IPBA 31st Annual Convention - Chicago, IL

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May 2, 2019, to May 5, 2019
Westin Chicago Northwest, Itasca, IL

“Opening Night”

Wow, what a convention! Our 2019 Convention, themed “Opening Night”, was a fabulous affair from start to finish!  Perfume bottles, compacts, purses, Stellar presentations, and so many friends made for an exciting four days.  The icing on the cake was the opening of the Perfume Passage at the Sanfilippo Estate Saturday night.  We had our biggest turnout in years; with members coming from 13 countries and over 50 First Time Attendees.

A special thank you to Jeffrey and Rusty for their vision and completion of Perfume Passage. This magnificent perfume bottle museum is breathtaking and extremely beautiful in its architecture, decoration, and treasurers.  Thank you to the Sanfilippo family for opening their home to the IPBA. It was a magical evening.

Many thanks to the numerous volunteers who made this Convention happen.  The Chicago Skyliners Chapter outdid themselves with their preparation, networking, advertising, and hospitality along with many other volunteers who spent countless hours organizing, creating, and preparing for this incredible event.

On Wednesday the festivities started off with some wonderful tours: one tour was to Magnificent Mile, Millennium Park, and the Chicago Art Institute including a special stop off at Marilyn Miglin’s home for a party and tour of her home; also included was another special gathering at the Lalique Boutique.  Our second tour of the day went to the Driehaus Mansion and the Science & Industry Museum with lunch at the stunning Walnut Room.  There was an evening tour with a cruise on Lake Michigan to watch the sunset over the beautiful Chicago Skyline.

On Thursday we welcomed 51 – First Time Attendees to our 31st Annual Convention.  This was the largest number of First Time Attendees to date.  There were marvelous Vanity Table Talks on quite an array of topics – from Studio Glass, Elgin American Compacts, Spritzing to Success, The Fragrant Life of Francois Coty, Venetian Glass, Essences Flacons & Rêves Parfumés, Duponchel, to Perfume Cards.

The schedule included a 5-part presentation on Thursday with Centuries of Antique Perfume Bottles.  This extraordinary presentation covered: The Boudoir of the Ancients, Pomanders & 17th Century Scent Bottles, 18th Century Scent Bottles & Vinaigrettes, 19th Century Scent Bottles (c. 1800 to 1850) and the Late 19th Century Scent Bottles.

Our Perfume Bottle & Vintage Vanity Show and Sale opened on Thursday evening with a large number of dealers and thousands of dazzling perfume bottles and vanity related items such as compacts, jewelry, vintage purses, factices, novelties, ephemera to name a few.  It was breathtaking to just walk into this room!  The Showroom was additionally open periodically throughout the convention.

On Friday we had another full day of education and activities starting with an amazing Art Deco Symposium which included presentations on three entirely different genres including Ephemera, The Czech Vanity and Mesh Purses: A Window to Popular Culture.  All three were mesmerizing and fun. In the early evening, there was an author book signing event with 11 of our experts and very talented authors.

Friday evening brought the fantastic Perfume Bottles Auction presented by Ken Leach with Nick Dawes as auctioneer.  The auction offered 180 lots and realized just above a half-million dollars, making it the best per-item result in its history.  Perfume bottles and vanity items from several notable estates, attracted over 300 bidders into the saleroom, competing against absentee and phone activity as well as aggressive internet bidders.  Highlighting the sale was a 1912 Rene Lalique Fougeres perfume bottle selling for $33,000 leaving its high estimate of $6,000 far behind.  A truly exciting event!

Saturday brought our Collector’s Flea Market which was open to the public and a favorite among our members. Also, on Saturday and open to the public was our educational program – Collecting Perfume Bottles, Compacts, Purses, and Other Vanity Items 101.  This is a very entertaining program to help you step into the world of collecting.  Our annual raffle was held in the afternoon.  Then everyone went to get ready to load the buses to go our premier event – the Gala Grand Opening of Perfume Passage at the Sanfilippo Estate.

The opening of the Perfume Passage was an awesome Gala event! If felt like we were Hollywood Celebrities.  After the ribbon-cutting everyone took their turn to enter the museum and we strolled along a “Rue de la Paix” of perfume boutiques from the early 1900s, entered a turn of the century drug store where cleverly lined drawers full of vanity treasures were found and an Art Deco gallery lined with displays to fill the senses and fuel the desires of every collector’s heart, ultimately leading to the Vault where the gems of the collection were on display to be admired. The experience surrounded each guest with the exquisite and the unique of a bygone era.  In addition to the museum, everyone enjoyed dinner and browsing among the beautiful and amazing antique treasures found at the Sanfilippo Estate, including the fantastically restored Eden Palais Carousel built in the 1890s.

Sunday brought our Annual business meeting and breakfast.  We announced the Shining Star awards to Woody Griffith, Andra Behrendt, Judy “Atomizer” Parker and Madeleine Winkelmann for their outstanding service to the IPBA.

Also announced were the winners of our 4th Annual Perfume Bottle Design Contest – Gustavo Santana, Luca Liguori, and Anna Boothe.

The business meeting included the election of the 2020-2021 Board of Directors.  The annual business meeting was followed by Treasurers Found – always fun and eye-opening event where you bring an item to have the experts look at and give you some information about it.  This information is then shared with the audience. Then we sadly took one more trip around the Perfume Bottle & Vintage Vanity Show and Sale showroom for those last-minute, not to be left behind, treasures.  Our 31st Annual Convention concluded with some once in a lifetime memories!

International Perfume Bottle Association
Incorporated in Illinois, USA

© International Perfume Bottle Association