Wake Forest N.C. Woman’s Club Antiques Show nearly doubles

Area shop owners invited to lecture during 20-dealer antiques show

WAKE FOREST, N.C. – The second annual Wake Forest Woman’s Club Antiques Show and Sale kicked off March 30, 2012 at a new venue, The Ledford Center at the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. The space allowed the club to more than double the number of dealers from last year’s event – from a half-dozen to more than 20 booth spaces.

“We hope this annual event will offer an avenue to promote general interest in antiques and also awareness of the many fine dealers in our own community,” said Gorland McBride, chairwoman for the show. “We’ve started small and are building the show. As it grows, our goal is for it to become a strong fundraiser for the club’s many service projects in Wake Forest.”

Early estimates suggested about 250 tickets were sold this year; some visitors came to browse and buy the show’s vintage-themed preview party, and others attended throughout the day March 31 and on April 1, 2012.

Julia MacKinnon Nora McPeak Wake Forest North CarolinaJulia MacKinnon, left, and Nora McPeak model vintage attire from GC5 as they stroll Friday’s preview party displaying selected dealer merchandise – in this case, a factice and an Austrian ewer, both from Antique Wish of Selma, N.C. The party launched the weekend event, a Wake Forest Woman’s Club fundraiser for community service projects. Photo by Debby LaPierre

Dealers traveled from as far away as New Jersey; several hailed from Virginia, and a few were closer to home. For many of them, attending shows has become a way of life.
“I do 45 shows a year,” said Keith Bouffard of Newport News, Va. “I will drive north as far as Boston and south to Atlanta.” Bouffard showed exquisite frames, along with jewelry and other smalls. He said he chooses a show partly based on the other dealers who decide to participate. “It’s a small community – I’ve been doing this for more than 30 years, and we all know each other,” he said.

Maureen Burns of Preen Antiques in Greensboro, N.C., agreed, and when not serving customers, she shopped other dealers and chatted with them. “Most dealers collect something,” she said, as she examined tiny salt spoons on display in the Gentry’s Antiques booth.

Dealers shared their extensive knowledge of items easily, so a customer who listened would learn a great deal. “See the gold wash on the bowl of this salt spoon?” Janet Caroon of Gentry’s Antiques in Norfolk, Va., said, for example. “That was done to prevent the salt from pitting the silver.”

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The range of antiques exhibited was diverse – from an Indonesian merchant’s tea chest to a dining suite fully set for dinner; from sterling baby spoons to chalkware pottery; from sparkling diamond jewelry to a multi-tiered lamp dripping with prisms.

The lamp was a puzzle until dealer Marie Knight of Grandma’s Antiques of Raleigh. N.C., explained. “The centerpiece table lamp was given as a premium to new residential customers when electricity was first being installed in New York,” she said. A glass flute in the center was intended to hold flowers; a bowl surrounding the base was to hold fruit, and four lights arched from the center out over the bowl. “Each light bulb would have been in a different color,” she said.

Tapping the knowledge base of local dealers, organizers added seminars to the show offerings this year. Amanda Giustiniani of GC5 Vintage & Gifts of Wake Forest, explained the process of liquidating an estate, while George Rogers, of Wake Forest Coins, described how coins developed and changed through history. Other topics had guests “speaking Southern” and planning events “with a vintage flair.”

The Wake Forest Woman’s Club is a nonprofit organization that has supported the community since 1961 with projects in the arts, education, conservation, home life, international outreach and public issues. For more information, visit the club’s website or Facebook.com/WakeForestWomansClub.

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