Published: July 3, 2012
The Litchfield County Antiques & Mid-Century Show, presented by the Antiques Council for the benefit of Greenwoods, Counseling Referrals, opened to a full-house preview on Friday evening, June 22, and continued over the weekend. The preview, set to begin at 6 pm, was not dampened by the hard rain, winds and some fallen trees from a storm that hit Kent and the surrounding area late that afternoon, causing parts of Route 7 North to be closed for some time. In addition to the display of antiques, five authors were on hand to sign copies of their recently published books.
The show, with 39 exhibitors, varied in content and was well presented with both painted and brown furniture, some folk art, lots of paintings, a wide range of jewelry, silver and a limited display of Twentieth Century objects. Following the trend of the times, some of the dealers did not do well at the show, which signals a change in the lineup again next year, as happened this year with 12 new exhibitors.
According to Bob Haneberg, dealer liaison, the preview was sold out, 350 tickets; Saturday got off to a good start, but things quieted down midafternoon; and Sunday was okay.
The show was conducted in Springs Center at Kent School, the ice rink, which provided easy access for the exhibitors to move in and move out. And to make things more comfortable, the entire floor was carpeted and air-conditioning units hummed noisily outside, working hard to make inside cooler than outside.
Baldwin House Antiques of Strasburg, Penn., showed a large pin top bench table with four-board top, pine, of New England origin and dating from the early Nineteenth Century, and a Chippendale decorated cupboard, American pine in the original red and from the Eighteenth Century.
Fletcher/Copenhaver Fine Art of Fredericksburg, Va., represents the works of Alix Aymé (1894‱989), who died on her 95th birthday while putting the finishing touches to one of her lacquer pieces. Among the works shown at Kent were “The Temples of Yunnan Fou,” an oil on canvas that measures 18½ by 27 inches, sight, signed lower left, and “Village in a Landscape,” 16½ by 23¼ inches, sight, oil on canvas, with an estate stamp verso. The first American museum exhibition by Alix Aymé opened on March 11 at The Evergreen Museum and Library, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md., where it continues through September 30.
Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques, York County, Penn., offered a political campaign parade torch from the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln, and Lincoln was also represented in the booth with a large memorial banner with a dramatic portrait image dating circa 1909. “The face was from a copper plate and the rest of the image was painted in,” Jeff said.
G. Sergeant Antiques of Woodbury, Conn., was at the front of the show with a booth filled with formal furniture and accessories. Forefront was a rare Italian Scagliola top console table on iron legs, the central panel with wild animals living in harmony suggesting a theme of the Peaceable Kingdom, 29 inches high, 44 inches wide and 23 inches deep. A library/partners’ desk in mahogany, George III, was of pedestal form with a vintage tooled leather top. This English piece, often referred to as a Gillows design, dated circa 1780 and measured 31 inches high 60 inches wide and 36 inches deep.
One local Kent dealer was in the show, Scott & Bowne, Fine Art & Furnishings, with midcentury things, including a Robsjohn-Gibbings dresser for Widdicomb, circa 1940s, walnut lacquered in currant red with large brass ring pulls. A Milo Baughman writing table with cross base, circa 1970s, of burl maple with chromed steel, two drawers. “We had a great show and a great time,” John Koch said, adding, “this was the first show we have ever done and it was a wonderful, new experience.” Among the sales were the Milo Baughman writing table, a set of eight Italian dining chairs, an abstract painting, a 1950s Italian sculpture in alabaster and a 1950s carved wooden head of a bull with brass horns, plus a number of smalls. “Even though we saved things for the show, we went prepared to do nothing, treating it as advertising and the opportunity to meet new people,” John said. He spoke highly of the Antiques Council members running the show, people from Greenwoods, the staff of the Kent School, and the well-planned preview on Friday evening. “They could not do enough for us, and always with a smile, which made for a very pleasant weekend,” he said. Scott & Bowne not only have the shop in Kent, but also run another shop in New York City.
Taylor B. Williams Antiques of Harbert, Mich., had an English wine table in mahogany with crescent-shaped top, four turned and reeded legs, two drop leaves, that dated circa 1820, and a regency étagère in mahogany and mahogany veneer over pine, English, circa 1820. The display case was filled with porcelain and pottery, including a collection of Staffordshire cottages.
