Published: June 17, 2008
As Memorial Day traditionally kicks off summer, so, too, the Brandywine River Museum antiques show starts off the summer antiques show circuit in good stead.
The 37th edition of the show conducted its preview night May 23, opening to the public May 24′5. Blessed with little dealer turnover, the show is a highlight among antiques shows that are known for fine examples of Americana and other top-draw antiques.
One did not have to look hard to find fine examples of folk art in all forms. A folky whirligig was prominently displayed at Lovrinic Antiques LLC, Lambertville, N.J., and over at Doug Constant Inc, Orient, N.Y., a Pennsylvania rifle by Samuel Miller, Lebanon County, first quarter Nineteenth Century, took function to a higher art form.
Constant also showed a very fine tiger maple Queen Anne oval top dining table with a plain frieze and cabriole legs, probably Rhode Island; a walnut Chippendale side chair with the Philadelphia signature Gothic back, circa 1760‱775, and a scarce Pennsylvania match rifle with maker’s initials on the barrel, Ketland & Co, Birmingham, England.
Mark and Marjorie Allen, Manchester, N.H., showed a painted poplar and glazed door cupboard, circa 1750, Pennsylvania, probably Lancaster.
Emele’s Antiques, Dublin, Penn., offered a 6-foot harvest table in black walnut, pegged construction, circa 1840, New England, and a Chippendale chest, four drawers with original brasses on high ogee bracket feet. His booth was bracketed in back with a pair of 12-pane Pennsylvania corner cupboards, one in cherry dating to 1815′5, and the other in sublime paint decoration, circa 1825.
The keen observer could find depictions related to George Washington throughout the show. The Norwoods’ Spirit of America, Timonium, Md., exhibited a lively schoolgirl watercolor on paper showing his tomb at Mount Vernon, while Aileen Minor, Centreville, Md., showed a cast iron urn with a relief portrait of the first president.
Windle’s Antiques, Wilmington, Del., showed a superb pair of portraits by Grove Gilbert Sheldon, circa 1837, of a man and woman. The woman’s portrait is marked “Emma” on the back, but the name on the other is illegible. An early Chippendale drop front desk, maple and figured cherry with high bracket feet, circa 1770s, Massachusetts, was a booth standout.
Kemble’s Antiques, Norwich, Ohio, offered a rare sampler, one of two known depicting Mount Vernon wrought by Sally Curtis Johnson of Plymouth, Mass., dated 1822, worked in silk threads, ink and oil-based paint with the octagonal cross-stitch border characteristic of Plymouth pieces. A full-bodied horse weathervane, Jewell, third quarter Nineteenth Century, was another highlight.
Roger D. Winter, Solebury, Penn., showed a George III satinwood game table with allover paint decoration in the style of Angelica Kauffman, circa 1790, England; Tom Thumb’s troubadour-sized harp with provenance; and a fetching pair of American equestrian oil paintings in original frames, signed A.W. Springstein.
Attracting much attention in the booth of Ed Weissman Antiquarian, Portsmouth, N.H., were a japanned collector’s cabinet on stand, England, circa 1730, and a Northern European School oil on canvas, probably Flemish, portrait of a rabbit in a charming and very realistic depiction, circa 1580‱620.
Furniture examples were fine at Brill’s Antiques, Newport News, Va., and included a Philadelphia Hepplewhite card table, circa 1780‱810, in mahogany, a Baltimore server, circa 1810, and from across the pond came a tall case clock, Glasgow, Scotland, circa 1775, James Kirkland.
Irvin & Dolores Boyd, Fort Washington, Penn., was showing a Nineteenth Century country dry sink from Pennsylvania in pine with raised panels and dovetailed gallery; a George III étagère, circa 1800‱830, mahogany with four square tiers over turned supports, in old finish, possibly original; and a lingerie chest in figured rosewood, English, circa 1840.
Rutabaga Pie Antiques, Chesterfield, Mo., had a fine example of architectural salvage with a Southern American pocket door equipped with 12 panels; a Federal bow front chest of drawers, coastal Massachusetts or Rhode Island, circa 1790‱810 in mahogany and tiger maple, four drawers below a one-board top; and a large silk on silk memorial needlework in memory of Nancy Brown and her infant son, Edward.
Shaia of Williamsburg (Va.) offered its usual tasteful collection of fine rugs, including a lovely Serapi, circa 1880.
Davis O’Reilly Antiques, Northport, Ala., showed a magnificent stag 8-day clock, carved in walnut, Swiss, circa 1870, and a painted corner cupboard in pine, circa 1790.
A stunning pair of Chinese Export tea caddies was on display at Leather Bucket of Philadelphia, as was a cruet frame made by A.E. Warner, an unsigned Hudson River School painting of Lake Winnipesaukee, circa 1870, and a blanket chest attributed to cabinetmaker John Needles.
Hanes & Ruskin, Old Lyme, Conn., offered a Queen Anne fan-carved chest on frame, New England origin, circa 1770; a distinctive tenoned arm Windsor chair with unpainted mahogany arms and pipestem turned spindles and tapered legs in gray paint over original blue paint, Rhode Island, circa 1795; and an American theorem on velvet in superior condition, circa 1830.
Autumn Pond Antiques, Woodbury, Conn., featured a fine table inlaid with Eighteenth Century delft tiles among its traditional offerings of delft and weathervanes.
The Haneberg’s Antiques, East Lyme, Conn., offered a fine assortment of New England goods, including a serpentine front chest of drawers in cherry, attributed to Felix Huntington of Norwich, Conn., circa 1790, and an oil on canvas of the schooner Thelma in the waters off Gloucester, Mass., signed S.F.M. Badger.
On view in the booth of Charles Edwin Puckett, Akron, Ohio, was a framed medieval Gregorian chant with a finely decorated initial “F” painted in tempera, boasting not one, but two fox heads and infilled with a complex twisting of branches, Italian, circa 1300.
Heller-Washam Antiques showed a tin house model of the French Second Empire form, American, circa 1865.
The show will be back Memorial Day weekend next year. For information, www.brandywinemuseum.org or 610-388-2700.
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