Midcentury Modern Joins Antique At East Hampton Antiques Show

EAST HAMPTON, N.Y. — Once again, the East Hampton Historical Society was the beneficiary of the proceeds from the East Hampton Antiques Show. The show was conducted July 18–20 on the grounds of Mulford Farm, the more than 300-year-old farm property in the heart of this village where the rich and famous spend their summers.

Society director Richard Barons reported, “We had over 2,000 paid admissions, including the opening night reception and weekend passes for Saturday and Sunday, which was a new record in attendance, probably due in part to the cooperative weather; not too great for the beach, but very good for visiting here at the show.”

The style at East Hampton is not just your grandmother’s antiques — unless she was buying from the most up-to-date designers of the mid-Twentieth Century. Midcentury Modern is very popular right now in this community of second homes for New Yorkers. For example, Jeffrey Henkel, Pennington, N.J., said his sales were typical for the weekend with art, furniture and smalls finding new homes. He sold a mannequin — a wooden form, less than life-size, and probably an art piece — a desk, tall, in very rectilinear shape, and a similar coffee table, a set of Modern chairs and more.

James Butterworth, Nashua, N.H., was showing several ensembles of early wicker furniture. One complete grouping, in a warm forest green color, included a sofa, several chairs of varying forms and a variety of tables and side tables, sufficient to fill a large porch or Florida room. There was a second similar set in off-white nearby.

Linda and Howard Stein, Bridgehampton, N.Y., dealers, sold an unusual wicker sofa in bright red and blue checker board weave pattern early Friday evening.

From Essex, Mass., Margaret Doyle brought a little of everything, or perhaps a lot of everything. Her collection is well known to comprise all sorts of interesting pieces. This time, her exhibition included a set of cast metal outdoor furniture, porcelain lamps from the middle of the Twentieth Century, a Victorian-era William and Mary armchair in faux leopard skin upholstery, industrial lamps and tables, an early diorama of an early sailing ship and small accessories essentially covering all the periods.

Another Essex exhibitor was Andrew Spindler, who was very pleased with his weekend results. His offering included a five-piece set of chairs and table by a popular designer, Billy Haines, featuring chairs in their original pumpkin coverings and a glass top table. The room setting Spindler offered had a designer sofa behind that, which had a hold on it by press deadline, and sales during the weekend included “a wonderful sawbuck chair that went as soon as it came out, and a great number of smalls,” he said.

Jewelry is a big seller at this show, according to several exhibitors. The Emporium, Ltd, was there with its collection, as was Anita Taub, both from New York City. Anita said her jewelry sales were very rewarding again this year, and she also brought some early Chinese porcelain and a collection of art, which both sold well.

Steve Mohr, More & More Antiques, New York City, said this was his first time at the East Hampton show, and he was anxious until Sunday, when he had most of his sales. “I didn’t know how long it took for these shoppers to make their choices, but I did pretty decently as it turned out, selling most of the ‘70s Lucite furniture, accessories and small things.” He said he found customers were looking for “funky and cool stuff.”

Fair Trade Antiques, Shelburne Falls, Mass., specializes in early Nineteenth Century lighting and unusual electric lighting. The proprietor, Bruce Phillips, said he sold quite well, with one of his best transactions a pair of early industrial electric lights. His huge electric floodlight from a ship, 3,000 watts worth of power, was drawing great interest, but is still available. His sales also included some  Asian jewelry and garden antiques.

Red Horse Antiques, Bridgewater, Vt., had “good sales,” according to co-owner, Sue Lilly. She had a good weekend at the show; her sales included some furniture and a nice collection of small things finding their way out of the exhibitions. A large table with extensions went early; Georgian windows at the back of the exhibit, which had been reglazed with mirrors, sold; an early water wheel with buckets on a chain, which was now used as a hanging planter, went to a new home; door stops, a garden table and garden accessories all went to new owners.

Bob Withington brought an assortment of garden decorations and furniture, as well as some traditional antiques from his shop in York, Maine.

According to promoter Brian Ferguson and director Richard Barons, the show was a great success. They said that their objectives — to support the society financially and to continue building awareness of its work — were both accomplished.

While this is a major fundraising event for the society, there are others as well. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, there will be a popular cocktail party and house tour benefiting the society. For more information, www.easthamptonhistory.org or 631-324-6850. Next year, the society will once again offer this show, with dates to be announced.

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