Published: September 26, 2000
WILTON, CONN. – The one-day Wilton DAR Antiques Marketplace on Sunday, September 17 enjoyed perfect fall weather, lots of fresh antiques and art, and a rush of young suburbanites eager to embrace quality antiques.
Not surprisingly, a large number of young couple pushing strollers made the show a family outing. This “new generation” of antiques buyers were enjoying conversations with many Wilton Show antiques specialists. Dealer Melissa Greene noted, “In my six years of business, I’ve never seen so many new faces…[there were] lots of young collectors.” Not unusual for Wilton, this also resulted in time spent with new customers, educating them on the fine points of porcelain, clocks, paintings, or furniture.
As usual, this show was host to specialists in porcelain, quilts, samplers, American, English, and continental furniture, American art, decoys, brass, copper, pewter, prints, books, Oriental carpets, advertising signs, military antiques, and more. Many well-known dealers proudly showed off prized antiques won in Skinner’s recent auction of the Paul and Margaret Weld Collection. Gameboards were another common feature also popular at this summer’s auctions. They could be found from Nancy & Craig Cheney, Jane Wargo, Ken & Susan Scott, Pine Tree Hill Antiques, Gloria Greenwald, Russ & Karen Goldberger, and probably.
According to show manager Marilyn Gould, many dealers reported good sales, and she noted that furniture sold well. The shipping crew was kept busy with at least two full truckloads of deliveries. Mrs Gould noted, however, that parking was restricted because of construction at Wilton High School and numerous events on the fields surrounding the show. Knowing that a few potential shoppers may have been discouraged by full parking lots, “[The restrictions] will not be the case for the next two shows in November and December,” Mrs Gould assured.
Derek and Alice Hamilton of H & H, New Canaan, Conn., saw regular Wilton customers from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. They had a good show, selling Georgian hollowware, napkin rings, a repousse covered vegetable dish, and a pair of Nineteenth Century salad servers to a visitor who came from New York expressly for them.
Susan Stella, of Manchester, N.H., offered many textiles and samplers, as well as a nice Connecticut cherry tea table with thin top and carved pad feet, a Nineteenth Century wood dog carving, and a cased boat model that she brought “right out of my living room!”
Frank Gaglio featured an American ash covered bowl from Rhode Island, a wooden steeple birdhouse, and a circa 1800 New England painted step back cupboard.
Not to be found at any other show was a wall of colorful turn-of-the-century screen-like Odd Fellows masks used in ritual and offered by Jim Hirsheimer, Erwinna, Pa. A unique piece from H.K.H. Antiques, Lambertville, N.J., was a mechanical cow farm mascot from a Rhode Island dairy.
More traditional antiques are also plentiful at Wilton. Heller-Washam showed a circa 1740 ladder back arm chair with rush seat, a 1785 Hepplewhite mahogany three-part banquet table, a circa 1780 Chippendale reverse-serpentine desk from Boston, and a circa 1760 Queen Anne cherrywood highboy from Wethersfield, Conn.
Hanes & Ruskin of Westbrook, Conn., featured plenty of New England Queen Anne and Chippendale furniture, including a circa 1780 Chippendale desk from Rhode Island, a 1795 Chippendale chest, a 1780 Connecticut walnut Queen Anne tilt-top candlestand, and a circa 1760 Queen Anne drop leaf table found in a Beacon Hill home.
Highlights from Lillie Antiques, Wiscasset, Me., included a full-bodied rooster weathervane bearing the scars of two bullets, Eighteenth Century bandboxes, a Hepplewhite square worktable with blind drawer. Noting that some have thought the blind drawer was an indication that the owners could not afford a proper pull, Kiersten Lynch remarked, “It was aesthetic. The blind drawer was really used in order to maintain a clean form of the piece.”
Peter Eaton was showing a rare Connecticut Pilgrim Century joined chest made of oak, pine and poplar dated to 1707 with a mid Nineteenth Century dark varnish. A rare piece from Paul and Karen Wendhiser was an Eighteenth to early Nineteenth Century iron herb grinder, signed “Rogers” and from the Paul and Margaret Weld Collection. The Wendhisers, of Ellington, Conn., also showed an 1840 theorem with remarkably bright blues for its age, and an Eighteenth Century cast iron fire-back with crown and fleur-de-lis decoration. It was also in superb condition.
Ron Saland’s favorite pieces at Marilyn Saland of — were two sabre-legged bird’s-eye and tiger maple New York chairs signed ‘S. Ely.’ Not to be ignored, however, were a circa 1830 country Hepplewhite schoolmaster’s desk, a circa 1840 American mahogany classical card table, and a Nineteenth Century tabletop wooden cheese caddy with brass casters.
