Back for the third year amid the historic landscape of the 36-acre Massachusetts Horticultural Society center, Marvin Getman’s show, Antiques at Elm Bank, drew a strong gate on July 26 and 27. With the gardens at the height of their bloom, the fragrance of heirloom flowers and herbs created the perfect setting for an antiques show. New this year, and accessible to visitors, was the 44,200-square-foot Bressingham Garden, a four-season perennial garden landscape.
The 1907 Georgian Revival manor house, which was vacant for more than two decades and suffered accordingly, was reopened for the 2006 show. It has been undergoing restoration for some time, but the house was spruced up smartly by a crew that was filming the movie Ghost of Girlfriends Past on site in the spring †the improvement was dramatic.
Dealers consistently extol this show’s management: Marvin Getman is seen by most as a promoter who attends to every detail. Space, placement and dealers’ opinions are paramount. His shows are advertised widely and sales attest to that. With 110 quality dealers, some reported record-breaking sales.
Eight dealers set up in the house and traffic was heavy. Meg Chalmers and Judy Young of Crones Collectibles, Brewster, Mass., were busy greeting old and new clients. Of particular interest was a Danish floor vase that stood around 48 inches high; it was made at the Palshus pottery and dated 1957. The dealers showed an enticing array of art pottery that included a vase by New Hampshire potter Gerry Williams that was displayed on a fine Mission oak footstool.
Early on the first morning, Essex, Mass., dealer Uniquities was packing up a Victorian marble top table for a pleased buyer. Donna and David Kmetz of Douglas, Mass., had evocative summery pictures for sale by such New England artists as Bernard Corey, Charlotte Buell Coman, Emily Nichols Hatch, Theodore Dillaway and C. Gordon Harris. An expensive painting sold after the show.
James S. Dolph, the Durham, N.H., dealer who trades as JSD Antiques, brought a wide variety of Asian smalls that resulted in a steady stream of sales. A group of finely carved turn-of-the- Twentieth Century netsuke shared space with three Victorian carved ivory female figures. Of interest was a carved ivory egg with a chick peeping out that Dolph said was only about 50 years old. Older and interesting was a Neolithic Liangzhu Bi disc dating from 3500 to 2250 BC, two Northern Qi horses and two Northern Qi figures retaining bits of paint and dating from 550 to 580 BC.
Kairos of New York City filled its booth with Nineteenth and Twentieth Century paintings, such as James Brodie Shearer’s “Village Landscape,” Otto Vachtl’s 1953 “Still Life with Oriental Figures,” Hawk Alfredson’s “Mushroom Explosion” and Hendrik J. Glintenkamp’s circa 1929 landscape with a house.
Kuenzig Books and Scientific Instruments of Topsfield, Mass., did a land-office business. The booth was a big draw for dedicated buyers. It also attracted a coterie of interested sellers.
Lucyanne Robinson of Little Rock, Ark., brought jewelry that was a big hit with many buyers. Other dealers were set up in rows of white tents around the gardens; still others were housed in the renovated and air-conditioned Hunnewell Building, the former carriage house for the property.
Bellingham, Mass., dealer Dan Mullen, who trades as Aran Antiques, described his experience at Elm Bank as “unbelievable.” He said he had the best results since he began doing shows 30 years ago. Mullen sold paintings, Japanese prints, jewelry and smalls, mostly to out-of-state buyers who found their way to Wellesley.
Glenbrook Antiques of Walden, N.Y., was aflutter with early sales activity that ran to one of two double pedestal dining tables, an upholstered dog or cat kennel from the 1920s that looked like an elegant oval ottoman, and a girandole mirror with a black eagle, which went to a South Carolina buyer. A pier table and several paintings were also sold. David Komyathy said the crowd at was “almost overwhelming.” He was not complaining. Along with good Nineteenth Century furniture, the booth was filled with such interesting accessories as a pair of Rockingham garnitures, an English presentation beer or cider jug that bore the Winchester College crest, tea boxes and candlesticks.
Antiques ‘n Bells of Dade City, Fla., presented a display of glass by makers such as Moser, Webb, Loetz and a colorful array of Bohemian glass that included a Harrach salamander vase and a Rindskopf vase.
Chicopee, Mass., dealer Nook and Cranny Antiques had a bang-up show. Early on the first day, sales already included two one-drawer stands, another stand, a set of cement flamingoes, an early portrait of a woman and a Pioneer Valley candlestand. Two figures included a rare Dapper Dan doorstop figure made by Judd and Co. of New Haven, Conn. Among the sales of the first day were two pieces to two different people, at two different times, who lived on the same street in the same town.
Boston and Salem, Mass., rug dealers Landry and Arcari spread out a generous selection of their richly toned antique carpets beneath a tent, evoking the age-old sale of the East. A room-size carpet sold and there was much interest in others.
J&M Antiques of East Amherst, N.Y., did “extremely well” at the show. The pride of place went to an all-original Tiffany student oil lamp with an iridescent green globe with a Greek key pattern on the edge. It sat upon a fine English leather top drum table from the early part of the Nineteenth Century. An interesting painting of a senorita feeding fowl was of interest, and a handsome settee was sold. An Edwardian Tiffany diamond and pearl necklace attracted many desiring eyes.
Anthony L. Griffon, who runs Griffon Medieval Manuscripts of St Petersburg, Fla., filled his booth with beautifully painted illuminated manuscripts. The delicate lines and deep colors made a compelling display.
Dealer Paul Martinez of Westminster, Mass., specializes in amphorae and art pottery and his booth was replete with enticing examples that sold during the show. He included German pottery, a Saxbo table lamp and a set of mugs made with ears in the 1920s. Martinez also showed a group of amphorae busts from the estate of Madame Alexander, doll maker of note. Of particular interest was a pair of circa 1900 Bohemian exhibition vases with four handles.
Dealer John Maciejowski of Melrose, Mass., said he observed that visitors were particularly knowledgeable and interested. He offered a stylish pair of French high back armchairs along with a Napoleon III ebonized games table. A Picasso print was accompanied by the original bill of sale from a gallery in Nancy, France. A pair of Japanese vases from the 1880s presented a tempting buying opportunity. Furniture of interest included a George III mahogany chest-on chest with fine inlay and a tall chest of drawers that retained the labels of two owners.
Cape Cod dealer Two by Two of Centerville showed a decorative pair of pineapple finials along with a pair of English finials and a pair of terracotta banks in the form of resting lions. A set of chairs was already sold, but a circa 1830 French sideboard and an early Nineteenth Century French farm table and six country chairs with double rows of turned spindles were still available. The booth also housed some nice examples of Staffordshire and some blue and white ceramics, silver, boxes and tea caddies.
The display of art pottery in the booth set up by Pat’s Pots of Westport, Mass., encompassed all manner of ceramics by such entities as Zanesville, McCoy, Weller and Brush Studios.
Atlanta dealer Jo McDonough, who trades as McDonough Fine Art, offered a fine selection of rare books, prints and maps. As buyers perused the prints and maps displayed, McDonough sat dreamily †a writer as well as antiques dealer, she was planning a detective novel. Check her out under her pen name, Josephine Daffin.
The gate was strong and bidders were interested and discerning. As one woman neared the exit, she called out to her friend, “I’m going home now, but then we’ll come back!” That seemed to be the prevailing sentiment of the show; many returned for more.
For information, 781-862-4039 or www.neantiqueshows.com .