Published: December 18, 2001
By Genevieve Ward
OLD GREENWICH, CONN. – With a new layout, a new show manager and a dozen changes in the dealer roster, kicked off its 44th antiques show on Thursday, November 29 with a gala preview party to benefit The Historical Society of The Town of Greenwich.
The show, known for its stunning presentation and quality dealers, continued through Sunday, December 2, and was complemented by other events including a house tour and lecture series. The show is the primary fundraiser for the historical society, and is run not only by a professional show manager, but also by a long list of committed Greenwich volunteers.
Susie McMillan of Wellesley, Mass. replaced the management of N. Pendergast Jones, who had retired last year after many years of management. In an interview after the show, McMillan said she “couldn’t have been more pleased with the show, or with the dealers.”
McMillan is well-known in the area for her work on the Caramoor Antiques Show in October, the July Nantucket Antiques Show, Antiques in Alexandria and the Maryland Historical Society Antiques Show, as well as shows in Birmingham, Mich., Columbus, Ohio, and Savannah, Ga. In all, McMillan has 15 years experience in managing benefit antiques shows.
One of the major changes that McMillan immediately implemented was in the booth layout that actually increased the number of booth spaces to 43 (41 last year). She and the committee also invested in new carpeting, which added polish to the show.
The standard booth setup in the main hall at the Greenwich Civic Center had included aisles that spanned both the length and width of the center. This year, cross (width) aisles were eliminated, a change that Harrodsburg, Ky. dealer Jayne Thompson, praised.
She recalled, “We had a good show this year at Antiquarius, and we sold some very nice things. The show was much improved over previous years, due in part to the new floor layout, which provided better showing of, and easier access to, the booths.”
Perhaps the most significant change was the addition of 12 new or returning dealers to the show. W. Graham Arader III, Betteridge Jewelers, Brennan & Mouilleseaux, Busch & Fielding, The Finnegan Gallery, Georgian Manor Antiques, Leatherwood Antiques, Eve Stone Antiques, Charles Washburne Antiques, Anthony S. Werneke Inc., and Taylor B. Williams all joined the roster of dealers, some after a short or long absence from the show.
After a three-year absence from Antiquarius, Eve Stone of Woodbridge, Conn. and daughter Susan Stone returned with their incomparable collection of copper kitchen antiques.
Said Susan, “It was wonderful to be back. We think with the choice of Susie McMillan as promoter will bring the quality of the show back to its former glory. We connected with old customers and we always have residual sales.”
According to Nancy Willis of Betty Willis Antiques, Marlborough, N.H., “As usual, it was a slow start, but on Sunday afternoon there was quite a bit of selling. We sold a pair of French landscapes, a portrait of a bull, a mirror, a pair of painted Empire side chairs and several other rdf_Descriptions.”
Regarding the new management, Willis added, “I think Susie McMillan did a wonderful job managing the show. She brought in new dealers with terrific merchandise and gave the show a fresh and exciting feel. Susie is a delight to work with and she truly cares about her dealers.”
Also returning to the show was Taylor B. Williams of Chicago, who said, “We had a nice show in Greenwich, returning after a thirty-something-year absence. We sold across the board – furniture, enamels, porcelain and glass and even a painting that we just recently purchased.”
Also new to the show, W. Graham Arader of Philadelphia, Penn. brought a Havell edition of Audubon’s hand-colored engraving “American White Pelican” (London, 1827-38), as well as a rare Albert Bierstadt handcolored photogravure titled “The Last of the Buffalo,” circa 1890.
American folk art dealer Sidney Gecker displayed a circa 1870 cast and sheet iron rooster vane from Gilmanton Iron Works, Rochester, N.H., and a pastel portrait of Jane Antoinette Roosevelt Duffie (1801-1889) attributed to Micah Williams. Furniture included a rare green painted bird’s-eye maple apothecary cupboard.
Set up on the large stage of the civic center was new dealer Georgian Manor of Fairhaven, Mass. One highlight of the booth was a circa 1810-20 elm oak and ebony inlaid hanging cupboard. In the front of the show, Anthony S. Werneke of Pond Eddy, N.Y. set up a display of Eighteenth Century American furniture, including a circa 1700-30 American baroque kas from Kingston, N.Y., attributed to the Etting-Beekman shops. The piece is referred to in the exhibition catalogue American Kasten, published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Other furniture included a William and Mary pine chest of drawers from Guilford, Conn., circa 1720-30. Werneke also showed a rare silk needlework casket made for the toiletries of a lady, circa 1650-65, and intricately decorated with flora and fauna, including the camel.
