Rare Finds Expected At East Hampton Antiques Show

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For those in the market for a 78-inch clock with only half a face, an Ozark whirligig, a horn chair or a grandfather clock made out of Plexiglass, then the East Hampton Antiques Show is the place to be this weekend.

A selection of unusual, hard-to-get and esoteric items will be offered by more than 55 antiques dealers who will gather at Mulford Farm in East Hampton on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, July 19 through 21, to participate in the premier antique show, sponsored by the East Hampton Historical Society. Dealers are expected from New England, Pennsylvania, New York, the Midwest, Miami, and even as far as England, according to Director Richard Barons.

Not only is the show a perfect fit for Historical Society’s supporters, he said, but it’s also fun for both collectors and dealers.

“We live within the cobwebs of history. What has always made me think that antique shows and historical societies go together is we both handle the same merchandise,” he said during a telephone interview from his office in East Hampton last week. “We have always wanted to have a really top-notch but entertaining and whimsical outdoor antique show.”

One year there was a dealer from New England who specialized in antique brass, particularly French and English pudding molds, Mr. Barons recalled. That dealer had five tiny 1½-inch, handmade copper molds in the shapes of apples, pears, grapes and cherries. The hand-hammered molds, which were made for decorating larger puddings, were a big hit with buyers, he said.

Last year, a folk art dealer brought an enormous pair of glasses to sell. It was made out of glass and tin, and had at one time been a sign for an 1890s optometrist’s shop.

The 40-inch-wide granny glasses had been painted with bloodshot eyes by a folk artist. There was also a hole where the iris was so light could shine through. The glasses were on display for one day before somebody bought them.

“It really was like a surrealist, bizarre quality of all of these tendrils of bloodshotness, it was really extremely entertaining,” Mr. Barons said.

The combination of quirky dealers, the eclectic tastes of East Enders and the location on the Mulford Farm creates a perfect storm for an antiques show that feels more like an art gallery than a dusty room full of relics, reported Tom D’Arruda, one of the show’s co-managers. He said he feels that the partnership between the dealers, the Historical Society and the people who come to buy are what makes the show so unique.

“It’s for everybody, there is a big … following for the show,” Mr. D’Arruda said. “I think it’s the makeup of the dealers combined with the makeup of the community as well as being supportive of the Historical Society; it’s a great combo. People enjoy getting out to the area and seeing some absolutely gorgeous things for sale.”

Mr. D’Arruda reported that the show always has a great collection of antique textiles, paintings and furniture. Also available will be lighting, architectural elements, American formal and country-painted furniture, Art Deco and Modern furniture, garden ornaments, wrought-iron accessories, industrial items, trade signs, period jewelry, weather vanes and mirrors.

The diverse collection attracts people who have an appreciation for something from the past, Mr. Barons said, adding that the antiques often evoke feelings of nostalgia.

“I think what I like about it is we collect objects and houses, all of which we try to use in clever ways to remind people of the past, to get them to understand the relationship between past and present and to learn about the future,” he said.

The 2013 East Hampton Antiques Show kicks off with a preview cocktail party for Honorary Chair Steven Gambrel, an interior designer, on Friday, July 19, at 6 pm. Brent Newsom will cater and Jane Hastay and Peter Martin Weiss will play live. Tickets for the opening night preview start at $150 per person and enable return visits the following days. Junior tickets for those age 40 and under are $100.

The show continues on Saturday, July 20, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, July 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be an on-site café for a light breakfast and lunch. Admission is $10 on Saturday and Sunday. For reservations or additional information, call 324-6850, e-mail info@easthamptonhistory.org or visit easthamptonhistory.org.

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