Published: April 13, 2004
The 25th Annual Greenlawn Antiques Show took place March 13-14 at Harborfields High School on Long Island. A benefit event for the Greenlawn-Centerport Historical Association, it is managed by volunteers Toby Kissam and Jim Campbell, both retired schoolteachers and part-time antiques dealers. Together they had assembled a group of 65 antiques dealers with collections ranging from early American country to late Victorian and Edwardian formal furniture, porcelain from England, France, China and of course America, stoneware, vintage textiles and even antique rugs from Persia.
The show raises money to maintain two historic sites in the area – the Suydam Homestead and John Gardner Farm – as well as for educational programs of the Greenlawn-Centerport Historical Association. They educate the public about early American life on Long Island. The antiques show itself provides is a window to the past, a glimpse of early American life.
The show was in three areas of the school with the gymnasium serving as the main room. Just at the entry Jane and Gerry Enokson of Amityville, Long Island, had a room setting of late Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century furniture. Their featured piece was an early chest of drawers made in Pennsylvania circa 1790-1810 in the style of the famous English designer and cabinetmaker George Hepplewhite (?-1786), a master craftsman and designer who opened his own shop in London about 1760, according to his biography by W. R. Storey. Hepplewhite offered clean straight lines, delicate veneers and inlays and simplicity in design and construction. His designs were consolidated into a folio first published by his wife, Alice, two years after his death in 1788. There were three printings in just four years and many copies found there way to America, where the designs became the start of American Federal Design in the new country.
Another exhibitor, South Bay Auctions, is three businesses in one. Obviously they are an auction house, in East Moriches, N.Y., specializing in antiques from estates and private collections. As antiques dealers, they also do some shows. The third part of their business is antiques show management. Henry Broggi and his wife Isette Talpe produce and manage spring and summer antiques shows in Bellport and Bridgehampton (631-878-2909 or visit ). Their booth at Greenlawn was filled with furniture and accessories from various periods and styles including a Shaker-style worktable in pine and walnut available for under $500 and an American Sheraton-style game table in cherry for under $800.
Many of the dealers at this show still have “day jobs.” Mary Ross, Great Neck, N.Y., is in education, so she does a great many more shows in the summer than in the school year. Even so she does collect some great stuff: to wit, a crotch grained mahogany two- over three-drawer federal chest of drawers.
George Johnson and his wife recently retired from Long Island to Montpelier, Vt., and have become full-time antiques dealers. Their collection would make Mary Emmerling proud; it is pure American country. They had stoneware from the Northeast and each piece with some extra decoration, a primitive Hepplewhite chest of drawers, early baskets, boxes and some textiles
Glory B Antiques, Huntington, N.Y., deals in early glass, porcelain and stoneware. DiBenedetto & Co Inc had both elegant hardwood furniture and art. Vincent Guido of Amityville. N.Y., had an eclectic collection including a very well made hooked mat about four feet by two and a half, priced at $395.
Pam Lerner’s Hamlet Antiques, Brookhaven Hamlet, N.Y., was as usual, a broad mix of styles including an early Nineteenth Century pier bench, some bamboo sun room furniture, a few country pieces and the accessories necessary to make it into a room setting. Baycrest Antiques and Design, Huntington, N.Y., dealers and decorators made its booth into a summer place sitting room that could have been moved intact to a cottage in The Hamptons.
Long Island has its own sense of style and design and this show caters to it. Toby Kissam and Jim Campbell also produce as unpaid volunteers for The Huntington Historical Society April 24-25 at Huntington High School.
Although there are a few booths left Toby said, “Like Greenlawn, it always sells out. The dealers enjoy these shows; it’s a social occasion for them as well as a business.” For information, 631-757-7752.
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