2009 INCC Convention Review

Join Us in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania!For some INCC members, the 2009 Convention kicked off at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Cleveland,Ohio with a Wednesday afternoon Board meeting chaired by President Bill Chvala. Following the reading and passage of the Winter Board Meeting minutes, the treasurers report was given and approved. The membership report indicated that a new tri-fold color brochure had been produced and printed and copies were available to the membership to be used to recruit new members. A report on our website www.nipponcollectorsclub.com, was made by chairman Dick Bittner.

It was pointed out that we would soon have access to Paypal and existing members as well as new members would be able to make their membership payments online. For those who want to continue to pay by check, that method will remain as an option. The website is undergoing a complete overhaul and a target date for a new design and many new features was estimated to be January of 2010.
Following a discussion of new business that included the events that were planned for the next three days, the meeting was adjourned.

The official 2009 Convention began on Thursday morning at 9:00 with the introduction of new members and welcoming remarks. Each new member was assigned a sponsor-member who would assist in making the convention a beneficial learning experience.

At 9:30, the general membership meeting was called to order and the convention activities were announced. Minutes and reports were provided and approved by the members in attendance. Under old business, the membership was provided with a schedule of the events for the next three days and the location of the 2010 convention was announced. The 2010 convention will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Pittsburgh, Pa. on July 29th, 30th and 31st (click on Convention 2010 for more).

Following the reports and discussion of old business, the membership was asked to consider ways to recruit more new members and
provide their suggestions to a member of the Board during the convention. Chairperson, Doris Myers, announced that the auction preview would began on Friday at 9:30 am and that Jim Wroda of Jim Wroda Auction Company in Greenville, Ohio would be calling the auction.At 10:30 following adjournment of the general meeting, each member in attendance was presented with a plate made by the Noritake Company with the following inscription: “INCC—28th Convention, Cleveland, Ohio” This gift came as a lovely surprise to the members.

The first program followed the General Meeting. A session on Porcelain Repair was presented by Jennifer Burt from the Wiebold Studio. Her studio performs all types of repairs from the worst kind of major shatter to small hairline cracks or imperfections. Jennifer gave a thorough and very interesting talk showing samples of the stages during the repair of specific Nippon vase. She also laid out for us, a number of useful steps to follow in the event we Had to face up to an accident where one of our cherished porcelain items became damaged.

Those were: Pick up all pieces carefully and separate using paper towels for spacersSave even the smallest chipped piecesDO NOT try to reassemble yourselfSecure any crack with painters tape to avoid additional damageContact a professional to find your options and to secure estimates for repairing the piece.
Jennifer also provided us with advice on cleaning our porcelain collectibles. Never use a spray such as antibacterial or other harsh chemical cleaners. Use of water and vinegar or a solution of baking soda are acceptable cleaners. She also cautioned us, when restoring gold trim, NEVER try to “fire” it in your oven. The result could be that your cherished piece may explode under the heat. This was a very informative and interesting session as the convention got underway. Following a lunch break and a visit to the Hospitality Suite which was hosted by our Dixieland Chapter Club,we returned to our next scheduled session. Member Nat Goldstein shared a slide presentation of his recent trip to Japan, where he visited Tokyo, Kyoto and Nagoya where he planned to visit the Noritake Museum. Unfortunately, the Museum was closed on that day, however, the Noritake Outlet Center was open making the entire trip worthwhile. On the next day, he was able to visit the Museum and presented a number of great photos of the displays. A visit to the Nagoya Castle which is a restored, ancient landmark capped the day. While in Tokyo, Nat visited with Mrs. Tadazumi Kazuko Hirohata and described a warm and welcoming visit. As usual, Nat provided the membership with an exciting as well as educational presentation.

For the next session of the day, President-Elect, Dick Bittner hosted a selection of Oddities and Rarities. This session has become an annual program that allows members to bring a rare or odd Nippon piece from their collection to show to the viewing membership in attendance. The participating member is provided an opportunity to describe their reasons why the piece is either rare or odd. Member discussion is typically very informative to all members.

Not to be inconsistent, Polly Frye once again brought one of her collection of “thingies” with a rare painting of an owl. Rella Clock brought a beautiful and rare coralene vase adorned with an unusual bird. Janice Hertel brought a flowered, barge shaped piece and Bill Chvala brought a flower ferner with painted frog that was stamped NIPPON. Scott Johnson dazzled everyone with a molded tiger with rare marble inlay interior, a molded egyptian piece, a black blown-out ashtray, a rare rabbit night light and a 14 inch plaque with molded-in-relief dogs. Finally, B.J. Longest delighted us with a pair of celluloid Roly Poly dolls. A very informative and exciting session.

