Published: December 4, 2007
Celebrating its 40th year of producing popular and highly anticipated antiques shows, the New Castle Historical Society swung the doors open to an enthusiastic crowd on November 3 for the start of the annual Chappaqua Antiques Show. A benefit for the society, the two-day show was conducted at the Westorchard Elementary School.
A wide range of antiques and collectibles, vintage clothing and jewelry, posters, paintings and other fine art, art glass and pottery were just some of the things that were generating interest at the show. Comments from the exhibitors, ranging from a first-time dealer to a seasoned veteran of 30-plus years, were consistent: “what a nice show,” “great people putting it together” and “good customers.”
The show offers dealers booths in roomlike settings or set up in corridors with alcoves and ledges for some unusual and appealing sites. According to Ali Klein, co-chair of publicity, “Although the gate was down from last year, which was an all-time record high, people shopped and dealers said they had a good show. . . so all-in-all, I would say it was quite successful!”
Veronica Symon of New Canaan, Conn., a first-time exhibitor, was somewhat surprised when some of her best sales came just a half- hour prior to closing on Sunday, “I sold two Ming-style [Si Mian Ping] stools dated 1700 to two ladies looking for a coffee table. I successfully convinced them to decorate a modern home creatively with antique furniture!” Foo Lions, as Symon’s shop is called, offers Asian art and antique furniture.
“It seemed to me that people were looking for small and decorative items. My first sale was a blue Yuan dynasty Jun Yao jar [circa 1279‱368] with a beautiful red patch. The buyer was a knowledgeable Asian art collector. I was pleased to learn that there were savvy early ceramic shoppers at the show. I also sold a large framed Tibetan embroidery of White Tara and other small accessories.”
At Paul’s Pots, Paul and Jorie Martinez were showing a pair of exceptional amphora exhibition vases, about 24 inches high and in excellent condition. The vases had been shown in Paris in 1900 and in Leipzig, Germany, and Turin, Italy. Martinez was also showing an Ernst Wahlis “Water Sprite” card holder, circa 1900, that was three lily pads with an entrancing girl with her arms wrapped around one pad. “While we sold many smaller British and German art pottery items, we also sold a major amphora piece,” Martinez said, “an elephant handled amphora vase, from around 1900, which made it a very good show for us.”
Arts and Crafts pots were scattered around Marilyn Saland’s, as always, well-appointed booth. Her husband Ronald was staffing the booth filled with Rookwood, Van Briggle and brushed McCoy vases and a blue art glass spill vase from the Nineteenth Century. He was also showing a mid-Mississippi Native American grain pot in the figural form of an eared owl, circa 1880, that was priced at $395, and lovely Sandwich glass pieces.
In the modern category, Art Finkel, Vintage Poster Art, Monroe Township, N.J., was showing an extensive collection of original, mostly European vintage and antique advertising posters and lithographs from the 1880s to the 1950s. All the posters had been restored and were mounted on a conservation linen to give them stability.
With a wonderful mixture of pieces, from a Windsor chair, a fireplace fender, an early Twentieth Century trunk and several chests to an English, five-dial banjo barometer, circa 1880, for $2,500, was Pierce-Archer II, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. Dealer Kathryn Archer Sapio also showed three Nail Sea hand blown glass pieces in round and oblong shapes and rich color for $425, $495 and $895, depending upon size.
First-time exhibitor Kristine Lardner had set up a sea-motif booth featuring a mantel sculpture of old bamboo that was believed to be Native American. It was hung over a painted oak mantel from Buck’s County, Penn.; a decorative iron works sculptural piece that fit snuggly into the fireplace rounded out the vignette. She had also brought from Montauk, N.Y., where her At Home en Provence shop is located, a blue wicker child’s rocker from the 1940s.
Kristine said, “My favorite sale was a set of early 1900s stone garden gnomes! I had just gotten them from an estate sale in Easthampton, and frankly, they were hard to part with.” She also had high praise for the historical society volunteers. “The folks who run the event are the best †professional, polite, friendly and very conscious of the vendors and their needs.”
Another first-timer was Fran Schreiber, Ornaments and Objects, who was showing antique and vintage jewelry as well as a mid-Twentieth Century pottery, glass and several contemporary black and white and hand colored photographs. “My best sale was a beautiful Jugendstil [the German comparable of Art Nouveau] gold, diamond, pearl and tourmaline ring. A very special piece and a fairly spontaneous purchase by the buyer.”
Jewelry was also the focus at James Levinson’s; he was offering estate and fine jewelry, such as a bracelet and ring set by American designer Henry Dunay. Made in the 1980s, the pieces were handmade of 18K gold with a hand hammered finish. Levinson is from New York City and had other items that were attracting attention from dealers before the show, and from customers, who crowded around his simple glass cases, sometimes two or three deep.
Sold tags were also sprouting at Fran Cotumaccio’s booth, where an early quilt, a two-part Edwardian display case and several other items were being taken from the floor shortly after the 10 am opening. The Manhasset, N.Y., dealer was showing a Nineteenth Century sampler and a dated and signed and framed watercolor of the sailing ship America.
Danbury, Conn., dealer, Sally Wistman had a three-part screen that might have been from a theatrical production or made for a child’s room, she believed. The larger center panel showed an elephant in front of what looked like a temple surrounded by large, leafed branches and a seashell with pearls in the foreground. Juxtaposed with the screen were two French country tripod chairs, or stools, that at first glance seemed to be a pair. “They’re not a pair,” Wistman insisted, “one is much older and the other seems to be an old copy of it.” Possibly early Eighteenth Century, or earlier, they were both comfortable and similar enough to be bought and shown as a pair.
Laura Haller was also doing a brisk business, with several customers eyeing a period faded mahogany games table with an inset chess board. “I sold it and then several other people wanted it as well,” the Wilton, Conn., dealer said. “The buyer also purchased the old Stanton chess set, with a tongue and groove box.” Haller also sold a turn-of-the-century cane and bentwood chair and a Kaiserin brass jardinière. “I don’t know if the gate was up or down,” she said, “but the people who came were definitely buying. I had a better show than last year, and that’s saying quite a lot.”
Candy and Rick Pirozzoli, Sport Hill Antiques of Redding, Conn., agreed, “We had a good show overall and sold several large pieces of furniture, including a woodworker’s bench with a cherry and maple top resting on a cast iron base, an oak barrister’s bookcase and an 1830s chest of drawers with original faux mahogany graining.” As did everyone who commented on the show afterward, they said, “There was a steady stream of pleasant people,” and they joined the chorus who found the show a fun and a well-run event.
The New Castle Historical Society volunteers promise the show will run again for its 41st year, the first weekend in November 2008. For information, 914-238-4666 or www.newcastlehistoricalsociety.org .
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