Published: May 28, 2002
GOSHEN, CONN. — “The date change from June back to May was a very positive move for the show, but who expected a snow storm,” Karen DeSaia, liaison for the Antiques Council, said. She added that “it was like a nightmare on Saturday, the snow was blowing into the buildings, and we had to get heaters to combat the cold. Everyone was rubbing their hands together to keep warm.” But in spite of the weather, “everybody adjusted to the conditions,” Karen noted and the majority of the exhibitors reported good shows.
One more booth was added to the show this year and there was a change of eight dealers from last year’s list. Five hundred-eighty preview tickets for Friday evening, May 17, were sold and of that number 75 people paid $250 and up for the early buying at 5. “Before the evening was over the floor was very crowded, people were buying, and many stayed well beyond the 9 pm closing time,” Karen said.
Peter Tillou served as the honorary chairman of the show and gave a walking tour to a group prior to the 6:30 regular preview opening. He mentioned that the show “had a very good mix of dealers, was interesting,” in the course of pointing out some of the special offerings by the exhibitors. The range of interests presented by the dealers covered country and formal furniture, both American and English, Chinese furniture, paintings and prints, pottery and porcelain, jewelry, Oriental rugs, quilts and other fabrics and some garden pieces. “We were very pleased with what the dealers brought to the show and we think that the new exhibitors broadened customer interest,” Karen said.
A tiger maple five-drawer chest, circa 1790, New Hampshire origin, was among the pieces of furniture shown in the booth of SAJE Americana of Short Hills, N.J. A set of six grained New York State side chairs, Nineteenth Century, with the original paint and stenciling, was labeled “comfortable” and shown at the front of the booth. On the left wall hung a starburst hooked rug, circa 1920, New York, in vibrant colors.
Peter Curran Antiques and Appraisals of Wilton, Conn., offered a large needlepoint rug, Continental, circa 1920, with a basket of flowers in the center, and a tall painted pine chest of drawers, New England, circa 1820-30. Stephan H. Garner of Yarmouthpost, Mass., reported a good show and among the things in his booth were a New England tea table in maple with pad feet, probably Rhode Island, circa 1770, and a wooden ship weathervane with metal sails made by Frank Adams, Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., circa 1910-30.
A strong selection of American furniture was displayed in the booth of Joan R. Brownstein, Ithaca, N.Y., including a Federal tilt-top stand with turned post in figured mahogany, spider legs, of New England origin and dated circa 1800. A Chippendale Connecticut chest in cherrywood, with carved fan and shaped bracket feet, had its old surface and most of the original brasses. It was probably a New Hampshire piece, circa 1780-85. An important seascape by George Howell Gay, who worked in Bronxville, N.Y., hung over an American slant front desk. This watercolor on paper appeared to be in the original frame.
Mary Sams of Ballyhack Antiques, Cornwall, Conn., had some good sales at the show, including her Pennsylvania rocking horse that was very similar to the show’s logo. This horse, certainly the delight of several generations growing up, was painted dapple and on a green painted frame. It dated from the late Nineteenth Century. A pair of cast-iron urns of large size, painted green, was the product of a New England foundry and dated from the Nineteenth Century. And straight out of a Connecticut collection came a sailor-made monkey, carved wood and polychrome, from the Nineteenth Century.
Jeffery Toillou of Litchfield had the shortest distant to travel to the show and came with a large collection of American furniture, paintings and accessories. A Queen Anne bonnet-top highboy was of Connecticut origin, Connecticut River Valley, in old finish and dating circa 1750-70. In one corner of the booth was a tall-case clock, grain painted case, with wooden works movement. The dial was signed “S. Hoadly” and the piece came from Plymouth, Conn., circa 1800-1820. A portrait of a gentleman seated in a Windsor side chair was probably from Philadelphia, circa 1790-1800. It was oil on poplar panel and came from a private collection in excellent condition.
“Everybody knows me for carrying early American furniture, but this ‘traditional’ Chinese furniture is what we actually live with,” Peter Eaton of Newburyport, Mass., said. He showed a selection of this furniture that came from or near Shanxi Province in Central China, dating from the late Seventeenth to the early Nineteenth Century. Among the pieces were several armchairs with crest rails and paneled seats, as well as tables and a number of side chairs.
“It is interesting selling this furniture,” Peter said, adding, “most people do not just buy one piece, but several.” A couple of American desks were at the left side of the booth, one a North Shore Chippendale example with a stepped interior, walnut and figured maple, circa 1770, and the other a small size Queen Anne slant front, 32-inche case, North Shore, in walnut with the original brasses. It dated circa 1740-50 and ended up with a sold tag on it.
Jesse Goldberg of Artemis Gallery, North Salem, N.Y., was not in the best of moods during set-up of the show as he had been the target of a passing hornet. As the insect flew off, Jesse called out “this is war,” but the hornet paid no attention and left him licking his wounds. He was just about ready when the early preview opened, having arranged a nice selection of furniture that included a bookcase with glazed doors in the bottom section as well as the upper portion.
“This piece is possibly a unique form in American furniture,” he noted, citing the glazed doors in the lower section. It was a solid mahogany case with adjustable shelves, Massachusetts origin, circa 1815, and measured 81 inches high, 60 inches wide and 12 inches deep. A Philadelphia Hepplewhite breakfast table, circa 1795, was of tiger maple, inlaid, with serpentine front and in cherrywood. This table took the form of an oversized card table.
A New England slant-front desk with the original blue painted interior, original surface, circa 1780-90, was shown by David C. Morley of Thomaston, Maine. At the front of the booth was a pair of William and Mary turned cane seated chairs, English, circa 1720-30, and in the right corner of the booth was an architectural corner cupboard in blue paint, New England, circa 1800.
