Published: March 16, 2004
A “New – Old” show, the Greenwich Spring Antiques Show and Sale, opened at the Civic Center over the weekend of March 6 for a three-day run. The show, managed for years by the late Hal McLane as a benefit for the Greenwich Kiwanis and more recently by Wendy Management, received a breath of new life under the new management of Brent and Derek Johnson.
The brothers Johnson revived the Greenwich show at the request of the Kiwanis after Wendy Management had dropped it from its roster. It now offers up a diversified assortment of quality antiques that closely resembles the type of merchandise that the show first cut its teeth with. A preponderance of Maine dealers were invited to do the show with rdf_Descriptions seen around the floor ranging from country and garden to formal furnishings. The show, however, still retains many of the “polished” dealers that have been setting up in Greenwich since the early days of the show, they know what the local clientele wants and they deliver the goods.
Setting the stage, literally, was Don Heller who splits his time between Portland, Maine and Woodbury, Conn. The dealer displayed an impressive variety of materials across the whole expansive stage area with rdf_Descriptions including a serpentine front four-drawer chest; a Massachusetts or New Hampshire slant front desk in figured maple with bandy legs, a lowboy; a nice early kas; a William and Mary drop leaf table; a Hartford area chest-on-chest; and a good looking bold and inviting easy chair, circa 1760, from Boston. A huge pair of cast-iron lions greeted patrons as they made their way up the stairs into the booth and a large spread winged eagle architectural ornament looked out over the show from the elevated front of the booth.
Another of the Maine dealers to set up a stellar display was Chris Constadine of Falmouth Foreside who occupied the booth at the entrance to the show. The dealer transformed the unique space into a stately room setting offering up several pieces of classic Americana and a varied selection of smalls. Among the rdf_Descriptions displayed in his attractive stand was a lyre base Classical Revival dressing table with carved paw feet, attributed to the School of Duncan Phyfe.
A nice mixture of country and formal rdf_Descriptions were offered in the booth of Portland Antiques including a New Hampshire or Maine over-mantle with painted lighthouse scene, a Salem Sheraton serpentine front card table with turned and reeded legs, a ship’s trail board in old paint with carved name and a sweet miniature one-drawer blanket box in an original dry white paint with red and black pinstripe decoration. The dealer also offered a Spanish foot dressing table and a nicely done still life with a strong “country-Rosinesque” style that depicted a glass vase with flowers on a protruding marble top, an assortment of fruit and a glass of champagne.
The Elemental Garden, Woodbury, Conn., displayed a grandiose selection of fountains, urns and garden sculpture. A large fountain marked George Smith and Sons, Glascow, with figures of storks surrounding the pedestal base and a cherub standing in the top, was making a splash with the crowd as water flowed from the ruffled top into a large base. The dealers also offered a wonderful French farrier zinc trade sign with a pleasing patina depicting a large horse head with a flowing mane.
Michael Bird of the Woodbury Guild displayed several contemporary bronzes by David Turner including an attractive and well-executed life-sized Mallard whose wings were spread and feet were extended in a landing pose. The dealer also had a 9/11 commemorative bronze with an eagle head emerging from an American flag. His selection of antiques was also attracting attention with a Riley Whiting, Winchester, tall-case clock with wooden works standing out in the booth.
Jane McLane was exhibiting at the show, one of the few that she takes part in these days. The New Canaan dealer is the wife of the late Hal McLane, who was the manager in Greenwich during the early years of the shows history. She displayed a nice selection of American silver and porcelains, including a New York teapot by Garrett Eoff, circa 1815.
Day’s Antiques offered an unusual carved cabinetmakers sign and a step back cupboard in blue paint that was filled with choice accessories. Around the corner a more formal look was established by Essex Antiquarians as a Georgian mahogany drum table with leather top was displayed along side a heavily carved Adam style mahogany server.
Outdoors antiques were offered by Bob and Debbie Withington, York, Maine, with the usual assortment of benches, urns and limestone carvings served up to the anxious crowd. One stand-out rdf_Description in the booth was an impressive looking Italian Eighteenth Century carved and painted wooden bust of “The Wind,” one of The Four Elements. On the humorous side, Withington offered a carved stone garden figure of two frogs playing musical instruments.
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