55th annual Antiques Show set

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 1, 2008

By Susan Shinn
Putting on the 55th annual Antiques Show is no small task.
That’s why Trudy Thompson and Lib Taylor, who work with antiques dealers, are so pleased they’re getting some help this year!
Virginia Robertson and Missie Alcorn are learning the ropes from Thompson and Taylor, discovering exactly what it takes to select just the right mix of dealers for the state’s oldest continuous antiques show.
“Can you imagine how happy I am that they are here?” says Thompson, smiling.
The show is not an entity to itself, Thompson points out. “The show supports Rowan Museum and two house museums and keeps them open to the public.”
Thompson says she learned from Kaye Brown Hirst, executive director of Rowan Museum, that some 6,000 schoolchildren will visit the museum this year.
“That is a surprise,” Thompson says.
That’s part of why she works so hard to make the Antiques Show a success year after year. The show also raises money for the Utzman-Chambers House and the Old Stone House.
This year’s edition is set for Friday-Saturday, Nov. 7-8, at the Civic Center, with a preview party on Thursday evening.
Show hours are 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.
Tickets for the show are $6 in advance, $5.50 at the door. They’re available at Rowan Museum, A Step in Time, Caniche, Pleasant Papers and the Civic Center.
Although Rowan Museum puts on smaller fundraisers during the year, Thompson says, this is by far the biggest undertaking.
“We have more than 100 volunteers working on it,” she says of the Antiques Show.
“A lot of preparation does go into this event,” Robertson says. “I appreciate antiques, I like fine furniture and certainly, it’s a worthy cause.”
Alcorn has been involved with the show for 18 years.
“I started out making sandwiches and now here I am,” she says. “With an interior design background, I just have a real love of antiques.”
Robertson points out that this one of the few antiques shows staffed solely by volunteers, right down to the meals with homemade vegetable soup and chicken salad.
“It’s my favorite lunch of the year, next to Caniche,” says Alcorn, who owns Caniche with Lesleigh Drye.
Robertson and and Alcorn admit they have a lot to learn when it comes to working with the dealers.
“We work very hard in getting a good cross-section of antiques represented,” Robertson says.
“You really need a good mixture,” Thompson says.
This year, there are 19 dealers, with four new to the show.
Alcorn and Robertson hope the show won’t be affected by the economy this year.
“Antiques have their own following,” Alcorn says. “They’re not recession-proof, but it you have an interest in antiques, you budget for it.”
“They’re investment pieces,” Robertson adds.
Like OctoberTour, the show draws visitors from out of town.
“For a show this small, we have a broad range of dealers,” Thompson says. “You have to remember, it’s 55 years old. That’s sort of a celebration in itself.”
For more information about the Antiques Show, call Rowan Museum at 704-633-5946.