Antique shows provide a market for time-lost treasures, such as Renaissance-era Happy Meal toys and secondhand grandparents. Browse vintage vendibles with today's Groupon: for $8, you get one admission to the Pier Antiques Show & Fashion Alley on Saturday, March 12, or Sunday, March 13, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Pier 94 in Midtown Manhattan (a $15 value). Children younger than 16 are admitted for free when accompanied by an adult.
Filled with curious curios gleaned across space and time, the Pier Antiques Show outfits flats and forms with an international array of furnishings and finery. Packed into the convention-ready confines of Midtown's Pier 94, hundreds of exhibitors spread their wares in an indoor market reminiscent of a fantastical desert bazaar, sans the rogue sandstorms and haggling djinn merchants. Design mavens refit fusty interiors with tasteful 20th-century relics, poring over offerings from dealers such as Tom Gibbs Studio, Mantiques Modern, and Mainly Art in search of art deco embellishments to add realism to contemporary zeppelin cockpits.
The Pier Antiques Show also caters to couture-seekers with Fashion Alley, a closet-cramming assortment of vintage clothing and jewelry. Fill up on baubles and trinkets from Ooh Aah Antique Jewelry, keep wrists clasped and classy with cuff links from Missing Link, or snag a high-fashion holder from Ladybag International.
When not perusing rare manuscripts at B&S Gventer Books and Ephemera or tokens from ancient Roman video arcades at Albion Antiques, amateur antiquarians can schedule an appraisal with Gary Sohmers of PBS's Antiques Roadshow ($5 per item). Calculate the value of treasured heirlooms, find out if childhood toys could pay hidden dividends, or carbon date sketchy uncles who claim to have witnessed the Spanish-American War.
- There I found a wide variety of merchandise, and knowledgeable dealers. One of the nicest things is when you come away from a show with new knowledge or new interest. – Geo, Urban Art and Antiques