News-Antique.com - Oct 09,2011 - (West Palm Beach, FL) The October edition of the West Palm Beach Antiques Festival wrapped up the two day Summer Season on a high note with a record attendance that exceeded that of any previous Summer event. The Festival was sold out of dealer spaces and enjoyed nearly perfect weather with a slight cooling trend that was greatly welcomed after a long hot summer.
Items with a Florida provenance or connection generated a lot of interest in October. Of special interest was the collection of Disney related collectibles offered by Jack Goldschmidt of Wellington, Florida. Also of Florida interest was a large selection of old and highly collectible Florida automobile license plates dating from 1935 to 1984, priced from $10 to $100 by Carlotta Dicker, a Florida dealer. Other notables at the event were a rare Coca-Cola cooler from 1929 - all 100% original - priced at $1200 and lots of Beatles memorable including a rare punch-out poster for $200 by Florida dealer Henry Paschal.
Norma Wolff, the dealer in booth #19 at the West Palm Beach Antiques Festival, could be called a “bag lady.” But to be more precise she would have to be called a “handbag lady.” Norma has been fascinated with handbags and accessories since she was a little girl in Taunton, Mass. She had an elderly neighbor who had an astounding collection of quality handbags and accessories and she regularly discarded older models to make room for new additions to the collection. Norma would surreptitiously sort through the neighbor’s garbage looking for discarded treasures in the form of handbags and wallets. Her mother eventually called the neighbor to request that she put her discarded bags in a separate container so her daughter wouldn’t have to go through the garbage. After that Norma anxiously awaited each garbage day to see if there were new additions to the discard box.
Her affinity for quality hand bags and accessories became a lifelong pursuit and eventually a profession. She owned a high end consignment shop for thirty years before staking claim to WPBAF booth #19 over twenty years ago. And she specializes in – handbags.
But not just any hand bags. She has only the “good stuff” that carries names like Chanel, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Judith Leiber, all vintage and all genuine. She says she can spot a knock off from the parking lot. In her opinion the older models of virtually all brands are superior to the newer versions. Her favorite models are the fine leather bags.
In her booth Wolff proudly exhibits the contents of twenty-three boxes of fine handbags and wallets plus the assorted cases of fine jewelry and accessories. In the winter season she has a select collection of finer furs. Prices in her booth range from $20 to over $1,000. Most shoppers are struck by the number and assortment of bags on display. She says the most frequently asked question is “Are they all real?” The simple answer is “Of course.” She is