NYCxDesign with Modenus

Well, I hope you all had a great weekend because I sure did! It started Friday when I was walking our dogs, Artemis and Gypsy, through Central Park. It was a super hot morning and the smell of the Central Park Zoo was leading the dogs, and me, down the path. It was then that my cell phone alerted me that a text had come through. Lo and behold it was an invitation from my good friend Veronika.…

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Veronika Miller and her daughter Flo Von Pellet are the dynamic duo behind Modenus - The Design Directory as well as Design Hounds. These two design superstars organized a series of talks and panels for NYCxDesign at Wanted Design in conjunction with Design Milk. The talk was described as… "Past + Present = Future. Reinvent the wheel? No. Improve it? Sure. How does the past inform the future and how can we apply and improve upon what art, design & architecture have already discovered over the past 75 years. Please join us for a lively discussion on how we pull and modernize trends and treasures of the past to create new environments, products and style directions. This talk is part of the Design Milk x Modenus Talks series at WantedDesign, presented by Wilsonart." Veronika invited me to speak on the panel.

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Of course it was a resounding YES. I joined a panel of experts including Mat Sanders from CONSORT Design (who I actually knew, but forgot I knew), Christian Boscherini who is the Marketing Director at SMEG (you know the amazing retro refrigerators) and Jason Miller, a Co Founder at Roll and Hill. The panel and discussion was super well attended and if I may speak for all of us, we had a great time! Plus, I had the pleasure of re-connecting with Mat and I'll be sourcing vintage finds for him and the CONSORT Design team in both Los Angeles and New York City! Woo-hoo! After the talk, my daughters and I enjoyed the whole show and exhibition, then we took a long walk on the High Line. It was a great weekend!

Brimfield Re Cap...

I know, I know. You're going to say, "gee thanks. Another two weeks went by and we didn't get an update." I hear ya. I really do. But let me tell you, Brimfield had me B U S Y. Seriously. It was an amazing whirlwind of a show with some high winds to boot.…

No Shopping Carts! Ha ha ha. Check my Instagram for more…

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Just check the pics to see a glimpse of what Brimfield was like, a packed tent, loads of sales and a pretty much empty vehicle on the way home. I really can't say thank you enough to all of the fine folks who stopped by and shopped with me. From picture frames to oil paintings, statues to sculptures, table top accessories to the tables themselves - it was a truly fantastic May Brimfield.

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Seeing old friends and colleagues, meeting new dealers and making new friends, enjoying dinners out and treating myself to a donut and coffee were a few of the fun times. Most of my colleagues are also Brimfield veterans and have been attending / setting up for far longer than I, but we all share something in common - our love of being in the middle of a field (preferably under a tent) surrounded by interesting and rare merchandise while simultaneously hunting for treasure and selling our own stuff at the same time. To say that we all need to be in a few places at the same time would be an understatement. All of the pieces I purchased at Brimfield, I flipped on the field as I really couldn't keep much merchandise on the table (and I'm not talking about the super high winds).

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Of course, I'll be back in July and September so if you missed May, never fear because you have two other opportunities to experience this incredible phenomenon.

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Shop Till You Drop!

Remember last week when I told you that I really like to refer to myself as a picker? Well this week exemplified that and then some. The weekend saw me at the Chelsea Flea Market where a couple of cool abstract paintings that I purchased flipped so quickly I didn't even have time to take a photo of them!

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But the things I did grab images of… well, without further delay may I present to you: a wonderful antique Dutch ripple picture frame, along with a PAFA (Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts School) painting of a nude woman, a painting / sketch of a nude man, a trio of wonderful single lamps among them a signed and dated Curtis Jere 1976 monumental brass lamp, a gorgeous clear glass with gold speckle Murano lamp, a set of three stacking tables by David Keirnan (not pictured, sorry) an incredible Mexican abstract painting (again, not pictured) a superb pair of faux painted fully finished Henredon two drawer end tables / nightstands (hmmm, not pictured too), a George F. Of gold gilt picture frame with a gorgeous charcoal drawing (yay, it's pictured), a pair of abstract terra-cotta sculptures along with a glazed stoneware vessel, a pair of gambling style mixed media works and an exquisitely carved 19th Century desk chair.

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See what I mean??? Shopping was incredible!

