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The morning after. OVMS SHOW OF SHOWS 2016

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After spending the last few days at the, much anticipated Show of Shows, I thought I would post a few thoughts and observations. No earth shaking revelations, just a look back from someone who had a great time at the show.

 

There was, as always, some fantastic militaria. The high end Third Reich dealers never fail to bring their share of museum grade items to the show. They were not alone. All genres of collecting were well represented with rarities seldom seen anywhere but this show.

 

There were more Civil War dealers than I'd seen in a number of years. They offered a wide variety of collectibles that included swords, uniforms, insignia and ordnance. Even a few great groupings. These dealers add a lot to the show and offer some diversity to an event that is sometime mistakenly thought of as a WW2 venue.

 

There was a nice selection of 19th century firearms. More than I have seen in the last few years. This could be a result of the show not coinciding with the National Gun Day Show. Members seem to be divided as to whether the two shows should be scheduled for the same weekend. Some feel that the two shows together are overwhelming and welcome a chance to do them both justice on different dates. Others, particularly the ones that travel great distances, want the opportunity to make their travel dollars count by getting two shows in for the price of one.

 

There was a lot of great WW2 American militaria. Groupings and named items seemed to draw the most interest. This may be because a "name and a face", to go with their relic is as close as younger collectors are going to get to knowing a WW2 veteran.

 

It seems that a lot of American Third Reich dealers are bringing their best to the show in hopes of selling it to the German dealers. I was told by one of the German dealers that "the best of the Third Reich material is being bought back by wealthy Germans".

 

I didn't see as many items offered in bulk as I remember from past shows. Maybe it's just getting harder to find merchandise that can be sold this way. A couple of years ago, I was able to buy 19th century German cabinet card photographs for three dollars each in groups of fifty. Now, that dealer doesn't bring a container load to the show anymore, choosing instead to offer his merchandise on the internet. For what it's worth, the photographs are now ten dollars each.

 

I liked the single larger room. It made for a level playing field. No one had to deal with having a table in the "little room", which is the dealer equivalent of the kid's table at Thanksgiving. I don't think there was a bad table location in the hall.

 

I read on the forum and heard from talk on the floor of several dealers having valuable items stolen. It's my understanding that this involved one individual who was caught and the merchandise recovered. Fortunately this situation ended well, but a lot of times dealers aren't so lucky. I'm always amazed at how many dealers have expensive items displayed without cases or at unattended tables.

 

The Louisville Fairgrounds, as of January 1,2016 has banned the sale of Confederate flags or anything with a Confederate flag design at their facility. This was a knee- jerk reaction to the events of last year in South Carolina. Hopefully, their efforts at political correctness don't in time, adversely effect our hobby.

 

The veteran guests were, as always, a great part of the show. They are a reminder that this show isn't just about relics, but even more importantly about the men that served our country.

 

It's my understanding that the society is taking a hard look at what is acceptable to be worn at the show. Reenactors are part of the living history aspect of the show and welcomed by most everyone. The WW2 family and the Civil War couple were great. That said, there were a couple of guys wearing shirts and jackets that pushed the boundaries of free expression.

 

There seemed to be more tables and chairs for weary shoppers to rest and regroup. The chow was good. The Pork Producers and the ice cream vendors always bring a good product to the show.

 

Most dealers that I talked to, said that they had a good show. The crowd on Friday appeared to be smaller than usual, but looks could be deceiving taking into account the larger room and wider aisles. The Saturday attendance probably suffered from the distraction of unseasonably warm weather in Louisville.

 

I'll close out with a bit of demographics. I didn't see a single African- American at the show. That's interesting in light of the huge contribution African-Americans have made to the defense our country. Woman, with the exception of our wives and girlfriends, were in short supply. Collectors did come from all over the United States, Europe and Asia to attend the show.

 

All said, I had a great time.I bought some stuff and I sold some stuff. I saw a lot of old friends and made some new ones. It's all good.

 

 

 

 

 


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That is some great insight and I share many of your opinions but if you don't mind I will offer some of my own here.

 

The good: I don't regret one but the travel all the way from California, I was able to talk to a lot of good people that are on this forum and share some stories with a few and generally people were nice and friendly and easy to talk to. I saw a lot of neat stuff and was able to buy 1 of 2 items that I specifically came to get. The show is a good place to get certain things that you just aren't able to pick up for your collection throughout the year.

 

The not so good:

I don't get the covering up your items tbung, maybe someone can explain this. When I went on Saturday there were many tables with goods covered. Now I can only assume that the dealers are just spending their last day out shopping but the idea just seems rude...like "I don't feel like selling my stuff today". When I sell at the West Coast show I can promise this won't happen. Bring a helper to sit at the table, ask a fellow dealer to say you will be back in 10 minutes, put a sign, or something besides a big f-u to the potential buyers.

