Published: July 5, 2011
Looking to pump some more interest into the Litchfield County Antiques Show, the Antiques Council gave it a name change, now calling this late June event the Litchfield County Antiques & Midcentury Show. It really cannot be measured if this change was responsible for bringing more people into the June 24 preview, or for bringing an increased attendance on Saturday, the first day of the show, but it did present dealers with the opportunity to show more contemporary things, as well as introduce a couple of new dealers with predominantly Twentieth Century offerings.
Without a doubt, word of a wonderful preview, with a never-ending raw bar that keeps several people shucking oysters and clams for hours, plus crab claws and shrimp and delicious finger food, is a real draw, but the dealers put on a very good show as well. This year there was considerable turnover, about 14 exhibitors, but the mix remained good and the show had a neat, clean look.
Dealer Bob Haneberg, who served as dealer liaison this year, said, “The show went really well, our gate was down a bit on Sunday as the weather called for people to do other things, but we made up for it with the preview and opening day.” He also stressed that, in addition to advertising in the trade papers and magazines, more local advertising avenues were used and “we worked hard to get the word out about the show.” David Bernard of Taylor Williams Antiques served as floor manager this year.
Douglas Constant, Inc, of Orient, N.Y., was at the front of the show with a selection of furniture, including an inlaid walnut Queen Anne lowboy, molded top with invected corners over a fan-inlaid drawer. The piece rested on cabriole legs, ending in pad feet, and is from the Boston area, circa 1730‱750. It measured 31¾ inches high, 34 inches wide and 21¼ inches deep. A carved mahogany Chippendale chest of drawers of diminutive size had generous overhand, four graduated drawers with reverse serpentine front and ball and claw feet. The chest is of Massachusetts origin, circa 1765.
Walin-Frey Antiques made the less-than-an-hour trip to Kent from Woodbury, Conn., and showed a corner cupboard filled with redware slip decorated plates, many of which were sold, and a Connecticut River Valley flattop highboy, circa 1750, with cabriole legs. A New England Nineteenth Century wood carved eagle, out-spread wings, old white painted surface, stood at the front of the booth.
Frederic I. Thaler Fine Arts and Antiques, LLC, Cornwall Bridge, Conn., offered many paintings, including “A Mountain Hamlet” by Charlotte Coman, ANA (1833‱924), an oil on canvas, signed lower left, and measuring 21¼ by 243/8 inches. An interesting ship model of a Moran tugboat was on a stand at the front of the booth.
The Hanebergs Antiques, East Lyme, Conn., had a New England oval top tavern table, baluster turned legs, box stretcher, button feet, with scrubbed maple top and dating circa 1760, at the front of the booth, and against the back wall was a rare Noble (Bryan) family bonnet-top secretary in cherry with the original finials on plinths above tombstone doors. The piece dated circa 1760‱780, measured 7 feet 1¼ inches high, and was from the Hartford, Conn., area. Bob Haneberg mentioned, “We sold a Litchfield tall case clock, a ship painting, some early Chinese porcelain and silver, among other things, making it a very good show for us.”
The Red Horse from Bridgewater, Vt., also experienced a good show, finding strong interest in objects and furniture for the garden. Among the pieces offered was a wooden garden bench of English origin, trellis back, circa 1870, with traces of white and green paint, and an early porch table, five-board top, English, circa 1775, with traces of the original painted surface. A set of apothecary drawers, all original paint, with Latin labels, dated circa 1860 and had 20 drawers.
The booth of small paintings, home to David & Donna Kmetz, American Paintings of Douglas, Mass., featured cows in the center of the back wall with two pictures, one by Thomas Bigelow Craig (1849‱924), “Following the Cows,” an oil on panel, signed lower left, circa 1880‱900, 8 by 12 inches, and the other by George Glenn Newell, NA (1870‱947), “The Old Grey Barn,” an oil on canvas showing several cows in front of an old barn, circa 1900, signed lower right, and measuring 14 by 16 inches.
Dover House Antiques of Louisville, Ky., offered variety, including a rustic harvest/work table with a one-board maple slab top on hickory legs. It dated circa 1840 and measured 28½ inches high, 8 feet 2 inches long, and 31 inches wide. Five tole trays were hung on the wall, all with the original decoration featuring baskets and urns of flowers, shells and fruit. A large portrait of two children was among the things sold during the show.