What It Means to be a Picker

Some folks might cringe at the thought of being called a picker. Not me. I love it. To me it means freedom. Buy and then sell to another dealer. Move on to the next thing. As more and more merchandise passes through my hands, I have more and more opportunities to learn about something new! So let's start now…

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This totally cool ceramic and incised lamp is still a mystery to me. But a friend and colleague of mine has an incredible memory. He remembers reading somewhere that the potter, as yet unnamed, hails from Newark, New Jersey and is known for this style usually depicting images of shoppers. Cool, right?

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I couldn't resist this great antique naive painting. Very cool European style scene with snow capped mountains, a bay, a castle, sailboats and a guy standing on the shore with an eight foot long spear. Uh. Okay?

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Probably tourist trade from Paris, but I just love the expressiveness and the energy in this work.


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Just because.

Sometimes More is More

You know when you're shopping and it seems like you just can't stop? Me too. I'll go day by day with my purchases, but they won't be in photo order.…

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So, it was Sunday of last week when I headed to Lambertville flea market. Not only did I see some old friends and colleagues, but I also bought a beautiful charcoal drawing, a terra cotta sculpture and a dartboard (you'll remember from a previous post the smaller version of this one). The charcoal drawing is supposedly by a pretty well known artist, I'll keep you updated with what I find out. Oh and the sculpture is signed with a monogram. Great. Another mystery. At least I know that the dartboard is English. A couple days went by and Wednesday saw me back in Lambertville and buying more great pieces…

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A great little oil painting on board, a very cool 1970's era Italian (I think) coat rack, a twelve arm brass chandelier, a great little 1946 pencil drawing and a great frame that has a chain link design. Another couple days went by and I was back for a third time to Lambertville. This time I bought a pair of folk art style hand made dolls, a great little 1970's era Sarreid brass three drawer chest, a 1970's hard edge style geometric abstract print, an early 20th Century cassetta style gold gilt Italian picture frame, a vintage Alexander Calder Mourlot lithograph poster, a small Italian picture frame and a brass faux bamboo coat rack.

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Whew. Great shopping! In addition to the buying (and soon to be selling) I'm planning for Brimfield, you know the incredible outdoor antiques fair that happens in Massachusetts. Shop with me this May in space D25 in the Heart O The Mart field! I'm super happy with planning for Brimfield and I'll definitely have some great surprises there too! Be sure to click here to check out my Facebook page with the event Shop Brimfield with HKFA and click going. Picasso is quoted as saying, "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." So friends, let's work!

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Flea Market Friends and Finds

Sunday. Glorious Sunday. It was a lovely day to spend it out of doors, among friends and doing what I love. Selling cool stuff. Being back in New York City continues to remind me of the Energizer Bunny, it just keeps going and going and going…

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And going! With my batteries fully charged all the time (I wish I could say that for my iPhone which seems to lose battery just for the sake of driving me crazy) I'm in my element. Being able to load up a truck with some cool vintage finds and then offer them to customers, colleagues, friends and such is a wonderful way to make a living. And it's just what I did this past Sunday. Arriving bright and early (actually not too bright as the sun had yet to rise), I quickly unloaded my finds and secured a spot on 6th Avenue. With a quick trip to the deli for a coffee, I was ready to unpack and set up my space. A load of paintings, about 18, which I had bought the night before, were among the first things to sell to a fellow dealer. Always a great start to any day. Then came a few other early morning sales to dealers. As the city awoke, the crowd rolled in with lattes and croissants in hand to peruse the items on offer. I love the mix of crowds here in NYC and especially at the flea market. The beautiful weather brought the buyers out in droves and I was busy all day. In the morning, a New York City antiques dealer with a shop on East 61st Street came through and bought my vintage gold gilt La Barge shield mirror, a pair of mid century Cal Mode travertine and walnut side tables and an assembled collection of Raku pottery. In the afternoon, New York City based interior designer Ron Marvin and Boston based interior designer Megan Pesce stopped before before their brunch date with a friend. We posed for a quick pic and they were off shopping. It's always a busy day at the flea market! After a few deliveries I was home by 8:30 that evening. A long day to be sure! Oh, and today you ask? Sure, I had to do a little shopping. I picked up this set of four Italian 1970's chromed steel folding chairs with perforated seats and backs by Arrben. In addition to the buying (and soon to be selling) I'm also planning for Brimfield, you know the incredible outdoor antiques fair that happens in Massachusetts. Shop with me this May in both Dealers Choice and Heart O The Mart fields! Picasso is quoted as saying, "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." So friends, let's work! ;-) hkv

