Published: May 1, 2001
BEDFORD, N.Y. – The 16th annual lived up to its reputation as an exceptional small country antiques show once again this year, April 7 and 8. The 38-dealer show was beautifully set up in the gymnasium of the Rippowam-Cisqua School, with a special exhibit focusing on the China Trade collections of Bedford residents. Collections represented included those of the Eckhart, Talbot, Reimer and Wallace families of Bedford.
The show, sponsored by St Matthew’s Church, is managed by Janet Robinson, who succeeded the post held by Nancy Cody. This year’s show chairs were Mrs John Babcock, Jr and Mrs Jeremy Jeffrey. Compliments on the committee overflowed from the dealers, who truly look forward to this show as a highlight of the busy spring show season.
The show is strong in American, Asian and European furniture, decorative and fine arts, as well as jewelry and has an extremely loyal dealer and customer base. The show brought in 401 patrons for the benefit preview; 630 visitors on Saturday and 563 visitors on Sunday. The total, 1,584, was slightly down from last year’s total of 1,620, but the show management attributed the decline to the show coinciding with the Jewish holiday, as well as to a slowing economy.
Dealer Palmer LeRoy, former Bedford resident, founded the show 16 years ago when he was the senior warden at St Matthew’s and still enjoys exhibiting and selling fine art. At this show, Palmer sold a works by Harrison Cady, Joseph Hendricks, Marshall Joyce, a watercolor by Charles Curtis Allan, a floral painting by Mary Fairchild Low (1858-1946), a colored etching by Austrian artist Luigi Kasmir, and a winter scene by Bernard Corey of Grafton, Mass., who died last year at age 84. Of the show in its current state, Palmer notes, “It is bar none the best little antiques show in the country.”
Fletcher-Copenhaver of Fredericksburg, Va. reported selling four works by Augustin Hanicotte. Featured works in their booth included Hanicotte’s “A View of Collioure” (pictured), pastel and charcoal on cardboard, which came from the estate of the artist; an oil on canvas titled “The Gleaners” by Thomas Corwin Lindsay (American, 1839-1907), and “Barnyard Scene with Chickens and Peacocks,” an oil on board by Julius Scheurer (German, 1859-1913), who is most well known for his paintings of birds.
Maritime art sold well at Quester Gallery, Stonington, Conn. Exhibited works included James E. Buttersworth’s “Star of the South,” a pair of Nineteenth Century China Trade paintings “Western Hongs of Canton,” 1812 and “Whampoa Island and Anchorage,” circa 1820-30. Also on view was a Chinese camphorwood campaign desk, circa 1820-30 with 15 various-sized drawers, two writing surfaces and a hidden shaving bowl and brush cup.
Jane McClafferty of New Canaan, Conn. displayed an American maple tall chest dating circa 1780-1800 and a circa 1800 cherry Hepplewhite stand, also American. Porcelain included a circa 1790 English creamware berry dish and a circa 1780 Wedgwood creamware charger, which was placed on a custom stand. She commented, “This is the sixth year we have exhibited at the Bedford Show, and it has always been quite a good one for us. [The committee] has kept the quality of the exhibitors and management consistent, and it’s nice to have a show that you can count on for that. They have strong support from the people involved and attract a good retail group.”
Silver specialist Hal McLane was dearly missed at this year’s show, but his wife Jane of Darien, Conn. brought a collection of the silver pieces, which they had acquired together. The most unusual piece, according to Jane, was a circa 1840 cruet set comprising seven bottles by Jones, Ball & Poor of Boston.
Cecilia B. Williams of New Market, Md. was excited about things both large and small in her display; highlights being a pair of circa 1860 oversized cast iron armchairs and a very rare Staffordshire spaniel cast iron doorstop. Also unusual was a pair of circa 1890 pub tables with marked bases.
Clifford Leonard of New York City said, “I have done this show for nine years and I think the return of so many dealers is testament to how well dealers do. I did better than last year and have already two follow up sales. I think the show has a good following and I am always surprised how far people come to buy. I sold my regular smalls, good pair of early Chinese cockerels, a $20,000 chest and pair of leather chairs.”
