Some of the world’s rarest toys will be showcased when the Atlantic City Antiques Show returns to the Boardwalk this weekend after years in the convention center.
Allison Kohler, president of show producer JMK Events, said participants have been “super excited” about the move to the Mark Etess Arena of Trump Taj Mahal, filling all 224 booths available.
“I have exhibitors who wouldn’t even talk to me the last five years, who have called to get back in,” Kohler said.
She said Taj management has been very accommodating, “making the numbers right for our vendors” and providing the show with two expenses-paid weekends to give away.
“The unions and the costs just made it kind of impossible to keep us all in business at the (Atlantic City) Convention Center,” Kohler said.
A highlight of the show Saturday and Sunday will be an exhibit of museum-quality antique toys, many from private collections, including that of Jeanne Bertoia, owner of Bertoia Auction of Vineland and curator of the exhibit.
“We’ll have a vast array of children’s toys from the 19th and early 20th centuries, including cast-iron, horse-drawn vehicles that depict the times from the 1880s,” Bertoia said.
A set of three oversized (23 to 33 inches) toys made by Dent Hardware Co. are exact replicas of the fire equipment used in the era before horseless carriages.
Exquisite pieces from Bertoia’s personal collection include an extremely rare circa 1902 Marklin Ferris Wheel, of German manufacture, with a musical movement and six carved and painted gondolas.
Bertoia will also be showing a rare blue-robed Father Christmas that served as a store window display in a German shop in the 1890s. The 29-inch-tall figure has a tree limb made of feathers that is still in excellent condition more than a century later.
The exhibit will also feature a lot of European toys such as clockwork and windup toys, as well as cast-iron transportation toys, still banks and mechanical banks, she said.
“We’ll also have a grouping of toys from comics characters of the ’20s and ’30s, including Mickey Mouse, Popeye, Li’l Abner and even earlier, the Merry Makers mice. A lot of people will relate to some of that history,” she said.
Atlantic City fans will also find a display of resort souvenir memorabilia, and turn-of-the-century photographs, advertisements and postcards.
“I think there will be interest in seeing the old piers,” she said. “Some photos will remind people of the show ‘Boardwalk Empire.’”
Kohler said the diversified show will also offer specialty dealers handling collectibles such as Tiffany lamps, lots of jewelry, porcelain, glassware, carpets and silver.
Dealers are coming from around the nation and overseas, including Fry’s Antiques of New York and Uwe Heintze, from Germany. Rick Chapman, of Only Yesterday in Ocean City, will offer a selection of toys, glassware and china.
The show will again have an appraisal center, where for $5 experts will offer verbal estimates of the value of an item.
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