Brandywine River Museum Charms Antiques Showgoers In Unique Venue

CHADDS FORD, PENN. — The Brandywine River Museum of Art Antiques Show delighted showgoers May 23–26 with a carefully curated selection of traditional antiques and Americana from painted and fine furniture to garden antiques, weathervanes and colorful game boards, as well as fine art and a healthy offering of decorative arts and smalls.

The show attracts a loyal following among dealers, many of whom have been coming here for years, saving their best ­­— and Pennsylvania wares — for this show. Booths are staged in the museum’s courtyard and in galleries on several floors of the museum. The view of Brandywine Creek from the second floor’s floor-to-celing windows is charming, while the view out the front overlooking a courtyard of antiques is even more attractive.

Among the courtyard vendors holding court in their usual spots was Aileen Minor American Antiques, Centreville, Md., which featured a pair of swan-form cast iron planters with feather detail, late Nineteenth or early Twentieth Century, along with a pair of attentive English cocker spaniels of cast stone, early Twentieth Century. The dogs were cast in the “sit” position and appeared to be eagerly anticipating a treat.

Lisa McAllister, Clear Spring, Md., offered a Nineteenth Century redware firemark bust in relief depicting George Washington in a side profile view. The firemark was made in New York City.

A lovely alphabet sampler by Roxana Holmes, wrought in 1830, from the Danvers, Mass., area, was shown at West Pelham Antiques, Pelham, Mass., along with a possibly Chester County silk on silk needlework sampler, circa 1820, by Elizabeth Lacey.

The great displays of merchandise continued inside the museum with Dennis Raleigh Antiques & Folk Art, Wiscasset, Maine, which featured a choice Nineteenth Century floral hooked rug in a classic Maine design, and along one wall, paired a trio of fine animalistic weathervanes on stands with a trio of colorful game boards on the wall.

Brennan & Mouilleseaux brought the outdoors inside when it transformed its back wall by hanging a quartet of copper building ornaments having a great weathered patina, circa 1880, with two pairs of circa 1840 cast iron eyebrow window grates in old surface.

Furniture standouts included a pair of American child’s chairs in mahogany, circa 1790, from Thomas Brown Antiques, McMurray, Penn.; and from Ed Weissman, Naples, Fla., a rare and tiny walnut bun foot chest, 32 inches tall, Netherlands, circa 1730, that has lovely marquetry decoration with soft tones and great shading. W.M. Schwind Inc featured a tall, six-drawer chest from Maine, 1780–1800, in birch with a rejuvenated old red finish, while Roger D. Winter, Solebury, Penn., featured an early Seventeenth Century bed in oak that had wonderful carving on the paneled headboard, which was inlaid with holly, and the paneled footboard bore heraldic carvings. The full double bed is dated 16 on the bottom.

Among fine art on exhibit was a delicately-executed harbor scene by Sandy Sutherland (b 1902), a member of the Allied Artists of America, which hung in the booth of Brill’s Antiques, Newport News, Va.

Other choice offerings seen included a large and unusual Nineteenth Century gathering basket with double handles, and a confidence swan decoy from the Chincoteague Waterfowl Museum, both on offer by Newsom & Berdan Antiques, Thomasville, Penn. J&R Ferris Antiques, Boonville, N.Y., stopped showgoers in their tracks with its frontispiece, an American militia uniform comprising a coat, vest and britches, circa 1820–50s, patterned after a Colonial period design, and a large drum. One could easily envision a soldier marching to Gettysburg in this garb and carrying the drum.

James Wm. Lowery, Baldwinsville, N.Y., hung a display rack featuring a great grouping of colorful quilts from Pennsylvania, including a triple Irish chain quilt, circa 1860s, having feather quilting along the sides and center; a floral appliquéd quilt, Lancaster County, circa 1880s, in turkey red, chrome orange, green and white; and a triple Irish chain with vine border, circa 1860s, in turkey red and over-dyed green that had sublime quilting.

The show will return next Memorial Day weekend. For further information, 610-388-2700 or www.brandywine.org.

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