Monday, June 30, 2008

Adventures in Antiquing: Chicago's Randolph St. Market Festival

Chanel Black Leather Classic Quilted Handbag is offered at Ladybag International for $2,100.

I have told you in the past that one of the greatest pluses in the Antique and Fine Art Business is sharing great things with your friends, meeting interesting people and forming relationships. Cindy and I were able to do just that yesterday, when Sally, a 31 Club Member and owner of the Randolph Street Market Festival, (formerly the Chicago Antique Market) invited us to visit the market. It was like going home. The difference between this market from last year is that it’s much larger and better attended. In fact, the parking lot where we usually parked the car is now filled with dealers.

With the band playing, the food sizzling, and a colorful array of urban dwellers in attendance, you could feel the energy and excitement at this market located in the heart of Chicago. Where are those who stated the Antique, Fine Art and Collectibles markets were over? Booths were filled, and customers were buying. Sally and Sarah were as busy as bees, which was no surprise to me.

But, let’s talk about what the dealers were offering. First, we ran across Doris and Mike, who had an assortment of the best Bakelite Jewelry you will ever see, as usual. But, it looked to me as if they’d expanded their Indian Jewelry and Pottery selections.

Next we spoke with a gentleman who does furniture refinishing, and he shared that his business has been so brisk that he’s booked through the end of the year. I was so please when he shared with Cindy and me what our book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles, has meant to him. He told us that he read it all in one day. I hope to have him serve as one of our experts on furniture, and hopefully you will see his company logo on our site soon.

If you know Chicago, you know the weather can suddenly change, and change it sure did. A warm sunny day suddenly turned into a chilly rainstorm. While the outdoor vendors covered up their wares, the indoor market, inside the historical Plumber’s Building, was going strong.

Cindy quickly made her way over to say hello and chat with Adrienne Astrologo of Ladybag International. Last summer, our booth was right across from Adrienne’s eye opening collection of vintage designer handbags, and Cindy spent a good deal of time chatting and looking at Adrienne’s collection. Little did she know at the time that Ladybag International is the largest and best known dealer of vintage designer handbags world wide.

This collection of vintage designer handbags has some of the finest examples from the1960’s to present. There was a large collection of Chanel, Hermes, Gucci, and many more sought after vintage bags all in excellent condition. Cindy dragged me over to take a look at a Judith Leiber, made with Swarovski Crystal, that was hidden away. Wow! Handbags is something I'm not too familiar with, as you can probably guess, and when Cindy told me some of the asking prices on these vintage treasures, I suffered a case of sticker shock for a while after that.

Adrienne’s book, High Fashion Handbags, published through Shiffer Collector Books last November, was displayed, so Cindy had a chance to go through it. Cindy tells me that this is one fabulous book. Adrienne Astrologo proves me wrong in one way. I’ve said that you can’t be a one way dealer, but she is the rare exception.

Before we headed back, I managed to pick up a small oil painting in an antique gold gilded frame and a watercolor painting that I've already researched. I believe the watercolor is the work of an English artist who I've already located and e-mailed to see if it is, in fact, her work.

I was a little disappointed I didn’t see the Children’s Collector’s Club this year, and I do hope it will be revived. We are going to need the young to assure future appreciation and success for all the Antique and Collectible business. I hope to talk with Sally and offer to support this activity at the Market.

I am still asking our readers for suggestions on possible subjects to write about in the blog. This is one way I can answer your questions and share information with other readers that could be vital to them.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Everyone! I just purchased a 1915 Meeker Art Nouveau handbag. It's gorgeous! I had never seen one before, but apparently there are a lot of models still out there. This would be much older than what Ms. Ladybug would be dealing in, but how about a blog on antique handbags?? Sounds great to me! Best Wishes, Vicki H.