Garden Show Makes Debut At Antique & Artisan Center

STAMFORD, CONN. — The Antique & Artisan Center’s inaugural garden show and sale, featuring garden antiques and architectural elements for the outside and inside, made its debut May 10–12 to rave reviews.

Offerings from many of the shop’s dealers were set up outside as dining sets, urns, benches, armillary spheres, planters and architectural elements, both massive and diminutive, vied for attention.

The event was in the planning for just over six months, said the center’s managing partner Mari Ann Maher, who is also an avid gardener and the inspiration behind the show. “I think most antiques dealers love gardens,” she said, noting she had several queries from dealers to offer a special event like this. She called the offerings an “amazing collection of stone, terracotta, iron and architectural elements for inside and out” and hoped the event would be the first of many.

Educating those new to antiques on the versatility of garden antiques was also a focus for the weekend. “The garden does not always have to be outside,” she said, noting a great architectural element designed for the outside can be a statement piece indoors.

Owner Mark Candido, who began the antiques center 17 years ago with his partner Ron Scinto, was equally excited as he surveyed the many standout items dealers had set up the previous day.

To add a special flavor to the event (no pun intended), Candido said he wanted to get some “fabulous food” at the show and found Christophe’s Crepes, which runs a food truck in Fairfield. Christophe set up at the show offering a variety of gourmet crepes.

Several large and interesting items outside at the show came from dealer Bruce Wylie’s collection, including five star-shaped teak planters, circa 1940s, a tall white iron bird cage and a massive Regency mirror that was propped up against the side of an ivy-covered wall.

Inside his usual booth inside the center, Wylie offered a midcentury brushed steel table and a collection of aluminum hornets. Pieces spilling over into center aisles just for this show included a 1900s industrial cart from a rifle factory, a massive antique tin finial, Philadelphia; a Moroccan tray table; an early Greek donkey cart, signed and dated 1928; and a set of four early Nineteenth Century lead cherubs with fruit basket. Down one aisle, one had to stop and smile at an arrangement of a family of four composition giraffes, ranging from 6 to 10 feet tall.

Mary and Terry Eletheriou showed a fine pair of iron black benches, while Beau Maas, who set up a display of stone figures and wooden items just inside the center’s entrance, offered a neoclassical, stone hanging garden plaque, a pair of garden flower baskets on pedestals and a charming and large driftwood sculpture, a teak garden table and a Gothic church spire, Canadian, standing 10 feet tall.

Offering what was practically a one-stop shopping experience, the show did not just present garden antiques for sale, but also gardening plants. Wonderful succulents, bushes and exotics came from Foliage Garden New York of New York City and were selling well, along with the garden antiques with which they were paired.

Maher was given free rein to choose which plants and how many she wanted for her show. Showing her decorating savvy, she performed as well as any landscape designer, tucking small succulents and exotics into small antique planters and on tabletops, adding larger plants in and around larger pieces. A pair of blue-glazed terracotta urns, nearly 3 feet tall, in Mary Ann Tucker’s booth were enhanced with two pink oleander bushes that were in riotous bloom, while a weeping podocarpus tree, standing about 6 feet tall, was set into Wylie’s abovementioned teak planters.

In their booth, Bear and Susan Van Wyck showed a bronze Italian putti fountain, Nineteenth Century, after Andrea del Verrocchio, with marble base; two armillary spheres, one medium-sized and the other, large; a three-tier marble fountain and a Twentieth Century, American stone putto.

Prominently featured in Alison Kinney’s booth was a Grand Tour bronze of a faun, Pompeii, while dealer Ingrid Layton offered a fine armillary sphere with base that came from a Greenwich estate, an antique cast iron dining set comprising a pair of armchairs and a glass-top table.

The Antique & Artisan Center is at 69 Jefferson Street. For additional information, or 203-327-6022.

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