Just two days after Thanksgiving, the Pound Ridge Historical Society Antiques Show offered up another helping of holiday bounty. On November 27-28, marking the second year he has managed the show, promoter Martin Greenstein of The Last Detail Antiques Shows brought a diverse lineup of more than 50 dealers to the Fox Lane High School.
Greenstein said had assembled the dealers a week earlier than the previous year’s show in order capture shoppers who might be looking for an activity – other than standing in liners at the mall – to fill up the remaining time of the typical four-day holiday weekend. “It was a bit of a struggle, and I learned that you cannot please everybody,” said Greenstein, who faced juggling the show schedule around a sacrosanct American holiday but also against competing shows in Westport, Conn., and Salem, Mass., for some of his top New England dealers. In the end, he said, things turned out well and he plans to set next year’s show dates for the Thanksgiving weekend.
Attendance on Saturday was up 20 percent over last year, and Sunday’s gate would have been better if not for severe wind and rain gusts that apparently kept a lot of people home.
From country quilts shown by local dealer Amy Parsons of Bedford Hills, N.Y., to the fine estate jewelry brought by Brad Reh of Southampton, N.Y., shoppers had a wide range from which to choose and at reasonable prices. For example, Parsons had a wonderful collection of pillow covers, circa 1910-20, that worked well in a design sense with the quilts she was showing, ranging in price from $40 to $100. Among the highlighted quilts in her booth was a crazy quilt of wool, velvets and silks, circa 1893, featuring small-scale animals and letters of the alphabet. From Indiana, it measured 60 by 70 inches. An eight-pointed star quilt, circa 1890, was made from a great variety of fabrics and was of unknown origin.
Reh presided over showcases filled with dazzling examples from Boucheron, Tiffany, Gubelin, Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, to name a few. An 18K French flexible necklace, circa 1950, had 15 carats of diamonds.
Doing business in antique rugs since 1974, Biuk Fardin, Fardin’s Antique Rugs, Fairfield, Conn., came with a large 10- by 14-foot Oushak rug from Turkey and a Laverkerman from Persia measuring 10 by 15 feet, highlighting her selections. “Overall, it was a good show,” said Fardin. “I had one good sale and a few follow ups that I am working on. I was happy with the show. Marty always does a good job in running the show, and he works very hard. It seems to me that Marty has put together a fine group of dealers that have class and are very interesting. This group of dealers draws a very diverse and interesting group of buyers.”
Charles and Lori Breuel of Glenmont, N.Y., who specialize in American timepieces, had a particularly good day on Sunday when they sold several pieces of furniture, as well as several paintings and decorative accessories. “We have generally done well at shows in this area and Marty Greenstein in an excellent promoter,” said Lori Breuel. “What was interesting about the show was that many people, even those that did not purchase anything, expressed their delight with the merchandise, and we had several long and interesting conversations with different collectors.”
Certainly the Willard School patent timepiece from the early Nineteenth Century that was displayed in their booth would have sparked keen collector commentary. With its original tablets, dial, hands and gilt case, the timepiece had all of the Willard characteristics. Also in the booth was a Shreve, Crump & Lowe Co., Boston, mahogany tall case clock from the 1890s. Engraved “Sarah Ella Maynard Guild, 1894” on the pendulum, the clock featured reeded quarter columns, carved shell motif on the raised base panel, beveled glass door and rotating moon dial. It stood 8 feet 4 inches. Smaller rdf_Descriptions included a papier mache writing box with inlaid mother-of-pearl and gilding from the 1870s, decorated with a classical scene.
Jesslyn James went a long way to do the Pound Ridge show. “The last thing I wanted to do was get on an airplane and leave Paris, traveling on Thanksgiving, only to return six days later. The sole purpose of the journey was to take part in the show,” said James, whose business Galerie d’Art Europeen specializes in Nineteenth Century fine art. “Was it worth it? Yes! Even on Sunday with trees falling and cars crashing due to the enormous storm, people came. All the dealers knew if anyone came out in that weather, they were either serious to buy or committed to support the show.”
While she did not report stupendous sales, James said she will gladly return to the New York area. “As soon as my jet lag disappears, I’ll be booking my next flight for January,” she said. For this edition, she mounted a varied selection of art by English, French, German and Italian artists, including lithographs, pencil sketches, gouaches, mezzotints and woodcuts on subjects ranging from romantic love to religious themes.
“It was a lovely show, and Marty is a fine promoter who works very hard and cares deeply about his dealers,” they said. “Unfortunately, the weather was against us, and it seemed attendance suffered. Those who did attend seemed very pleased with the offerings, and we had many who were very interested in a number of rdf_Descriptions and left with ‘we’ll take your card.'”
Isabelle Seggerman of Bonsal-Douglas, Essex, Conn., said, “I found an air of optimism about this show. This has been one of the most unpredictable years many of us have endured in this business, but we’re all still here – selling the tried and true objects that have stood the test of time.”
Seggerman added that she believed the show was well balanced, both in the antiques offered as well as in the dealers participating. “Marty deserves a lot of credit for this,” she said. Seggerman sold faience and furniture. Highlighting her booth was a pair of Spanish colonial paintings from Peru, circa 1760-70, one depicting St Michael and the other St Anthony. The former was enhanced by a period carved and gilt frame and measured 39 by 28 inches, the latter was framed by a gilt molding laid on the stretcher.
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