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The East Hampton Antiques Show Is This Weekend with Celerie Kemble

A sample of what you'll find at the East Hampton Antiques Fair.Those graceful white tents dotting the historic grounds of Mulford Farm on James Lane are here to signify the return of the East Hampton Antiques Show this weekend.

The event, returning for its eighth year, will kick off with a preview cocktail party on Friday, July 18, at 6 p.m. for those who can’t wait for Saturday or Sunday to get first dibs on anything from a French wire baker’s rack to vintage toys. The show encompasses a wide assortment of items, antiques, art, jewelry and collectibles.

On the event’s Design Committee are 25 of the top Hamptons interior designers, including Charlotte Ross, Scott Barman, David Kleinberg and Scott Sanders. This year’s honorary chair is interior designer Celerie Kemble. (At the first East Hampton Antiques Show, Ralph Lauren held the position. The following year, food/lifestyle doyenne Ina Garten succeeded him.)

Kemble says that she is extremely pleased to be a part of the effort to preserve the historical beauty of East Hampton. Kemble knows her way around Hamptons real estate history; a few years ago she rented Grey Gardens, the famed East Hampton estate which inspired a documentary, a Tony award-winning musical and an HBO movie.

Dubbed by The New York Times as one of “tradition’s new cheerleaders,” Kemble is well-known for combining impeccable style and a sense of fun. Last fall, she celebrated her birthday at her Bellport estate with a grown-up version of a sleepover party, inviting her guests to pitch pup tents on the lawn. Entertainment included synchronized swimming by the Brooklyn Peaches and a preview of Michael Friedman’s musical Pretty Filthy.

Richard Barons, the executive director of the East Hampton Historical Society, is excited to see exactly what the multitude of participating dealers will be bringing to the show this year. If the event attracts a similar crowd to last year, Barons estimates 500 guests will attend the Friday night cocktail party and approximately 2,500 to 3,000 visitors will stroll through Mulford Farm’s grounds on Saturday and Sunday. Cocktail party guests receive a free entry to the show over the weekend. Barons notes that many do choose to return, often with tape measures and decorators in tow. Cocktail noshes will be provided by Brent Newsome, and live music is courtesy of Jane Hastay and Peter Martin Weiss, a jazz duo.

“We like to promote things that have a story,” says Barons of the choice to have an antiques show as the main fundraiser for the East Hampton Historical Society. “Like most nonprofits, we try to fundraise in ways that are appropriate.” Mulford Farm is the perfect venue for the event. It dates back to the late 1600s and the farmstead has remained in the same family for 10 generations. Mulford House is largely unchanged since the 1700s.

Over the years, Barons has noticed some trends among the visitors. “Last year, we saw a lot of couples, empty nesters, looking for the kinds of things that they grew up with,” Barons comments. One of the surprises on the hot item list? Vintage Tonka toy trucks. Industrial materials are also popular. The focus on this year’s show is house and garden. The must-haves may be anything from vintage rattan furniture to garden ornaments to weather vanes.

Barons has a suggestion for those who want to take full advantage of the show. “Go through the whole thing quickly.” Then take a second pass at a more leisurely pace. “You’ll be amazed at what you didn’t see.” Baron even has reassuring words for the anxious antique hunters who are worried that their find will vanish before they get a chance to plunk down their cash. “It’s the same with finding the right girl,” he advises. “If it’s meant to be, it’ll happen.”

A sample of what you'll find at the East Hampton Antiques Fair.

All ticket proceeds will benefit the East Hampton Historical Society.

Tickets to the cocktail party start at $150. Tickets to the Antiques Show, 10 James Lane, East Hampton, start at $10. For more info, visit easthamptonhistory.org or call 631-324-6850.

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