Published: September 8, 2020
Review by W.A. Demers, Photos Courtesy Show Dealers
ONLINE – Destination shows are among those most affected by COVID-19 restrictions. The usual trifecta of good weather, charming location and compelling antiques were not going to work for the summer edition of the Cape Cod Antique Dealers Association’s (CCADA) show, usually conducted on the front lawn of the Nauset Middle School. The show’s organizers had to do something else – and fast, according to Mark Jacobson, a member of the CCADA’s board that was involved in the prep and operation of the August 28-30 event, which was conducted totally online. “We were searching for ways to help our dealers have another opportunity to display their inventory and make some sales,” said Jacobson, who added that the virtual show was something “we pulled out of our hat when the place where we usually conduct our show informed us we couldn’t.”
Instead of the usual big tents supplemented by smaller tents ringing the perimeter of the school grounds, with between 25-35 dealers, the show this summer consisted of about 22 exhibitors from the association’s 100-member roster displaying their merchandise on a section of the CCADA’s website devoted to the virtual show. It was, as Jacobson explained afterwards, the group’s first foray into online shows. Each dealer could show up to a maximum of 29 items and each item could be illustrated with up to four photos.
The show opened at 9 am on Friday, August 28, and closed at 9 pm on Sunday, August 30. The weekend was tax free for Massachusetts residents.
After the show, Jacobson said, “We did as well as could be expected. The input that we got was that the quality of the items that were listed was high. There were some categories that did particularly well -Americana, nautical, folk art, signs, baskets and woodenware.”
What visitors to the group’s website saw on entering the page were the usual array of American antiques, small pieces of furniture (because of shipping), nautical and whaling artifacts, paintings, decorative and folk art objects, linen, jewelry and books, the majority of which had local interest.
Ed and Charlene Dixon from Eastham offered a 10½-inch-high Nineteenth Century Pennsylvania salt-glazed stoneware piece with a tapered hand-tooled lip. And they sold an 8½-inch-high Pennsylvania canning jar as well as a dairy advertising sign that had been sourced from a former 100-year-old Warren County, N.J., dairy farm.
South Dennis, Mass., dealers David and Jane Thompson showcased an 1850s blown and molded onion shape font glass whale oil lamp, a Cape Cod find, with its original burner intact. The stem and base were formed in a two-part mold, which continues into the font about one-third of the way up. The onion-shaped font then continues, free blown to the top. It has an open pontil on the base. “The condition is excellent,” the dealers stated in the item’s description. “It measures 6 inches to the top of the burner and the base is 3-7/8 inch in diameter.”
The Thompson’s wrote up several sales over the weekend, including a carved American black duck decoy signed E. Owen, Cape Cod; an original 1858 Provincetown map from the large wall or roller map titled “Map of The Counties of Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket Massachusetts” by Henry F. Walling, published by D.R. Smith & Co.; plus an 1890s photograph of a man showing a ship model to a young boy; and an old hand painted bicycle sign from the 1930s warning “Watch Out For Bikes.”
Among the largest items shown was a Federal slant front secretary desk measuring 37 by 20 by 86 inches offered by William and Ann Nickerson. It was a stunning piece, circa 1790, with a glazed top surmounted by a scrolled pediment. The three-piece desk featured French feet, chip carving along the lower part of the case and line inlay around the lid, the drawers, slides and the cornice. The Nickersons also offered an American Hepplewhite tavern table in pine and cherry, circa 1780, and sold a canted and dovetailed American sea chest in pine, circa 1800, featuring a painting of the whale ship Hero on the lid by Cape Cod artist R. E. Nickerson (1927-1999).
Marie Forjan of Marie’s Memories had a Victorian 14K gold mourning woven hair cross pendant with a design featuring tightly woven hair set in a 14K gold cross. The gold work was detailed with scrollwork, leaves and molded detail on the back, and the cross measured 1-3/16 inches wide by 1¾ inches tall, including the bale. Also in Forjan’s virtual booth was a Danecraft sterling silver lotus or water lily necklace, its design featuring a series of cast lotus flowers connected by ridged links. Forjan sold an EAPG spooner in the grasshopper pattern by Riverside Glass. The design featured three molded grasshoppers down the side with flowers in basket below ending in three molded feet. The piece measured 3½ inches wide by 5-1/8 inches tall.
