Published: August 19, 2008
Taking place annually during a week filled with regional auctions and antiques shows, one of the highlights that has been firmly established over the years is the ever-popular Cape Cod Antiques Show. Taking place over the weekend of August 1″, the show, expanded in size and scope in 2007 and again for this year, now hosts 50 dealers.
Presented by the Cape Cod Antique Dealers Association (CCADA), this show, now in its 38th year, has long drawn serious crowds, especially for the Friday evening preview, and this year was no exception. The crowd began forming outside the Nauset Middle School a couple hours prior to opening, and by the time preview began at 5 pm, buyers were ready and anxious.
Long touted by CCADA as “Cape Cod’s Hottest Show,” it again lived up to its reputation in one aspect, but fell short in another. While buying and selling was “hot” for many of the dealers, the weather this year was quite tepid when compared to the sweltering “dog days of August” that usually hound this show’s non-air-conditioned facility. It was all that CCADA members could do to get patrons to even take one of their handheld paper fans that sports their logo, although that was usually because buyers had their arms filled with purchases.
Several of the dealers at the show were transplants from the Chatham event, including Fishkill, N.Y., dealers Louis and Janet Dianni, whose advertisement for the show took on a humorous air as it depicted the fully clothed dealer diving from the bow of a ship with the proclamation, “We’re Jumping Ship.” Dianni thanked his loyal customers and announced that after many years in Chatham, they would be presenting their selection of marine art in Orleans. A fine selection of ships portraits was offered from the booth, including a portrait by Edouard Adam of the American immigrant ship Jacob A. Stamler leaving the port of Le Havre under full sail.
Another item of interest was a large sailor-made macramé frame, circa 1875, that housed a portrait of a presumed sea captain with ships under sail in the background. Not all was nautical in the booth, however, with a winter landscape titled “Woodland Stream” by Walter L. Palmer attracting attention.
Henry Callan is one of the locals that exhibits in the show and, as always, he was on hand with an exceptional selection of Staffordshire figures, rewards of merit cups and plates, early glass and, one of the dealer’s favorite items, early samplers.
Booth chats on Sunday afternoon were presented in three different booths, with Steve German discussing the different aspects of collecting early American stoneware and its rise from a lowly utilitarian ware to its treasured place in the hearts of Americana collectors. The dealer offered a good selection of stoneware in his booth, with an early incised jar with a dark blue-filled sprig decoration on both sides. Typical of early pieces from the New York City region, it had freestanding applied handles. Numerous other pieces were offered, with bird decorated examples prevalent and other unusual pieces with strong cobalt designs.
Betsy Hewlett was another of the CCADA members to present a booth chat on Sunday, with her early American pattern glass specialty the subject of the talk. The dealer discussed a wide variety of topics pertaining to the field, using examples from her display, which included everything from tiny salts to large compotes and covered the gamut as far as patterns.
Charles Szeglin presented a popular booth chat with his subject matter including the wide variety of items that would have been found in a typical early American home. A specialist in wrought iron, the dealer spent a great deal of time discussing its various uses in the home, ranging from lighting to hearth tools. Also discussed were other utilitarian smalls such as redware as well as furnishings and drawings and paintings from the American School.
William Wibel always has a good selection of country wares on hand and highlighting his selection this year was a rare and early sailor’s carpentry chest, or perhaps a rigging chest, filled with more than 200 pieces of nautical-related tooling. The dealer commented that the chest, mounted atop two Windsor-style turned four-leg bases, had been discovered in the region and may have had roots going back to Nantucket.
Two wooden weathervanes were also attracting attention from Wibel’s booth, a flying goose in good paint was one of them, the other a swordfish. A neat pushcart in old blue paint was another featured item †filled with flowers, it was catching the eye of many of the local ladies.
Maps of Antiquity offered a variety of maps and posters, including a colorful New Haven Railroad travel poster advertising “The Berkshires.” The depiction of a large tree in the foreground and a quaint village with a white church steeple dominating the background village scene made for an attractive subject. Among the maps was a large and early representation of Cape Cod, while at the other end of the spectrum was a Sanson map, circa 1700, depicting North America and showing California as an island.
Art was offered in many of the booths, some regional in nature, while other examples represented the American School. Sheila and Roy Mennell of Bradford Trust Fine Art and Antiques, Harwich Port, Mass., brought a good selection of paintings ranging from traditional New England themes, such as Arthur Diehl’s oil on canvas depicting a schooner and dory at dockside, to a Modernist watercolor by Karl Knaths titled “Clam Diggers.”
Arthur Diehl paintings of a different nature were offered by Ralph Diamond Antiques and Fine Art with two trompe l’oeil oils, including one depicting an early $1 silver certificate bill. The dealer also featured a Diehl shore scene with fishermen and boats alongside their building.
Priscilla Hutchinson offered a nice selection of Americana with an assortment of blue and white spatterware featured on the side wall of her booth. A large shorebird decoy was displayed, along with a small case of eight drawers in old blue paint and a large and early hooked rug with rooster decoration.
Country furniture was featured in the booth of William Bakeman, Wilbraham, Mass., ranging from transitional William and Mary period ladder back chairs with mushroom capped arms to a nice Queen Anne drop leaf table with a cabriole leg terminating in a pad foot. An early pine step back cupboard with an unusual overhanging cornice top was filled with early pewter, glass and colorful redware.
Next year’s event will take place on the weekend beginning July 31. For information, www.ccada.com .
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