A colorful sign for Poll-Parrot Shoes for Boys and Girls, with the red and green parrot logo, brightened the booth of Lisa S. McAllister of Clear Spring, Md. Several mounted hooked rugs included a prancing horse, tan on a beige ground, and a black dog with white tip on the tail and white paws. It had a red and green border and originally came from the collection of Virginia Cave.
Hilary and Paulette Nolan, Falmouth, Mass., showed a fine pair of Windsor side chairs, “The best ones we have had in a long time,” Hilary said, of Rhode Island origin with bold turnings, pipe-stem spindles, original paint and dating circa 1780. A codfish weathervane, with the original gilt surface, Cushing & Co., Waltham, Mass., was among the vanes in the booth. Others included a standing dog and three running horses.
Furniture and objects for the patio or garden filled the booth of The Finnegan Gallery, Chicago, a large operation run by Marty Shapiro, who has served a number of years as manager of the Litchfield Show. “This year I passed the managerial duties on, so I had more time to concentrate on my booth and selling,” he said. A nice three-piece wicker suite by Heywood-Wakefield Company, Moderne style, was of handwoven solid reed construction, and the couch measured 85 inches long. Along with chair and table, the set dated circa 1925‱935. Several pairs of cast iron urns were shown, and an interesting pair of English cast iron oval window guards, with decorative lead elements, were mounted on the back wall of the booth.
Several Grenfell mission mats, both large and small, decorated the booth of A Bird in Hand, Florham Park, N.J., along with a wide selection of carved and painted decoys and other carvings. The mats featured sled dogs, fishermen, flying geese and other birds. A selection of stoneware crocks had cobalt decoration, a number with birds, and a circa 1940 penguin stood about a foot tall. Among the doorstops were a squirrel eating a nut and a colorful Donald Duck holding up a stop sign.
Stars and stripes covered the walls in the booth of Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques, York County, Penn., one of the largest examples a hand-sewn, 13-star flag, US Navy small boat ensign in a 4-5-4 figuration, made 1850 to the opening years of the Civil War (1861‱865). A large copper eagle weathervane with wide-spread wings had a green surface and was mounted on a large copper ball, and a purple banner with gold lettering read “One Million Organized Club Women Endorse Womans Suffrage.”
Two paintings, hung side-by-side in the booth of Fletcher/Copenhaver Fine Art, Fredericksburg, Va., were titled “A Summer’s Day.” The first, by Emile Jules Pichot and dating from the late Nineteenth to early Twentieth Century, showed a young boy in blue, with a book set aside, prone in a bed of flowers with buildings in the background. This oil on canvas measured 21 by 35¾ inches sight, 28¾ by 43 inches framed, was signed lower right. A group of three adults seated in a field with a village in the background, “probably the south of France,” Joel Fletcher said, was the subject of the other oil on canvas, a work by Pierre Dandelot, signed and dated lower left. It measures 32 by 39½ inches sight, 41 by 48 inches framed.
Margaret Doyle, Essex, Mass., found antiques for the garden popular, and registered sales in this category of collecting. Of note in her booth was a large copper finial from a barn, green patina surface, and two sets of four garden or patio side chairs. Both sets were painted white, one of spun aluminum, the other metal mesh.
White and White, Skaneateles, N.Y., a regular at the show, hung a large portrait of a boy in a blue suit with a bright blue bowtie, an oil on canvas, circa 1880, found in Rhode Island. The subject was leaning on a stone wall, with lake and mountains in the background. Other works of art included a pair of folk art paintings of a man and woman, the lady holding a book, circa 1830s and probably by Noah North, New York State. A four-piece set of wicker porch furniture with newly upholstered cushions dated circa 1950s.
Cunha-St John Antiques, Essex, Mass., had a Regency leather-top library table in mahogany with four working drawers, four false ones, English, circa 1820. A George III architect’s table with leather writing surface, mechanical top above a drawer, square legs, was English and dated circa 1800. An interesting set of 14 automotive lenses, dating from the first part of the Twentieth Century, some experimental, were individually mounted on stands. Most were clear glass and a few were yellow tinted.
A large and bright patriotic American eagle hooked rug, dating from the early Twentieth Century, filled a good portion of the back wall in the booth of Kocian DePasqua Antiques of Woodbury, Conn. The spread-wing eagle was clutching thistle and floral branches and the rug was mounted on linen. A wood rimmed bicycle wheel in vibrant yellow and red and black detailing had been converted into a gambling roulette wheel, American, circa 1930.
The show, staged at the Springs Center at Kent School, is a benefit for Greenwoods Counseling referrals.
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