There were lines of people at the doors on opening day of the Original Miami Beach International Antiques Show. So many people, in fact, that show officials were forced to open early to control the crowd. That is a very good sign for all of us dealers.
Editor’s Note: WorthPoint CEO and President Will Seippel will be traveling to numerous antique and collectibles shows throughout 2010. He will Twitter where he’s going each week. Anyone who sees him there and comes up to say hello will receive a one-year CEO Club discount membership to WorthPoint. You’ll know it’s Will because he’ll be wearing a white WorthPoint polo shirt.
MIAMI – How is the economy doing . . . hmm . . . if the antiques and collectibles market in South Beach and Miami are any indication, it is doing pretty good. I am spending much of my time in the field with buyers and sellers in 2010. It was a New Year’s resolution. I know, it sure sounds like a hardship to start off with Miami in January, while the rest of the country in an icebox! Yes, I even went for a swim while down here and would recommend that the rest of you make the trip and meet me here next year and take in the show.
Will’s tour guide for the Original Miami International Antiques Show was Wortholgist David Mycko, who specialized in horology.
I toured the Original Miami Beach Antiques Show at the Miami Convention Center with our horologist Worthologist David Mycko. For those of you who think that is a dirty word, let me assure you that David is a timepiece expert who specializes in watches. I asked David to help me learn the ropes of the show. I came down on the second day of the show (which ran from Jan. 21 to 25, 2010) and David already had a great opening day, having bought and sold numerous items. David told me there were lines of people at the doors on opening day. So many people, in fact, that show officials were forced to open early to control the crowd. That is a very good sign for all of us dealers.
While walking the floor with David, I immediately noticed two things. The first was the amazing amount of energy present, as the hall nearly crackled with it. The second thing I noticed was that one of my kids had borrowed my memory card from my camera and that I was out of luck as far as taking photographs to illustrate my first thought. Luckily, I was at the booth of Matt Bain of Miami Beach when I realized I was to go photo-less. Matt had a killer display of wristwatches and is a great person. But it was Alison, who works with him, who immediately came to my rescue, offering me the card from her camera. With two gigs of memory, I was back in business at one of the world’s greatest watch and clock shows.
This tiny box, with a portrait of Kaiser Wilhelm painted on the front and edged in diamonds and rubies, was, according to the dealer, a gift from the Kaiser to his daughter.
The thing that caught my eye immediately at Matt’s booth was a really cool James Bond watch. All of us guys want to be like Bond, or at least experience a Bond-like situation, and it is cool to see such a famous timepiece. Matt had a great collection of Rolexes, Breitlings and anything else you could possibly want in a wristwatch. If you’d like to for any of you that want to ask Matt about the Bond watch, you can visit his Web site.
We wondered around some more and I found a New England dealer by the name of Butch McGrath of Scituate, Maine. Butch, who runs a booth with his dad, was an oasis for me, as I am from Maine and it was nice to see New England antiques in Miami. One of things that peaked my interest was a tiny box with Kaiser Wilhelm painted on the front that was edged in diamonds and rubies. On the back was the date of a daughter’s birthday. According to Butch, this was a gift from the Kaiser to his daughter. Another item he had that I thought quite highly of was a leather World War Two flight jacket from the 14th Air Force with the original leather local theatre patches and the flyers bag with the original accoutrements. The flyer’s name was sewn in the bag so someone could have fun with doing research on this ensemble. If you are interested in the above items, Butch can be reached at 781.545.3661.
Next David showed me another watch dealer by the name of Steve Smith. Steve was a great guy that a buyer would feel immediately comfortable with. He seemed to have a watch for everyone (and in their price range).
My favorite watch of the show was the timepiece once owned by Lt. Col. Edward R. Warner of the 1st NY Volunteer Light Artillery.
While I was blown away with some of the pocket watches I had seen earlier, and despite the glory of the earlier European examples, my favorite watch of the show was the timepiece owned by Lt. Col. Edward R. Warner of the 1st NY Volunteers Light Artillery. This group saw very heavy action in the Civil War. The unit’s history can be found at this very cool Web site.
While looking at this watch, I noticed a couple of restored 1960s-era Vespas nearby. The good life would be to drive one of those out with a new vintage time piece in your pocket.
We had a lot of fun. We spotted another great watch over at The Red Barron’s of Atlanta. The watch was attached to an ancient—well old—single-shot percussion gun with a very decorative chain. It was for a gambler, so the story went.
David and I then walked over to see another watch he was looking at buying, but by the time we got there, it was gone. This was another sign that buying that was going on and can only reaffirm the old adage: “you snooze, you lose.”
At this point I was tired and Dave was going on. I ran into a friendly visitor from Baltimore who gladly shared his lunch with me, as I was too tired to wait in line.
All-in-all, it was a great day, and I left the show to head off to the airport. And a special thanks to Andrea and Mary from show promoters DMG World Media for such a fun time. I would highly recommend the show to others next year and heard very good things from shoppers and dealers and that each year the show only gets better.
Will Seippel is the president and CEO of WorthPoint. Will has been an avid collector since 1974 and dealer of just about all things antique—with a emphasis on ephemera—since 1984.
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