Published: September 18, 2012
Good stuff was hiding in plain sight throughout the Harwinton Antiques & Design Weekend September 1′.
Early primitives and choice examples of Americana were strewn all around the show, including a child’s seesaw from a school in Vermont that retained much of its charming red and blue paint that was seen in the booth of John Bourne Antiques, Pittsford, Vt., in front of an equally charming large poster for Oakey’s Knife Polish.
Chris Velush and Paul Bessinger at Seymour (Conn.) Fine Arts revved up their display with a two-seater child’s surrey from the 1940s‵0s that Paul posed in for a photograph.
Ryan’s Antiques, Harwinton, Conn., displayed a nice grouping of early iron tools, mostly Eighteenth Century and blacksmith-made, from clothes hangers and pipe tongs to a log carrier and choppers
J&G Antiques, Amityville, N.Y., staged a nice four-poster bed with a flock of decoys on top of the bed’s coverlet, while Worden Select Objects, Burr Oak, Mich., showed a mix of industrial/modern items and primitives, from a wooden industrial table on wheels to a small blue pedal car and a large hourglass-style white vase that had straight “blooms” of large metal springs peeking out of the top.
A fantastic painted blanket box, in what was perhaps best described as Williamsburg blue, was showcased, along with a tall-backed hall bench and a great assortment of colorful quilts in the booth of Marie Miller, Dorset, Vt.
Barry Ezrin, Moffat, Ontario, Canada, offered several pleasing signs in good paint, like “Houseplant House / Exotic Tropicals & Succulents” and a vertically-written “Parking 50¢,” along with a horse vane and a charming Noak’s Ark with a multitude of animal pairs.
The picking was also ripe at Mad River Antiques, North Granby, Conn., which brought a half-dozen of cobalt-decorated stoneware, three of which each depicted a bird sitting on a branch, along with country signs such as “Sweet Corn,” “Fresh Eggs” and “Tomatoes.”
A treasure trove of Americana could be found in the booth of Missouri Plain Folk, Sikeston, Mo., which featured painted checkers and Parcheesi game boards, a carved wooden pencil of an usually large size in red paint, a wonderful dry sink and a desk in green paint.
Eye candy in the booth of Michelle Fox, Weston, Conn., was a grouping of six to eight cloth pennants with the names of a state on them. Any buyers hailing from South or North Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, Rhode Island and New Jersey would be pleased to see their home state represented here.
Frequent antiques showgoers need not see the booth sign to immediately recognize the offerings of Victor Weinblatt, South Hadley, Mass. The dealer always features a variety of signs, and half the fun is looking to see which new signs have joined his collection. Among the interesting standouts here were a 1972 “Hippies Tonight †Bonfire Draft Cards And Bras,” that was signed Bob Littler, and a circa 1920″0s “Donalds Pig Farm” sign from New York, with the pink painted pig nearly filling up all the space in the rectangular sign. The letters were neatly stencilled on the pig’s body. Among the few pieces of furniture in his booth was a circa 1860 Quebec farm table with boldly turned legs, great old color, a scrub top and well proportioned.
It was not quite a herd but a quartet of horses could be seen grazing in the booth of Easter Hill Antiques, Sharon, Conn., including an Ethan Allen running horse vane attributed to Fiske, last half Nineteenth Century; a rocking horse on frame in original paint, circa 1900; a bronze horse on a sloped stand in a running pose as if he was galloping down a hill, and a fine gilded tin horse.
Adding a Modernist touch to the show amid all the Americana was From Here to Eternity, Cheshire, Conn., which showed a Modernist Fauve still life by Mary L. Hood (American, 1886‱967), a Modernist forest interior by Ginette Signac (French, 1913‱980) and a large painting of a classical beauty by Michael Lenson (American, 1903‱971).
A more patriotic booth could not be found here than the one set up by Bitner-Kohn, Burlington, Vt., which nearly filled its back wall with all manner of flags, led by a 42-star sewn American flag (Washington was the 42nd state to enter the Union back in 1889) and a 13-star American national flag, circa 1860s, found in New Jersey. According to dealer Brian Bittner, 13-star national flags were used here from 1777 to 1916 when President Wilson ended the tradition of flying these flags from the stern of US Navy ships. Also offered were a large carnival wheel, painted game boards and even a magician’s traveling trunk that was found in Massachusetts.
The show will return here next June (usually the second full weekend). For more information, www.HarwintonAntiquesWeekend.com or 317-598-0012.
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