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Published: Friday, 4/16/2004

Antiques market in Ann Arbor prepares for its season-opener

Dealers bring a variety of antiques to the Ann Arbor show. Dealers bring a variety of antiques to the Ann Arbor show.

Even in the world of antiques, new things come along.

Right now it's a new kind of collector, according to Woody and Nancy Straub, who manage the Ann Arbor Antiques Market at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds on Ann Arbor-Saline Road. The market opens its 36th season this weekend.

These newcomers are inspired by what they see in decorating magazines, Nancy Straub said. They're looking for accent pieces to combine with other furniture and accessories to create unique settings that mimic looks they see in the home-decorating media. "So as a dealer, you have to be able to appeal to them as well as to the old collector," she added.

The focus of traditional buyers, the Straubs explained, is usually on collecting specific types of items - wooden toys, salt-and-pepper shakers, or country furniture, for example. "They would work for years to acquire a comprehensive representation of whatever category of merchandise they were interested in," Woody Straub said.

There should be plenty to interest both types of collectors. Nearly 450 dealers from all over the country will set up in the sprawling market, which covers seven buildings, a large tent, and 10 to 15 smaller tents. It can take a full day or more to inspect everything, Nancy Straub said. That means prospective buyers had better make on-the-spot decisions if something catches their eye. "It could be gone if you decide to go back," she warned.

The first show of the season is an especially good one for collectors, she continued, explaining that dealers have been buying things all winter to bring to the show. "We see new stuff in April that just knocks your socks off," she said.

Other antiques market dates through the 2004 season are: May 16, June 20, July 18, Aug. 15, Sept. 18-19, Oct. 17, and Nov. 7.

The Ann Arbor Antiques Market will be open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds, 5055 Ann Arbor-Saline Road, Ann Arbor. Admission is $6 for adults and free for children 12 and under. Information: 850-349-9766 or online at annarborantiquesmarket.com.

Contact Ann Weber at:


or 419-724-6126.

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