Archive for March, 2010

Civitan’s Antiques & Collectibles Show – West Simsbury, CT – April 11, 2010

March 26th, 2010 by

Civitan will be holding our 6th Annual Antiques & Collectibles Show at The Master’s School, 36 Westledge Rd., West Simsbury, CT (Route 309 West), on Sunday, April 11, 2010 from 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Admission is $6.00 ($5.00 with coupon or this article).  Children under 12 years: Free Admission.   Refreshments will be available at the Civitan Food Court at the Show.

There are 60 Exhibitors who travel from as far away as Maine, Cape Cod, New York, Long Island, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.  Among the many items for sale will be glass, pottery, furniture, prints, paintings, jewelry, textiles, country antiques, native American, sterling, metalwork, early Inuit, nautical, fishing collection, equestrian items and much, much more.

The net proceeds of the event are dedicated to scholarships for a graduating Boy Scout, a Junior Civitan student and a Master’s School student.  In addition to the scholarships funds will be used for Valley community projects and the Civitan Research Center.  For further information contact Mary Turner, Show Manager, at (860) 658-7794 or email

A Cure For The Arts and Crafts Blues

March 22nd, 2010 by
I can’t say I was feeling blue on a recent antiquing adventure at the Boston Antiques and Design Show and Sale, but one look at three remarkable blue and white delft tiles quickly changed that!

Before I share the story of these delightful delfts and what makes them so special, let’s take a brief look at the history of ceramic tiles. Functional and decorative tiles have been around since around 4000 BC; the oldest known tiles were discovered in Egypt. Over the centuries, they were used extensively to decorate places of religious worship and later the homes and businesses of affluent individuals. Fast forward to 1584; expert potters from the Dutch city of Delft begin creating the area’s now iconic blue and white ceramics that are now known all over the world. The designs behind these blue and white classics were in part based on imported Chinese porcelain of the 17th century. The city of Delft was a homeport of the Dutch East India Company, so these early potters clearly had a world of inspiration right in their own backyards.  (This picture here on the left shows a delightful variety of colorful American and European tiles from the mid 1600’s through the 1930’s.)
Having a personal passion for all things from the arts and crafts movement (1870 – 1920), I was intrigued to learn that these tiles were not only from that amazing design period, but were actually designed by William Morris himself! William Morris was the founder of the arts and crafts era, a design and philosophical movement which started as a backlash to the industrial mechanized production of goods which separated craftsman from craft.  Morris and his colleagues advocated for a return to all things simple and handmade to make life more authentic. This movement started in England and quickly spread throughout Europe and then to the United States.  (This picture is a close up of the single William Morris blue and white hand painted delft tile I found on my adventure.)
These remarkable tiles, perfect examples of the artisan work of the arts and crafts movement, were created in 1870 in Morris’ own “scroll” pattern. They were manufactured by hand for him by three different Dutch factories.  They are tin glazed, meaning they are finished with a glaze made by adding tin to a lead glaze, which when fired becomes an opaque white.  These tiles were originally designed to decorate Morris’ own “arts and crafts” style home in Bexleyheath, London, known as The Red House.   In addition to tiles, Morris and his group of like minded artistic friends collaboratively produced arts and crafts style wallpaper, fabric, rugs, furniture, and other decorative objects.  (This picture is of two William Morris blue and white hand painted delft tiles in a wooden frame that I found on my adventure.)
Although William Morris died in 1896, his influence on style, design, and architecture remains important more than 100 years after his passing.

I would like to thank Wendy Harvey and Sandy Fowler, owners of Antique Articles of Dunstable, Massachusetts for sharing these breathtaking arts and crafts tiles with me. Antique Articles, in business for over 20 years, specializes in tiles made during the English arts and crafts era through the American arts and crafts era.  In addition to individual tiles they have panels, tables, fireplace surrounds, and art tiles.
What is your very favorite antiquing, vintage, or design find? Let’s talk! Click here to learn more.

Learn more about New England Antique Shows and their upcoming events by clicking here!

La Porte County Antiques Show

March 16th, 2010 by

La Porte County Fair Grounds

La Porte, In

April 18, 2010   8am – 4pm

Prairie Farm Antique Promotion, LLC

Dynamic Duo

March 15th, 2010 by

The troubles in the antiques trade have not spared the OK state. The Oklahoman recently reported that shop dealers throughout the state are failing. “Antique stores are struggling”, says one. “You just can’t make a living off them anymore.

While some of the state”s dealers think the problems are no worse than those faced by all retailers, many believe the problems run deeper. The Oklahoman sums up the situation aptly. “Something significant is happening to the industry. Several experts claim we have moved into a new era–one that now includes the purchasing of antiques online at Web sites such as eBay. They argue that fewer people have the need to walk into an antiques store when they can find what they want while sitting in their pajamas at a home computer.”

But perhaps for a handful of dealers, who’s surprised e-retailing, unprecedented in its ability to provide shoppers convenience and selection–has spelled the end of the antiques shop? E-retailing has that power. Remember when, not long ago, there was a mom-and-pop video store at every corner?

I think 2010 will be the year the antiques trade sees a sales turnaround for dealers who take advantage of the “dynamic duo,” e-retailing and antiques shows. Like Batman and Robin, these two sales channels, if properly paired, can be a team of superheroes.

So how should they be paired? Here are three suggestions:

Every dealer should promote her presence at antiques shows on her Website. She should write about the events she’s participating in, because useful and interesting content will entice customers to attend. Content like this also includes keywords that will help prospects find the dealer’s Website.

Every dealer should also consider an online advertising campaign to promote each appearance at a show. An online campaign will help in the same way that pre-show mailers boost visits to a booth.

Every dealer should use social media to connect with customers before, during and after shows. Sales can be increased by sending tweets on Twitter, posting on Facebook, adding show photos to Flickr and publishing blog posts.


March 2nd, 2010 by

In this initial blog, I will first introduce myself, and then discuss a little about the state of the collectibles industry. In addition, I do encourage anyone to keep in contact with me at:

Whenever I am asked about how and when I got started collecting sports memorabilia, I quickly respond by saying that I have been doing so all my life. True story. The fact is that my Mother never threw away my baseball cards. My Mother, who is ninety years old and still going strong, is quick to say that she knew that they would be valuable one day. I don’t mind giving her the credit. Many, many people wish that their mothers had the same “insight”. My collection, and subsequently my museum, started with those cards, as well as from two other sets of circumstances.

First, having been born and raised in St. Louis, my Father was friends with Bob Pettit, the St. Louis Hawks basketball player, and one of the all-time NBA greats. Pettit gave me some items which are now part of my collection. Second, my museum, which consists of not only sports memorabilia, but presidential/historical, and pop culture memorabilia, was helped by the fact that my cousin Marshall Leib was a founding member of the music group The Teddy Bears (“To Know Him Is To Love Him”), and I have some items from that group. And oh, by the way, another of the founding members was Phil Spector.

My column on sports collecting is carried by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In addition, I write for several publications on sports collecting. I am also a syndicated talk host on the Sports Byline Radio Network, and can be heard every weekday on nearly 700 stations worldwide. In addition, I have the pleasure of giving presentations aboard cruise ships and groups on sports collecting.

Whew! So what is the state of the sports collectibles industry? Strong. Just to give one example, the baseball that Yankee Alex Rodriguez hit for his 500th homerun was recently auctioned for $103,000. Sure, Tiger Woods’ memorabilia has declined in value, but overall the state of the industry is strong.

I welcome any readers to stay in contact with me. I will also be glad to give you my opinion as to the value of an item you may have.