Published: June 12, 2012
A highlight of Memorial Day weekend, the Brandywine River Museum Antiques Show was a lovely affair as usual, and drew a good-sized crowd from many states, cementing its reputation as a destination show surrounded by a bevy of cultural attractions in the area. More importantly, many of the exhibiting dealers reported having good to great shows during the four-day affair, providing the trade a welcome shot in the arm. The show kicked off with a preview Friday, May 25, and continued through Monday.
Ed Weissman, Portsmouth, N.H., said the show was fabulous †”One of the best shows I have ever had there.” Asked the secret to his success, he quipped that he just got lucky. “I had about 19 sales, which was more action [than usual]. A lot of things were relatively moderately priced, but I had a couple big items that sold,” he said, adding that he has been having a good year since January and hoping the trend holds.
Among his best sales were a fabulous Hermann Herzog painting of a farmer bringing in cows down a field and “a wonderful 33-inch tiger maple Chippendale chest with nice overhang, refinished, but it was very reasonable and still a good sale.”
Also hailing from New Hampshire were Mark and Marjorie Allen, the New Hampton specialists in delftware, paintings, needlework and early metalwork. Mark Allen reported they did quite well at the show, with sales across the board. The dealers wrote up three pieces of furniture along with sales of iron and delftware, which was their strongest category.
Charles Edwin Puckett, Akron, Ohio, was kept busy during preview talking to people and had steady sales each day. “We were pleased with the number of repeat clients and delighted to add several new ones!” said Teresa Puckett. The dealers sold a set of 12 framed Japanese color woodblock “summer blooming florals” by Tanigami Konan, as well as two framed florals by Basilius Besler, circa 1613. Maps were very strong at this show, as were ancient coins, Puckett noted.
Several of the dealers offered high praise for the show committee. Bob Haneberg of The Hanebergs, East Lyme, Conn., said, “The Brandywine show is one of our favorites. The committee is great and extremely well organized. The crowd is very knowledgeable and appreciates what we bring.”
Deeming the show a success, he reported they sold a very important Chinese Export hunt bowl, a great English silver tankard and some Chinese silver, several tea caddies and other smalls along with a small piece of furniture. “There were great things on the floor and a very good crowd, I thought,” Haneberg said.
Furniture has been a bit soft at many antiques shows of late, so Fiske & Freeman, Ipswich, Mass., was delighted to sell six pieces of furniture here. “None of them major, but nonetheless it’s not often that we sell six pieces at a show these days,” John Fiske said. “We also sold good smalls. We more than doubled our sales from the previous year, and the show has reinforced our sense that the business is on the uptick, though more so in Pennsylvania than in New England,” Fiske added.
Aileen Minor of Centreville, Md., is a longtime veteran of this show, and her garden antiques are a nice balance to the Pennsylvania furniture and fine decorative antiques for the interior that are well represented here. “I really had a great show in spite of the warm weather, with many sales, including the large wrought iron armillary, the Passion Flower garden bench, an antique iron terrarium, garden sculptures, art, etc,” she said. “Garden antiques appeal to many age groups and can be small items or large, but they do attract lots of interest and comments.”
The armillary (pictured above) is made of bronze, wrought iron and lead and mounted on a granite pedestal. Found in upstate New York, the circa 1920 piece makes quite a statement at 70 inches tall.
“There are many repeat customers who come every year to the show, year after year. It has a big following. I have also had several follow-up sales after the show so I look forward to returning next year,” said Minor.
Athens, Ala., dealer Brenda Daniel of B. Hannah Daniel Antiques, made her debut at the show, offering a nice country-looking booth. The South Carolina huntboard and the Pennsylvania fireboards got the most attention from buyers. The dealer reported a few sales and said she has had some callbacks on the huntboard with one couple planning to measure their South Carolina home when they return. There was also great interest in the large peg rack with the collection of baskets and the deer and Indian wall hanging hooked rugs.
Pennsylvania furniture highlights seen in the booth of James L. Price, Carlisle, Penn., included a Queen Anne walnut slant front desk on frame with a fitted interior of ten serpentine, blocked drawers, circa 1770; a paint decorated dower chest with three red tombstone panels with tulip and potato stamp decoration from Dauphin County, circa 1800; and a Sheraton walnut chest of drawers having a tip edged in curly maple, four graduated cockbeaded drawers, nice shaped skirt and turned legs, made by Moses Way in Chester County, circa 1830.
Another show veteran, Joe Lodge of Lederach, Penn., who specializes in early American antiques, particularly from southeastern Pennsylvania, said this show is a favorite for several reasons. A main one, and rarely seen elsewhere, the dealer noted, is that attendance and buying continue right up the show’s final hour. “This year some of us were still writing receipts as the show closed,” he said, adding this usually happens at Brandywine.
Among Lodge’s sales were a small, Chester County one-door spice cabinet that had not been on the market for decades. Since the show ended, he has had follow-up interest in a painted dry sink, a barber’s pole, decorated stoneware and a hanging four-pane cupboard, as well as a Chippendale walnut dining table.
English pottery also attracted quite a bit of attention at the show. Margaret Johnson Sutor of Lafayette Hill Penn., and Shaeffer’s Antiques of Reisterstown, Md., shared a booth, as they usually do. She displayed lovely examples of late Eighteenth⁎ineteenth Century English pottery, including some plates depicting various Philadelphia views, while Bill Shaeffer highlighted a fine grouping of 1700s English creamware, both platters and baskets, with fine open work.
Making his debut at Brandywine, folk art specialist Chuck White, Warwick, N.Y., was busy setting up at another antiques show when reached the following weekend for his postsale report; he said he did well and was pleased with his sales. Among the highlights seen in his booth were several vanes, including a rooster and a fish, furniture, as well as small decorative boxes, and two fetching redware plates with lines and squiggles.
Lisa McAllister, Clear Spring, Md., said she had a good show and what sold were quality pieces, while Doug Constant, Orient, N.Y., said, “We did pretty well, it was just an all-around good show,” selling all weekend, including a tiger maple two-drawer stand at the end of the show, while Karin Constant sold a lot of jewelry.
Museum spokesperson Lora Englehart said from the museum’s perspective and visitors’ point of view, the show was a success. “The food was exceptional, the antiques were wonderful, as always,” she said, noting this year, there seemed to be greater range in affordability with “something for everyone.”
The show will be back next Memorial Day weekend. For information, 610-388-8318 or www.brandywinemuseum.org .
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