Jane Wargo of Wallingford, Conn., was happy to show an early Nineteenth Century “make-do” Windsor chair, a stack of eight Nineteenth Century handled pantry boxes, several late Nineteenth Century floral hand-hooked chair pads from Maine, and a very interesting Nineteenth Century painted copper barrel bird house from Lewisburg, Pa. Another favorite was a mid-Nineteenth Century child’s miniature dry sink from Pennsylvania.
Painted furniture was plentiful from Ken & Susan Scott, who offered a New York State two-door over two-door stepback cupboard in bittersweet paint, a blue doughbox, and a stretcher base table in bayberry over red paint.
Jane Brown was pleased to show two quilts, probably Maine, by the same maker. Each featured tiny, perfect stitches, and a colorful combination of green, red and orange. Jane called one “lollipop tree,” while the other was “wreath of roses.” Another interesting quilt, but different maker, was “baskets,” which featured a repeated design of blue baskets, while each white square featured a different stitching design such as a heart, flower, or bird. “It’s like a quilted sampler,” noted the Boothbay Harbor, Me. dealer.
Melissa Greene of Greene and Mays, Westport, Conn., recalled, “Within ten minutes of show opening, we sold an inlaid schoolhouse clock, and a 1893 ship diorama depicting America’s Cup. We also sold a 1920s multi-colored paint-decorated game wheel, and a fabulous Vermont redware jug. Overall we had a wonderful show, and some more sales are pending.” Melissa noted lots of interest from young collectors, and sold the previously mentioned redware jug to a new client who had never before bought redware. “It was an impressive first purchase,” she said. In her new business with Donald Mays, Greene has now enjoyed two very successful Wilton shows.
After stocking his booth with antique clocks, Paul Phillips of Bryn Mawr, Pa., was grateful for the diversity of the rest of his booth. It seemed that everything but the clocks was selling, including a wrought iron chandelier and trammel, a wooden child’s footstool with nice dovetailing on the sides, a circa 1750 banister back side chair, and a Philadelphia secretary. Phillips noted interest in a set of four hand-finished chromolithographs of the HMS Investigator by Lt. Creswell, circa 1853. Notable clocks included a Scottish tall-case clock, with a shape “pleasing to the American eye,” noted Phillips, as well as several cast iron front clocks. These were made and decorated around 1850, and featured handpainted floral scenic decorations.
Directly across from Phillips was Harold Cole/Autumn Pond Antiques, Woodbury, Conn., whose earliest piece was a circa 1650-80 New England blanket chest. Other antiques included an impressive circa 1740-60 Connecticut Queen Anne tiger maple table, a circa 1790-1810 Pennsylvania corner cupboard, a circa 1820 American tiger maple dressing table, a child’s portrait attributed to Horace Bundy, and a circa 1920 whale weathervane.
A circa 1790-1810 wing chair was positioned in the booth of Nancy Lott-Schlicher, Hampton, N.H., along with a country Hepplewhite card table, and a circa 1800 tap table with original red paint and one-board top.
From Dover, Del., James Kilvington brought a circa 1870 rose Canton garden seat, a circa 1740 William and Mary tavern table, a circa 1780 English Queen Anne lowboy, and a chairback Windsor settee signed Wallace Nutting, 1915.
Irvin and Dolores Boyd of Fort Washington, Pa., featured an early Southeastern Pennsylvania hutch table in pine and poplar. Circa 1780-1820, a set of eight arrowback chairs, circa 1800-1830, probably from Rhode Island, and a Federal corner cupboard in pine, 1810-30.
Russ and Karen Goldberger of Rye, N.H., brought their usual selection of fine Americana, including a circa 1820-30 vinegar faux-grained one-drawer blanket chest, a late Nineteenth Century red and black checkerboard from Massachusetts, a pair of Eighteenth Century tin sconces, and a mid Nineteenth Century red round shoe-foot hutch table from Maine.
The fine arts at Wilton were well represented by The Cooley Gallery of Old Lyme, Conn. Paintings included “Moonrise on Lake George” by John W. Casilaer (1811-1893), “Summer Idyll” by Aaron Draper Shattuck (1832-1928), and “Ballad #1, Early Spring,” by Lawrence Mazzanovich (born 1872).
Frederic Thaler of Cornwall Bridge, Conn. was showing “Haystacks in Moonlight,” by George Henry Bogart (1864-1949), “The Woodpile” by Henry Ward Ranger (1859-1916), and “Evening” by J. Francis Murphy (1853-1921).
Wilton is much of a reunion for regular dealers, who enjoy setting up shop next to friends and respected colleagues. It is a time to catch up not only on news in the antiques world, but also from the homefront. Highlights at Darwin of Philadelphia included not only an African-American mantel in “Haint” blue from Sapelo Island, Ga., but also the happy news of the engagement of Carolinn Pocher and William Woody.
The next Wilton show will be the Wilton Historical Society American Craftsmanship Show on November 11 and 12, and the Wilton Holiday Antiques Marketplace on December 3. For information, call 203/762-3525.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
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