Archive for May, 2009

The Winds Blew Favorably at the Chicago Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair

May 13th, 2009 | posted by Bill Rau
M.S. Rau's booth at the  Chicago Show

M.S. Rau's booth at the Chicago Show

I have always loved the Windy City…there is an energy in Chicago unlike any other city in the U.S. So, I was thrilled when we decided to exhibit at the Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair, and a little nervous. Was it the right time to move into a new market with the economy still in the doldrums? While I have long been bullish on art and antiques, I tried to set realistic expectations. But, in true Chicago fashion, any concerns I might have had, were quickly laid to rest on opening night when our sales topped six figures.

Our conviction that art and antiques are a fine place to put your money in a troubled economy certainly rang true at the Chicago show. Over the course of the 5-day event, we sold more than 20 items, including paintings, jewelry, porcelain, furniture and even a few nice walking sticks. The highlight for me was the sale of the Enigma Machine, one of only three known to exist. Many believe this small, unassuming box held the key to winning WWII. Not the most beautiful piece in our booth, by any stretch, but certainly one of the most fascinating treasures we’ve ever had the pleasure to offer.

Paintings were also a big hit…two of our premiere canvases, a superb Renoir and a work by Vibert, were sold at the show. Both were exceptional works and I trust that our clients will enjoy them for many years to come.

I was very pleased to see the variety of pieces that sold, which tells me that people are feeling more comfortable these days collecting what they are really passionate about…whether it was the piano stool with bronze boots for legs, or the fantastic butterfly cabinet filled with stunning butterfly specimens, or the fine tortoiseshell tea caddy. Our goal is always to bring a variety of pieces to every show we do, and we were certainly rewarded for it in Chicago.

And, it wasn’t all work for us at the show! We always enjoy seeing our clients, eating at great restaurants and taking in a few sites after the show closes…Chicago was the perfect town for that. We can’t wait for next year!

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