Published: May 8, 2012
There was a time, many years ago, when the month of April had only one antiques show in Philadelphia. And there was another time, fewer years ago, when there were three shows in April. Now it has settled down to two shows, thanks to Frank Gaglio and Barn Star Productions, who bring an attractive, interesting and popular 46-dealer show to the 23rd Street Armory. It routinely opens on a Friday, this year April 27, about eight hours before the Philadelphia Antiques Show previews, and draws an audience of those who have traveled to Antiques Week in Philadelphia, local people and dealers from the other show.
“Things went real well this year; we had a gate similar to last year, some of the exhibitors reported having great shows, and we received many compliments from those attending,” Frank said. He also spoke highly of the loan exhibition in the lobby of the armory, a selection of early firefighting equipment and related items from the collection of Joe Baczewski, a career firefighter, who lives in Southington, Conn.
This year the show was two booths light due to a staircase constructed in the armory reaching to the second floor offices. “We were sorry to have the show reduced by two booths, but we brought in some new faces this year and added to the mix of objects offered,” Frank said.
The show presented some new-to-the-market folk art objects and works of art, added a new print dealer, and many of the items had a note attached indicating that the piece was a recent museum deaccession or taken from the dealer’s personal collection. All in all, the show offered a fine look, interesting objects and a comfortable floor plan.
Just inside the doors to the show, Otto and Susan Hart of Arlington, Vt., offered a collection of folk art that included a pair of architectural owls, terracotta and enamel, circa 1875‱890, 21 inches wide, 20 inches high and 12¼ inches deep, that came from a building in Philadelphia. A sculpture of a sailboat, painted sheet iron, 25 inches long and 24¾ inches tall, had twisted metal around the bottom to simulate water. An interesting sandstone sculpture, circa 1920, showed Uncle Sam under assault from an oversized rattlesnake, the piece measuring 43 inches long and 8 inches wide. It was from Virginia.
American Spirit Antiques, Shawnee Mission, Kan., is well-known for tiger maple furniture, and among those pieces was a drop leaf table with two-board top, ring turned legs with brass capped feet, that dated circa 1820. A New England maple Chippendale six-drawer chest, on high bracket base, circa 1780, had the top center drawer with carved fan, and among the folk art pieces was a carved and painted squirrel with two young squirrels that measured 25½ inches long. It was from Drake County, Ohio, and the bottom of the base was initialed J.C. and dated 1923.
The Norwoods’ Spirit of America, Timonium, Md., had a large booth at the front of the show with the walls hung to capacity with fraktur, watercolors, etc. On the outside wall a diminutive barber pole that had been deaccessioned from the Lehigh Valley Museum was on one side, with another pole of larger size, red and white striped, from a Vermont private collection, on the other side. They flanked a perched American eagle, sheet iron, circa 1830‱850, that possibly came from a New England courtroom.
Michael Whittemore Antiques & Folk Art, Punta Gorda, Fla., had a large copper full-bodied rooster that had been in storage after being removed from a New Jersey church in 1932, and an unusual cant back, open top apothecary cupboard in old blue paint, circa 1790‱800. Of interest was a child-size duck boat, canvas, in an orange painted surface. And for the collector of cast iron, Michael offered about 20 frogs with different painted surfaces.
“We have had a very good show, lots of action, our best show in Philadelphia,” Stephen Corrigan of Stephen-Douglas, Rockingham, Vt., said. Sales included a dressing table, five still banks, mocha, a needlework sampler, stoneware pitcher, theorems on velvet, a painted Parcheesi board and a pair of pearlware finger vases. Other furniture that remained unsold, as of Saturday, included a paint decorated Saco, Maine, Sheraton chest of drawers with the original brasses, circa 1815‱820, and a paint decorated Federal secretary, New England, circa 1830, all original and from the collection of Stuart Gregory.
Bette and Melvyn Wolf of Flint, Mich., came to Philadelphia with more than 500 pieces of pewter, all shapes and forms, to please most any collector. Among the star lots of Philadelphia pewter was a tankard by William Will, 1764‱798, and a fresh-to-the-market chalice made in Lancaster, Penn.
Christopher and Bernadette Evans Antiques of Myersville, Md., showed a handsome stoneware crock with a cobalt blue house, with smoke coming from the chimney, surrounded by lawn and a tree in the yard. It was signed Huxston & Co., Fort Edward, N.Y. Among other pieces of stoneware were three pitchers, all with cobalt decoration, and furniture included an early Nineteenth Century New England faux-bois demilune table in the original paint, yellow tapering legs and faux marble top.
