Last show of season for the West Palm Beach Antiques Festival promises to be good one


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Dealer Irene Levine stands among her many treasures at West Palm Beach Antiques Festival.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla – With the South Florida summer rapidly approaching, Yvonne and Jim Tucker and Kay and Bill Puchstein, owners of the West Palm Beach Antiques Festival, plan to close out the spring season in style with a “Summer Splash.” The event will offer visitors the last chance before the Festival resumes in November to visit the hundreds of quality dealers regularly set up at the Festival before taking a break for the summer. The Early Buyers admission policy, allowing entry to the Festival at 9 a.m. Friday, three hours before the normal opening time, has proven to be popular with visitors and will be continued for this event.

That will give visitors the chance to get an advance look at some of the new items just added to the inventory of dealer Irene Levine.

Levine specializes in mostly smalls that are of special interest to women. She attended the International Perfume Bottle Association Convention in Albuquerque, N.M., the first weekend of May and reports the addition of some very special new “goodies” to her showcase. In the perfume bottle category, her 4,000+ unit inventory has everything from the 1-inch tall sample bottles given by department store beauty counters in the 1950s to the “factice” bottles used for display. The factice vary in size from very small to “hanging on the wall” size.

These display containers were filled with a colored liquid that looked like the actual perfume and often the glass used in the display was of the same quality as the real thing. She also has a variety of vintage bottles from the 1930s and 1940s including samples by Lalique and Baccarat.

Her other special category is the pre World War II German porcelain figurines called “Bathing Beauties.” These diminutive porcelain figures, around 2 inches in length or height, depict young attractive women in one-piece bathing suits in various poses, singly or in groups. Customers most often describe them as “charming” and “enchanting” and some even feel they are talking behind their back. These beauties were made all over Europe in the first half of the century but Levine has focused on those made in Germany.

To round out her eclectic showcase, Levine regularly features works of art from the Sher Gallery in Aventura, Fla., owned by husband Gary Sher. The art often includes works by such artists as Marc Chagall and Leroy Neiman. Her booth often includes such treasures as Venetian goblets and the occasional rare example of Frankart.

The Americraft Expo Center at the South Florida Fair is located off Southern Boulevard in West Palm Beach, Fla., 1 1/2 miles west of the Florida Turnpike and 1 mile east of 441/SR7. Show hours are Noon-5 p.m. Friday, June 5; 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday June 6; and 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Sunday, June 7. Early Buyers Admission from 9 a.m.-noon is $25 and is valid for the entire weekend. Regular adult daily admission $7, seniors $6 with a $1 discount coupon for regular adult admission available on the Web site. Anyone under 16 is admitted free. There is no charge for parking at the Fairgrounds.

For more information, contact the West Palm Beach Antiques Festival at 941-697-7475 or visit the Web site at www.pbaf.com.

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