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Hamptons Life

Jul 17, 2017 4:01 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

11th Annual East Hampton Antiques Show Honors Tom Samet

The East Hampton Antique Show will feature items for both inside and outside the home.  Lynn Stefanelli
Jul 17, 2017 4:12 PM

The East Hampton Antiques Show will return to historic Mulford Farm and welcome renowned interior designer and antiques connoisseur Tom Samet as this year’s honorary chair.

Interior design is a profession woven throughout Mr. Samet’s lineage. His family had careers in the business, and he soon followed. Throughout his career, Mr. Samet has been the creative vision behind the designs of more than 50 homes in East Hampton alone. His love for the village, and the antiques business, has kept him deeply involved with the community and the show.

“I’ve been a resident of the village for a few decades,” he said. “I love the antique business and I support all the local antique shows, and this one especially because it’s the finest show. Dealers come from all over the country.”

As the honorary chair for the 11th annual show, his focus, he said, is supporting the dealers. He described them as elite and high end, offering a collection of eclectic to traditional to modern items. He feels it is crucial to support the dealers, as the antiques industry is a very specialized one. Mr. Samet is honored to be part of the support system that lends itself to generating business for the dealers and having them come to the community, he said.

Brian Ferguson, the show’s longtime manager and occupational antiques buyer and dealer, recalled witnessing Mr. Samet in action at one of the first shows. “Tom would come in like a little tornado and shop himself silly,” he said. “It was always fun watching Tom work; he’s got a great eye and he just really zeros in on things.”

The show features a variety of antiques every year, and this summer is no different. Mr. Ferguson said that while the merchandise the dealers bring differs from show to show, they always manage to surprise him with at least some of their items.

This year, surprises aside, a vast and varied assemblage of items including early folk art to nearly 20th century folk art, modern furniture, 20th and mid-century modern pieces, and graphic artwork will be featured. These items, Mr. Ferguson said, are pieces that have a little extra pizazz and pop. Aside from indoor decor, outside pieces like garden statuary are expected to be available as well, which, he said, can be some of the most spectacular.

“These dealers specialize in a lot of different things and the quality is quite good,” Mr. Ferguson noted.

And they excel at presentation, he added, saying, “These people work very hard to present merchandise in a thoughtful, provocative way.”

While the show is an attraction for antiques collectors, others in the community also look forward to the event every year. Jill Malusky, who became the East Hampton Historical Society executive director in March of this year, said the event has become a regular part of the community calendar.

Mulford Farm fits well with the antiques theme—it was built in the late 1600s—and is one of the historical society’s sites. Mr. Samet said the farm is the most ideal setting for the show. “There isn’t a prettier place,” he said.

The weekend-long event will kick off with a benefit preview party, and will be followed by two days of antiques shopping.

Richard Barons, a former East Hampton Historical Society director and current part-time curator, said the show started when the society realized that small one-day antiques fairs did not attract many of the younger dealers who specialize in mid-century modern, garden furniture, art and high-end European design. The two-day show with a preview party was the answer.

“Over 3,500 people attend the show and we are happy that it has become the decorative arts event of the season,” Mr. Barons said via email.

The East Hampton Antiques Show will hold a benefit preview party on Friday, July 21, at Mulford Farm from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Attendees will be able to see and choose in advance from an array of art, antiques, garden furniture, jewelry, collectibles and textiles. Reservations are required. Tickets start at $100. On Saturday, July 22, early buying will be available from 9 to 10 a.m., for $20 per ticket. General admission will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday for $10 per ticket both days. Contact the East Hampton Historical Society at 631-324-6850 or visit easthamptonhistory.org.

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