Macbeth closed yesterday & I’m feeling a bit of that post-show “crash” that comes every time a production ends. The performances went very well, we had such appreciative audiences, & the cast & crew really bonded. This was one of those experiences that reminds one why doing theater is worth all that rehearsal time, memorization, & sleep deprivation. But, as Lady Macbeth herself says, “What’s done is done.” Time to move on. Fortunately for me, the coolest local event of the summer is taking place this coming weekend at the Baltimore Convention Center. Retro fans, you know what I mean. The 32nd Annual Baltimore Summer Antiques Show will run this Thursday-Sunday, August 23-26, & for the first time ever, WBJC will have a booth at the show!
No, we’re not selling off my collection. We’ll be there to meet antiques-loving WBJC listeners – we have a feeling there are many – & chat with you face to face. For those who haven’t attended in previous years, this show is truly epic, not just in terms of size (over 575 dealers & a 90-dealer antiquarian book fair.) The diversity of items offered at this event is simply unbelievable. If you’re looking for jewelry, china, sterling, crystal, & furniture, those things abound, but there are many less “traditional” wares to be had. Unusual items I’ve spotted here over the years include binoculars that used to grace the Berlin Wall, a giant mortar & pestle that once sat atop the Pinehurst Pharmacy right here in Baltimore, & a life-size lobster cast in nickel (the crab sold before I got there, natch.) Some dealers’ offerings are centuries old; others’ date from a few decades ago. The vendors at this show tend to be very friendly & know their stuff, so if you’re a neophyte, feel free to ask lots of questions! On the other hand, if you do know a bit about what you’re looking at, you can have a great chat about Berlin Iron jewelry, old medical instruments, or whatever your area of interest may be.
Since I attend the Baltimore Summer Antiques Show every year, I wanted to offer a bit of advice for newbies. First & foremost, wear comfy shoes! I own lots of beautiful 4-inch stilettos, not a single pair of which will make it out of their box this weekend. Flats or perhaps wedges for are best for this event, ladies. Okay, maybe kitten heels, but just maybe. Gentlemen, you should also choose your footwear carefully. This show is huge. As such, plan on spending an entire day here, perhaps more than a day. I typically attend all four days or at least portions thereof. Over the years, I’ve become friendly with a number of the dealers, many of whom aren’t locals, & when you only see someone once a year, it’s not hard to spend an hour chatting, especially if you’re doing so while surrounded by amazing stuff.
There’s a lot of high-end merchandise at this show. I tend to fall in love with pieces I’d have to sell my car, house, & a few major organs to purchase. That said, many dealers offer interesting items that won’t break the bank, sometimes sharing booth space with one’s “fantasy” finds. I’ve bought some great stuff here over the years, but I’ve also reveled in the opportunity to see wonderful, unaffordable things I don’t usually encounter outside of museums or reference books… & actually put my hands on them! Or, in the case of the pic below, drape them around my neck.
The sparklers in the sterling necklace I’m sporting here are diamonds, folks. Up until the early 20th century, it was common to set them in silver. The kind staff at J.S. Fearnley’s booth allowed me to try this fabulous piece on & be photographed wearing it. I offered to walk around the show modeling it for them, but they weren’t too into that idea, even when I offered to leave Jim at their booth as collateral. Can’t say I blame them, given that it carries a six-figure price tag. Jonathan & Joe, about that raise…
You can find more information about the 32nd Annual Baltimore Summer Antiques Show at http://www.baltimoresummerantiques.com/ Hope you can make it, & please stop by WBJC’s booth!
Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore Summer Antiques Show, J.S. Fearnley, Pinehurst Pharmacy, Shakespeare