We are back, the truck has returned and the returning inventory has now been shoehorned into our galleries. The dust has, both literally and figuratively settled. We found the dust actually non-existent at the show venue, Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport, as the weather was cold and damp. Make that very cold and very rainy. Doubtless couture choices were pushed into serious disarray for the gala preview.
More than acting as an erstwhile Mr. Blackwell, I sought less to critique wardrobe choices than assess interest in English antiques and fine art. Given our own selection of gear and that of our show neighbor Trinity House- and our prime position just inside the main entrance to the show- we had, pardon the immodesty, a great opportunity. To say that we were anxious to make an assessment after the economic morass that engulfed all of 2009 is an understatement. Although this has now become a cliché, we were unabashedly on the lookout for green shoots.
And maybe we found them, but not matured yet into the money tree. Or maybe they have. What’s apparent in our own gallery business is that everyone felt some sharp twinge in their pocketbook last year, translating into continued caution this year. You may read this another way as ‘no monumental at-show sales.’
But not to despair, because omitting last year, the Los Angeles Antiques Show, amidst the collectors, is heavily driven by the interior design trade. Purchase decisions have always at the show mostly been filtered through the designer, and the show just concluded will doubtless prove to be the same. We have always found the show a good source for follow-on business and consequently find it best to judge the success of the show with a sufficient time-lapse to allow plenty of designer-client-dealer palaver. Who knows? The money-tree may just have come in to leaf.