‘Antique City’ Fun Fair becomes new major show in Philly’s Antiques Week

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The maniacal Marx brothers, Groucho, Chico and Harpo (shown above), will make a two day guest appearance at the ‘Antique City’ Fun Fair for collectors in the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center near King of Prussia on April 9 and 10.

This zany threesome will come to life as full-size figures playing poker with W. C. Fields and Buster Keaton.  Laurel and Hardy will be parked nearby in their 1920 Model T Ford.  These kings of comedy were created by famed wax sculptor Katheryn Stuberg whose incredibly detailed work is rarely seen outside of museums.

antiques pricesThe peerless leader of this gang, antique dealer Roy Aletti of Harrison, N.Y., confesses that he is also a severely addicted collector of cuckoo clocks and has over 250 of them in his collection. Aletti Admits, “At noon and midnight it gets a little crazy around the house!”  

Fun Fair’s hilarious display of histrionics is just one of the highlights of the Antique City extravaganza which features 375 booths offering furniture to fine art, jewelry to jukeboxes, Mickey Mouse to Mickey Mantle, dolls and trains to ships and planes.  And everything is for sale.

The 27th edition of the world’s largest collectors show, produced by Norman Schaut, has left Atlantic City to become the third major event of Antiques Week in Philadelphia. This huge 300 booth festival will be presented April 9-10 in the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pa. In a groundbreaking move, Schaut has given away 47,000 free tickets to the event (see the Feb. 16 issue for more).

Antique City Fun Fair is a spectacular event featuring hundreds of dealers from 29 states, Great Britain, Germany, The Netherlands, France, Italy and Australia. Acres of fine antiques and quirky collectibles will be offered for sale. Much like the “Antiques Road Show,” a group of experts, each with their own categories of knowledge, will provide free appraisals for Sunday ticket buyers from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

As Norman Schaut points out, “Browsers and shoppers will discover everything from furniture to fine art, jewelry to jukeboxes, Mickey Mouse to Mickey Mantle, dolls and trains to ships and planes.

“This fair differs from the two other fine shows of Antiques Week in Philadelphia, Frank Gaglio’s Antiques at the Armory and the 50th anniversary of The Philadelphia Antique Show. Our event is over five times their size. It’s a lot of fun perusing those displays, learning from the world’s experts, schmoozing with other collectors, holding and examining that special treasure and haggling for the best price.

“Attendees will find the first Miss America crown from 1921, a medieval “Lock ’em and Leave ’em” iron chastity belt and Charles Dickens’ inkwell complete with pen.

“During prohibition, folks went to great lengths to conceal demon rum on their person. Two of the most ingenious creations were the hollow Philadelphia Prohibition Pretzel that is filled with a tiny funnel. There’s also an ordinary looking flashlight with booze in the batteries.”

But it’s not all fun and games. Among the rarest pieces of furniture offered will be a tiny, late 18th century American cherry birdcage tilt top wine table only 18 inches tall and a matched set of six continuous arm Windsor chairs in flawless, original finish.

In every aisle there will be objects that push the nostalgia button. Visitors will recognize the tweed hat that Basil Rathbone wore in all of his Sherlock Holmes performances and famed clown Emmett Kelly’s dilapidated derby from “The Greatest Show on Earth.”

The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center is adjacent to Route 422, 20 minutes northwest of center city near the King of Prussia Mall and is surrounded with 15,000 free parking spaces. The GPS address is 1601 Egypt Road, Phoenixville, PA 19460.

Antique City will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 9 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 10. Saturday admission is $12; Sunday admission is $8. Saturday 9 a.m. early buyer tickets may be ordered for $15 at www.AntiqueCityShow.com or by calling the 800-822-4119. Children 12 years and under are admitted free.

Sunday box office proceeds will be donated to the Center for Childhood Cancer at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. This is the largest program of its kind in the world.

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