Are antique shows dead? Not if Frank Gaglio has anything to say about them. A respected dealer and promoter for over 30 years he created BarnStar Productions. He has his work cut out for him.
If you haven't been out to an antique show lately, you might be in for a shock. Long lines are long gone. Times where 200 people would wait for the gates to open like the Great Oklahoma Land Rush are a thing of the past. The NY Triple Pier Antique Expo is down to one sad pier filled with clothes that look like somebody emptied a Salvation Army. At the last Wilton show in the high school auditorium there were 5 people in line, three thought there was a basketball game.
But wait, in all fairness the booths inside had lots of great merchandise, fairly priced. Like this excellent United Cigar sign from Michael Friedman and Donna Vita.
Times have changed. Collector tastes have changed. The pewter, quilt, clock and glassware market is over.
"Let's go to Jason’s and hang out, he just got an antique colonial blunderbuss to die for." Said nobody, ever.
What do collectors want these days? The interest is certainly there. The most popular shows on TV are American Pickers and Pawn Stars.
It might help to remember the 40 year rule. You want stuff you grew up seeing, had at one time, or was just out of reach 40 years ago. Popular culture helps. Early Sony TPSL-2 Walkmans took off as the main character used one in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. They shot up from roughly $6 to $400 overnight.
Crazy looking, great folk art and colorful fun signs. Think a Tilt-a-Whirl carnival sign as opposed to a Prudential Insurance plaque.
Road Runners, GTO's and muscle cars just keep rising in value. Until the day they don't. We have all seen the estimates on items from Antiques Roadshow in 1999 compared to 2015. Everything cratered by 50% in valuation.
So here is what Mr. Gaglio has in mind at Rhinebeck . No early buying, just get a ticket and get in. He has completely filled the three huge agricultural buildings with dealers. He is advertising the event in newspapers and buying billboard space.
New energy. And It sounds really promising. The treasure hunt is back!
Rhinebeck Antique Show at the Duchess County Fairgrounds, May 23 and 24th.