The October Rhinebeck Antiques Fair
RHINEBECK, N.Y. – Rhinebeck is in early October. The leaves start showing off their colors a bit earlier than Connecticut towns, and 190 antiques dealers from all over New England and even as far as Colorado, Michigan and Kentucky gathered at the Fairgrounds for the Rhinebeck Antiques Fair. Show manager Jimi Barton said of the latest show, held on the crisp weekend of October 7 and 8, “The gate was, as usual, great. Things really picked up on Saturday afternoon when the truck was making more trips than it had during both days of the spring show. Dealers said that Sunday was every bit as strong, and 74 percent posted good-to-excellent shows.” As an extra plus for dealers, Jimi’s new pack-out system had most dealers on the road before 7 pm on Sunday.
Among them, Jimi noted that John Gould, Charles and Barbara Adams, Comfort Fish, Costa and Currier, Cedar House, Cabbages, Andrew Berry, Village Braider and Darwin had great shows. Two of the most eclectic booths of the show, Praiseworthy and Lenny Kislin, attracted lots of attention. One definition of eclectic could be the set of porcelain salesman’s sample bathroom fixtures at Praiseworthy.
Brand new at Rhinebeck this time around were well-known dealers Guy & Ronnie Weil, who had such a successful show that they signed on to the other two Rhinebeck shows. Marilyn Draper Carr of Thistle reported success with her naturalist antiques while Oltz – Wilson were happy with sales of their vintage plumbing. In the 13 or so years that Sleepy Hollow North has been exhibiting, this was their best show. Back from a sabbatical was Terry Ann Tomlinson with an array of Oriental carpets that sold well.
Howard Graff of Colt Barn Antiques sold both furniture and iron, as well as framed textiles. In particular, Howard exhibited a Pennsylvania grain-painted blanket chest, a wood finial from the Paul and Margaret Weld Collection, and a European corner cupboard measuring only six feet high.
Ingrid Migonis, Hamilton, N.Y., did quite well overall, with a very good pre show, where she both sold and bought well. In particular, Ingrid sold a nice painted bucket bench, good painted smalls, and a braided room-size rag rug. To sum it up, Ingrid confessed, “I love my three Rhinebeck Shows.”
The traditional and the unusual grace the many booths at Rhinebeck. Gameboards, mill weights, and stone fruit and painted signs dotted booths in the show’s four buildings. Visitors will always find something they’ve never seen before, as Rhinebeck’s talented dealers bring in the eclectic, and the surprising.
David Allen Ramsay showed a tilt-top table in quilted leather, a creative outlet of the Victorian ear, he said. The wood table was covered in folded and stuffed leather. A Nineteenth Century terra-cotta orangutan sculpture was exhibited along with a pair of very large late Nineteenth Century copper lanterns, and a late Eighteenth Century tiger maple Hepplewhite table with Rhode Island provenance.
Among the many rdf_Descriptions featured at Linda and Howard Stein’s of Solebury, Pa., was a zinc weathervane from an Indiana elementary school and a signed circa 1920 pottery urn.
From Wilmington, Vt., Pine Tree Hill brought a colorful early 1900s paperhanger’s table marked J.V. Taapkins, Jerseyville, Ill. An early 1900s black and white checkerboard, a colorful carnival cane, an early 1900s swan rocker, and a pair of early 1900s brick carriers were among the dealer’s interesting and unusual antiques.
George Walowen featured a red painted step back cupboard, a bull mill weight, and an interesting hobbyhorse, while American Whimsey was a holiday hit with Steiff arched-back black cats.
While early painted furniture is a common denominator in many Rhinebeck booths, some dealers bring such a diverse representation that visitors can glean a survey of American furniture. Peg and Judd Gregory brought from Dorset, Vt. a circa 1800 New England Pembroke table in mahogany, a circa 1800 painted blanket box from the Hudson River Valley, a circa 1800 painted blanket chest from New York State, a circa 1780 Connecticut Chippendale cherry chest on chest, a circa 1840 mahogany pier table from New York, and a circa 1860 gilded mirror from J.D. Williamson, Philadelphia.
Jane Wargo brought a stack of eight bail-handled pantry boxes, a blue-green painted bench with Pennsylvania mortised construction, a mid-Nineteenth Century mustard painted dry sink from Western Pa. or Eastern Ohio, and a Pennsylvania pond boat by Dewey. While Jane says she rarely buys pond boats, “this one was so finely made, that it was hard to resist,” she said. Jane also pointed out a late Nineteenth Century Christmas tree fence with folky, scrolled carving, and a red early Twentieth century wheelbarrow, probably from Maine.
Cabbages exhibited a step back pine cupboard from Pennsylvania, a Nineteenth century apothecary chest with original paint, an early Nineteenth Century demilune table and an early Nineteenth Century pine corner cupboard filled with blue leedsware. A Nineteenth Century ship’s diorama, a Nineteenth Century Southern huntboard, and a Nineteenth Century pine jelly cupboard were also ready for Saturday’s buyers.
