Published: August 14, 2012
The elegance of the meticulously landscaped Georgian mansion on more than 20 parklike acres complete with bubbling fountains, gazebo and stone lions, immediately sets the tone for what would greet visitors inside at the Summer Antiques Show at Birchwood Manor that ran here July 27′8.
Staged in equally luxurious ballrooms with massive chandeliers overhead, the displays of antiques and fine art were equal to the task. Fine paintings, mostly Nineteenth⁔wentieth Century, competed for attention with attractive groupings of choice examples of silver, jewelry, pottery, smalls and the like.
On a sultry weekend, the show was a good place for buyers to seek refuge here from the rising mercury and buy well. “We had a good weekend at Birchwood. A nice crowd and good buying,” said show manager Allison Kohler.
The show attracts a loyal following among dealers, many of whom have done the show for years. At this edition, at least two dealers, coincidentally both from Pennsylvania, who had not done the show in a long time came back and were pleased with their weekend sales.
Tutto dal Mondo, Penn Valley, Penn., sold well across the board from jewelry to silver, including a lot of Victorian silver jewelry and an attractive Victorian bell. Dealer Sheila G. Parish said they had not done the show in 15 years and were pleased to be back. “I thought it was a very nice show, and a good crowd. I did nicely and move-in and move-out were very easy.”
The Gilded Plate, Media, Penn, has not shown here since the 1990s, when the dealers did the winter edition. Dealer Karen Beeman said they were reinstating themselves into the show.
“What we found surprising was we sold some pretty important pieces of color cut-to-clear glass,” she said. One piece was a green cut-to-clear compote and the other an amethyst cut-to-clear footed bowl. “They were priced nicely so it made the show.”
Beeman also was gratified to see interest in American art studio glass. “We’re very much into glass; we were glad to see this,” she said. Highlights on display included a lovely Limoges lemonade set with pictures of sailing vessels instead of the typical floral patterns.
Among a booth filled with many wonderful pieces of jewelry at Joy Starr Enterprises, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., two kachinas immediately caught the eye. The larger of the two and older, circa 1950, was made of silver and turquoise with coral eyes and hung from tightly braided cord to be worn like a necklace. The other was similar, but made by a contemporary artist who continues the Hopi tradition of crafting these religious icons.
A nice complement to the artistic-type antiques that are predominant at Birchwood was the booth of Colophon Books, Layton, N.J., which featured books and various scientific/technical instruments. Standouts included a collection of watchmaker’s truing calipers and hand vises, Swiss- and French-made from the Nineteenth Century; and a Chevalier, Paris, brass frame microscope mounted on a japanned iron base, circa 1840, that was offered with a vintage mahogany cabinet.
Also seen at the show was a lovely Nineteenth Century, Italian School landscape of Tivoli in the booth of Carlo Giovanelli Art Consulting, New York City; an oil on canvas by Frederick B. Williams (1871‱956) titled “Musical Interlude,” in its original French-style frame at Jaffe & Thurston, Wawarsing, N.Y.; and at Artifacts, Palm City, Fla., a circa 1890s silver monkey eating an apple that was made during the peak of the Grand Tour when naturalistic themes in the arts were in favor.
JMK’s next show is the Atlantic City Antiques Show October 13‱4. The Birchwood Manor show returns here January 5‶. For more information, www.jmkshows.com or 973-927-2794.
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