectors and gallery owners as well as celebrities and local officials, such as Emilio Estefan, Miami Beach Mayor Mattie Bower, and numerous Miami socialites, who had the opportunity to peruse truly one-of-a-kind antique pieces. On display were such rare items as an El Greco painting from The Renaissance era, a Porsche 911 hood signed by Frank Sinatra and Imperial Russian antiques, to name a few. Great sales were reported by a wide array of very happy dealers.

Scott Thomas of Deco2 Mid-Century Furniture commented, “I sold out in 10 minutes the first day of the show. The second day, we brought in 12 pieces and sold seven. I’ve done this show for two years now and last year met one of my best clients here. Of the 3 shows I participate in, this is my best show. I’m thinking of only doing this one.”

Aaron Newman, Owner of Atlanta, GA based Steve Newman Fine Arts stated, “The interest we have received this year has been the strongest we have ever seen. People were looking for and showed extremely high demand for Modern Art. In particular, we received strong interest in our modern sculpture and paintings. Specifically, some of our sales consisted of Lapis Vases by Asprey of London and an abstract granite sculpture by the well known American artist Thea Tewi. We will definitely exhibit at the show next year and have full confidence in the show and its promoters.”

Gus Davis of Camilla Dietz Bergeron in New York city, whose company has been participating at the show for 21 years, told us, “We felt the interest was the strongest it has been in a couple of years. People were looking for bold, strong pieces, especially signed pieces. Specifically, we sold an 18 karat yellow gold and mother of pearl orchid necklace by Angela Cummings, an 18 karat yellow gold and diamond Buccellati necklace and an enamel and diamond necklace by Schlumberger. We are extremely pleased.”

Rick Bumgardner of Morning Glory Antiques in Kansas city has been an exhibitor at the show for the past 14 years. “The show has been incredibly well attended this year,” he stated. “There has been a lot of brisk dealer buying. We did well.” In reference to their best piece, a painting by El Greco, a Spanish Renaissance artist, titled “Unknown gentleman by El Greco” and worth an estimated $1 million dollars, he mentioned, “We developed lots of good leads.”

John Atzbach of John Atzbach, who specializes in Imperial Russian antiques and art objects, said, “It was a great show and it went quite well for us. Everything was fantastic as always. We look forward to next year’s show.”

Odetto Lastra of Odelas Antiques commented: “I have been doing this show for 10 years now. This show was very good for me. I deal in Italian glass and I sold quite a few pieces. Specifically, pieces from Japanese artist Yoichi Ohira. I also sold a Pessato Vase by Venini and another one by Renzo Pavanello.”

“We were delighted to see that buying appears to be back to pre-recession levels. Bringing the right buyers through the door is our number one goal,” remarked Andrea Canady, fair director for US Antique Show’s The Original Miami Beach Antique Show. “And our exhibitors have overwhelmingly reported to us that we were successful in achieving this.”

The silent auction campaign held at The Original Miami Beach Antique Show benefiting the charity, The Make-A-Wish® Foundation of Southern Florida, was a great success. People bid on items ranging from Miami Heat tickets to paintings, to antiques to wine bottles. More than $16,000 was raised to benefit South Florida children.

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