Hanes & Ruskin of Old Lyme, Conn. brought pieces spanning three centuries; a 1920s portrait of a young girl by Walter Tittle (born 1883 in Springfield, Ohio) hung near a host of fine American furniture. A diminutive circa 1770 Queen Anne maple highboy hailed from Newport, and a late Eighteenth Century tenoned-arm Windsor chair was also from Rhode Island.
Clock specialist Charles Edwin of Louisa, Va. has exhibited at the Bedford show for six years now. It Dealer Jill Probst listed the benefits of exhibiting at Bedford, “It has a wonderful location, good access for dealers and visitors alike, a nice committee, and a solid surrounding community with the knowledge, the means, and the will to support such a charming show.” Sales included three clocks, two large and one small.
New York City dealer Karen Warshaw commented, “I have been participating in the Bedford show for at least six years. The highlight of my sales this year was a pair of Nineteenth Century leather wing chairs. I think this is a jewel of a country antiques show… the quality remains high, while at the same time there is more than enough decorative collectibles to satisfy everyone.”
From Sandwich, Mass., Leatherwood Antiques brought a great assortment of woolies, which have garnered increasingly high prices within the last year. At seven feet wide, a mid Nineteenth Century camphorwood chest was the biggest example that dealer Mo Wajselfish has ever seen. Another unique rdf_Description in his booth was a set of mid-Nineteenth Century Chinese watercolors that depicted examples of trade signs.
A late Edo period (1613-1868) Kano school six-panel screen enticed visitors to the booth of Skevington-Beck of Chatham, N.Y. The screen, executed in watercolor on paper, depicted autumnal and winter scenes with birds and seasonal flowers and measures 12 feet 3 inches long by 16 ½ inches high. The dealers also offered a late Nineteenth Century leather gun case made by William Griffiths of Manchester, England and a late Eighteenth Century enclosed Welsh dresser made from elmwood.
Simsbury, Conn. dealer Marion Harris had a unique display of artist’s tools. Articulated wood mannequins ranging in size from 39 to 6 inches were used by artists to study the motion of the body, which they would depict in drawings. Marion also featured a collection of sponging brushes from the south of France.
Bradley-Thompson of Sarasota, Fla. Brought a New Hampshire landscape by William R. Derrick (1857-1941) as well as a circa 1820 French Empire commode in mahogany with a green marble top. An earlier piece was a circa 1740 mahogany George II tea table.
Wilton, Conn. dealer Peter Curran exhibited a rare circa 1820-30 Windsor writing armchair from New England, and a circa 1800 Federal mahogany chest of drawers, but a rare textile stood out in the booth. A homespun trapunto coverlet, quilted in the early Nineteenth Century, was exceptional for its highly sculptural quality.
A large late Nineteenth Century Fiske urn dominated the booth of Rinehart Antiques, Katonah, N.Y. The dealers also brought a continuous arm Windsor chair signed E.B. Tracey and a circa 1840 black leather covered Chinese export camphorwood chest. On the wall as “Picking Berries,” a lovely oil on canvas scene by Ferdinand Lix (1830-1897), as well as a bucolic scene by Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899).
New York City dealer Clinton Howell exhibits at only two shows per year: Bedford and the International Show. At this outing, his third in Bedford he featured a pair of matched Pembroke tables that were nearly identical and a pair of circa 1765 gilded mirrors in the rococo style and decorated with Ho-Ho birds.
From Asheville, N.C., King-Thomasson’s sales included a Seventeenth Century English bible box, a painted Austrian commode, an English settle, brass ship’s lanterns, and a set of natural history engravings. To a new customer the dealers sold pieces of pink lusterware, while many regular clients visited the booth of the third-year dealers.
In all, the enthusiasm and caliber of the dealers, and the high quality of the antiques and fine arts offered at the show make this show a must-see for antiques enthusiasts near and far.
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