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Crystal River, FL, United States, 2011/02/12 - The February Festival featured the sale of such diverse items as Cracker Jack jewelry, vintage guitars and antique firearms.
West Palm Beach Antiques Festival owners Kay and Bill Puchstein happily reported that the February “Spectacular” was the largest show at the venue since they have owned the Festival. The February 4, 5, 6 event had over 1,000 dealers on site with all inside and breezeway spaces in the three Expo Buildings sold out.
With perfect weather each day new attendance records were established at each opening and early buyers were up 40 percent over last year’s Spectacular. Dealers reported outstanding sales on opening day that continued for the entire weekend. Many dealers had to restock their booths several times.
The eclectic merchandise being scooped up by buyers ranged from antique dolls at Roberta’s Doll House from New Jersey to an outstanding pair of 1940s folk art horses from Cesar Macedo’s booth to pre Civil War era Colt pistols from Alan Porter. Becky and Rick Coffin from Michigan reported selling many large pieces of country furniture, Florida dealer Greg Biaggi sold two completely restored Coke machines from the 1950s and Rosie O’ Reilly of Austin, TX had an outstanding show selling silver and high end estate jewelry. Gayla and Tom Bailey, Palm City Florida, brought a large display of old Cracker Jacks prizes made into necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. They also sold dozens of decorator pieces made of wicker and iron. A vintage 1960s Gibson guitar complete with case brought $1200.
A dealer who also had a great Spectacular and is anticipating another outstanding show at the March 4, 5, 6 Festival is Sonny Kimball of Absolute Antiques and Estate Buyers of Palm Beach Gardens. Kimball began his antiques career via a circuitous route as so many have. He and his wife were fossil hunters making jewelry from fossilized shark’s teeth. A friend began importing antique furniture reproductions from Thailand and Kimball began selling it in his shop and at shows. The more he studied the repros the more he became interested in the real thing and today he shows only genuine 17th and 18th century American and Continental furniture items. But that’s only part of his repertoire.
He has a strong interest in militaria from World War I and World War II and his inventory includes a number of medals, insignia, uniforms and hardware such as helmets, guns and knives. He also has a nice inventory of general collectibles such as Lalique and Meissen but his forte lies in jewelry, coins and artwork. He carries only original works by listed artists and has no prints or lithographs.
In the seven years he has been exhibiting at the West Palm Beach Antiques Festival Kimball has learned to avoid one of the common pitfalls of booth displays. He has learned not to try to cram too many items in the booth and a half space he occupies. He says “You need to see the stuff.” While still showing a comprehensive inventory he displays only around 100 individual items plus the cases of smalls. His inventory ranges from as a little as a few dollars to artwork that reaches into the thousands and lots in between. Kimball is also happy to help both dealers and customers evaluate and price items and he is always in the market to acquire complete estates and militaria collections.
West Palm Beach Antiques Festival is held the 1st full weekend of every month 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.
The next show is March 4, 5, 6 with over 600 dealers in attendance. 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.