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10 Reps of 40 Pounds

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Many thanks to Mother Nature for some much better weather! There were a ton of dealers set up and selling at the flea market. But even with all of that, I only managed to buy a few things… Of course a few of them were marble and extremely heavy. But hey, if ya can't carry it, don't buy it! And I'll even add on to that mantra… if ya can't carry it on the subway, don't buy it!!! Ha ha ha. As usual I set up my finds in the subway station, I love to see this as the background and it always opens me up to some interesting conversation. It reminds me of years past when I would carry armfuls of frames on the subway from my West Village apartment up to the Upper East Side. There were always some funny looks and usually a great conversation, or two! So this past weekend I picked up a lovely 1960's harlequin or saltimbanque painting on canvas, a pair of marble column form bookends, a marble specimen form block, a vintage English dart board, a pair of frames and a small litho. All in all some fun finds. In addition to the buying (and soon to be selling) I'm also planning for Brimfield, you know the incredible outdoor antiques fair that happens in Massachusetts. Shop with me this May in both Dealers Choice and Heart O The Mart fields! Oh, and before I forget, I want to remind you about the two projects I'm working on right now. One is called Jean Georges Bois (click here to see the site as I'm building it), it is a new line of jewelry. The other is called Fishtown Pop Up (click here to see the site as I'm building it), it is a new gallery and retail space in Philadelphia. Fishtown Pop Up will be debuting with a one man solo exhibition and sale of paintings by New York City artist Clintel Steed! Oh… and one more thing. If you're looking to liquidate an estate in New York City, click here to be connected to Big Apple Antiques! I'm super happy with planning for Brimfield and both of the projects - especially the upcoming exhibition! Mark your calendars for Friday April 7th to attend the opening night exhibition of Clintel Steed at Fishtown Pop Up. Picasso is quoted as saying, "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." So friends, let's work! ;-) hkv

Sometimes One Thing is Just Right...

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There are weekends, like a couple past weekend, when I buy a ton of stuff. Then there are weekends like this last one when I buy just one thing… As per usual, I headed out to the New York City flea market bright and early on both Saturday and Sunday. Arriving to the flea market as the sun was coming up on Saturday, it soon became clear that picking would indeed be slim. I mean really slim. There were four vendors set up. One. Two. Three. Four. Ugh. Gone are the days when 100's of folks would be chomping at the bit to sell at the NYC flea market. It is for all intents and purposes a shadow of its former self. A really slim shadow at best. Yet, still I persist ;-) So with an open mind and eyes ready to spot something fabulous I headed in to the fenced off parking lot that now serves as the flea market. As the sun made its way across the sky, it further illuminated that fact there were no finds to be had. That was until a favorite dealer colleague of mine arrived. I waited by his van as he unloaded. He informed me that he didn't have anything for me, but we made some jokes and I reminded him how he tells me that every weekend. The unpacking went quickly and he was down to the last box. I knew he was waiting to say, "I told you so". But then he unwrapped the last piece in that box. And a smile crossed my face. He said, "Oh, right. I just got this out of a house. I thought you might like it." I quickly paid him and placed the sculpture in my bag. It is abstract and brutalist at the same time. Figurative, if you look at for a long time. But isn't that what folks always do, try to see the human in the inanimate. When I brought it home, I noticed that it was signed on the back of the wood frame / support. Valeska. There's a Lette Valeska, a Valeska Jasso Collado, a Valeska Campion and a Valeska Soares. And, I'm sure that a little more Googling will turn up even more. But which is the artist of my new piece of inventory? I don't know. Yet. So, you'll have to stay tuned. But in the meantime… In addition to the buying (and soon to be selling) I'm also planning for Brimfield, you know the incredible outdoor antiques fair that happens in Massachusetts. Shop with me this May in both Dealers Choice and Heart O The Mart fields! Oh, and before I forget, I want to remind you about the two projects I'm working on right now. One is called Jean Georges Bois (click here to see the site as I'm building it), it is a new line of jewelry. The other is called Fishtown Pop Up (click here to see the site as I'm building it), it is a new gallery and retail space in Philadelphia. Fishtown Pop Up will be debuting with a one man solo exhibition and sale of paintings by New York City artist Clintel Steed! Oh… and one more thing. If you're looking to liquidate an estate in New York City, click here to be connected to Big Apple Antiques! I'm super happy with planning for Brimfield and both of the projects - especially the upcoming exhibition! Mark your calendars for Friday April 7th to attend the opening night exhibition of Clintel Steed at Fishtown Pop Up. Picasso is quoted as saying, "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." So friends, let's work! ;-) hkv

Ten Tips, Tricks and How To's for Flea Markets

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As you know I'm getting ready for the thrice yearly event that is Brimfield. Those in the know find their way to the gorgeous fields of the Quaboag Valley every May, July and September for a full on antique and vintage shopping extravaganza. But wait, you say… You need the low down on how to get the best deals in town? Look no further, for I have put together a fun list of tips, tricks and how-to's… ;-) hkv

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1.) Arrive Early… yes, the early bird does get the worm and the best picks too. Dealers are ready to sell and sell they will. Don't wait till the last moment (see number 8). I do some of my best selling when the gates open.

