Published: September 5, 2006
David Good, a partner in Good & Hutchinson & Associates, Inc, a firm he founded with Robert Hutchinson, died of a brain hemorrhage on August 28. He was 78.
Best known for formal American and English furniture, Chinese Export porcelain, paintings, brass, lamps and period accessories, the affable dealer was prominent for many years as an exhibitor at Wendy Management’s antiques shows. Good & Hutchinson, whose associates include Thomas Kierzek and Karl Lescarbeau, also maintains a shop on Route 7 in Sheffield, Mass.
“David loved the business and loved antiques. During our 40-year friendship, he never had a derogatory thing to say about anyone,” Diane Wendy said from her home in Florida. “He also was great fun to be with, as my husband, Cal, and I discovered when we traveled with him. He loved our daughter, Meg, and called her his niece. He was genuinely good, like his name,” she said.
David Good and Robert Hutchinson spent their early years together in Manhattan, where Good danced with the Simon Seminoff Company and the American Ballet Theatre and Hutchinson was a costume designer.
In a 1989 profile, Good told Antiques and The Arts Weekly that he and Hutchinson got their start in the antiques business when a friend of Good’s mother asked them to clean out her house. The fledgling dealers subsequently organized estate sales.
In the early 1950s, Good answered a “help wanted” advertisement placed by Mildred and Rafi Mottahedeh, who assembled a major collection of antique Chinese Export porcelain and ran a gift shop and china importing business in New York and Stamford, Conn. For a time, Good managed the Stamford shop with Lois Hunter, the sister of Stamford antiques dealer Avis Gardiner.
Counseled by Avis and Rocky Gardiner, who became Good and Hutchinson’s friends and mentors, the dealers opened their first shop in Glenbrook, Conn. As Good later recalled, they called their business Decorative Antiques until Avis Gardiner asked, “Which one of you is Decorative and which one is Antique? You’ve got good names. Use them.”
After briefly living in Dennisport, Mass., on Cape Cod, Good and Hutchinson in 1961 purchased a 1760 farmhouse on 600 acres in Tolland, Mass., down the road from Carleton Safford, a dealer and author. Good and Hutchinson paid $18,000 for the property, which needed extensive renovation to make it habitable. They replaced asbestos shingles with tobacco-brown clapboard and copied a pedimented doorway like one they had seen in Deerfield, Mass., where Good’s grandmother lived. The house was subsequently photographed by American Heritage magazine.
In 1966, New York Times columnist Marvin D. Schwartz profiled dealers along Route 57, between Springfield and Great Barrington, Mass. In addition to Good & Hutchinson, Schwartz recommended Safford, George Abraham and Gilbert May, Marie Whitney, David Lawrence Roth, Margaret Jarm, and Mr and Mrs Durand Miller. The column helped put Good & Hutchinson on the map.
Schwartz wrote that Good & Hutchinson’s shop was “aimed at the collector of Americana…they have more paintings than nearby competitors and they show primitive objects along with simple Eighteenth Century furniture and period accessories.”
Recalls Diane Wendy, “I got them into the White Plains Antiques Show when it was at its height. That established a good income for them, which helped them get their business off the ground and into other leading shows. David was thrilled.”
Originally known for country furniture and some folk art, Good & Hutchinson exhibited at the Winter Antiques Show for two decades. Over the years, the dealers exhibited at Philadelphia, Boston, Washington and Baltimore and other major shows during the winter months when their shop was closed. By 1990, their inventory had become more formal and decorative.
“We sell furnishings for people’s homes and decorative accessories of the period. I don’t know of any nicer way to put it,” Good, who remained fascinated by antique Chinese Export porcelain, a staple of his displays, once told Antiques and The Arts Weekly in a interview.
Remembering his longtime friend and mentor, Karl Lescarbeau reflected, “After 40 some plus years, you would think that you knew everything there was to know about a person. In David’s case, that wasn’t true. Living with David has been a very fulfilling experience. It taught me a lot about how to approach people and make sales in the antiques business. I learned about Chinese Export porcelain, brass and many other categories we dealt in. David knew how to make customers feel at ease and, as a result, become repeat clients. David and I were very close, sometimes too close. Nevertheless we were close in spirit and in a love of many of the things that life has to offer. For this I am eternally grateful. Thank you, David.”
A memorial service is planned for future date.
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