 

I also noticed there was a lack of confederate merchandise and I didn't even know there was a ban until now. That's insanely stupid that half the hall has swastikas all over but no state flags, makes a lot of sense for sure. Speaking of Nazi items, I think if I saw one more swastika I was going to hurl...not offended by it, just sick of seeing the same stuff at every other table I walked by.

 

Prices. Okay i am not a "dealer" but I buy and sell a lot of items throughout the year. Many of the prices, I would say pretty much almost every price was over the top just stupid. Maybe they were geared at people who don't use the Internet or maybe themselves paid too much but it just wasn't in realty. For instance, I asked about 4 different bullion wings and the all ranged from 60 to 150 dollars. I can find those same wings on ebay most any given time for 30-50 bucks. Uniforms too, two WAVES uniforms I saw were $200 plus and I just sold 2 sets for less than 100 online, which is okay to me because I still made a huge profit.

 

Demographics: I also didn't see any African Americans there. Not a single one. Since I don't have a militaria sociology degree I can't speculate why that is. But come to think about it, there really was not a good representation by any group except the 70+ crowd. I thought it was great to see the young guys in reenactment gear, shows that the hobby has a future.

 

Grumpy dealers. There were only a few but the ones that refused to show me interest or carry on b-s'ing their conversations while I was clearly standing there to look at something lost my business.

 

Honestly, in the end I was sorta turned off to the hobby. It's quick to realize that the handful of wings you have in your collection aren't unique, in fact there are thousands of them for sale at the show, most are overpriced in the 150-500 range and I suspect sit in their cases show after show. Seeing that much stuff not moving and still for sale on Saturday also makes me not want to be a hoarder anymore. These guys clearly aren't there to sell and would rather take it back to their garage until the next show.

 

PS. I thought the taco salad was great.


On the lookout for Pre-WWI Navy Uniforms


"It's not a mannequin, it's a display form torso!"

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I saw an older African American lady that was a veteran early Friday. I found a few good deals, and one of my students that went the day before going a matching Mauser that he was able to get for far less than the asking price. I only overpaid on one item that ended up coming from a postwar guy, but I got a company commander's uniform on a hunch for a good price, and an 8th crewman's uniform that Yorker lots of pictures after some online research at the hotel.

 

The only crazy thing I saw was that, starting at the end of the alphabet, I think I didn't talk to one seller that bothered to care about whether a uniform was named or not until about row k...

 

Totally stupid about the Confederate stuff at a military history venue...

 

My only regret was not buying a 70th tank battalion gripping, but who knows if any research would prove fruitful, so it's not a serious regret. I had a good time, my buddies did too, enjoyed Louisville as well. I've never beheld bacon cooked so perfectly as to disintegrate as soon as it entered the mouth in my life, and I've eaten and cooked a pile of it... Upscale, trendy, and maybe a little more "hip" than a dude like me if accustomed to, this joint called Harvest that my buddy knew about was well worth a stop.


Looking for the following:

452nd and 447th Bomb Group items

Anything 12th Armored- especially uniforms

155th Assault Helicopter Company, Camp Coryell, or Ban Me Thuot Vietnam items[/center]


WWII US Navy Uniforms from the Battle Off Samar: USS Johnston DD-557, USS Hoel DD-553, USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413, USS Heermann DD-532, USS Dennis DE-405, USS John C. Butler DE-339, USS Raymond DE-341, USS Fanshaw Bay St. Lo, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Kitkun Bay and Gambier Bay...


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Mr. Jerry I stopped by to say hello but you were out and about. I did manage to get a cool magnet and a cookie though, thanks!


On the lookout for Pre-WWI Navy Uniforms


"It's not a mannequin, it's a display form torso!"

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I saw a sign on one table that said "this is for the advanced collector". Now it's one thing to try to define what that means on this forum but to see someone trying to sell an item like that is something else. Are we all not "advanced" collectors? Or maybe none of us are?


On the lookout for Pre-WWI Navy Uniforms


"It's not a mannequin, it's a display form torso!"

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I saw a sign on one table that said "this is for the advanced collector". Now it's one thing to try to define what that means on this forum but to see someone trying to sell an item like that is something else. Are we all not "advanced" collectors? Or maybe none of us are?

What did they have that was so advanced? Or is it more likely that it is just code for "expensive"?


-Todd

Currently looking for WWI items, specifically photos of the 116th infantry regiment, and any material related to the USS Olympia.

