Published: August 18, 2015
Review And Photos by Andrea Valluzzo
NANTUCKET, MASS. — The 38th annual Antiques & Design Show of Nantucket had everything people come to expect of an antiques show here. The Antiques Council-managed show, benefiting the Nantucket Historical Association, was her usual elegant self, with a stunning variety of good “merch” from dealers handpicked from around the United States and a few dealers from England added for good measure.
“We’ve had good representation from around the country. You want to have as much variety as possible. The show is such a fixture on Nantucket, people will come to the show because they know it. We’re trying to get the new folks coming onto the island,” said Antiques Council liaison David Bernard. Though the picture-perfect weather the island enjoyed during the run of the show was said to be a factor in the gate and some dealers’ bottom lines, the show started off strong with a preview party on Thursday, July 30, that drew more than 500 guests. The show continued its run through Monday, August 3, and Bernard noted that good sales resulted from the show staying open late on Sunday, which they did after getting feedback that Nantucket residents like to shop the show after their weekend guests depart. “There have been some big sales Sunday and even on Monday,” he said.
Among the new dealers at the show, Bernard said, was modernism specialist David Bell, Washington, D.C., “and he really had a great show.” Chicago’s Galerie Fledermaus “was a great addition to the show.”
Also new to the show was London’s Dinan & Chighine, featuring some very interesting prints in its booth, while Nantucket’s own Sylvia Antiques, Nina Hellman and Forager House Antiques have done the show for years, infusing it with local flavor.
Bernard said the show’s designer panel talk was also well-attended with more than 100 guests, and showgoers continue to enjoy events like the Bloody Mary Sunday stroll. The council will look to add an event on Saturday.
Reporting his best Nantucket show in a dozen years was vintage sign specialist Victor Weinblatt, South Hadley, Mass., a longtime exhibitor. “The show for me was wonderful; it was our best show of the year. We sold a large range of folk signage, game boards, and we sold painted stools. One of the most interesting signs was the psychics sign from Lily Dale, N.Y. The town was founded in the late Nineteenth Century as a spiritualist and psychic camp. To this day, it still is a mecca for psychics all around the world.”
A large number of circus-related and food-related signs also sold. An interesting sale that went to a quick-footed buyer, who was the first person in Victor’s booth during the preview party, was a sign for a women‘s unmentionables shop in Boston painted on a stocking form. It read “Feminine Flattery Up One Flight.”
“The gate was disappointing but completely logical. We had four days of the most beautiful beach weather,” Victor said. At preview night, he noted there was a big and serious buying crowd. During the party, the Boston-based band Sultans of Swing performed and many guests — and dealers — took to the dance floor. As an aside, Victor admired Jeff Cooley’s distinctive and athletic dance moves.
Paulette Peden of Dawn Hill Antiques, New Preston, Conn., who handles publicity for the Antiques Council, said the preview party took place on a beautiful night and was a sell-out success attended by enthusiastic buyers and supporters of the NHA. Dawn Hill Antiques had a lot of interest in a Swedish painted drop leaf table and sold an early Nineteenth Century footub.
During the course of the weekend, many dealers continued to sell, Peden added, including English dealer William Cook, who sold a series of Nineteenth Century stone statues, a pair of mirrors and a dramatic screen that hung at the back of his booth. Other standouts were Chait Galleries and D.M. DeLaurentis Fine Antiques Prints.
Finnegan Gallery, Chicago, also reported a good show, with its garden antiques and architectural items always finding a favorable reception in Nantucket. Dealer Marty Shapiro’s sales included a set of French, circa 1930, iron garden chairs, perfect for the beach or lawn; a Nineteenth Century carved wooden architectural pediment, almost 12 feet long; and several sets of Cotswold stone planters.
Forager House Collection of Nantucket has been exhibiting here for more than 30 years and did reasonably well. Selling well were vintage Nantucket items and the artwork of Tony Sarg. A highlight of the booth, comprising one full booth wall, was the artwork of Richard Kemble, who was partners with George Korn in the shop for more than three decades until his death in 2007. “Many ‘antiquers’ didn’t realize he was such an important artist,” Korn said.
Third-generation dealer John Sylvia of Sylvia’s Antiques noted the bulk of his sales came during the preview party but notable items he sold included an important Eastman Johnson study, Chinese dragon temple carvings and paintings by Nantucket artists Wendell Macy and James Walter Folger.
Sales were off for Leatherwood Antiques, Sandwich, Mass., but the dealer was surprisingly doing well with Vienna bronzes, which he said was unusual for Nantucket. Specializing in offering interesting items of all types, the dealer also did well with pottery, nautical items and smalls.
In his first year exhibiting here, Robert Lloyd Inc, brought a little bit of everything, including silver from the Nineteenth Century up through the Art Deco period, paintings and objects. He sold across the board and met some new clients.
The Hanebergs Antiques, East Lyme, Conn., were pleased with the show. “We sold two high chests: one tiger maple and one a very rare Hepplewhite bowfront inlaid tall chest. We also sold a campaign chest and smalls in silver, Chinese porcelain and nautical items,” said Bob Haneberg. “One of the nicest items we sold was a painting by Haley Lever of Nantucket fishing boats. The Antiques Council and the Nantucket Historical Society work really hard to put on a great show, and this year’s was another good one.”
Philadelphia dealer Denise DeLaurentis of Fine Antique Prints said, “I had a successful preview evening in which I sold an Audubon elephant folio engraving, three large American yachting prints, and all of my Nantucket-related maps and prints. Although I feel that the gate was lighter than in past years, I had steady sales throughout the weekend.”
The show always runs the first weekend of August and next year’s dates line up a bit better with the calendar, skipping July altogether. The show will be August 4–8.
For additional information, www.antiquescouncil.com.
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