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Purchase Story

Morristown Armory Antiques Show

Julie Schlenger Adell | February 26th, 2017

Morristown, New Jersey

The armory in Morristown, New Jersey, a cavernous space just outside of town, was the site for JMK’s winter antiques show held February 25 and 26, over a balmy weekend. The twice-a-year show draws regional dealers, many of whom have remained loyal participants in promoter Allison Kohler’s events. Many of the dealers at Morristown said they were glad to still have an antiques show in the tristate area in which to exhibit.

In a changing atmosphere, Kohler has had to expand her repertoire to include beer and wine shows, food truck events, and doll shows. Kohler’s parents started the business in 1972.

This mid-19th-century Continental burlwood veneer chest with replaced brasses was priced at $1800 from P.D. Murphy Antiques, Bath, Maine. The set of 12 H.P. Sinclaire Co., Corning, New York, cut-glass luncheon plates was tagged $395; the French gilt bronze and cloisonné clock was priced at $795; the pair of early 20th-century Wedgwood lamps was priced at $595.

The gate was steady throughout Saturday, and free readmission was offered for Sunday. Admission was $10, with a $2 discount available on JMK’s website. Packages were seen being taken from the building, and the crowd was a mix of collectors and folks “looking for something attractive,” said dealer Bernie Krauss of West Orange, New Jersey, in business since 1955. Asked how he obtained the premier location at the entrance to the hall, he replied, “I’m a star.” He sells predominantly European and Asian decorative arts, having switched from American formal and country furniture some years ago.

A few dealers who did not participate in the show this time were seen checking it out. Others were said to be in Florida either working or vacationing or both and plan to participate in October.

“The show was smaller this time, with around sixty dealers, but attendance was up,” said Kohler a few days after the show. Reached by telephone, she predicted, “There will be twenty more dealers coming in October, and I’m going to shoot for more.” She also noted that several of the dealers told her that they had done “really well.” She reserved the armory in October of last year for the upcoming show in October, she added.

Farah and Sammy Sasanian of Soheil Oriental Rugs, New York City, in their booth. They offer rug cleaning, repair, and appraisals as well.

MarsMost Antiques, a Morris County, New Jersey, dealer of vintage postcards covering a multitude of topics, offered sets of opera cards from Germany, priced from $29 to $38 for a set of ten. Collectors were seen sitting in the booth going through boxes of cards, including those of U.S. railroads, states, and the U.S. Navy.

She markets the event by advertising on Facebook and in some newspapers, and she has accumulated an e-mail list of over 20,000 names, she explained. Over the two days of the show, she got back 500 discounted admission cards she had mailed out.

Richard LaVigne, a dealer from Thorndike, Massachusetts, about eight miles west of Brimfield, said he had a very good show. “It wasn’t the best show I’ve had at Morristown, but it was very good,” he said in a telephone interview with M.A.D. He sold several pieces of furniture, pairs of lamps, and a few mirrors.

Richard A. LaVigne of Knollwood Antiques, Thorndike, Massachusetts, has “done the show for years, and historically it’s been productive,” he told M.A.D. A client from nearby Ridgewood visited the show “looking for furniture from a variety of periods and a mix of modern art” for her Tudor house, he said. In his booth was this American tramp art box, 1930s, 8¾" high x 11¼" wide x 9½" deep, tagged $225; an English mahogany tray (32" x 22") on a custom stand, priced at $795; and a 1960s brass cachepot on a lacquered wood base tagged $375.

The congenial dealer said he is working on a show to be held the first weekend of June in Washington Depot, Connecticut, called the Pavilion Antiques Marketplace. He envisions 25 dealers “in a casual atmosphere, not in room settings,” with a local chef handling the café, all on one level. Parking is on site, and he has several vendors signed up, he said. “It’s a very active village,” he added, and close to the antiques shops in Woodbury.

Dealers Howard Auerbach and Ken Maffia of Auerbach & Maffia, North Wales, Pennsylvania, did the Morristown show for the second time and said, “The show was good for us. We’re definitely attracting a clientele.” They sold “a unique figural bronze and a nice range of Modernist and costume jewelry.” They plan to return in October.

JMK’s next Morristown Armory Antiques Show will be held October 28 and 29. Further information is available at (

Brad and Vandy Reh, jewelers and show managers from New Canaan, Connecticut, have done the Morristown Armory show for years.

Dozens of oyster plates, made by Union Porcelain Works, Port Norris/Stangl, Limoges, and others, were available from Moniques Antiques, Dunkirk, Maryland. Prices ranged from $350 to $3500.

Louis A. Pirrello of Branchville, New Jersey, a porcelain and china restorer, was busy making on-site repairs at the show.

Donna Kmetz of Douglas, Massachusetts, sells 19th- and early 20th-century American paintings. At the Theater by New York artist Robert Philipp (1895-1981) was priced at $2500. Philipp was a genre, portrait, and still-life painter who taught for many years at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League of New York.

This mahogany disc music box made by the Regina Music Box Company, Rahway, New Jersey, circa 1895, with a cupola lid, 13" x 20" x 22½", was available from Gerald Wright’s Rita Ford Music Boxes, LLC, New Providence, New Jersey. He asked $7750 for it and 15 discs.

This portrait of the schooner James W. Hall, painted by Reginald E. Nickerson (1915-1999), scion of a New England maritime family, was available for $2400 from William Nickerson Antiques, Orleans, Massachusetts. Reginald was the dealer’s father.

Originally published in the May 2017 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2017 Maine Antique Digest

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