“This show gets better each year for me,” Richard “Smitty” Axtell from Deposit, N.Y. said. He listed among the objects he sold a John Conger cake board, painted woodenware, pastry wheel, double-ended folk and spatula, several butter stamps, trade sign and several pieces of dated iron. He pointed out a circa 1910 child’s quilt of bright colors with squares that included the figure of William Penn, trains, cats, castles and Chinese figures. “One of the best quilts I have ever had,” he noted. A clown balancing toy, circa 1880, was ex-Salem Toy Museum, and a unique still bank was the figure of a pig, which also served as a cigar cutter.
RGL Antiques from Pittstown, N.J., filled the best part of a side wall with a large sign advertising the Coach and Wagon Builders Society, Philadelphia, with a picture of a coach in the middle of the writing. A Nineteenth Century portrait of a lady was attributed to Ammi Phillips, and a full-scale model of locomotive and coal car, excellent patina, was named “The Empire State Express.” At the front of the booth was a folk art carved swan of large proportions with an old white painted surface. And a specialty, blown and early glass, filled one large display case.
Garthoeffner Gallery, Lititz, Penn., showed a large trade sign for “Ray Hays, Pipes †Cigars †Tobacco” that measured 31 by 74 inches and was in red, white and blue paint of a sand finish. It retained the original hand-forged brackets. A New England Parcheesi board, circa 1880, 20½ by 28 inches, was in wonderful old paint, and a small index horse, fine patina, was by Howard.
A pair of highly carved doors, cypress, Zhejiang Province, were hung in the booth of John H. Rogers, Elkins, N.H., along with other carvings that included a pair of windows of camphor wood, clouds and flower design, Zhejiang Province, dating more than 100 years old. At the end of the booth was a pair of official’s armchairs in northern elm.
Holden Antiques of Naples, Fla., and Sherman, Conn., offered an early Nineteenth Century Sheraton secretary in mahogany, circa 1820‱830, probably of Massachusetts origin but found in Rockland, Maine. An Odd Fellows Lodge sign from Lodge #374 in Front Royal, Va., dated circa 1920‱930 and was constructed of wood and tin with punchwork decoration. The lettering was yellow on a black ground, with heart-in-hand decoration. A selection of mill weights included a rare horseshoe form in the original surface, found in Nebraska.
Port ‘N Starboard gallery, Falmouth, Maine, hung in the center of the back wall of the booth an oil on canvas portrait of the tug ” Sylvester L. Ward off Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse,” 22 by 36 inches, signed lower left and verso S.F.M. Badger 1896. The tug was built in 1892 in Boston.
Gemini Antiques of Oldwick, N.J., had a long shelf featuring a collection of building still banks in various sizes and colors, a farmhouse painting by Ernst Hartenfeld, an oil on canvas dated 1911, York County, and in the original frame, and a large clown shooting gallery target, circa 1910, in old paint.
Charles Wilson Antiques & Folk Art, West Chester, Penn., had a fine carving of Uncle Sam with cane and red-striped pants, stars on his jacket, that dated circa 1860‱870 and measured 11 inches tall. “It is one of the things we took out of our own collection for this show,” Charles said. Across the back wall hung a pair of carved white pine painted and gilt valances with eagles facing the other. Each measured 52 inches long, 12 inches high, dated circa 1850, and originated in the mid-Atlantic states.
Jewett-Berdan of Newcastle, Maine, showed a large, female zinc figure that once decorated an architectural building in Columbus, Ohio. Measuring 7 feet tall, it is attributed to the Mullins shop. A rare tin shield, painted with stars and stripes with the portrait of George Washington in the center, was an early flag holder, probably used in political parades. Three black heads included a cast iron hitching post top with a ring in the figure’s mouth, a carved wooden head with a mass of curly hair, and a ring toss head with open mouth.
A large gilt eagle with banner and shield, 72 inches wide, was by the Artistic Carving Co., Boston, circa 1950, that hung in the booth of Chuck White Antiques, Warwick, N.Y. Centered on the back wall was a rare form Hudson Valley red painted cupboard, 73 inches high and 46 inches wide, with the open shelves holding several pieces of slip decorated redware plates.
A rare astronomical wall regulator clock in walnut, circa 1880, hung in the booth of Baldwin House Antiques, Strasburg, Penn. It was signed James Orr, 2631 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, and it was noted that this is the only one known by the maker made in Philadelphia.
Thurston Nichols American Antiques, Breinigsville, Penn., had a paint decorated stepback cupboard from Somerset County, circa 1830, and a middle-size Howard Index horse weathervane that sported a fine patinated surface.