At Judith and James Milne of New York City, visitors could find a circa 1800 New England tap table in old green-blue paint, a rooster mill weight, a classical American turn-of-the-century library table in mahogany, an interesting swan mailbox, a circa 1860 crowing rooster vane, and a nice harvest table measuring six feet 25 inches when closed and six feet 35 inches when opened.
The Seibels of Catskill, N.Y. were exhibiting an early decorated candlestand from the Paul and Margaret Weld Collection, an early Nineteenth Century pewter rack with decorative paint, and an early painted bootjack blanket chest in a soft green.
John & Robin Sittig exhibited a circa 1820 one-drawer blanket box, a circa 1800 wooden eagle from Eastern Pa., a circa 1810 two-door cupboard with original paint decoration, and a circa 1840 empire parlor table with ball and claw feet.
Cheryl and Paul Scott exhibited a circa 1810 country Hepplewhite bureau in maple with yellow grain paint, a circa 1835 American classical mahogany bureau, a large circa 1890 mortar and pestle apothecary sign, and a mid-Nineteenth Century pine cupboard with raised panel door.
Jan and John Maggs of Conway, Mass. featured a circa 1750 two-drawer blanket chest from Vermont or New Hampshire, a circa 1730 Queen Anne one-drawer blanket chest, and a circa 1750 cherry six-drawer chest.
English and continental furniture was featured at Doyle Antiques, including a circa 1830-40 William IV mahogany cabinet with brass decoration, a circa 1890 British Colonial desk, and a set of six French Biedermeier chairs. A Chinese papier-mâché hatbox and an Eighteenth Century Chinese wine table from the Shan Xi province.
A standout in Mark Moody’s exhibit was a Nineteenth Century New York State step back cupboard with pie shelf in original yellow with pad feet. Dennis & Valerie Bakoledis of Rhinebeck, had an unusually tall Maine one-drawer stand, an Eighteenth Century French fruitwood bench, and a circa 1830 grain painted linen cupboard.
Pennsylvanian Americana at Raccoon Creek included a circa 1880 sawbuck table, a circa 1840 child’s apothecary desk from Lancaster County, featuring grain paint over blue, and the original wallpapered interior, a mid-Nineteenth Century Pennsylvania dollhouse in original paint, and a circa 1835 walnut and poplar blanket chest from Southeastern Pennsylvania.
More Pennsylvania furniture was at Shelia and Edward Hylan’s booth, with a circa 1840 Lancaster County decorated cupboard in mock tiger maple and a circa 1840 two-door pine cupboard, also from Lancaster County.
Shaker furniture was plentiful from Maria Brooks, Hyde Park, N.Y., with a Mount Lebanon Shaker rocker and a Hancock Shaker pine laundry rack.
Victorian furniture was the specialty from Maria Cosgrove of Newburgh, N.Y. She featured a circa 1880 cherry bookcase with two doors and two drawers, a late Nineteenth Century oak stick and ball print stand, a circa 1880 walnut two-door and one-drawer armoire with burl panels and dovetailed case, and for fun, a tiger oak box full of Nineteenth Century poker chips.
An articulated English writing box of circa 1815 was an interesting find at Coleman and May, who also featured a mid-Nineteenth Century rosewood fretwork table easel, and a Nineteenth Century Boulle-type brass and tortoiseshell inkstand.
Dudley & Dudley exhibited a green painted blanket chest, a late Nineteenth century wood engraving by Thomas Nason, and a circa 1820 cherry harvest table with old red paint on the skirt and legs.
Fine art at Jaffe and Thurston included “Before the Mirror,” a pastel on paper by Louis Kronberg (1872-1965), “Springtime Scene,” an oil on board by Minor Story Jameson (1873-1955), and “On the Lyme Hills,” by American artist Carleton Wiggins (1848-1972).
Joyce Kirschner was on hand with Twentieth Century American art, including “El traje de San Pedro” by Rosamond Tudor (died 1941), “Two Girls,” by Florence W. Pomeroy (died 1948), and “Evening at Home,” by Peter Hopkins.
Ed Weissman, Antiquaire was exhibiting an oil on canvas “Post Office and Union Station,” depicting Washington, D.C. circa 1936; “Rabbit,” a softly hued oil on board by Sidney Lawrence Braxkett (Nineteenth Century), and “Running Warwickshire,” a rare and original Nineteenth Century watercolor by J. Sanderson Wells.
Husband-and-wife teams make up so many of Rhinebeck’s dealers, that it is noticeable when one half is missing at a show. Having two pairs of hands during set up usually makes the job go by more quickly. Not only was Mrs Weissman not around during set up, but Ed reported taking longer than ever to hang his works of art. Melvyn Wolf, however, said setup was moving at an extraordinarily speedy rate while his wife, Bette wasn’t around. Madeline Groak had the right idea when she set up the booth to her liking and then left husband Owen in charge.
Next year, Rhinebeck will be celebrating its 25th year. For information on the Silver Anniversary shows, call manager Jimi Barton at 845/876-1989.