Published: December 5, 2006
For the second year Lowery Enterprises has hosted an Antiques & Design Show and Sale at the Turning Point Resort in the Oneida Indian nation. Held on November 4 and 5, the show emphasized the educational aspect of antiques collecting with two exhibitions: one from Oneida Indian Nation’s Shako:wi Cultural Center and another entitled, “Seating in America — 1700s thru Modernism,” with examples and descriptions of period seating.
Jim and Jodie Lowery have been dealers and collectors for decades and now manage this show as well. There was a good, steady gate this year with many coming from as far as Canada and New York City.
Within minutes of the opening, sold tags appeared on some large architectural items at Ken Rifenburg’s O&W Antiques from Sherbourne, N.Y. Ken said he did quite well and was looking forward to next year, a statement that was repeated again and again as dealers said they think this is becoming a destination event. Ken had many large items across a variety of styles and times but it was his large circa 1890–1900 steer horn chair with its intact leather seat that was attracting much attention. He found it in Hudson, N.Y., but thought it was probably from Texas originally.
With about 50 dealers set up in an arena at Turning Stone, which is a hotel, resort and casino complex, this was a lovely show. There were more dealers than last year offering higher-end merchandise. For example, Tom Feisthamel brought a circa 1890 Regency drop front desk with original brass gallery and pulls. He came with his family from Ilion, N.Y., to fill a double-sized booth with mostly large furniture items and some smalls.
At American Decorative Arts, Canaan, N.H., Dick E. Vandall and Wayne Adams were showing a variety of items, but sold a wonderful Shaker rocker, several paintings and other small Shaker items. “There was a good crowd both days. Usually Sundays are slow, but not here. We sold paintings, ‘Boats at Rest’ and ‘Willows’ both by American artists. Also sold a Mission bench, pottery, a ton of shaker smalls — more than I’ve sold in long time.”
Unlike the Mission and Arts and Crafts for which he is best known and still shows, Dick had three embroidery on silk, framed hangings. One showed the US fleet steaming into Havana Harbor, Cuba, circa 1882–87, with guns firing, during the Spanish American War. Next was a large advertising 1906 piece with an eagle over a picture of the naval group who were coming to Japan and the final one, also in almost perfect condition, was a “Memento of my Voyage, Around the World, 1907–1909,” by gunner’s mate John Howcomb aboard the USS Rhode Island, Yokohono, Japan, with a photo of John and dated 1908–1910.
Across the wide aisle was Ponzi’s Antiques, from Trumansburg, N.Y. Paul Ponzi was showing a beautiful broken arch top corner cupboard with wood finials and brass rosettes going down to 12 panes over two doors. It had bunt feet and had been taken down to an old red wash. It was a small cupboard, circa 1830–1840, and marked at $7,800. In the other corner a smaller painted stepback cupboard with a cant back also was a good buy at $6,800. Contacted after the show, Paul alluded to many sales, including smalls, iron work and, he said, “a great naïve painting of a little girl done in the 1820s. I had forgotten to put it up but pulled it out to show a customer. It was a great painting; I sold it for five figures.”
He also thought the gate was bigger than last year; very steady on Sunday, which was a surprise. “You never know anymore, but we were pleased overall. We will be back. There were many dealers from out of state; all our artwork went out of state, and there were a few out of state heavy hitters. The ones who didn’t come missed a lot.”
There was lots of nice country furniture as well, which is hard to find in a good price range. Griffiths Antiques had an early New York State stepback cupboard in old paint. David Griffiths said he thought it was built in the 1860s but that the rosehead nails in the back might indicate an earlier construction. What was unusual was the size, only 5 feet 8 inches tall, and the grain painted interior. It had open shelves on the top and a single drawer above a two door cabinet. The “hidden” drawer was directly under the shelves and was invisible, being made as part of the frame. “I found the drawer when I started to load the piece onto the truck to come here, it slid out.” He was bringing it from his place in Forestport, N.Y.
Not all was furniture, Fury Gilad was back again from Madison, N.Y., with a fun, handpainted large drum with a scene painted depicting a windmill and other Dutch symbols. She had two paper mache 1920s circus lions with wide, roaring mouths set on a cabinetmaker’s workbench, among many other items.
Also from Madison with Civil War and other antiques was J&R Ferris Antiques. Dick specializes in flags and had one hanging behind a large folk art handcarved eagle. It was a named “Harrison Zimmer, commander, Grand Army Post” flag. The eagle was carved from a solid piece of wood, about 25 inches tall, with the center somewhat hollowed out to reduce its weight. Dick and Jan Ferris were at the show for the first time, but decided, early on, to come back again next year with their unique collection of antique firearms as well as some early paper ephemera.
Two sisters joined each other at this central New York show: Mary Ellen Stevens-Morgan from Gloucester, Mass., and Martha Anne James from East Toronto, Ajax, Ontario. They had blue and white English transfer ware from the 1850s and Steuben glass; Mary Ellen’s husband Chuck is the Steuben expert and also showed a rare bodkin (darning needle) case. From 1750–60, it was hand painted and lacquered with a tortoise interior.
Another small rarity could be found at Gary Klinger’s, York, Penn., booth. He had a small, less than 10 inches, Eighteenth Century sawtooth wrought iron trammel with five finely forged hearts. It was in nearly perfect condition with all 13 beveled teeth on the blade untouched.
From Chippendale to country, quilts to prison coverlets, antique weapons, art glass and advertising signs, New York State has a show that brought collectors, dealers and buyers from Boston to Milwaukee. The show will be offered again next year on the first weekend of November. For more information, www.loweryenterprises.com or 315-638-1329.
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