A Peek Inside New York City’s Pier Antique Show

While many are planning their Halloween costumes and picking out the best pumpkin to carve, it’s easy to forget that the holidays are right around the corner! Now is the perfect time to begin thinking about what gifts to give those who mean the most to us this holiday season.

New York City is the ultimate place to celebrate the festive holiday season with such well-recognized activities as the lighting of Rockefeller Center’s Christmas tree, ice skating at Bryant Park and seeing the Radio City Rockettes. However, preparing for the holidays wouldn’t be complete without shopping and New York City is known as a remarkable shopping destination. Barneys, FAO Schwarz and Macy’s are just a few of the familiar stores that come to our minds.

But if you’re looking for unique and special gifts that far surpass the norm this season, the Pier Antique Show is your go-to shopping spot. Named one of New York City’s largest and most comprehensive antique events, this show is a great place to uncover the perfect gift. The show takes place at the Hudson River’s Pier 94 the weekend of November 23-24, 2013 and features nearly 500 exhibitors of one-of-a-kind antiques, unique kitchen and home décor, and vintage clothing, jewelry and handbags, among others. It also plays host to the very popular fashion and book alleys.

To offer a deeper look into this year’s show, I recently spoke with a few of our Pier Antique Show dealers, discovering how they got started in the antique industry and what brings them back to this New York City show year after year.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Helen Hersh, Hamish Hog Antiques (Booth 2240)
Helen Hersh’s enthusiasm for antiques first came from a personal passion to acquire pieces for her home, “I wanted antiques for my apartment and I fell in love with a chair by New York City cabinetmaker George Hunzinger as well as American art pottery. I purchased many pieces then slowly transitioned into selling items from my personal collection and becoming a dealer,” she says.

Today, Hersh specializes in the aesthetic movement brass and transferware. She has also a fair share of her own rock ‘n’ roll artwork, such as original publicity photos of celebrities like Elvis and John Lennon. This will be the first year Hersh brings these images to the Pier Antique Show.

Hersh recounts as to why she enjoys selling her merchandise in New York City and at the Pier Antique Show, “A lot of what I sell is popular in New York because many of my clientele live there. It’s an exceptional place for me to showcase my pieces to both my established customers and potential new ones”

018Roy Rover, Roy Rover Jewelry (Booth 1201)
“My aunt always told me it’s in my blood,” says antique and jewelry dealer Roy Rover about his career choice. “I’ve been collecting since I was 14 years old. I think I was always meant to be an antique dealer.”

Rover, who has been exhibiting at the Pier Antique Show since its inception, says there’s no other show like it anywhere. “The energy at the Pier Antique Show is unmatched. Being at an event in New York City among the trades and attendees who spend their day searching for treasures is incomparable.”

Because Rover deals in jewelry, he plans on bringing both Art Deco and silver jewelry to the November show. “My goal is to always bring high-end and high quality merchandise in great condition and sell these items at a reasonable price. My customers know what they’re looking at and know what they want, therefore, my team and I try to stay on top of the latest fashions. I focus on what’s hot right now and tailor my display to fit that criterion.”

Blonde alligator made in FranceHilary Eiseman, The Purse Lady (Booth 2255)
Hilary Eiseman’s journey to becoming a dealer shows you can turn a passion for collecting into a career. “I lost three jobs in four years and I would do anything to pay my bills. When I couldn’t find a job and exhausted all my options, I decided to sell my personal handbag collection, which I had been collecting for 25 years. Surprisingly, people responded very well and showed interested in buying more of my bags. Today, I’ve been a full-time handbag dealer for almost two years and I show up to events with 450 bags at a time. I truly do love what I do!”

With November show marking Eiseman’s first time at Pier Antique Show, she is excited about the experience ahead. “Being a small business, this is a huge goal for me to be able to show my merchandise at the Pier Antique Show.”

Eiseman sells bags from the 1800s through the 1980s. Drawn to the interesting and usual, many of her handbags are made out of ladylike leathers and skins, from ostrich to alligator and even python. “My favorite items are the ones that have a story and a unique personality of their own. I sell purses that are affordable, wearable and a lot of fun!”

Bakelite

Marcy Drexler, Little Shiny Objects (Booth 2140)
Dealer Marcy Drexler recalls that she has always been a collector. “As far back as I can remember,” she says. As a kid, Drexler collected records, but she had an interest in a wide variety of antiques and desired to learn more. “I went to flea markets and antique shows, I read books, I spoke to other dealers and I took courses on jewelry and gems. This helped me transition into becoming a dealer.”

Drexler believes the Pier Antique Show has always been the most interesting of all of the area shows. “The quality of the dealers’ merchandise and the tremendous crowds make this show beyond compare.” She continues, “As I started out as a dealer, I knew this show was one where I needed to exhibit. I’ve been doing the Pier Antique Show since the late 1980s and have continued every year since.”

While Drexler specializes in Bakelite jewelry, she does have a large collection of signed and unsigned costume jewelry and handbags. “My merchandise is so varied and covers a large price range, therefore, there’s something for everyone at my booth, like colorful smoked glass pieces by Peter Max, lithographed tin toy tea sets, sand pails from Chein and Ohio Art and more.”

As the holidays quickly approach and we find we have less and less time to spare, let’s make a commitment now to honor our holiday traditions. And in the spirit of the season of giving, let’s shop for meaningful and unique gifts for family and friends that will make the 2013 holiday season even more special.

Our fantastic dealers at the Pier Antique Show are ready to help you find your perfect gift! The Pier Antique Show times are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and admission is $15 and is valid for reentry both show days. Children under 16 are free when accompanied by an adult. For more information, visit www.PierAntiqueShow.com.

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