Published: June 10, 2015
From Lincoln, Mass., this prancing horse vane boasting choice directionals and dimensions was on offer at The Norwoods’ Spirit of American, Timonium, Md.
REVIEW AND PHOTOS BY ANDREA VALLUZZO
CHADDS FORD, PENN. — The 44th Brandywine River Museum of Art’s antiques show debuted a new look this year at its May 23–25 show Memorial Day weekend. Instead of moving its permanent collection out of the galleries to make room for antiques dealers, the paintings stayed in situ while some of the dealer booths were moved into the hallways.
Entering the museum, the courtyard dealers stayed mostly the same, but the new layout in the museum building, especially on the second and third floors, created a “wow factor” as visitors immediately faced the antiques show upon entering, whereas in the past the antiques show was tucked off to the side in the art galleries. “You walked in and you immediately knew there was an antiques show and your were immersed in it,” said Donna Gormel, the museum’s director of volunteers and events. “In staging the event this way, it gives the event permanence here because we can promote the art [and antiques].”
Buyers evidently agreed, as the gate saw a 16 percent increase this year and close to 300 people attended the booth talks Sunday and Monday, a record number, Gormel noted. “Having all the galleries open and dealers located on every level of the museum and in the courtyard, it was a wonderful blending of art and antiques.”
On the whole, dealers embraced the change, but a handful did not, saying the traffic flow was tight and their booths had gotten smaller, resulting in fewer sales. Of note, though, some of the dealers who said sales were off did say they would be back at this show.
Aileen Minor, Centreville, Md., was among the dealers who did well. “I had a great show — lots of sales and big items,” she said. Her sales included a fine marble bench and cast iron bench, garden chairs, two fountains, a large armillary sphere and lots of smalls. “I thought the new arrangement of booths looked good and they will improve on it even more in the future. The committee is fabulous and very supportive of the dealers.”
Joseph J. Lodge, Lederach, Penn., noted he had less space in his booth to work with this year, but said the show for him was another success. “As always, I looked forward to exhibiting at this wonderful jewel of a show. Most of the booth-related physical changes were managed by the affected exhibitors well, so the visiting public had another beautiful show to attend at the museum. However, the booth relocations did result in many of us having less space than in the past to display our items. So that important part of the changed floor plan wasn’t good for us. But most exhibitors, I believe, sold a nice quantity of items.”
Two of Lodge’s most noteworthy sales were a small, inlaid, walnut huntboard and an early Nineteenth Century tin and carved wood chandelier. “I think my most interesting sold item from the public’s viewpoint, however, may have been my large, Nineteenth Century, smoke-decorated chalkware cat,” he said.
Gilford, N.H., dealer Mark Allen said the show went very well, although he did not sell any furniture or paintings, just smalls. “We sold quite a bit of delft, brass and iron. We did quite well, we sold more than enough to give us a good show.”
Echoing Allen’s comments was Bettina Krainin, Woodbury, Conn., who said she and her boothmate Harold Cole had a good show. “Our most interesting sale was very important and rare doorstop, circa 1880, of a black man sitting on a bale of cotton,” she said that sold to Jamie Wyeth, no stranger to the Brandywine River Museum, which houses a strong collection of his and his family’s art.
A nine-square Baltimore album quilt, circa 1870, was a standout in the booth of Dennis Raleigh Antiques & Folk Art, Wiscasset, Maine.
Dennis Raleigh Antiques & Folk Art, Wiscasset, Maine, was pleased to sell the best item in its booth: a nine-square Baltimore album quilt (see photo above) that sold for five figures. The circa 1870 quilt retained its vibrancy and depicted florals, birds, a cornucopia of fruit and a nautical heart with an anchor on its panels. Other sales included a weathervane, Pennsylvania fraktur, chalkware carvings and early accessories. “In my opinion, it was the weather this year that made the difference for us courtyard dealers. Picture perfect, four days in a row,” Raleigh said.
Selling across the board were Priscilla Boyd Angelos, Fort Washington, Penn., writing up furniture, brass, lamps, wall hangings, and Canton, while Michael Weinberg of West Pelham Antiques, Pelham, Mass., notched 17 sales in all. “I had a very strong show and was pleased with the results, selling ceramics, including two large serving platters, hollowware and several pieces of creamware. I also sold historical Staffordshire, a Southern New England tavern table and a wall cupboard in paint,” he said.
Hanes & Ruskin, Old Lyme, Conn., recorded 22 sales and Joy Hanes said they were all good items, ranging from a pair of rare and signed swirl-base Queen Anne candlesticks and a wonderful creamware basket and stand to a rare creamware tankard with a transfer of the Oatlands Race that took place in the 1790s, as well as a Sheraton lady’s writing desk and other ceramics and metalware.
“As far as the new configuration, we weren’t sure about it. Some of the committee ladies asked us how we liked it, and we said, ‘We’ll let you know Monday afternoon.’ As of Monday afternoon, we can say that we were very pleased about it. And I would like to add that the committee of this show is the best ever. They can’t do enough for the dealers, and make us feel welcome and loved, with a fully stocked dealers’ lounge, lunch on set-up day and a cocktail party on Saturday night,” Hanes said.
Christopher T. Rebollo, North Wales, Penn., wrote up a rare Philadelphia white painted Windsor armchair, attributed to John Letchworth, to a be-backer over the weekend after the buyer saw it at Friday’s preview, while Margaret Johnson Sutor, Lafayette Hill, Penn., sold English pottery across the board to knowledgeable buyers.
Among other sales noted at the show were Dubey’s Art & Antiques, Inc, of Baltimore, Md., sublime collection of Mandarin plates, and Brennan & Mouilleseaux’s early storage cupboard in plum-colored paint, sold during the preview. The Northfield, Conn., dealer also parted with a fine New York City Sheraton Pembroke table, a Sheraton sofa and a pair of rare garden chairs, along with some period accessories.
“We can’t imagine a more welcoming and hardworking committee, and [show manager] Peter Chillingworth is just a great guy, with a great sense of humor. We’ll be back next year, for sure,” said Tim Brennan.
The show will return Memorial Day weekend next year. For additional information, www.brandywinemuseum.org or 610-388-2700.
Read article and see more images inside June 19, 2015 E-edition
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