The show was also successful for long-time dealers who have cultivated long-lasting relationships with Greenwich-area collectors.
Cliff Leonard, C.M. Leonard Antiques, New Canaan, Conn. recalled, “The changes for the show were excellent. New aisles gave the show a fresh look, as did the many dealers that were added. They are taking this show to it original format of excellent dealers with good quality.”
Leonard continued, “I have had enormous follow up. The sales seem to be more to people who collect rather than on people furnishing homes. I sold expensive silver, prints, an Eighteenth Century Italian gilt table and a large tobacco leaf Chinese Export platter.”
Joel Fletcher, Fletcher-Copenhaver Fine Art, said, “Among other things, we sold a large ‘Rites of Spring’ study for the Gobelins tapestry by Augustin Hanicotte, four other Hanicotte watercolors, ‘Tornado’ by Lou Osborne, a large Oscar Daniel Soellner oil, three Hermann-Paul watercolors, a Foujita drawing of a cat, several Barabandy drawings, and a number of other pieces.”
Regarding the changes to the show, the Fredericksburg, Va. dealer stated, “All the reactions I heard to the new floor plan and the new dealers were very positive. The committee had lots of enthusiasm and did a terrific job. All show committees should be as hands-on and involved as this one. It makes an enormous difference.”
Winsor Antiques, Woodbury, Conn., brought a mid Eighteenth Century English walnut chest with boxwood string inlay and shaped bracket feet. Another furniture highlight was an Empire Period walnut begere-form library armchair with Egyptian motifs. Hanging in the booth was an elaborately carved Eighteenth Century carved gilt framed mirror from Northern Italy or Southern France. Winsor also brought a case fill of tin-glazed English and Dutch faience and delft from the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. One charming piece was a circa 1800-20 English slip-glazed bird whistle.
Among the artists represented by Jeff Cooley of Old Lyme, were Bruce Crane (“May Moon”), Charles Harold Davis (“Summertime”), William S. Robinson (“Prelude to the Sun”). Only two landscapes, however, depicted winter scenes, and they were beautiful “Mid-Winter Sunlight” images by Hugh Bolton Jones and Henry Bill Seldon.
Palm Beach, Fla. Fine arts dealer E.L. Oakes brought a circa 1900 canvas of “Seated Women in a Window” by Anna Wood Brown (American, 1890-1920), which was exhibited at the National Academy of Design as well as the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Other works were by Edmond van Coppenolle and Georges Haquette.
James Wilhoit of Alexandria, Va. brought a circa 1790-1800 Hepplewhite inlaid mahogany sideboard from the North Shore of Massachusetts or Portsmouth, N.H., as well as a portrait (said to be of David Hume) by Gabriel Guerin (1868-1910).
Centreville, Md. dealer Aileen Minor exhibited a circa 1820 New York classical carved mahogany high chest, among other classical pieces. Furniture highlights in Alfred Bullard’s display included a circa 1720 English George I double bonnet bookcase.
Nathan Liverant & Son of Colchester, Conn. brought a Chippendale mahogany serpentine desk, a painted pine corner cupboard from Lebanon, Conn., circa 1750-80 and a circa 1750 Queen Anne maple and walnut tea table from Rhode Island. Also available was a watercolor on paper of the brig Ann Eliza of Mystic, Conn., signed J.G. Evans (active 1838-60).
Alexandria, Va. dealers Woldman & Woldman brought a rare set of sever carved mahogany Restauration dining chairs by Meeks, New York, circa 1846-47. Also on view was an 1802 convex girandole mirror measuring 58 inches high, an 1820 India Trade chair made of Asian hardwoods for the Western market, and a set of circa 1830 English cranberry glass sconces with gilt decoration.
Hyannis Port, Mass. dealers Hyland-Granby showed a James E. Buttersworth (1817-1894) portrait of the full-rigged trading yacht Eloisa, circa 1855, and measuring 20 by 26 inches, as well as a 23-inch pub or gallery clock marked John Walker, 48 Princes Street, Leicester Square.” An extremely rare signed barometer, circa 1740 was also on display, and was referenced in Nicholas Goodison’s English Barometers, 1680-1860.
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