Ron Bassin of A Bird in Hand, Florham Park, N.J., said, “We have been doing this show for four years now and never had a bad one. Plus, it is easy to do and not far from home.” His booth, in the center of the show, had access from three directions and was filled with wood carvings, Grenfell mats and a display of nine Japanese Imari China plates, produced in Kyusho, late Meiji period, 18901910, blue and white with folklore designs. The Bassins collected these pieces over a period of four years while living in Japan.
More in keeping with their usual display of antiques was a horned owl decoy by Herter’s of Waseca, Minn., of balsawood with glass eyes and in the original painted surface. It dated circa 1947‵4. Among the eight Grenfell Mission mats shown, on one were scenes depicting sailing ships, wandering caribou, a dog team and four flying geese in Brin.
Henry T. Callan Fine Antiques of East Sandwich, Mass., new to the show this year, came with a selection of samplers that included one from Hopkinton, Mass., by Mary Prentiss, age 11, died 1822, a tombstone design with alphabets and numbers, and a Philadelphia sampler by Mary Price, born circa 1816, dated 1832, with three alphabets and the verse “Love the Lord and he will be a faithful father unto thee.” Three tables were filled with china, glass and pottery, including Staffordshire figures and a selection of cranberry glass muffineers.
The Finnegan Gallery of Chicago, which has been doing the show for many years, had an interesting pair of late Nineteenth Century French cast iron basket weave jardinières with old green surface, a French multi-tier tapered wrought iron plant stand with scrolled legs that was designed to fit a corner, and a late Nineteenth Century draper’s table/work surface with middle shelf supported by eight turned columns, two full-length lower drawers, measuring 36 inches high, 108 inches long and 43 inches wide.
Michele Fox of Michele Fox American Antiques, Weston, Conn., hung a colorful quilt on the side wall of her booth showing 20 squares outlined in blue, each depicting the back of a child, all same build, but with different colored outfits and large-brimmed hats. No two were alike. In addition, piles of quilts lay folded on the floor, a large selection of Bakelite jewelry was offered, and three signs on the wall read “For Sale,” “Plants” and “Jellies.”
Hanging center on the back wall of the booth of Neverbird Antiques, Surry, Va., was a circa 1918′0 carved wooded and painted plaque, “The War Orphan,” signed lower right “Rogers,” based on the 1916 oil on canvas by Dutch artist T. Offermans indicating the horrors of World War I.
Dawn Hill Antiques of New Preston, Conn., also one of the longtime exhibitors in this show, had a Swedish Gustavian period bench with open sides, original white painted surface, circa 1780, 77 inches long, 27 inches deep and 38 inches high, placed against the back wall of the booth. An elegant Swedish commode from the end of the Gustavian period, circa 1800‷5, was of pine and retained traces of the original paint. It measured 44½ inches high, 45 inches wide and 19½ inches deep. A Twentieth Century McGuire bamboo server was in excellent condition, with an oval glass top with wide rounded corners.
Carlson & Stevenson, Manchester Center, Vt., offered a maple cutlery box with lid in figured wood, New England, circa 1860‷0, the handle having a thumb rest, and a series of eight watercolors on paper signed by the artist Catherine, American, 1842, New York City. The subjects varied and included flowers in a basket, fruit in a compote, two birds drinking from an urn, and wildflowers in a pitcher. And hundreds of silver napkin rings were shown in cases.
A Connecticut comb back Windsor armchair in apple green, circa 1770‹0, known as a State House Windsor as that is where such examples were generally found, was shown by Hanes and Ruskin of Old Lyme, Conn. Case pieces of furniture included a classic Chippendale bureau from New Hampshire, 36 inches wide, five drawers in pine with a mellow surface.
A very large carved wood and gilt eagle stood in the corner of the booth of Black Swan Antiques, Washington, Conn. It was of Italian origin, circa 1800, and measured 5 feet 10 inches wide and 32 inches high. An English Chesterfield sofa dated circa 1930, eight artichoke plates were circa 1950s, and an English gate leg table, circa 1700, had an oblong top, 5 feet 9 inches by 4 feet 11 inches.
Louisville, Ky., dealer Dover House Antiques showed a Federal inlaid Pembroke table of mahogany with satinwood strings and bellflower inlay, circa 1800, probably New York City, and a New England chair table in pine with a 48-inch-diameter top, early Nineteenth Century. Against the back wall was a Federal inlaid mahogany and tiger maple lady’s writing secretary, New Hampshire or Massachusetts, dating circa 1805. It appears to have the original hardware.
