The October edition of the West Palm Beach Antiques Festival featured sold out dealer spaces, the best attendance of the Summer season and a record number of visitors taking advantage of the early buyers program. Overall the Summer season was very well received by both dealers and shoppers and the newly begun Winter season promises to be even better.
Festival owners Kay and Bill Puchstein have big changes in store for the Festival with the addition of new vendors and specialty services for visitors New this year will be vendors to help customers with antique related restorations and repairs including glass repair, crystal repair, porcelain and china repair, paintings and frame restoration, on site shipping, jewelry repair, doll repair, gold and silver plating, home protection services and insurance programs for dealers and collectors. On site appraisals will also be available at all shows for jewelry and coins and many dealers are paying cash for gold and silver.
Dealers stood in line at the October Festival to sign up for the Winter shows and the Puchsteins expect to have a sold out house for the November edition.
One of the interesting stories to be found at West Palm Beach Antiques Festival revolves around dealer Cody McQueen and his journey to the antiques world. Cody originally was a fashion photographer in New York always seeking new locations and backdrops for his art. When he started using antique shows for background he started to notice the art and the artifacts found in these locations.
From there it was a short hop to opening an art gallery. He says he was the first person to display Highwayman paintings in a New York style art gallery in Florida. It was another short hop to opening an antique shop and setting up a booth at West Palm Beach Antiques Festival where he has been for the entire twenty years of the show.
McQueen still enjoys displaying and buying and selling Highwayman art but he says the current market is better suited for more affordable art and artifacts and he concentrates on what buyers are likely to find interesting at friendly prices. He carries a general line of antiques and art with a concentration in affordable smalls such as porcelain and pottery like Rookwood and Weller, paintings, wood carvings, etchings, some Highwayman and other vintage paintings.
He strives to present a diverse selection to visitors with 90 - 100 items plus the contents of several cases of smalls with most items in the booth in the $50 to $500 range. He focuses his buying around the premise of being able to provide good buys for his customers. Customers have described his booth as attractive, interesting and in good taste offering a wide variety of items in a well displayed layout.
The Winter season kicks off November 5, 6 and 7. Winter Festival hours are Friday 12:00PM – 5:00PM, Saturday 9:00AM – 5:00PM and Sunday 10:00AM – 4:30PM. Early Buyer’s admission is Friday 9:00am – 12:00pm and the $25 admission is good for all three days. Adult daily admission $7.00, seniors $6.00. Anyone 12 and under is admitted free. There is no charge for parking at the Fairgrounds.
The West Palm Beach Antiques Festival is held at the South Florida Fairgrounds located off Southern Boulevard in West Palm Beach, FL, 1.5 miles west of the Florida Turnpike and 1 mile east of 441/SR7. For more information contact the West Palm Beach Antiques Festival, email or visit the website.