Published: June 5, 2007
Ellen Katona and Bob Lutz launched a new show, Antiques in the Country, on May 5; the maiden voyage at this Sergeantsville-Ringoes Road venue was a fusion of both excitement and energy.
Many of the 42 booths reminded visitors that this area of New Jersey is steeped in Revolutionary War history. Dealer Hank Cochran, for instance, exhibited a pair of Nineteenth Century George Washington andirons. Cochran mentioned that a number of the antiques that he selected to exhibit came from the Francis Kellogg estate of Bedford, N.Y. Kellogg was a friend of Henry Kissinger, and a diplomat at the United Nations in the 1970s. His taste in collecting was top-notch; as Hank said, “His acquisitions were like the hit tunes of the times, buying at that time the best of the best. He created a time capsule of early antique collecting.”
It was apropos that this Bucks County, Penn., dealer should exhibit a needlework sampler (from the Kellogg collection), that advocated hard work. Completed by 10-year-old M.A. Southcombs, on December 18, 1825, its central verse was titled “Industry”; it exalted readers to “fly sloth.” This sampler was offered to showgoers for $395. Also from the Kellogg estate was a late Eighteenth Century needlepoint picture of birds (possibly after an Edward’s print) executed in silk and chenille threads. It carried a price tag of $450. Front and center in his booth was a Nineteenth Century English cupboard, 17 by 68½ by 77 inches, for $5,750.
For Katona and Lutz, Greenwich, N.J., it was a very desirable Express wagon, a blue painted washtub and some children’s furniture that all proved popular with patrons. As the show promoters of this first-time benefit for the Delaware Township Historical Society, Lutz commented, “It all has to do with the merchandise, how it was set up and the pricing. It also seems that the better merchandise was selling the best.”
Combining quality Americana and folk art, along with an eye for how to display it, the shopping was easy in the booth of River Country Antiques, New Hope, Penn. Several of Randall Ragasto’s and Keith Clabaugh’s selections included a whirligig in the form of a sailor from Martha’s Vineyard, a mid-Nineteenth Century white pie safe in excellent condition that was found in Oxford Valley, Penn., and a metal running horse from Maine. Offered to patrons for $495 was a Nineteenth Century Lancaster County blanket chest with flame paint decoration.
A former Newtown, Conn., resident who now resides in Gettysburg, Penn., Jim Murphy offered a circa 1930‴0 Buckeye Coaster wagon in original paint. A circa 1820‴0, all-original, two-piece, slant desk in dramatic flame paint was priced at $2,450. Also offered to the public was a copper running horse weathervane with an iron head, verdigris patina over red paint, and a watercolor of a coal monger, signed P. Kendell, 1833, in period frame. Tagged at $625 was a circa 1840‵0 Pennsylvania dry sink in early paint and all original.
Also found in J&J Murphy Americana’s booth was an early Nineteenth Century document box with an interior lined with dialogue from period stage plays, which included Blind Man’s Bluff . Constructed with square nails, an early Nineteenth Century staircase post was painted in a later folk art American flag motif. A dated 1841 Pennsylvania jacquard woven coverlet was in museum condition.
One of the highlights in Murphy’s display case was a Steigel-type, unusual, ribbed flip glass, with an etched rim over 12 vertical panels. At 63/8 inches high, this circa 1760‱800 flip glass was offered to showgoers for $595. His sales included a matched pair of Nineteenth Century benches in their original paint and constructed with chamfered legs and bootjack feet.
Reminding patrons that Colonial homes had low ceilings, Hightstown, N. J., dealers Olde Country Antiques, had an early 5-foot, 5-inch-high New Jersey cupboard in its original paint. Also found was a Nineteenth Century Fulper (Flemington, N.J.) cake crock in Bristol glaze, an 1800s US Navy cast iron bell, four matching circa 1860 balloon back chairs with original paint and a late 1700s/early 1800s museum-quality, and rare size, trammel from a Pennsylvania tavern. Also noted was a rare and original 1800s mustard painted cranberry carrier, an early American copper apple butter kettle, an early American dovetailed child’s cradle in its original paint and an early 1800s handmade child’s chair.
Children’s items proved popular in the booth of Sandbrook Antiques, Flemington, N.J. Included in their sales was a child’s chestnut table, a red and white homespun child’s dress, a baby ring, early lighting and vintage jewelry.
It was a homecoming of sorts for a Stockton Baptist church signature quilt featured in the booth of Royal Port Antiques, Salem, N.J. Often designed as fundraising projects or as a remembrance for a cleric moving to another parish, this dated 1901 textile was filled with surnames that included Dauphin, Fisher, Maxwell, Van Horn, Phillips, Herr, Adams, Wilson, Kinney, Hendricks, Williamson and Slater. How appropriate it was that this wonderfully preserved piece of New Jersey history should be purchased by the show’s sponsor, Delaware Township Historical Society.
Dealers Suzanne and Michael Cooke also featured an early one-piece, two-door over two-door, corner cupboard at $1,475, a Nineteenth Century one-drawer tavern table in red paint, a corner cupboard base, a Nineteenth Century four-drawer cherry chest, $1,095. and a three-gallon blue decorated salt glazed jug. They also sold a pair of cast iron rain catchers with star motifs.
Because of its proximity to the entrance, Cottage Treasures, Long Valley, N.J., was one of the first booths to be seen by patrons. And given the dramatic nature of some of the goods, it set a good tone for the show. One of these monumental pieces was an 8-foot-high, circa 1860s, pair of iron gates with their original hardware being offered at $1,400. Also exhibited was an 1840s painted flip top bench, an 1820″0 English pine hutch, a pair of painted French country chairs and an 1860s metal painted bed with rails.
Marsha David, Madison, N.J., offered a cast iron “fat boy” doorstop with George Washington, a Brighton Coach lithograph, London, 1867, a circa 1850 engraving titled “The Wissendine Appears in View,” a Nineteenth Century one-drawer stand with a tiger maple drawer and a Nineteenth Century hobby horse with its original paint.
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