The last session for Thursday was our “ugliest piece contest that allows members to volunteer an ugly piece of Nippon, knowing that the piece that is judged to be the ugliest by the members vote, will be auctioned off with the proceeds going to benefit the club. Janice Hertel offered an ugly vase/bowl with long extended handles, Bill Chvala offered an unusually ugly flowered piece with frog and Esther Laubis offered an unattractive, pale chocolate pot. Bob and Maggie Schoenherr brought an ashtray and Nancy Miller contributed a trinket box . Following some interesting voting Esther’s chocolate pot was deemed to be the ugliest piece of Nippon for the 2009 convention and was sold immediately to the highest bidder. The large handled vase/bowl, in a spirited bidding war fetched the top dollar amongst the “uglies”.

As typically scheduled, the Hotel provides a cocktail hour each evening of our stay at 5:00 in the evening. On this Thursday evening, as we attended our Dinner, we ran a silent auction in conjunction with the meal. The silent auction was scheduled, managed and finalized by Board member Cheri Zangmeister. Quite a number of nice Nippon pieces were energetically sought by the membership and a number of high bidders left with a very nice treasure.

At the termination of the meal, we were presented with a selection of donated Japanese collectable's to be auctioned by our auctioneer, Jim Wroda. Included were a Japanese Obi, an old Noritake bound book, an outstanding Kimona with peacock in silk and the highlight of the evening; the traditional Hand quilted wall hanging. Each year, our long-time member, Jess Berry starts with a photo of a piece of Nippon and produces a hand stitched quilt and donates it to be auctioned off at our Thursday night dinner. This year was no exception, and the scene was the strong man Nippon vase with white cockatoo. Following some intense bidding, the new owners of the quilt were Maggie and Bob Schoenherr.
The evening events concluded with the drawing of the hand-made afghan, designed and made by Gloria Addison. Following a build-up of suspension,the winning ticket was drawn by Daiki Takeuchi, who flew in from Tokyo, Japan on Monday with his father, Tomo ( a past-Presidents of our club).

And the winner of the afghan this year goes to:
********* Eunice Taylor!! ***********

The remainder of the evening allowed members to visit the rooms of members who were selling from their rooms. What a great way to find good collectible pieces of Nippon.

Friday morning at 9:30, the doors opened to the auction room for preview followed by auctioning of the many pieces of Nippon that members have placed in the members-only-auction. At 10:30, auctioneer Jim Wroda explained the auction rules and the bidding began. Hours later, there were many smiling faces carrying boxes of collectibles back to their rooms. A big “Thank You” to Doris Myers and all of the volunteer members who helped make this yet another great auction.

When the last auction item was gaveled down,all members were invited to attend the Hospitality Suite to be opened for the remainder of the evening. Food and drinks weire provided by the Dixieland Chapter Club and the Nippon chatter was prolific amongst all members.

On Saturday morning we were pleased by a presentation by one of the most profound experts in the antique world. Terry Kovel entertained and educated us with a presentation of her life as an antique collector and writer. Terry and her late husband, Ralph, published their first price guide in 1967 today her price guide is sought by most collectors. Every year the guide has new prices which are based on extensive research by Terry and her staff. Aside from being a prolific author, Terry is also a dedicated collector and we dedicated Nippon collectors found her presentation to be upbeat and informative.

Saturday afternoon was set aside for tours of downtown Cleveland and the Rock and Roll Hall of fame.

The 2009 Nippon Convention was concluded with a sit-down banquet featuring a selection of steak or salmon with all of the delicious trimmings and side dishes all served by the Embassy Suites convention staff.

A gift of appreciation was given to outgoing President, Bill Chvala by President-Elect Dick Bittner. Also, in recognition of her many years of devoted work for the benefit of the club, member Polly Frye was presented a gift of a lovely 17” Nippon vase decorated in purple wisteria.

Tired and happy, we began our packing chores in preparation for the trip back home after yet another fun-filled and inspirational convention.

NEXT STOP: Pittsburgh, Pa. July 29th, 30th and 31st!

If you haven’t joined our Nippon Collectors Club yet, just click on the MEMBERSHIP page and we’ll be happy to have you join us at our next convention in Pittsburgh.

We thank you again for your interest & look forward to your joining our friendly family of Nippon enthusiasts!

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