The next West Palm Beach Antiques Festival show on June 4-6, the last of the regular season three day shows before the Summer schedule of two day shows begins, is already sold out of indoor dealer spaces with a few outside booths still available. One of the original Florida Highwayman painters, R. L. Lewis, will be demonstrating his skills at the show, offering his paintings for sale Saturday and Sunday and one of his works will be given as a door prize to a lucky attendee. The Puchsteins also report the first of the newly scheduled Summer Shows, July 3-4, is almost sold out for dealer spaces.
The West Palm Beach Antiques Festival had another record breaking show over the April 30-May 2 weekend. Owners Kay and Bill Puchstein reported attendance up 20 percent over last year’s show and all inside dealer booths were sold out and fifty dealers were set up outside. The South Florida weather was graciously mild, lower to mid 80s, with no rain and light winds and the Early Buyer participation was heavy.
A number of Florida dealers had an excellent show including Nancy and Woody Straub with brisk sales of Western art, late 18th/early 19th century smalls and historic furniture. Jim Antonne of Jacksonville sold a large number of oil paintings, a heated oil operated fan and an eight foot long grizzly bear rug. Lyn Kraft, a local Florida jewelry dealer, sold a dinner ring with a 4.7 carat center diamond with an asking price of $30,000. Another Florida dealer offered a stainless steel infinity clock on a pedestal for $2,000 and had brisk sales of oriental figurines, statues and many one of kind items from a South Florida estate.
One Florida dealer who almost always has a good show is the “Doll Lady” Jane Greenwalt. She has always had a love of dolls and when she retired the first time she began to rehabilitate old dolls to give to charity. Naturally she eventually came across dolls she didn’t want to part with so she started her own collection which rapidly grew out of control and she became a doll dealer by accident. And a major dealer at that.
At the West Palm Beach Antiques Festival Greenwalt usually has several hundred dolls on display in addition to bins of authentic accessories such as shoes, socks, underwear, shirts and other needful things for dolls. She strives to be like an old fashioned 1930s doll store with everything for the collector and admirer of dolls. Her inventory ranges from early 1800s “china heads” to newer but interesting 20th century items. She also does doll restoration for customers including cleaning, restringing and redressing. She really enjoys the “fixer uppers.”
The West Palm Beach Antiques Festival (wpbaf.com) is held at the Americraft Expo Center at the South Florida Fair located off Southern Boulevard in West Palm Beach, FL, 1.5 miles west of the Florida Turnpike and 1 mile east of 441/SR7. Show hours are 12PM – 5PM Friday June 4, 9AM – 5PM Saturday June 5 and 10AM –4:30PM Sunday June 6. Early Buyers Admission from 9:00AM – 12:00PM Friday is $25 and is valid for the entire weekend. Adult daily admission $7.00, seniors $6.00 with a 1$ discount coupon for adult admission available on the website. Anyone under 16 is admitted free. There is no charge for parking at the Fairgrounds.