There’s no business like Atlantique City Show business

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Atlantique City, the world’s largest indoor antiques and collectibles show celebrates two decades of offering the best market for vintage treasures on the planet.

Known as “The Big One,” the Spring 2006 edition of the show will be held March 25-26 at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, N.J. Show hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Advance-ticket buyers receive a reduced admission and early entry to the show at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Hosted by Antique Trader magazine, Atlantique City will feature more than 1,000 booths with antiques and collectibles from around the world, free appraisals, and free furniture delivery within 200 miles of the show. From pottery to porcelain, vintage posters to Venetian glass, animation art to Americana, folk art to formal furniture, shoppers can browse more than 10 acres of merchandise.

Don’t be surprised if you bump into Mr. Peanut while perusing the spring Atlantique City Show. The Planters icon and his famed Nut Mobile will be on hand as part of Planters’ yearlong celebration of 100 years of history, heritage and delivering consistently fresh-tasting nuts.

“Planters has been a staple of American culture for more than a century and we’re very proud to celebrate this important milestone in our history,” says Heath Osburn, senior brand manager, Planters. “We’re inviting America to join us for a year full of fun, fresh, exciting activities.”

The success of Planters began with Amedeo Obici, an Italian immigrant who came to America in the late 1800s with nothing but a dream. While working for his uncle, who ran a fruit stand in Scranton, Pa., he noticed a passerby eating peanuts and dropping the shells behind him. The image seeded the idea to sell fresh-roasted peanuts and ultimately ignited a peanut empire.

Obici and his friend, Mario Peruzzi, set up two roasters in a $25-a-month factory space in Wilkes Barre, Pa., and established the Planters Nut Co. in 1906. Over the next 40 years, Planters grew to a $60 million business with 5,000 employees.

Mr. Peanut has been the iconic symbol for Planters for 90 years. Originated in 1916 when Virginia schoolboy Antonio Gentile entered and won an art contest to design a Planters symbol, a commercial artist later added a top hat, monocle, cane and gloves to help make Mr. Peanut the dapper nut he is today.

In addition to memorabilia provided by Planters, Anthony Scola of Philadelphia will feature his private “peanuts” collection at the show. Scola, who serves as president of the Peanuts Pals Collector’s Club, said he will display about 75 items from cans and special packaging to promotional items and a rare deck of cards. Each item will include an explanation of its history and significance.

“I think it will be very interesting,” Scola said. “Planters has always been a leader of marketing and packaging. So much of what we take for granted in advertising today Planters was at the forefront of. They were extremely savvy about how to sell a product.”
Nationally recognized auctioneer and art pottery expert David Rago will be among the exhibitors at Atlantique City show.
We are thrilled to have David back on the show floor in March to help us celebrate our 20th anniversary. David is one of the great people in this business. His participation will enhance the atmosphere of the show for exhibitors and collectors alike.

A leading dealer in American art pottery, Rago first established himself as an auctioneer in 1984, holding his sales in Manhattan’s famous Puck Building. In 1995 he founded the Auction Center in the scenic river town of Lambertville, N.J., midway between New York City and Philadelphia. The Auction Center and its clientele grew quickly. From a base of Arts and Crafts and specialty American pottery sales, David expanded into Modern art and design, developing sales of post-war furniture, ceramics, lighting and glass with partner John Sollo.

He then joined forces with Jerry Cohen and Suzanne Perrault, expanding his existing Arts and Crafts sales into Craftsman Auctions, now the largest Arts & Crafts specialty auction in the country, featuring decorative arts, furnishings and art tiles.

In 2001, David established a large specialty auction of Lalique glass in partnership with Nicholas M. Dawes, a leading Lalique dealer. Fine and estate jewelry, art glass and perfume bottle sales followed in 2002. As the expertise available at the Auction Center broadened, so did the opportunities. Rago Estate and Fine Art Auctions premiered in January of 2003, selling general and estate goods, including fine and decorative arts, silver, jewelry, rugs, furniture, and other objects of worth; it is directed by Jeffrey Henkel, joined by Andrew Bertolino, ASA, as expert in charge in the area of fine arts.

As of today, the Rago Arts and Auction Center hosts 15 sales each year from September through June.

David oversees all the auction companies, two magazines on 20th-century decorative arts and furnishings – Style 1900 and Modernism magazine – and serves as principal auctioneer at the Rago Arts and Auction Center. He lectures nationally, is an expert appraiser for “The Antiques Roadshow,” and is the author of many articles and books in his field.

Rago Auctions was a key contributor for three of my books books published by F+W Publications: Warman’s Roseville Pottery, Warman’s Lalique Identification and Price Guide, and Warman’s Arts and Crafts Furniture Price Guide. F+W also owns the Atlantique City show.

Appraiser and historian Elyse Luray will be joining thousands of antiques dealers and collectors at the next Atlantique City show.
Luray is also a regular contributor to Antique Trader magazine, sponsor of Atlantique City. Luray is a certified appraiser and historian in popular culture, and one of four hosts on the PBS program, “History Detectives”, which also will have a booth at the show for the first time.

“History Detectives” is devoted to exploring the complexities of historical mysteries, searching out the facts, myths and conundrums that connect local folklore, family legends and interesting objects. Using traditional investigative techniques, modern technologies, and plenty of legwork, the “History Detectives” team of experts discovers that artifacts, buildings and stories can give us new (and sometimes shocking) insights into our national history. “History Detectives” is a co-production between Lion Television and Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Luray also has appeared on Metro TV’s “Bid New York,” where she was the collectibles expert and auctioneer. She also is the antique specialist of “Treasure Seekers” on Voom-HD, the high-definition TV network. She has been an appraiser on PBS’ “Antiques Road Show” and “The Early Morning Show” on CBS.

Luray spent 11 years at Christie’s auction house as an auctioneer and was a vice president of the Popular Arts Department, and still serves as a consultant to the Collectibles Department. She graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans, where she majored in art history. She is a New York state-licensed auctioneer.

Landmarks Gallery of Milwaukee will be demonstrating art-restoration techniques at the next Atlantique City. Landmarks Gallery marks its 40th anniversary in 2006, and remains committed to offering quality artworks, plus restoration services and framing. Founded by Huetta “Scotty” Manion and her husband, Jean, the second generation of the family has taken up the tradition, with daughter Mary P. Manion in charge of the framing department.

Landmarks has long been associated with noted British marine painter John Stobart (born 1929). Stobart’s limited-edition art ranges in price from $100 for black-and-white prints to $5,000 for rare full-color examples from the 1970s. For more information on Stobart’s work, visit

The gallery also has carried works by renowned Wisconsin wildlife artist Owen Gromme (1896-1991) and has sold more of his paintings than any other gallery. Gromme had been a curator of birds and animals at the Milwaukee County Museum for more than four decades. After he retired in 1965, he did an enormous number of paintings. His works routinely sell for between $20,000 and $30,000. For more information on Gromme, visit

Principal conservator Monica Mull and Mary P. Manion will represent Landmarks Gallery in Booth 1991 at Atlantique City. For more information, visit, or call (414) 453-1620.

Visitors to the show can use Atlantique City’s exclusive Computographic Locator System to target particular interests. Shoppers can select from more than 1,200 categories of antiques and print out the names and booth numbers of dealers offering specific items.

For tickets: Visit, or call (800) 526-2724 or (609) 625-7300, or write P.O. Box 547, Mays Landing, NJ 08330.