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When Being Old Is a Good Thing in L.A.


Co-chairwoman Beverly Firestein was ecstatic. "A dealer told me that this show is as good as the New York Winter Antiques Show."

Adjectives including "phenomenal," "spectacular," "stunning" and "superior" were profuse Wednesday evening at the Women's Guild of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center opening of the second annual Los Angeles Antiques Show at Barker Hangar in the Santa Monica Air Center.

The inaugural show last year brought in 6,500 attendees and raised $400,000 for Cedars-Sinai. This year's show is larger--65 international dealers from New York, Chicago, England, the Netherlands--and it could gross more than $1 million, according to Marcia Israel.

"I'm so proud to be here," said designer Penny Bianchi. She chatted with designer Ron Collier, who noted, "Los Angeles should have had an annual major antiques show years ago." (For several years the Los Angeles Junior League did produce one.)

The Women's Guild, with its 2,000 members, "is the only group that could do this so well. This is certainly on a par with San Francisco's show," Collier said. Looking around, he added, "And people here are better clothed than San Francisco--tasteful and restrained--don't you think?"

When honorary chairwoman Anne Douglas walked in, she was mobbed by Guild ladies. "I'm looking for a refectory table for my son in Santa Barbara," she said. "Have you seen one?"

California couturier James Galanos eyed the complicated woodwork on a magnificent piece at the Therien & Co. stand, where Philip Stites, principal, was speaking of his show-related party tonight honoring Tony Duquette in the Therien gallery courtyard.

Then Duquette arrived, introducing Wendy Goodman, style director of Harper's Bazaar, and accompanied by Hutton and Ruth Wilkinson. Said the tall Duquette, scanning over the heads of most, "Fabulous."

Libby Doheny, Susie Niven, Chery Horacek, Marion Laurie, Sandy Krause, Jackie Applebaum and Steve Martin all passed by the Gaylord Dillingham stand. He's president of the Antiques Dealers Assn. of California and deals in English furniture on Jackson Square in San Francisco. Oriental antiques dealer Marsha Vargas, association treasurer, taking a short break, said how pleased the dealers were with the show. "There's something special about it."

At the point when exhaustion almost set in, caterer Hallee Gould of Somerset was at the rescue: Vietnamese spring rolls, roast duck, scallion pancakes, Chinese noodles, beef, lamb, chicken. . . .

The show continues today through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $15. Lectures have been added to this year's show. Diana Brooks, president and CEO of Sotheby's Inc., lectures on "extraordinary sales" today and Saturday at 2:30 p.m. "Furniture of distinction" will be discussed by Leslie Greene Bowman, curator of decorative arts at Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

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