Jacobson himself is a Duxbury, Mass., dealer, 15 miles over the bridge, doing business as CapeDux Antiques. He specializes in folk art and nautical and local signs from old businesses. “Like everybody else, a dealer is born from a collector who just found something better for that spot on the wall, takes the old one down and sells it,” said Jacobson when asked how long he’s been in business. “Twenty years.”
One of the items he was willing to part with this time was a circa 1910 Quincy, Mass., trade sign for “Henry L. Kincaide And Co., Auctioneers, Telephone Conn(ection) Quincy.” Kincaide founded Kincaide Furniture Co. on Hancock Street in Quincy in 1892. In the early years of company operation, he operated an auction business from the same building. Kincaide became a major Quincy retail business and Kincaide himself later served in Congress until his death in 1929. The sign, all original with multiple old tack holes, was 30½ inches high by 15¾ inches wide.
Another item in Jacobson’s inventory was a late Nineteenth Century antique folk art bench with circa 1930s painted seat showing a view of Duxbury, Mass., looking west from Powder Point Bridge. Untouched, it was 30 inches long by 10 inches deep by 19 inches high.
“I had a couple of sales on Friday and that was it,” reported Carl Goveia of Carl Goveia Nauset Antiques. “I sold an antique English watering can and a set of general store door graduated brass bells. It would have been interesting if we could have seen how many visits each item received. It was clear that this first time around was a challenge for everyone. Hopefully, we can do it again and with the kinks worked out, it should run smoother. This is a good alternative to a live show, however, it’s not the same. A large part of the enjoyment of a live show is interacting with folks interested in antiques whether they buy something or not. Then there’s the camaraderie the dealers have with each other, which you don’t have with an online show. Overall, it was a positive experience.”
Goveia was offering an antique Nineteenth Century ornately handmade pair of wood carvings made into bookends. If you wanted a handsome tome to put between them, you just needed to visit the page inhabited by Patricia Anderson of Cummaquid Farm Antiques. She was offering a first edition book titled The Indian Races of North and South America by Charles de Wolf Brownell, published in 1853 by Horace Wentworth, Boston. Professionally rebound in brown leather, the book contained 640 pages with a color frontispiece and many other full-page hand colored illustrations, as well as many black and white illustrations of people, places and animals, including eagle, grizzly bear, bison, etc., from early American artists. The book described customs, mythology, religious ceremonies and daily life of the Indians as well as the history of powerful tribes and celebrated chiefs and warriors, including wars with the European settlers.
A stone fruit peach half with pit was an early sale for Laura McCarthy of Bayberry Antiques. The hand carved, Carrara marble from Italy dated to the first half of the Twentieth Century. A choice piece of stone fruit, it measured one-half inch in height and 2¾ inches in length. Also among McCarthy’s sales were a Nineteenth Century splint ash berry basket from New Jersey and a hand carved, Nineteenth Century dancing man or jig doll whose legs were attached to the body with rawhide, which was original.
There was significant fine art on offer, 76 items to be exact, and one of these, “Chatham Beach,” an oil on Masonite by Harold Dunbar (1882-1953), 28 by 36 inches, was offered by Kevin Rita of Garvey Rita Art & Antiques. Oddly, although he said he had wonderful success with the ADA online show in April and sold a number of things with other dealers at the New Hampshire Dealers online show, Rita said, “Not only did I not sell anything during the CCADA show, I didn’t have a single inquiry. You can’t win all the time, and my perception was that mostly quite inexpensive things sold.”
The CCADA is a regional and professional nonprofit association of antiques and fine art dealers from Cape Cod, New England, New York and New Jersey. It seeks to increase and enrich the knowledge of antiques while offering quality and authentic antique merchandise. Its annual spring and summer shows offer a wide variety of art and antiques, and if we’re all lucky enough to be able to venture out safely into the real world in 2021, maybe a destination show with historic treasures, great meals at Cape Cod’s famous restaurants and comfortable nights in a cozy inn, B&B or motel will be in the cards.
For information, 508-760-3290 or www.ccada.com.
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