By Susan and Al Bagdade
HINSDALE, ILL. – With the completion of a major renovation and expansion project to the Community House of Hinsdale, there was great anticipation for the opening of the 43rd Annual Hinsdale Antiques Show and Sale held September 7-9 to benefit the programs and services of the Community House.
In the past, there was a great emphasis on entertaining events during the show, including a gala seated dinner for the preview, a keynote lecturer and even a jazz brunch complete with band. This year the emphasis was shifted back to showcasing high quality antiques.
Five previous chairpersons were brought back to head-up this year’s event that took place in the expanded building. The 29 exhibiting antiques dealers had additional room to spread out and were housed on one floor. Instead of a theme to promote the show, the antiques and the exhibitors were the primary focus, which proved highly beneficial for sales.
Although the economy was a concern, most of the dealers were pleased with their strong sales and several had outstanding shows this year.
This year’s preview was a lavish cocktail buffet that kept antiquers on the floor instead of in the tent away from the exhibits. As a result, buying started almost immediately and continued throughout the three days.
The Designer Show Tour held on the opening morning took groups into nine different exhibitors’ booths to discuss the designer perspective of adapting antiques into a decorating scheme.
For Collector’s Night, Chicago Home and Garden magazine presented “The Inspired Collector,” the who, what, where and when of collecting.
Fraida Aland of Rare Finds from Northfield, Ill., felt that “people love beautiful things no matter what is going on in the economy. Americans are returning to their homes and improving them. Sales were already ahead of last year by the second day of the show.”
Aland had spirited sales in fireplace equipment, bamboo and a variety of smalls. In addition to these antiques, she showed majolica, brass accessories, biscuit barrels, chintz, china, barbola mirrors, picture frames and silver toast racks.
Whitehall at the Villa from Chapel Hill, N.C., had “sold” tags in the exhibit as soon as the preview started and they continued to sell exceptionally well all three days of the show. The dealers sold two chests soon after the show opened. Bamboo was very popular and reportedly, “a ton of it” was sold.
Additionally, a secretaire, a painting, three watercolors, copper, brass, silver, boxes including a Huntley and Palmer faux book biscuit tin, an Italian gilt sunburst mirror and a majolica jardiniere all went to new homes. Sales spanned every category, according to the dealers.
From London and Lake Forest, Ill., Wellesley House Ltd. sold some furniture, crystal, 22 napkin rings, silverplate, carpet balls and a ladder. “It was a good show across the board, with some interest in paintings and maps too. It was a knowledgeable audience,” related the exhibitors.
Solomon Suchard Antiques from Shaker Heights, Ohio, had a beautifully laid out exhibit with access from all sides. “Oil paintings are now 25 percent of our business,” said Blake Kemper. Sales included Quimper faience examples with both smalls and good big pieces also going to new homes. Paintings also sold well.
Pat Adams Antiques from Santa Fe, N.M., returned to Hinsdale after a year’s absence, and everyone was delighted to see her return. Victorian and Georgian jewelry pieces sold very well. New owners were delighted to have a Victorian brooch with white sapphire drops and emeralds, a diamond and opal starburst brooch, a Georgian cross, a mourning brooch, a gold and turquoise Russian bangle, a gold and pearl bangle and a pocket watch.
Ralph Spano of Lakeshore Antiques from Milwaukee, Wisc., sold a dressing mirror, a Nineteenth Century primitive portrait painting, a two-drawer stand with two chairs, a country candlestand, an English breakfast table, a classical tilt-top table and a New York work table with one drawer.
Also from Milwaukee, Neil Zuehlke Antiques sold a Massachusetts birch chest of drawers, a mahogany English tea table with a one-board top and several Indiana school landscape paintings.
“I had the best preview ever,” related Ted Fuehr of American Spirit Antiques from Shawnee Mission, Kan. Five of his best pieces of spatter and an oil painting sold during the first evening. Sales continued throughout the show with a clock, a pair of windows, a set of tiger maple chairs, additional paintings, a tiger and cherry server and a dressing table all finding new owners.
Newcomer Blaine Murrell McBurney Antiques from Arrow Rock, Mo., specializes in American classical furniture along with Paris and Old Paris porcelains. Although he had a beautiful exhibit, the Hinsdale crowd was not that receptive to this style of furniture.
Dana Kelly Oriental Rugs, Inc. from Lexington, Ky., had sold seven rugs when we stopped in and was pleased with the “good traffic” at the show.
New dealer John Dennison Fine Art from Briarcliffe Acres, S.C., was thrilled with the show and was definitely coming back. “There was a good crowd, a good preview, friendly people and a responsive committee,” he related. He sold seven oil paintings by Saturday, including three beach scenes. There was also a lot of interest in the French artist Gennaro Befanio, especially his “European Street Scene.”
From Chicago, newcomer Alan Robandt and Company sold a large architectural element during the preview. Alan felt that the decorator walk was successful and well organized and was especially beneficial for those dealers where a decorator gave a talk.
Evan Somerfeld from Madison, Ind., sold an Art Deco piece with inlays and a lot of smalls. He displayed interesting porcelains and delft. A circa 1880 Dutch tile fireplace surround centered this exhibit for $1,800.
Newcomer Antique Cupboard from Waukeshaw, Wisc., reported “a lot of interest in Tiffany flatware since a new book came out.” After Tiffany Silver Flatware 1845-1905 When Dining Was An Art by William P. Hood, Jr. was published, patterns such as Persian, Vine, English King and Hizen were in demand.
“Mixed metals are very popular. The three most popular pieces that people are seeking are clam shell shape pieces, 1880s Saratoga chip spoons and asparagus or sandwich tongs,” according to this owner.
Clock dealer Lotz’s Antiques, Inc, from St Louis, Mo., sold a Scottish drumhead clock during the preview, silver candlesticks and a silver coaster. There was also an interesting selection of French carriage clocks along with handsome tall-case examples.
From Stockbridge, Mich., Thomas Forshee Antiques sold an Eighteenth Century Chinese Export punch bowl, a Chinese table, a Sheffield coffeepot and Export plates.
Elizabeth Bradley Antiques from Milwaukee, Wisc., sold botanical watercolors, Staffordshire figures and Imari porcelains.
Virginia Nicholson Antiques from Placitas, N.M., was doing its first show in the Midwest and dubbed it “The black dog show.” To three different collectors, they sold all three pairs of black Jackfield dogs that they brought to the show and someone came back for another set. They also sold furniture, Chinese watercolors, Mason’s ironstone, Staffordshire, New England smalls and tin molds.
Hayden & Fandetta from New York City sold “old, rare and obscure books about antiques” and rare books on garden architecture. They were having a great show.