Published: November 22, 2011
The Chappaqua Antiques Show opened its doors for the 44th year on November 5 and 6. The classic show benefits the New Castle Historical Society, and with a focus on “Antiques & Design,” the event showcased more than 50 antiques dealers who filled the cafeteria, gym and hallways of the Westorchard Elementary School. Design experts Alison and Amy Friedricks were tapped to provide free design consultations, and antiques appraiser Jon Felz was giving appraisals for $10 per item on the stage throughout the run of the show. Also back was the popular “Gold in Your Attic” area along one of the school’s corridors featuring treasures donated and consigned by New Castle residents to benefit the historical society.
The gate was down from last year, according to show co-chair Toni Kelly. That may have had something to do with the unprecedented late October nor’easter snowstorm that disrupted life for many in Westchester County for up to a week after it brought down trees and power lines in Southern New England. Still, only one exhibitor was a no-show due to the storm’s aftermath.
As in past years, the show’s mission was to illustrate how antiques and modern objects can be combined to enhance one’s home. “More than ever, our homes are havens for relaxation and a more home-centered lifestyle,” said past chairman Betsy Guardenier. “The Chappaqua Antiques Show is one place to find the best for ourselves and our homes.”
Those who did come through the doors at the school over the weekend no doubt went home armed with new ideas and objects for redesigning their spaces.
“My best sale was a New York Yankees Ballantine Beer bar display,” said Albie Yuravich, co-owner of Albert Joseph & Company Antiques. From the 1950s, the pristine electrified sign with working clock had come out of the Naugatuck, Conn., dealer’s uncle’s bar. Yuravich said most of his other sales were sports items or art-related items. “Unfortunately, I sold no furniture, which usually accounts for most of my total,” he said. One of those pieces was a French writing desk in mahogany and other woods that was decorated with floral motif inlay, circa 1930s‴0s. Another standout piece of furniture in the booth was an oak child’s high chair, patented 1875, which handily converted to a rocker. Its original cane seat had been replaced with embossed leather.
A show regular, James Dolph, Durham, N.H., who deals in ancient Asian art and decorative works under the aegis of JSD Antiques, commented that the show is well managed by the historical society. He said that while there seemed to be a great deal of interest in Asian antiques, buying was restrained. Dolph had many delectable examples of netsuke, ivories, snuff bottles and ancient pottery pieces in his showcases, one of the most interesting being a Japanese Meiji period “Treasure Boat with Seven Happy Gods,” circa 1850.
Marilyn and Ron Saland, Scarsdale, N.Y., supported the show’s design theme with a set of four Thonet side chairs, labeled under the seats and all original. The pressed wood seats had a faux alligator texture. Setting the chairs off with a background of colors were a couple of mounted quilts. One was a graphic crib quilt, mid-Twentieth Century or earlier, a patriotic piece filled with Uncle Sam figures, stars and bars. The other was a Nineteenth Century star quilt that had come out of a house in Essex County, N.J.
A wall full of gleaming copper greeted showgoers in Diane Davis’s display. Doing business as D&D Antiques, the Newtown, Conn., dealer assembled pieces such as ladles, pots with covers and dishes, along with down-filled pillows with bullion fringe, an Edwardian silverware chest, circa 1910′0, and majolica teapots mounted as lamps newly wired and with silk shades. Also in the space along the corridor walls where Davis had set up was a set of Wedgwood “Noma” Nineteenth Century plates, a Bjorn Wiinblad vase for Rosenthal and a whimsical pair of Chinese lamps with frogs on metal and wood bases with silk shades, circa 1930‴0.
“The best copy I have ever seen,” is how antique prints and maps specialist Frank Oppel, Stamford, Conn., described a map of Venice by Luigi Querci, 1891. What was essentially an inexpensive tourist map of the canal-crossed city had been stabilized on rice paper and the colors were strong. Other standouts displayed by Oppel were a Harper’s Weekly print of the start of the Race for the America’s Cup on October 5, 1893 and a map of the mouth of the Connecticut River and Saybrook Harbor, 1838.
Last year, six murals created for a Works Progress Administration project in the 1930s and 1940s at the University of Rhode Island and thought lost for decades were rediscovered during a $1.5 million renovation of Edwards Hall funded by federal stimulus money. The murals were painted by artist Gino Conti (1900‱978) of Providence. The resulting new interest in this artist prompted Steve and Doris McKell, co-owners of Tradewinds Fine Art, Narragansett, R.I., to bring a work by Conti, titled “Culture in Crisis,” which had been exhibited at the Providence Art Club. Also prominently displayed here was a standing female nude by Blanche Rothschild (1893‱988), an artist whose works are in the collection of the Museum of Women Artists in Washington, D.C.
Folk art fans had much to savor in looking over the collection of Marvin and Leslie Wies. The Baltimore, Md., couple were participating in this show for the second time, but they have been assembling their collection, heavy in Americana and primitives, since 2001. An industrial folk art piece crafted of 100-year-old eel spears and sheet metal from the 1940s-50s was one eye-catching piece. Another was a pair of trumpet swans, circa 1890‱920, that had once graced the collection of the Mary Merritt Toy and Doll Museum in Douglasville, Penn., which closed in 2006.
For additional information, www.newcastlehistoricalsociety.org or 914-238-4666.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm