Published: August 9, 2010
Visitors to the Birchwood Manor Antiques Show can count on finding fine specimens of antiques across the board here, while enjoying a welcome respite from the summer’s oppressive heat.
From fine pottery and porcelains to elegant smalls, stunning silver, paintings and furniture and more, the show makes good use of the elegant setting, with displays staged under massive chandeliers and in luxurious ballrooms.
The twice-a-year show is JMK Show’s longest-running event and attracts a loyal following among dealers, many of whom return year after year. Show manager Allison Kohler ably fills her show roster to ensure diversity among dealers as well as merchandise offered.
This summer edition, conducted July 30-August 1, saw several exhibitors new to the show, including Terra Mare Antiques and Autumn Antiques. “I was very pleased with the buying,” Kohler said, noting that many dealers told her they had really good sales and many already signed contracts for her winter edition.
Among those reporting good sales was John Tyler of Colophon Books, Layton, N.J., who has been exhibiting here since 1992, and this time recorded his best showing here yet.
“I deal in antique scientific instruments and I sold a large antique Bausch & Lomb microscope with a glass dome, another microscope and some maps,” Tyler said. “One of the neatest things I had was a poster from Walt Disney’s Fantasia in Italian. A lady came in and fell in love with it.” Tyler said he was especially happy to sell the poster, as it was quite large, taking up a quarter of his back wall.
“It was a fun show and they were buying,” he said, noting the dealer across the room from him was selling furniture and he saw furniture being carried out of the show all weekend. At load-out, he joked with the dealer that her truck will be so empty she will hear a rattling sound, and, “I got the biggest grin.”
Specializing in Twentieth Century art, The Next Antiquarian, Arlington, Va., hung an eclectic mix of artworks on its booth walls. A noteworthy offering was not on the walls, but stacked on a table †a group of pen and ink drawings that Brooklyn-born William Fisher made when he did illustrations for the weekly New York City newspaper, The Villager . The illustrations are mostly around Greenwich Village, and comprise street scenes, private rooftop courtyards and other charming views. The drawings were found in the attic of a Maine estate. Fisher had started a gallery and an art school in Kennebunkport, Maine, circa 1949.
Charlene Upham Antiques, Mardela Springs, Md., offered a rare service of Mexican sterling silver dinnerware, including covered casseroles and large platters, while Terra Mare Antiques, Sharon, Conn., featured as its frontispiece a cased display of a trio of Amphora vases with the botanical themes that so captivated Art Nouveau artists at the time. Between 1897 and 1903, Amphora produced a variety of floral form vases like these that clearly showed Japanese influences.
Standouts in the booth of Artifacts, Palm City, Fla., were led by a Nineteenth Century Venetian mirror with the glass in the shape of a crescent moon. Its scroll-like metal frame bore floral decoration and an image of musician playing a stringed instrument in his hands. Also catching attention was a circa 1890s American lamp that was quintessentially Arts and Crafts, with the metal shade having cutouts and romantic beaded trim around the cuff.
Fardin’s Antique Rugs, Fairfield, Conn., can always be counted on for a pleasing and colorful booth, filled with fine rugs from Persia and elsewhere. A “best in show” award would undoubtedly go to an antique Heriz “Tree of Life” runner, circa 1900s, that dealer Biuk Fardin prominently featured.
A clever sign tucked inside a display case in the booth of Lorraine Wambold Estate Jewelry, Doylestown, Penn., simply said, “Life’s Too Short for Ordinary Jewelry at Ordinary Prices.” Indeed, fetching pieces offered here included a Cartier necklace as well as choice yellow gold and colored diamond pieces.
Jaffe & Thurston, Wawarsing, N.Y., offered a booth full of pleasing paintings and a fine English Sheraton drop leaf table in mahogany, circa 1810, with a single drawer and reeded legs. The table was put to good use during the show, displaying some fine Chinese Export pieces. On the walls, a highlight was British artist Daniel Sherrin’s “The Evening Tour,” an oil on canvas measuring 30 by 20 inches. The artist (1865‱940) was renowned for landscapes and nautical scenes in the Barbizon style.
Nicholas D. Riccio Rare Books & Prints, Florham Park, N.J., specializes in early American and African maps and featured a pleasing Eighteenth Century map of North America and South America that was unique for its time, avoiding the primitive look many period maps had and not showing California as an island. The Florida panhandle was noticeably absent, giving the southernmost part of the state a stubby appearance. The map by Homann Heirs/Johann Michael Seligmann was published in Nuremberg in 1746.
Other highlights here included a 1700 copper-engraved, hand colored map of Italy, titled L’Italia Divisee Suivant l’Estendue de Toutes ses Sourn& from noted French cartographer Nicholas Sanson.
Good things come in threes and among the collection of barometers hung on the walls in the booth of Barometer Fair, Sarasota, Fla., was a choice trio of English examples dating from 1770 to 1830s. Two were banjo barometers and the cream of the crop was a pleasing stick model. A display case of smalls here featured an interesting collection of antique screwdrivers, such as a sterling silver corkscrew/bottle opener combo, circa 1900; an example whose handle was carved from American stag horn and had a sterling silver cap, circa 1910; and the whimsical yet functional “Ladies Legs” corkscrew, circa 1910. The two ends of the handle ended in the shape of a leg “wearing” black boots and black and white striped stockings.
Rounding out the offerings at the show were George Wiener, Dix Hills, N.Y., who showed a pleasing collection of silver, such as a 1880s American silver candelabra, and A Touch of Glass, Verona, N.J., which filled its booth with antique Victorian hatpins.
This show comes but twice a year; make plans to attend the winter edition January 7‹. For information, 973-927-2794 or www.jmkshows.com.
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