Shopping for antiques is a way of life for me. Ever since I was a young boy going to flea markets and tag sales with my brother, and to auctions with my Dad, I have been immersed in this fun, interesting and completely addictive pastime.
It was only natural that my love of antiques would become part of my work, and finding great items for my clients brings me a lot of joy. My hunting grounds are those places where bargains can be found, like the flea markets and auctions we attend on MARKET WARRIORS. I do also frequent antiques shows and often still find great deals there. That said, there’s one show I attend each year where bargains are not the name of the game, but it’s worth it for me because I have the opportunity to see things that rarely exist outside of museums or private collections.
The show I’m referencing is the Winter Antiques Show in my home of New York City. This is one of the country's most prestigious and longest running shows, now in its 59th year, plus it's a benefit for East Side House, one New York City's oldest social services organizations. A ten-day event that brings out some of the most beautiful and valuable antiques in this country, the Winter Antiques Show never fails to offer up eye candy in every direction. The event I attend at the show is called “Young Collectors Night” and it is a fun opportunity to learn a little bit about a lot of things, and to mix and mingle with others who orbit this world.
One of the reasons I love antiques is that they tell a story, and often open up a whole new world of learning. There’s history, sociology and art appreciation—and a whole lot more. At a show like this one, I had the great opportunity to see things that could easily be on permanent exhibit in “The American Wing” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (one of my favorite haunts).
I also enjoy talking with the dealers and hearing their take on the objects on display. In fact, that’s the best part of “Young Collectors Night” for me…exchanging information about beautiful, tangible pieces of history with others who share the same passion.
My favorite pieces included the model for a 1940s French limousine; a Harry Bertoia “Dandelion” sculpture and a gargantuan Tiffany Favrile glass fire screen (see above). While I didn’t walk away with any of them, I did leave knowing more about these beautiful objects, and in this business, knowledge really does pay off.
In fact, three years ago at this same event, I saw many things that piqued my interest, one of which was a beautiful Japanese Meiji period vase. Sure enough, the following weekend, I found the same vase for 1/33 of the price at a flea market. Score! I am grateful for every opportunity to get smarter about antiques, and this show is always an outstanding crash course.