Upward momentum continues for West Palm Beach Antiques Festival

West Palm Beach skyline as seen from the north.

West Palm Beach skyline as seen from the north.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The West Palm Beach Antiques Festival continued its steady growth with sold-out dealer spaces and very active buying during the June 4-6 edition of the popular show. Festival owners Kay and Bill Puchstein reported that interest on the part of visitors was especially high in the areas of antique guns and 1950s vintage items. [Antique firearms do not require a Federal Firearms license, and a permit is not required to own or carry one.]

One dealer had great success with vintage television sets. He sold three sets in working condition that had the usual arrangement of small screens, around 12 inches, but housed in much larger 30 inch cases. Buyers were delighted to find working models. Original Florida Highwayman R. L. Lewis demonstrated his painting technique, while his son R. L. III, explained the method and took orders. One bystander was curious about the assortment of very large brushes used by Lewis. He replied, “That’s so I can paint fast.” And paint fast he did, to keep up with orders.

The new WPBAF summer series of two-day shows kicks off on July 3-4. Other summer shows are scheduled for Aug. 7-8, Sept. 4-5 and Oct. 2-3 and will featured reduced booth rent. Some dealer space is still available for the summer.

One booth that will not available is the prominent lobby booth occupied by Americana dealers Nancy and Woody Straub. The Straubs are veteran dealers in American fine art circa 1860-1945 and American furniture ranging from the colonial era to the Arts & Crafts period of the early 20th century. They have been antiques dealers for more than 40 years and have family ties to the business going back beyond that. Nancy and Woody have been regular exhibitors at the West Palm Beach Antiques Festival since Kay and Bill Puchstein took over the show in late 2008.

The most popular items shown in the Straub booth are paintings by listed American artists. Younger buyers are attracted to American regional artists of various art colonies. The Straubs recognize the need for dealers to maintain a diversity of inventory, and they buy and sell authentic cowboy gear and American Indian material, and sdisplay hundreds of small accessory items from many periods in their booth at West Palm Beach.

The popular “early buyers admission” feature will be continued in the summer, starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday before the regular show opening time of 10 a.m. The $25 early buyer ticket is good for the entire weekend.

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 $7, seniors $6, with a 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, e-mail info@wpbaf.com or log on to www.wpbaf.com.

#   #   #