A set of six rare painted bowback Windsor side chairs, green surface, circa 1795, was at the front of the booth of Joseph J. Lodge, Lederach, Penn. Other furniture included a smoke decorated drop leaf stand with mustard grain painted tapering legs, circa 1825. Of interest was a pair of carved wood peacock plaques, circa 1920.
DBR Antiques, Doug Ramsay, of Hadley, Mass., had a large carved Buddha tea shop sign at the front of his booth, white pine, original paint, probably New York City, circa 1880. Dating from the mid-1920s was a sheet metal weathervane in the form of a horse and rider with a large hat, retaining some of the original paint, and a circa 1750‱780 one-drawer blanket chest had a blue painted surface and cutout ends and front.
A large carousel horse stood in the booth of James Grievo, Stockton, N.J., an outside row figure by Charles Carmel for the Eldridge Park, N.Y., in park paint. A Nineteenth Century tall case clock, New York State, was in mahogany with eight-day works.
Lots of brown furniture filled the booth of Ed Weissman, Portsmouth, N.H., and Naples, Fla., including a Sheraton inlaid Massachusetts card table in mahogany, circa 1800, serpentine form, oval inlaid, with reeded legs. A New England mahogany card table with serpentine top, Portsmouth, N.H., dated circa 1785‱800 and had molded tapering legs.
A set of six mahogany Hepplewhite side chairs, circa 1795‱800, was shown at the front of the booth of SAJE Americana, Short Hills, N.J., along with a Federal mahogany cylinder top Sheraton desk, Boston, inlaid and dating circa 1810.
A cast iron dog in old paint from the Gray Foundry in Poultney, Vt., circa 1845‱865, stood guard in the booth of Hilary & Paulette Nolan of Falmouth, Mass. A large oval tavern sign of wood, with an iron work surround, original yellow paint on black painted surface, advertised “J. Coffin,” probably Nantucket.
Against the back wall of the booth of John Chaski Antiques, Camden, Del., was a 10-foot-long Windsor bench, eight legs, blue painted surface, of New England origin and dating circa 1880. A colorful quilt on the back wall was in bright red, green and yellow on a white ground, tulip pattern, Pennsylvania, dating circa 1880.
Melissa Bourque Antiques, Garrison, N.Y., offered an early Nineteenth Century Sheraton graduated four-drawer chest, mahogany with inlays on the drawers, reeded columns, rounded corners on the top, from either Massachusetts or New Hampshire, and a late Nineteenth Century child’s tumbling blocks quilt, framed. “We have had a very good show,” Melissa said, adding some of the objects sold included a Chippendale mahogany drop leaf table, a red, white and blue store prop, trade signs, a six-drawer apothecary, tiger maple server and a Rhode Island or eastern Connecticut Queen Anne drop leaf table in applewood, with cabriole legs and duck feet.
The Garthoeffners of Lititz, Penn., also had a very good show, selling a child’s chair from their own collection, a trade sign, some jewelry, crib quilt, hooked rug, two folk art dolls, and again from their collection, four interesting and rare cookie cutters.
In a close-by booth, Martin Chasin sold well, including many pieces of silver flatware, sterling silver wine coasters, a pair of Eighteenth Century Venetian candlesticks and several Nineteenth Century crystal vases.
A large folk art church building, tramp art with red roofs, stood out in the booth of Steve Smoot of Lancaster, Penn. A pair of portraits of Deacon and Mrs Samuel Winkley of Claremont, N.H., oil on canvas by Belnap, were fresh to the market, and a decorated bridal dome-top chest, circa 1825‱830, all original and from the Normandy region of France, was noted as “the best” by the dealer.
Kocian DePasqua, Woodbury, Conn., showed a very large eagle weathervane, attributed to Harris & Co., Boston, and a set of six rodback Windsor side chairs of Massachusetts origin, circa 1800‱810. A rare Indian trade sign from coastal Massachusetts showed the image of Massasoit, derived from the state seal of Massachusetts Bay Colony, circa 1810. By early Saturday morning, several sales had been recorded, including a Dexter horse weathervane, an early barber pole, butter molds, stone fruit, a pewter pitcher and a sign for “Catholic Church and Golf Club.”
Next year the Philadelphia Antiques Show is moving its dates back in April and will open on the 12th. Barn Star will follow suit, opening on that Friday, April 12, at 10 am, and running for three days
“This is proving to be a busy season for Barn Star,” Frank Gaglio said, adding, “We have added two new shows to our schedule.” On July 27′9 the Saratoga Springs (N.Y.) Antiques, Art and Jewelry Show will take place at City Center, 522 Broadway, with 60 exhibitors, and on December 14‱6, the Greenwich (Conn.) Winter Antiques & Art Show will move into the Greenwich Civic Center. It is noted as “a fresh approach to a classic show.”
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