Always on the lookout for any rations, miscellaneous personal items, pack filler, care package stuffers, knit Red Cross material, and oddball equipment to supplement the Doughboy display.
Have some extras? I help friends fill out their living history kit, and could always use more loaner gear!

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It was WWII Navy aviator greens with wings


On the lookout for Pre-WWI Navy Uniforms


"It's not a mannequin, it's a display form torso!"

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I think I heard about an ace's grouping, was that it, it was it just a regular set?


Looking for the following:

452nd and 447th Bomb Group items

Anything 12th Armored- especially uniforms

155th Assault Helicopter Company, Camp Coryell, or Ban Me Thuot Vietnam items[/center]


WWII US Navy Uniforms from the Battle Off Samar: USS Johnston DD-557, USS Hoel DD-553, USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413, USS Heermann DD-532, USS Dennis DE-405, USS John C. Butler DE-339, USS Raymond DE-341, USS Fanshaw Bay St. Lo, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Kitkun Bay and Gambier Bay...


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No that wasn't the one. Honestly it could have been something special but I am not sure it was even named.

My point is why would you do things that turn off buyers? I read that and kept on walking.


On the lookout for Pre-WWI Navy Uniforms


"It's not a mannequin, it's a display form torso!"

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I had a guy come to my table interested in parts of a grouping, insisting that it was only worth "X" to him (40% of my already reasonable asking price) because he would just throw the rest in the garbage after the sale. A short while later, another collector cheerfully paid full price for the group.


Ebay Sales: wwii.uniform.collector

 

Auctioneer Website: http://www.cnymilitaria.com

 

Facebook Sales Group

 

 

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I'll close out with a bit of demographics. I didn't see a single African- American at the show. That's interesting in light of the huge contribution African-Americans have made to the defense our country.

There were several African-Americans collectors there.


"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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Guys -

 

Since I wasn't able to attend this year I appreciate all the updates on the Show of Shows. As far as prices, I think we are all more than familiar with the phrase "Show of Show prices" - I don't think anyone but a first timer should be that surprised to note at the biggest militaria show of the year people jack up their prices? I think it is correct to say that some dealers are there less to sell than to get in early and buy or trade for themselves. So they set a high price and if some less educated buyers buy their high priced collectibles so much the better. If not well they still get into the show early and likely score some great stuff for themselves.

 

Nice observation on the Swastikas flying all over but Confederate flags not allowed, seems silly, but likely just frightened by recent events? Hopefully by next year we'll be past this. It is good to hear that there were some ample offerings from other time periods - I collect primarily 20th century US militaria, but I can really appreciate CW or Span Am stuff. As someone once said to me, Show of Shows is at its best when it is like a museum where you can touch the exhibits. Of course, if you are lucky you can perhaps even buy something! The veteran lineup is always great, geeze looks like the had almost a squad of 101st troopers there!

 

As far as demographics are concerned the makeup of the people of the venue does not surprise me at all. I have noted it for years. The hobby skews older and is predominantly white and male. By the way, that goes for reenacting as well. Video games, the soaring prices of militaria, the fading interest in WWII as the years pass and the predominance of the internet for commerce and communication are just some of the reasons for this.

 

Again, thank you for the comments and insights - keep them coming - Also LOVE to see more pics of what you guys bought or just from the venue itself.

 

Very best,

 

Bill


WTB USMC NAMED GROUPINGS, WWI, WWII (ESPECIALLY 4TH MARINE DIVISION ITEMS) AND UNIS MARKED ITEMS, NAMED INFANTRY DIVISION 4 POCKET CLASS A JACKETS, ESPECIALLY 34th ID AND NAMED GROUPINGS, FIRST SPECIAL SERVICE FORCE ITEMS



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Only reason I asked if that since I've got maybe 2 or 3 WWII aviation greens, I must be pretty advanced! :D

 

I tend to agree with you, a sign like that is a turn off, and something you'd darn sure better be able to back up pretty strongly if you self-proclaimed it.

 

Taking about advanced, what was the deal with Dick Winters' stuff? That was pretty amazing to see. Was it there for display, it is someone actually trying to sell it?

 

No that wasn't the one. Honestly it could have been something special but I am not sure it was even named.

My point is why would you do things that turn off buyers? I read that and kept on walking.


Looking for the following:

452nd and 447th Bomb Group items

Anything 12th Armored- especially uniforms

155th Assault Helicopter Company, Camp Coryell, or Ban Me Thuot Vietnam items[/center]


WWII US Navy Uniforms from the Battle Off Samar: USS Johnston DD-557, USS Hoel DD-553, USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413, USS Heermann DD-532, USS Dennis DE-405, USS John C. Butler DE-339, USS Raymond DE-341, USS Fanshaw Bay St. Lo, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Kitkun Bay and Gambier Bay...


