Published: April 13, 2016
Review And Photos By Andrea Valluzzo
MALVERN, PENN. — The 34th annual Chester County Antiques Show transformed the field house at the Phelps School into a village of antiques April 2–3, with attractive booths filled with choice examples of furniture, antiques and fine art — especially those with local origins — as well as prints, decorative items and folky and fun pieces that played into the show’s carnivalesque theme this year: “Tomfoolery.”
Perhaps none so ably captured that theme as Dover House Antiques, Louisville, Ky., which offered a game wheel with cast zinc horses, early Twentieth Century from Timonium, Md.; or at Leatherwood Antiques, Sandwich, Mass., which displayed a rare circa 1920s child’s carousel figure carved and painted as a fish with a human mask on top; and at Thomas Brown Antiques, McMurray, Penn., which displayed an outside rider carousel horse, American, circa 1890–1910, retaining fine paint surface. The horse theme continued into the booth of The Hanebergs, East Lyme, Conn., where a harness horse weathervane depicting St Julian as driven by Orrin Hickok during his title win in California, made by the king of vanes, J.W. Fiske, New York, in 1881, was offered.
With a loyal following, particularly among its Pennsylvania dealers, the show is known for Chester County items and this show boasted a banner crop. A Chester County tall case clock, one of only a handful known by the maker, and a Chester County mahogany inlaid bow front valuables chest, circa 1800, ex collection Margaret Schiffer and pictured in her 1966 book, Furniture and Its Makers of Chester County, Pennsylvania, were standouts at Philip H. Bradley Co. Antiques, Downingtown, Penn. The dealer also offered a walnut drop leaf table in old surface, circa 1760, possibly by Isaac Thomas of Willistown Township.
Van Tassel-Baumann American Antiques, Malvern, Penn., filled its booth walls with all manner of samplers and needlework, the dealer’s specialty, led by a pristine and rare pair of Eighteenth Century ladies pockets having fine embroidery and color. Similar pockets can be viewed at the Chester County Historical Society.
Fine paintings were plentiful at Schwarz Gallery, Philadelphia, which featured landscapes like Frank Waller’s “Lake George,” and James Hamilton’s “Early Morning in the Delaware Water Gap,” along with genre scenes and still lifes like Julius T. Bloch’s “White Vase with Orange Poppies.”
Folky offerings on view included a wonderful tramp art chip-carved sewing chest mirror at Greg K. Kramer, Robesonia, Penn., and a wood carving of a spaniel in its original black paint, first quarter Twentieth Century, at A Bird in Hand Antiques, Florham Park, N.J. North Norwich, N.Y., dealer J. Gallagher, brought andirons as always, but cleared enough room in its booth to showcase a Pemble Band Stillwater brass drum.
Other show highlights that spanned the centuries, genres and regions were a countertop cigar store Indian, circa 1840–50, on offer at Kelly Kinzle Antiques, West Oxford, Penn.; a boldly turned South Carolina desk on frame, circa 1700, with possibly original mustard yellow paint at Mark & Marjorie Allen, Gilford, N.H., and a mid-Nineteenth Century Japanese screen in six panels with a painted scene on gold-leaf paper W.M. Schwind Jr Antiques & Fine Art, Yarmouth, Maine.
For information, contact the Chester County Historical Society at www.chestercohistorical.org or 610-692-4800.
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