Published: June 26, 2007
Jean Sinenberg continued her traditional start of the season with her 16th annual Hamptons Spring Garden Antiques Show & Sale at the Bridgehampton Community Center May 31⁊une 3. With limits imposed by the local authorities about spreading out on the grounds under tents, the show was offered entirely inside the building. That limited it to about 20 exhibitors, but, as Sinenberg described it, the event attracted “medium traffic, sufficient for a weekend this early in the season.” She added, “The dealers were selling fairly well, including several who had not been there before.”
The show has been a fixture in this summer playground for the rich and famous of New York City for many years. It features many of the style-setting dealers from the East, not just a local group, who offered unusual and unique objects for decorating the home and garden.
Scott Estepp from Cincinnati, Ohio, has been selling to the Hamptons market for many years, offering an offbeat idea for antiques. Hanging prominently in his short-term retail outlet was an iron multicandle chandelier that resembled a tree trunk with six cutoff branches. At the end of each branch was a candle cup so carefully and skillfully made that customers would look twice before realizing it was fireproof. Cocktail tables were made from wire spools and children’s toys; early wicker was available in striking colors and planters were sold, made from stone and wire.
Among the dealers in the show for the first time was Alan Chin of Chinese Art Gallery in New York City. His collection was art in the form of household objects and art pottery. His display was in the lobby entrance of the community center, giving him great visibility and perhaps contributing to his sales total.
The show attracts dealers who have, as local resident Billy Joel would say, “a New York state of mind” for their audience. Lady Bags International offers exclusively ladies’ handbags, purses and pocketbooks. This dealer collects inventory primarily in Italy, but sells it at shows and other New York City area outlets.
Susan Oostdyk of New Jersey does her buying in France and some other European locales. Her inventory is primarily bedcovers, pillow covers and other linens for the bedroom. From Brooklyn, N.Y., Paula Cohen deals almost exclusively in early ironstone dishes and iron stone pottery for household uses. Janice and Jerry Bonk brought their collection of early and vintage copper pots and pans, kettles and jugs. Their shopping, according to Janice, is “almost all from France” and so this Hellertown, Penn., couple shops there as often as they can justify the trip.
Antique Persian rugs were offered by Stolp Fraser, who has a shop in New York City called Nomad Gallery. His selection and inventory are gathered through frequent trips to Turkey, where he has his secret sources.
The show has selections that are far more diverse than objects to be found in a museum of early American life. Peter Nee, a dealer from Millwood, Va., comes from a family that had for several generations been a furniture retailer in the Washington, D.C., area. In the latter part of the Twentieth Century, the family closed the stores, so Peter went into antiques and eventually to signature furniture from the last half of that century. For this show, his collection included a living room collection from Hermes in bright orange and several other pieces from Heywood Wakefield.
Shopping in England for fine small antiques has become a habit for Bob Baker, owner of Poverty Hollow Enterprises of Stamford and Redding Ridge, Conn. Baker takes pleasure in shopping in the United Kingdom several times each year, looking for the special small antique items, such as early silver, brass and majolica. His exhibit was not limited to small objects, for there was also a collection of early Twentieth Century garden chairs with an earlier pine worktable. The dishes were displayed in a Welsh pewter cupboard in the corner of his exhibit.
The garden motif was seen in several other displays, including Evergreen Farm from nearby Westhampton Beach, N.Y. The dealer’s offerings included a grouping of several early fancy wicker chairs with stone decorations and architectural pieces as tables or stands.
Miami is home for the business of Collins and McCullough, whose inventory was virtually all from the middle of the Twentieth Century, with signature pieces that included Noll chairs, sculpture and some desirable prints. They also brought a 1976 Cadillac Convertible in pristine condition to sell to the Hamptons visitors.
Sinenberg, with the help from her daughter, Suzie, does not stage an ordinary show and this was the first for this year’s season. Throughout the summer, she will have several more at the Bridgehampton Community Center and also in East Hampton at Mulford Farm. For information, www.hamptonsantiques.com or 631-537-0333.
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