Yew Tree House Antiques of New York City brought to the show a collection of deep blue Mdina glass, Malta, circa 1960‷0, that was made under the direction of Englishman Michael Harris. There were many different shapes, measuring from 4 to 14 inches tall, and most were signed by the artist. A Nineteenth Century English brass railed nursery guard measured 59 inches long, 36 inches high and 18 inches deep, and a German oversized carved and painted Noah’s Ark dated 1890 and included more than 40 animals and Noah and his wife shown on the bow of the ark.
David and Donna Kmetz, American Paintings, Douglas, Mass., showed a “Farm by a Stream” oil on canvas, 20 by 30 inches, circa 1910″0, signed lower right by Olive Parker Black (1868‱948), in excellent condition, and a work by Eugene Leslie Smythe (1857‱932), “Moonrise,” an oil on canvas, 25 by 30 inches, signed lower right. It was in the original handcarved gold frame and in the original condition. An oil on canvas by Frank Henry Shapleigh (1842‱906) measured 14 by 24 inches, signed and dated lower right, and retained the original frame.
Charles Edwin Puckett of Akron, Ohio, at the front of the show, had a case filled with coins and jewelry, including a selection of seal rings, and hundreds of antiques maps and prints, as well as Renaissance and medieval illuminated manuscripts. A superb Nineteenth Century stone lithograph with hand coloring depicted a lily, circa 1830″2, from London, and a Fifteenth Century medieval Gregorian chant was a leaf from a choirbook on animal parchment. Johnson’s Map of New York and the Adjacent Cities was circa 1860, while A Correct map of the United States of North America was done in London, circa 1787, by Thomas Bowen.
Roberto Freitas American Antiques of Stonington, Conn., offered an Acme Peanut Roaster made by Atsatt Bros, Mattapoisett, Mass., pat 1896, in good shape with the original trays and lettering on the sides reading “Fresh Roasted” and “Hot Peanuts.” A highly decorated dower chest, polychrome pine, Berks County, Penn., was dated 1771 and rested on low bracket feet. Three tombstone panels were on the front of the chest, the center one depicting two facing unicorns. A large oil on canvas, measuring 39 by 55½ inches, hung on the side wall of the booth showing a pair of white dapple horses pulling a coach with one driver and one passenger and a dog running alongside. It was painted by Thomas Kirby Van Zandt (1814‱886), an oil on canvas titled Gentleman’s Ride Outside Albany and dated 1856.
SAJE Americana, Short Hills, N.J., had a mix of formal and painted furniture, including a set of seven painted fancy chairs from Lancaster County, Penn., circa 1830, green with rush seats and grape decoration on the back splat. The set included two arms and five sides. An eight-panel Federal four graduated drawer chest was in mahogany with tiger maple veneer panels, splayed French feet, from Portsmouth, N.H. It dated circa 1800 and measured 40 inches wide, 36 inches high and 22 inches deep.
“We had an okay show, selling some Chinese porcelain, a Pennsylvania gate leg table, one painting and a good number of smalls,” Bob Haneberg of The Hanebergs, East Lyme, Conn., said. The booth was filled with many pieces of furniture, including a braceback continuous arm Windsor chair branded “E. Tracy, Lisbon, Ct.” on the bottom. It was in old yellow paint and dated circa 1800. A pair of Chippendale cherry side chairs had beaded crest rails, pierced splats and beaded legs, dated circa 1770 and retained an old finish. The Porter family bonnet top secretary in cherry was from the Chapin School, circa 1779, and measured 87 inches high with a 42-inch case. The desk section had nine interior drawers with pigeon hole dividers.
The Red Horse Antiques, Bridgewater, Vt., offered some things for the garden, including a very large birdbath in three pieces, cast stone, English, circa 1900, and a pair of French window box planters in metal, circa 1886, with the original green painted surface. A pine cupboard with blue-green surface, circa 1700, had the original ironwork on the two doors and measured just under 6 feet high.
The Antiques Council manages four shows annually, including the Litchfield County Antiques and Mid-Century Show, followed next by The Nantucket August Antiques Show on August 2‶. On October 18′1, Antiques + Modernism takes place in Winnetka, Ill., closing out the schedule for 2012. The new year begins with The Maryland Antiques Show of Hunt Valley, February 21′4.
For more information about the council, visit www.antiquescouncil.com .
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