Published: December 20, 2016
WILLIAMSBURG, VA. – The 35th annual Holiday Antiques Show drew a strong crowd during its November 25-27 run at the Doubletree by Hilton hotel.
Show manager Bettianne Sweeney began the show and has run it every year in the same venue and on the same Thanksgiving weekend dates. This year’s show featured dealers from 14 states, drawing people not just from Williamsburg but all over Virginia, and even into Pennsylvania, Maryland and North Carolina. As many people travel for Thanksgiving, the show has benefited from those coming into Williamsburg area for the holiday.
“It was the best one we had. Our attendance held up and was a little better than last year,” she said, noting the show averages about 800-900 people each time. “At the best in the 1990s when things were booming we had just over 1,000, but we have held a good attendance all through the years. We have very faithful patrons.”
Among the visitors, which included a well-known Virginia dealer and a fellow antiques show promoter from Pennsylvania, both who reportedly scored some buys, were representatives of Colonial Williamsburg, who did not have to travel far to shop this show.
Mad River Antiques’ Steven and Lorraine German, North Granby, Conn., had their usual booth of stoneware, but also had a display of antique toys and Christmas ornaments that was nearly bare by Saturday night. A stoneware highlight in the booth drew the attention of buyers from Colonial Williamsburg, who attended the show opening night and bought from the Germans a 2-gallon stoneware jar, attributed to Abraham Mead of Greenwich, Conn., circa 1785-90. Confirming the purchase, Suzanne Findlen Hood, Colonial Williamsburg’s curator of ceramics and glass, said the following week that the jar descended in the potter’s family. “Abraham Mead was apprenticed to Adam States and in 1769 took over States’ pottery. The pottery closed in 1791. Colonial Williamsburg is pleased to add this piece to its growing collection of American stoneware.”
The show added several new dealers to its roster this year, including Pat and Don Clegg, East Berlin, Penn., Don mostly deals in decoys and sold a Virginia bird at the show, while Pat sold an endearing hooked rug of a kitten. Heading north to the show from Florida, dealers Sharon and Bob Baker reportedly left happy with plans to return. Among their sales, Sweeney, said, was a striking eagle sculpture.
Also new to the show was Collecting the Past (P.E. Collie) of Whitakers, N.C., who did well Friday night and Saturday. Collie retired from engineering and decided to put all his eggs in one basket and come back to antiques after being away from it for 40 years. A standout seen in his booth was a black mantel with gold stencil, while the dealer reportedly sold an important Virginia chest.
Offerings throughout the show reflected a diversity of styles and tastes. Neverbird Antiques, Surry, Va., brought a Japanese needlework, circa 1900, rendering of an 1898 oil painting, “Hounds in a Kennel,” by English artist William Henry Hamilton Trood. The original oil painting was sold by Bonhams New York in 2012 for $212,500. Quelle Surprise Antiques, Gloucester, Mass., had a fine tea caddy inlaid “Moth” on top, circa 1810, measuring 4¾ by 3¾ by 4¾ inches. Also on display was a George III mahogany cheese coaster having the original leather binding and brass casters, circa 1800.
Town & Country Vintage Linens & Textiles, Rome, Ga., had delicate linens for any home, while Foreign Affair, Roswell, Ga., offered a fine Dutch painting by Villem Marus, circa 1895. Bud Hughes Americana, Stratham, N.H., displayed a pair of Civil War-era lightning rods with acorn finials that would make for quite a conversation piece in a garden.
Rounding out the show offerings were Ingle Nook Antiques, Reedville, Va., which displayed two framed lithographs of a vintage illustrated English box, and Michael Millard-Lowe, Norfolk, Va., featuring a Napoleon III Empire mahogany and brass stand with swan heads and brass feet, circa 1890, and a monumental French Nineteenth Century butcher’s scale, circa 1890-1900.
A crowd pleaser here, too, was Ken Farmer’s appraisal session, which was reportedly fully booked throughout Saturday.
For more information, call Bettianne Sweeney at 757-220-1299.
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