Published: March 2, 2010
The 40th annual Hunt Valley Antiques Show sparkled as it celebrated its ruby anniversary February 19′1.
The show opened with a preview gala February 18 that benefited the Auxiliary of Family and Children’s Services of Central Maryland. The show is under the able management of Bob James of Armacost Antiques Shows, who professed to have gotten little sleep in the days leading up to show, but exuded a cool and calm demeanor while attending to last-minute details during the preview.
The show attracts a loyal following among buyers as well as among dealers, including The Spare Room, Baltimore, Md., which has done the show for years, and whose booth was at the head of the center aisle. The dealer featured sumptuously decorated pieces of Mason’s ironstone, including a Derby porcelain soup tureen and a Derby amphora-style vase, both circa 1820. A grouping of decorated biscuit tins also proved attractive.
Another show veteran, Running Battle Antiques, Newagen, Maine, was drawing visitors into its booth with choice paintings, such as George Webster’s oil on canvas “Fishing Vessels With Dutch Man O’ War Beyond” and a reverse painting on glass by Petrus Cornelis Weyts titled “Bark Stratira of Newburyport, Passing Flushing, 1841.” Fine furniture offered another reason to stop and linger here, led by a Georgian oak dresser with a plank top over three long drawers on cabriole legs, English, circa 1760.
Spencer Marks, Southampton, Mass., had display cases full of wonderful silver, but the standout was an early Samuel Kirk basket in repoussé with a very early assay mark from Baltimore.
Among fine art at show veteran Ed Weissman Antiquarian, Portsmouth, N.H., was a Catskill riverscape by Arthur Parton, best known for his Adirondack and Catskill scenes, and E.H. Dewey’s “Anticipating the Race,” a standout among American genre paintings, featuring 45 race-watchers at the paddock rails, eyeing the five horses that are raring to go. Furniture offerings included a great mahogany chest from Philadelphia, circa 1760‸0, with a finely figured single-board top, ogee bracket feet and fluted quarter columns.
The Hanebergs, East Lyme, Conn., displayed an oil on canvas of the American bark Essex by S.F.M. Badger and a wonderful serpentine front chest of drawers in cherry, with original “HJ” brasses, attributed to Felix Huntington, Norwich, Conn. Decorative arts standouts here included a pair of large Rose Medallion covered urns with applied dragons, circa 1860.
Roger D. Winter, Solebury, Penn., offered a set of eight Hepplewhite, shield back dining chairs, as well as a late Regency three-part mahogany dining table with two leaves and a Hepplewhite bookcase in figured mahogany having mullioned doors with original glass.
Leatherwood Antiques, Sandwich, Mass., presented a carved and gesso gilded double tazza grotto stand in an usual form, Italian, circa 1840, and an important cast iron umbrella stand in the “shell” form, signed M. Greenwood & Co, with a patent dated 1857.
Longtime Hunt Valley dealers Fiske & Freeman, Ipswich, Mass., featured a pair of Dutch baroque children’s chairs, circa 1675, with ball and trumpet legs as well as an English oyster veneered chest of drawers, circa 1690, a fine early example of “oyster” chests.
Sue Brown, London, offered a variety of dazzling jewelry and miniatures, such as jet jewelry from Whitby, Yorkshire, England, dating to the late Nineteenth Century; fossil stones mounted in silver, late Nineteenth Century; a gold and rock crystal Masonic ring, circa 1790; and a grouping of Indian miniatures and jewelry.
A fetching pair of large portraits, flanking a sideboard and a girandole mirror with bold giltwork, hung on the back wall at Doug Constant, Orient, N.Y. The portraits of Mr and Mrs Farrant are unsigned but dated June 1828. He is likely a lawyer as he is pictured with a hand at rest atop a law book, while she is holding a letter with her name on it.
Hanes & Ruskin Antiques, Old Lyme, Conn., offered a distinctive tenoned arm Windsor chair in unpainted mahogany, circa 1795, that is unusual for Rhode Island with its pipestem-turned spindles and tapered legs that are pinched in at the bottom.
Another unusual piece was a mid-Eighteenth Century “short” Queen Anne highboy that went against the grain in having the standard five drawers above but the top drawer being a “secret” map or document drawer. The dealer also showed a small Queen Anne tea table with a scrubbed top and ovolo corners and skinny legs.
Great examples of Maryland furniture were sprinkled throughout the show. Robert Quilter Fine Arts, Baltimore, offered a Federal Pembroke table, Baltimore, that is quintessentially Federal Maryland and is attributed to the Circle of Bankson and Lawson, while Dubey’s Art and Antiques, Baltimore, offered a Federal chest of drawers in cherry with string inlaid, cockbeaded graduated drawers.
Baldwin House Antiques, Strasburg, Penn., had a rare Pembroke table with “turret” corners, circa 1800, Lancaster, Penn., ebony stringing and unusual bellflowers ending in a sunburst, and an eight-day clock by John Heilig Sr, Upper Hanover Township, Penn., 1789.
Howard Price, Lake Worth, Fla., showed a hand colored copperplate engraving, “Totius Americae Septentrionalis et Meridionalis,” published 1750, and a woodcut, “Cosmographia,” by Sebastian Muenster, published 1598.
Susan Barr, Trumbull, Conn., displayed a Victorian oak kneehole desk in mahogany, circa 1860, a folky English black “Boys/Girls” rack with four doublehooks in polished steel and a French dresser in yew, circa 1820.
The comfortable yet stylish booth of Zane Moss, New York City, featured a pair of English leather chairs, circa 1900, an English regency mahogany and satinwood inlaid lady’s desk with splayed legs and a writing slide with a cabinet underneath.
James Gallagher, Norwich, N.Y., offered a fine American miniature chest, circa 1890, and an American or British classical brass fender, while Dawson Gallery, Stevensville, Md., showed a pleasing oil on canvas board, “October in Vermont,” by William Jurian Kaula.
The Norwoods’ Spirit of America, Timonium, presented a rare Albany schoolgirl work in black silk worked on white silk, a memorial to the Jansen family of Kingston, N.Y., as well as a fetching portrait of a young woman that was painted on tin in a period frame.
Rounding out the show offerings were a plethora of mechanical banks, cast iron toys and folky signs at Gemini Antiques, Lebanon, N.J.; a set of eight fine Baltimore Federal chairs at Halycon House Antiques, Lutherville, Md.; and a Margit Beck painting, “Ebb-Tide,” at Dongan Collection, New York City.
For additional information, www.ArmacostAntiquesShows.com or 410-366-1980.
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