Published: October 26, 2010
While the late summer drought may have muted autumn’s palette across the New York State and New England landscapes, the colorful displays at the Rhinebeck Antiques Fair provided a vibrant and festive oasis for would-be leaf-peepers and serious antiques collectors alike. The show, conducted October 9 and 10, closed out its 34th year and once again it attracted the usual large and enthusiastic crowds that have long been making the thrice-annual trek to Rhinebeck a tradition.
A large line was on hand for the opening, with multiple gates letting shoppers rush toward the direction of their favorite dealers. Unlike other shows, Rhinebeck also has entrances at each of the different buildings, which allows the crowd to disperse quickly and for shopping to begin right away. With 150-plus dealers, the show is managed by Bruce Garrett and his able staff.
At the entrance to Building C was a striking display presented by The Village Braider, Plymouth, Mass. Dealer Bruce Emond commented that he had just purchased a collection of decorated Indian war club pins, and groups of them were attractively displayed across the back wall of the stand. A large metal boot trade sign was attracting interest, as was a paint decorated Continental cupboard and a massive walnut table with complementing bench seating. Also offered was a neat metal sculpture of leaping porpoises with a pleasing verdigris surface.
South Hadley, Mass., dealer Victor Weinblatt was at the entrance to Building A, and his booth was filled to the brim with colorful items that ranged from a humongous Eagle pencil more than 5 feet in length to a collection of painted sheet metal mallard duck stick-up decoys. A large sign from a “meat market” raised a few eyebrows and elicited some chuckles from the crowd. Other colorful and nicely painted signs boasted everything from “complete luncheon specials” to steaming cups of coffee.
Old Village Antiques, Canton, Conn., offered a good selection of mainstream furniture that included sideboards, butler’s chests, candlestands, a tea table, Pembroke tables and a secretary desk. Proprietors Stephen Gero and Daniel Hackbarth also offered a good assortment of accessories that ranged from silver to paintings, with a shelf clock and piece or two of Staffordshire thrown in for good luck.
An eclectic mix of merchandise was seen at Brennan & Mouilleseaux, Litchfield, Conn., where items ranged from an Eames-style leather chair and a Lucite wall unit to a nice Pennsylvania two-drawer blanket box with striking grain paint and a selection of slipware. Also displayed was an intriguing pair of ornate wrought iron gates with trailing vine decoration and a central motif of a sailing ship. According to the dealers, the gates dated to 1920.
A diversified selection of country Americana was at DBR Antiques, Hadley, Mass., with a nice Queen Anne turned leg tap table with scrubbed top and the base in old red paint attracting attention. Several nice decoys, paintings, a vibrantly painted still bank in the form of a bank building, game boards and a stylish sheet metal car weathervane, probably from the 1930s, were also offered.
A neat painted drop leaf table from a Maine camp was at South Road Antiques, Stanfordville, N.Y. It was decorated with a large star on the top and rows of stars across each drop leaf.
Stoneware was the star attraction at Mad River Antiques, Granby, Conn., with numerous early pieces getting looks from collectors. A large 3-gallon Crolius jar with open handles and boldly marked with the “Manhattan Wells” stamp was additionally decorated with three impressed rosettes and the signature surrounded by coggled decoration. Another piece to attract attention was a large and early stoneware pitcher incised with a large codlike fish that was further highlighted with cobalt.
A good selection of paintings was on display at Bradford Trust Fine Art, Harwich Port, Mass., including an oil on canvas of what proprietor Roy Mennel called the “best catboat picture I have ever owned.” The painting, signed AA Lawrence and dated 1873, depicted a catboat under full sail flying the burgee of the Bunker Hill Yacht Club, Boston. An unusual piece in the booth was a period C.H. Gifford painting titled “On The South Side of Cuttyhunk,” and a later painting of the painting that was executed on a tole tray by Cape Cod artist E. Melbye in 1973.
A nice Sheraton mahogany bowfront chest from the school of Salem, Mass., cabinetmaker William Hooks was at Jenkinstown Antiques, New Paltz, N.Y. The dealers rounded out their display of American furniture with a nice tiger maple flattop highboy and an early banister back armchair. Numerous paintings were displayed, including a Samuel Dyke oil titled “View in West Virginia.”
A handsome cast iron rooster weathervane was getting attention at Holden Antiques, Naples, Fla., where Ed and Anita Holden also offered a good selection of country furniture, early glassware, Native American beaded fetishes, redware and folk art.
A playful atmosphere was presented in the booth of Mimi Gunn, Chatham, N.J., with a collection of vintage children’s tin lithographed buckets decorated with fanciful designs that ranged from depictions of the seashore to Peter Rabbit. And at the stand of Bob Baranowsky, things were pretty, especially so for the pretty lady that was seen purchasing a sumptuous vintage mink coat from the booth.
The Rhinebeck Antiques Fair will be returning for the 35th year in May of 2011. For further information, www.rhinebeckantiquesfair.com or 845-876-1989.
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