Published: September 5, 2006
The Bridge Hampton Historical Society and Stella Show Mgmt Co. together created a success for all concerned when two years ago they joined forces to have two antiques and design shows on the society’s grounds in this summer weekend home for the rich and famous. The most recent show, conducted August 19–20, together with the earlier June show raised more than $25,000 for the society’s treasury.
Leanne Stella, president of Stella Show Mgmt Co., said, “There were more than 50 dealers at the show, and it seemed that they were also pleased with the results.” She added, “Saturday, the customer total was equal to a good Saturday at our Gramercy Park Armory and, of course, those who came to the Friday evening preview were not even in that count, for their admission was good all weekend.” Sales, she reported, were also good. “One of our dealers, Kenny Ball and Nancy Wells, set up in a partnership, were selling so well they seemed to be constantly restocking.”
Ball from Charlottesville, Va., and Wells from Portland, Maine, were offering antiques from the Eighteenth Century through Modern design of the 1950s. Their sales were so remarkable the local morning television show, The Morning, Noon & Night Show, interviewed Ball about the business. The broadcasters had set up on the grounds producing their show live with interviews on antiques, the arts and other special interests of the area.
The antiques show itself emphasizes contemporary design, including Art Deco, Art Nouveau and Modern styles. There were some traditional antiques, but the focus was on later periods, with dealers such as Scott Estepp offering a pair of barrel chairs for a Florida room dating to the middle of the Twentieth Century and a set of five porch rocking chairs that were only slightly older. The Cincinnati, Ohio, dealer had a pair of Cubist lamps for the table top and his wall hangings were mobiles made from old garden tools and utilitarian objects.
James Butterworth, Nashua, N.H., was offering a collection that seemed to be from an Asian porch for the plantation owner of 75 years ago. It included chairs and table with various accessories, most made in wicker or rattan.
Westfield, N.J., dealer Linda Elmore was there to offer table lamps, with several pairs designed in the 1950s. These coordinated well with a set of plywood form chairs, which could have been Null or Lowey designs, and a Lucite tea cart.
Firehouse Antiques, Galena, Md., was offering a variety of items focused on outdoor use. There was a pair of concrete column tops about 3 feet tall, which would serve as stands; a round picnic table with a cone-shaped base, all constructed of concrete; a set of plywood formed chairs in Art Deco style and the top of a very large Palladian window with sold tags scattered all over by Saturday morning.
T.J. Antorino, Oyster Bay, N.Y., was offering a large showcase filled with small valuable antique objects and some jewelry, along with furniture, both Modern and classical. A white wicker porch swing and an early secretary desk were accompanied by an Italianate pier bench and a provincial child’s chair.
“Totally Modern” was the description a customer was heard to utter when viewing the exhibit offered by Joan and Harvey Wenz of East Hampton, N.Y. The chairs in leather were soft and inviting, resembling large pillows but with form; a table in the background was in severe colors of black and teal with a pair of brushed metal chairs to the side.
Newburgh, N.Y., dealer Bridges Over Time was into the Modern theme as well. Owners Betty and Ed Koren were there with, as Betty Koren said, “1950s style and our sales were okay. We sold one of the teakwood chests and a good deal of the accessories. Our only problem was that we didn’t bring enough.”
The show did have some traditional antiques as well. Maggie Milgrim was offering a display with most of the items from the Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Centuries. This New York City dealer had a bench that she described as Italian, Eighteenth Century, priced at $4,200; she sold an eagle weathervane top in copper for $1,200. There was a good deal of art and folk art to offer as well. By the time the show was over, Milgrim had posted more than 20 sales, which she said was “pretty good.”
Now residing in Cumberland Foreside, Maine, and New York City, Margaret Doyle said she was pleased with her sales. Her booth is difficult to describe, as she has said, jokingly, “If you’re looking for one, good chance I have it.” Her collection is filled with items to add to a decorating scheme, such as a pair of brushed metal chairs; a set of four bent square pipe chairs; a printer’s table; a breakfront in scraped red paint; a pair of enormous doors, at least 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide each; and several eagles. There was a concrete Buddha, too.
Sally Orent, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., had a French clock face at least 200 years old. Bronx, N.Y., dealer Lawrence Zinzi was offering Tiffany lamps and other items from his collection. The owers of Bermingham & Co. from New York City buy their furniture in the East and on their trips to France. Woodbridge, Conn., dealer Eve Stone was offering a collection of mostly Nineteenth Century copper kitchen ware. Bradford House, Litchfield, Conn., is a dealer in jewelry and silver and here were offering some of both.
Art was another big feature of this show. Giovannelli Fine Art, New York City, had in its display an Italian porcelain Capodimonte or cover vase, circa 1890, priced at $4,500. Davenport and Fleming, Bridgehampton, N.Y., was offering many pieces or fine art, including a Claude Venire oil on canvas from 1961 for $32,000. Nancy Steinbock, Chestnut Hill, Mass., offered her extensive collection of posters.
“The show was s a success by all measurements,” said Leanne Stella. “The society was a big beneficiary, the customers were here buying from the Friday preview through the Sunday closing, and I heard from so many of the dealers who said they did well and our gate was good, so we will all be back next year.”
Stella’s next shows are Waterloo, N.J., September 16–17, and the Country Living Show in Chicago, October 6-9. For information, 212-255-0020 or www.stellashows.com.
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