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Only reason I asked if that since I've got maybe 2 or 3 WWII aviation greens, I must be pretty advanced! :D

 

I tend to agree with you, a sign like that is a turn off, and something you'd darn sure better be able to back up pretty strongly if you self-proclaimed it.

 

Taking about advanced, what was the deal with Dick Winters' stuff? That was pretty amazing to see. Was it there for display, it is someone actually trying to sell it?

 

Display.


In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





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There is an interesting discussion on the WAF at the moment regarding this group.


 

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That's unbelievably cool. I wondered about the authenticity, given such a high profile figure... Does a collector own it all?


Looking for the following:

452nd and 447th Bomb Group items

Anything 12th Armored- especially uniforms

155th Assault Helicopter Company, Camp Coryell, or Ban Me Thuot Vietnam items[/center]


WWII US Navy Uniforms from the Battle Off Samar: USS Johnston DD-557, USS Hoel DD-553, USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413, USS Heermann DD-532, USS Dennis DE-405, USS John C. Butler DE-339, USS Raymond DE-341, USS Fanshaw Bay St. Lo, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Kitkun Bay and Gambier Bay...


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That's unbelievably cool. I wondered about the authenticity, given such a high profile figure... Does a collector own it all?

No worry on the authenticity of the items.The real deal and those who saw it should consider themselves as lottery winners.


In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





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I saw an older African American lady that was a veteran early Friday. I found a few good deals, and one of my students that went the day before going a matching Mauser that he was able to get for far less than the asking price. I only overpaid on one item that ended up coming from a postwar guy, but I got a company commander's uniform on a hunch for a good price, and an 8th crewman's uniform that Yorker lots of pictures after some online research at the hotel.

 

The only crazy thing I saw was that, starting at the end of the alphabet, I think I didn't talk to one seller that bothered to care about whether a uniform was named or not until about row k...

 

Totally stupid about the Confederate stuff at a military history venue...

 

My only regret was not buying a 70th tank battalion gripping, but who knows if any research would prove fruitful, so it's not a serious regret. I had a good time, my buddies did too, enjoyed Louisville as well. I've never beheld bacon cooked so perfectly as to disintegrate as soon as it entered the mouth in my life, and I've eaten and cooked a pile of it... Upscale, trendy, and maybe a little more "hip" than a dude like me if accustomed to, this joint called Harvest that my buddy knew about was well worth a stop.

 

I think saw that 70th tank battalion group. It had a tankers helmet that had been painted black. I didn't ask about it as I already had a 70th group and the painted helmet was a bit of a negative


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Taking about advanced, what was the deal with Dick Winters' stuff? That was pretty amazing to see. Was it there for display, it is someone actually trying to sell it?

It was only for display. The guy who owns it all is a Neurosurgeon by the name of Paul. He is a great guy and an advanced A/B collector. He was able to attain these items from the guy who inherited them. They are now in very capable and good hands.


"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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Confederate flags were banned? How come the swastika fetishist with the SS throne and the secessionist flag suspenders didn't get tossed?

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That's pretty great to hear, and even better to see. I kind of wish I'd had more time to smell the roses as it were, but a pretty humbling sight ...


Looking for the following:

452nd and 447th Bomb Group items

Anything 12th Armored- especially uniforms

155th Assault Helicopter Company, Camp Coryell, or Ban Me Thuot Vietnam items[/center]


WWII US Navy Uniforms from the Battle Off Samar: USS Johnston DD-557, USS Hoel DD-553, USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413, USS Heermann DD-532, USS Dennis DE-405, USS John C. Butler DE-339, USS Raymond DE-341, USS Fanshaw Bay St. Lo, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Kitkun Bay and Gambier Bay...


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Would you be advanced if you graduated 6th grade? :D

 

yes.....because you advanced past 5th grade :rolleyes:-_-


In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





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Would you be advanced if you graduated 6th grade? :D

 

yes.....because you advanced past 5th grade :rolleyes:

 

Wrong, it's because you have advanced past throwing your money at fakes and trying to convince everyone you actually got the real deal. :)


"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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Wrong, it's because you have advanced past throwing your money at fakes and trying to convince everyone you actually got the real deal. :)

 

Exactly...I was trying to be humorous as anyone I have ever ran into that tells other people they are "advanced" or "an expert" and have given themselves the lable or the crown is basically a clown....red shoes and all. :D


In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





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