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2.) Bring Cash… you've heard it before, cash is king and the other old stand by, money talks (you know the rest). Dealers will be happy to give you their best price when you're paying in greenbacks. FYI, most will also take checks and some even credit cards. I, of course, am more than happy to accept all three.

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3.) Have a List… you'll be focused and ready to tackle your design desires (see number 5). Plus, it will keep your mind free for those moments of inspiration. I like to think that my booth is both a place to buy those items from your list and to find those things you didn't even you know you needed.

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4.) Be an Educated Consumer… know what you're looking for and about what they're selling for in the marketplace. Check recent auction prices of what you're in the market for so you'll know if you're getting a good deal, or a great deal. I always have great deals. Just saying'.

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5.) Size Things Up… bring along a measuring tape, plus a couple of foldable nylon bags that you can carry in your pocket. You'll know if that credenza will fit and then you'll be able to carry those candlesticks for on top of it. You'll always find a great supply of both case goods and tchotchkes in my booth.

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6.) Don't be a Debbie Downer… your smile and a kind word will go far with dealers, so be sure to have a few nice comments about their inventory - remember, if you don't have anything nice to say (you know the rest). I love to give a discount to folks who are friendly.

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7.) You're Not a Sherpa… hire a porter to schlep that high boy to your SUV (you've already measured so you know it will fit). There are plenty at flea markets, plus the folks who run each of the fields at Brimfield will certainly have a few contacts. I too have been known to make deliveries, so just ask!

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8.) He Who Hesitates… is lost! All you need to do is check the back of my business card, 'Nothing Haunts Us Like The Things We Didn't Buy'. Enough Said.

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9.) Buy the Best… you'll only cry once! Look for quality workmanship, ask the dealer if there's any provenance (history) to the piece, signs of age and patina are good things. You'll be buying something great and since you have such amazing taste, your heirs will definitely fight over it!

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10.) Get The App… the app, you say? Yes, the Brimfield Flea Finder App. It's an ingenious idea run by a couple friends of mine. They have the inside scoop on this world famous flea market. P.S. you really can find me on there! D25 in Heart-O-The-Mart!

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Buying Antiques and Vintage in New York City

Sounds impossible? It's not. And I'll prove it to you. You just have to know where to shop. Come along with me and I'll share a couple of my favorite finds from yesterday's shopping in New York City…

Yesterday morning I hopped on the Q train and headed downtown. I wanted to spend the day outdoors because I knew that Stella was on her way to the Northeast and would bring with her rain, snow, sleet and strong winds - you know the ol' saying, 'March comes in like a lion…'.

My first stop was a great one with signs of Spring in full abundance - well those signs were more like finds in verdant greens. This 1970's era tabletop pedestal mirror designed by Olaf Von Bohr for Gedy Italy is as fresh as a daisy. Olaf Von Bohr was born in Austria in 1927. He studied in Munich and moved to Milan in 1953 where he worked at Gio Ponti’s office. In 1960, he established his own office and worked in collaboration with Sergio Asti, Franco Albini, BBPR.

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My next stop was just a few blocks away and yielded another colorful find. Even though I almost walked right past it. It was turned around and facing the wall, luckily my curiosity got the better of me and I went in for a second look. Glad I did too. I bought a beautiful abstract, hard edge style print by artist and graphic designer icon Ivan Chermayeff. Born in London in 1932, Ivan Chermayeff studied at Harvard University, the Institute of Design in Chicago, and graduated from Yale University, School of Art and Architecture. He is a prolific designer, illustrator, and artist, who has created memorable, iconic images for literally hundreds of clients. This work is signed and dated 1975 and it fits great with the mirror. ;-)

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This one might lack color, but if you look up the definition of white (well in additive color theory) it is actually the presence of all colors. Okay, I might be reaching a bit, but I think you'll like this Eriksen and Falk enameled magazine holder just as much as I do.

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So, as you can see, there are plenty of great deals out there - you just have to hit the shops, search high and low and always be curious! ;-) hkv