July West Palm Beach show a strong opener for new summer series

Gladys and John Ezzo's booth at the West Palm Beach Antiques Festival typically displays 400-500 items of art glass, art, jadeite and bronze.

Gladys and John Ezzo’s booth at the West Palm Beach Antiques Festival typically displays 400-500 items of art glass, art, jadeite and bronze.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The West Palm Beach Antiques Festival’s slate of new summer shows got off to a rocking start on July 3-4. After not knowing what to expect, festival owners Kay and Bill Puchstein happily reported that attendance was the best since the March show and that dealers were selling well. Kay rhetorically asked, “Who said a summer show in Florida wouldn’t work?

The Puchsteins have announced a change to the popular early buyers admission program that should be received very well. For the Aug. 7-8 festival, the early buyers admission will be reduced from $25 to $10 and will allow admission on both days of the festival. early buyer admission times will change from 8-9 a.m. on Saturday to 9-10 a.m.

One of the dealer booths that has been a fixture at the West Palm Beach Festival for many years is that operated by Gladys and John Ezzo. The Ezzos have been in the same location for more than 20 years and have seen the antique-buying world come and go by their booth. Many years ago while on a trip to Florida from their home in Syracuse, N.Y., the Ezzos, who had owned a retail furniture store, dropped into a Moderneage Furniture store and had new jobs before they left. Later they had the chance to buy an existing antiques business in Pompano Beach and have been Florida-based antiques dealers ever  since. After opening a much larger shop in Margate, the Ezzos decided to close the shop and concentrate on shows.

The Ezzos specialize in higher-end artifacts in the area of art glass, with selections of Lalique, Galle and Legras and from the 19th and 20th centuries. They also carry a variety of Tiffany bronze designs with a concentration of desk sets and dresser items. But the real eyeopener in the booth is the sign that relates to silverplate. John offers a resilvering and silverplating service that is utilized by both dealers and retail customers who need to “freshen up” a silver item [John does not resilver mirrors]. John says that stops the most customers initially since resilvering is a hard-to-find service. In addition to high-end art glass, the Ezzo booth displays a fine selection of jadeite and unusual kitchen artifacts. Ezzo also serves as an authentication service for his many repeat customers who seek his advice about the authenticity of items they already have or are interested in acquiring.

The remaining summer shows are scheduled for Sept. 4-5 and Oct. 2-3, and feature reduced booth rent. Some dealer space is still available for those shows.

Summer show hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. Adult daily admission is $7, seniors $6, with a $1 discount coupon for adult admission available on the website. Anyone under 16 is admitted free. There is no charge for parking at the fairgrounds.

The West Palm Beach Antiques Festival is held at the Americraft Expo Center at the South Florida Fair located off Southern Boulevard in West Palm Beach, Fla., 1.5 miles west of the Florida Turnpike and 1 mile east of 441/SR7. For more information contact the West Palm Beach Antiques Festival at 941-697-7475, email info@wpbaf.com or visit the website at www.wpbaf.com.

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