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West Palm Beach, FL, United States, 2011/03/16 - The March 4,5,6 Festival continued the string of record attendance and full dealers spaces. The next show is April 1,2,3 with over 600 dealers in attendance.
You might think West Palm Beach Antiques Festival owners Kay and Bill Puchstein would get tired of reporting their continuing success every month. But they don’t. They are as enthusiastic as ever and it is reflected in the dealers and in the Show itself. It has an “atmosphere.”
For the March 4,5,6 Show the Puchsteins reported over 600 dealers with both the East Expo Building and West Expo Building full and over 100 dealers were set up outside. While the weather was a little windy it was beautiful and the wind was not a problem.
Like most antiques shows you can always find some examples of good early antiques, exquisite jewelry and silver, old coins, old postcards and outstanding art, but you never know what else you might find at the West Palm Beach Antiques Festivals. There you can stumble across items like the fully restored 1965 red and white Honda 50cc scooter in Sonny Kimball’s booth, the rare 1965 Fender Stratocaster by Mark Maxwell of New Smyrna Beach, FL, the full size folk art archer made of motorcycle parts from Vinny Balanky of Jacksonville, the early teddy bears of Kathleen Maher or the thousands of colorful Bakelite buttons offered by Jeri Berman.
You can also wander over to booth number 38 and visit with Dorothy Loud. Loud, at age 77, is one the most enthusiastic and knowledgeable dealers at the Festival. In her former life she was a general contractor for exclusive high end custom homes in the Chicago area but the high interest rates of the 1970s put an end to that. Retreating to Florida she took a job that required extensive travel in the State and along the way began to pop in to antiques shops and shows where she found she had an eye for higher end costume jewelry, really liked it and decided to give it a try.
She started with flea markets and expanded her inventory to include designer purses and items made of fur. She then tried local shows and quickly spread out. These days she does forty-three shows a year around the country but she is starting to cut back a little. She has been in place at the West Palm Beach Antiques Festival for over twenty years and plans to stay there.
At the Festival her booth is filled with vintage high end costume jewelry, Judith Leiber purses and high end furs including stoles, wraps, jackets and hats. But the most striking thing in her booth is what she calls the “glitzy bling.” You’ll have to see it for yourself. And she is always on the look out for extraordinary and rare items that fit her inventory.
She normally displays several hundred items in her booth and a half space. Her inventory is pleasingly displayed on shelves, tables and in cases with none of the jumble frequently found in high inventory booths. In her orderly space each piece stands on its own and each piece is conveniently labeled with relevant information. Her little treasures range in price from $100 to $1500.
West Palm Beach Antiques Festival (wpbaf.com) 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 April 1,2,3 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.