Antique Show & Sale delights previewers with quality fare

VERO BEACH – Basking in the warm glow emanating from beautifully crafted mahogany furniture, guests at the Nineteenth Annual Antiques Show and Sale Patron’s Champagne Reception and Preview Party Thursday evening got a first glimpse of this year’s magnificent selection of perfectly polished silver pieces, twinkling gemstones, faceted glassware, museum quality artwork, and other fine collectibles.

The enduring event was created in 1992 by the Vero Beach Museum of Art’s Friends Committee to raise funds for the Museum’s education programs, and continues to be one of its major fundraisers, annually attracting savvy antique lovers and collectors.

Show co-chair Andi Beck, owner of Andrea Mossman Beck Interior Designs in Vero Beach, was already familiar with many of the dealers from her previous history producing antique shows with Dolphin Productions.  Beck also coordinated the numerous Friends Committee volunteers who provide much of the support for the weekend-long event.

“There is some gorgeous stuff here,” said Beck. “To get this number of quality dealers, especially in this economy, is difficult; Charles Miller does a great job.”

 She noted that while a few of the vendors who participated in the past had retired, giving way to several new dealers, most return year after year.

“I’ve known some of these dealers for a long time; they’re just lovely people,” said Beck. “My goal is good will for the Museum.  Whatever we can do to welcome people in to the Museum is a good thing.”

Tuny Hill, the event’s other co-chair with Story John, was quick to give Beck most of the credit.

“Story and I were mainly involved with the Preview Party; Andi did everything else,” said Hill.

Along with other guests happily browsing the outstanding selections, Interior Designer Cherie Thompson said she was on the look-out for pieces for a few of her clients.  “I just finished remodeling the kitchen of an historic farmhouse,” explained Thompson.  “I’m hoping to find a couple rustic pieces to compliment the room.”

Windsor resident Carol Lowry said she had luck this year finding two little Dresden pugs, circa 1850 to add to her collection.

“I always love the show.  We usually get paintings but this time I found the pugs.  You can recognize them by this funny little necklace,” said Lowry.

The elegant show, featuring 38 renowned and diverse dealers from all over the United States, is under the management of Charles Miller of Miller, Hamilton & Company.

“Antiques are one of the best bargains in furnishings for the home,” said Miller.  “They’re better made and will last longer than anything being made today.  Young people have got to grasp that idea.  I have nieces and nephews in their early 30s who bought new furniture and it’s not holding up; it’s made poorly and they can’t be repaired easily because the materials aren’t found in the U.S.”

This is Miller’s tenth year managing the show, and his particular expertise in selecting such a high quality, diverse group of vendors is one of the main reasons for its success.

“The vendors who replaced those who retired have inventory of the same caliber and quality,” said Miller.

“The Vero Beach community is genuinely interested in where they live.  That lends strength to anything that goes on here.  And people moving here are seriously interested in buying quality items for their homes.  That’s what has kept the show going for 19 years.”

The show also afforded the perfect opportunity for a ribbon cutting ceremony honoring the Bucks for their latest contribution; the roof had only just been raised on the spectacular new Laura and William C. Buck Atrium which now encompasses the Wahlstrom Sculpture Garden.

“This is the first inaugural event for the atrium,” said Lucinda Gedeon, VBMA CEO/Executive Director.  “

“It will give us a much better use of the space.  As pretty as it was before, with rain, wind and heat, it was impossible to use all year long.  Now it can be enjoyed all the time.”

The Antique Show and Sale continues through Sunday.  Tickets are $10 which includes unlimited re-entry throughout the weekend. {igallery 324}

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