A still life of fruit on a marble top table, circa 1880, in the original frame, was in strong colors against the back wall in the booth of Ferguson and D’Arruda of Swansea, Mass. An brightly colored American silk crazy quilt, circa 1890, covered one wall, while an American game table in mahogany, corner pockets, circa 1870, was covered with green felt.
English furniture was displayed in the booth of Skevington-Back Antiques, Chatham, N.Y., including a mahogany armchair that was converted from a chamber chair, with one removable arm to facilitate use, circa 1800, and an Empire walnut dressing mirror, circa 1830. A mahogany and pine bow front chest of drawers, circa 1830, had inlaid detail and splayed feet with apron.
Nathan Liverant and Son of Colchester, Conn., showed a collection of furniture including a Queen Anne highboy in cherrywood, with a carved and punched “tobacco leaf” on the center lower drawer. This piece was from Central Connecticut and descended directly in the Lyman Hall family. The original owner was a signed of the Declaration from Georgia. On the outside wall of the booth hung a signed oil on canvas of a ship portrait by William P. Stubbs. The schooner, Jennie E. Righter, was built in Madison, Conn., 1887, and sailed out of New haven. “We even have some of the original log books for the ship,” Arthur Liverant said, pointing out that the ship visited ports from Maine to Florida, including detailed reports of stops in Philadelphia and Baltimore. On may 25, 1903, the ship carried a load of coal from Philadelphia to Boston, and one hundred years ago made a run from Mobile to Philadelphia with a load of cypress.
It was necessary to tip-toe through the booth of Georgian Manor, Fairhaven, Mass., due to the great number of pieces of furniture and decorative arts displayed. Against one wall was a English George III inlaid oak paneled mule chest, circa 1800, with three shaped panels over two shallow drawers. Over it hung an ocean seascape, oil on canvas, by C.L. Redowicz that measured 35 by 40½ inches.
A set of six paint-decorated chairs from Maine, five sides and one arm, circa 1820, with painted rush seats was in the booth of Norma Chick, Autumn Pond, Woodbury, Conn. A cherrywood one-drawer stand, New England, circa 1800, was offered, along with a selection of weathervanes including a large prancing horse with good surface, J. Fiske & Co., New York City.
A scroll-arm Classical sofa in figured mahogany veneer, circa 1835, New England origin, was against the back wall in the booth of Randall E. Decoteau Antiques, Warren, Mass. It was shown with an English bachelor’s chest in mahogany with slide, circa 1780-1800. Thomas Schwenke of Woodbury, Conn., offerwed a Hepplewhite “D” shaped sideboard in mahogany, straight center, attributed to the shop of Aaron Chapin, Hartford, Conn. The piece measured 72 inches long, cirac 1800-1805. A Federal carved and inlaid cherrywood scroll-top secretary desk on raised flaring French feet dated circa 1800, 91 inches tall and was of Pennsylvania origin.
Buckley and Buckley was another exhibitor who did not have to travel far from the shop in Salisbury, Conn. They brought a Massachusetts Pilgrim Century blanket chest in hard pine, a classic William and Mary form with lift top over two false drawers. It was on the original turned feet. Also dating from the Pilgrim Century was a chest of drawers, New York Dutch influence, Hudson Valley or Long Island, in maple and ash. It was all original and in a dry first red painted surface. A portrait of a youing man, unsigned, Anglo-American School, dated from the early Eighteenth Century. It was in pastel and measured 17 by 22½ inches sight.
An early Nineteenth Century bedstead with white coverlet was shown by Colette Donovan of Merrimacport, Mass. This piece was in old dry green paint over charcoal, 51 by 72 inches, and was found in Connecticut. Near-by was a country Chippendale swing-leg dining table in mahogany with molded legs, scalloped skirt, circa 1760-90, probably of Massachusetts origin.
Christine Vining Antiques, Marblehead, Mass., had a very interesting metamorphic piano stool that dated from the mid Nineteenth Century. It converted from a back stool for a single person to a bench for a duet. A center table, Austrian Biedermeier, was in walnut and walnut veneer, original brass casters, 48 inches in diameter, and dated circa 1835. Christine pointed out how antiques do travel, telling of a piece that she bought while in Palm Beach, Fla., had it shipped to New England, where a customer saw and purchased it and then had it sent to his home in Palm Beach.
A pair of decorative wood carved pigeon decoys, English, by Ward & Co. Naturalists, London, was in the booth of King-Thomasson Antiques of Asheville, N.C. An English tavern table on X frame in pine dated circa 1860, and a bright red tea canister with hinged wooden top, circa 1870, promoted Assam Teas.
Few people who attended the show did not stop to admire and talk about a set of six Shaker chairs exhibited outside of the booth of John Keith Russell of South Salem, N.Y. The chairs were spindle-back dining chairs in birch and pine, original red painted surface, attributed to Brother Micajah Tucker, Canterbury, circa 1832. “People think that the chairs have a very lowback, but they are really comfortable,” John said, adding that “the backs were lower than usual so that the chairs could be tucked under the dining table when not in use, allowing room for other activities in the space.” A Colonial Revival secretary desk was in cherrywood, maple and pine with the old or original stain and varnish finish. It was inscribed on the side by the maker, “Oct 25th 1870 made by Philip N. Houghtaling Charleston, Montgomery, NY.” The piece measures 60 inche shigh, 36½ inches wide, and 23½ inches deep. “It is sort of a court cupboard on a Sheraton base,” John said.
“This is the third year for the show and it is growing nicely,” Karen DeSaia said. She added that the date change has put the show in a non-conflicting position and “it was a radical change for us but it has given us a great step forward. We are looking forward to next year and expect very little change in the dealer line-up.”
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