Published: July 10, 2007
The Litchfield County Antiques Show, staged at the indoor hockey rink at the Kent School, put its best foot forward over the June 23′4 weekend with 40 exhibitors offering a nice variety of antiques in attractive booth settings. The pleasant weather, far cooler and drier than in past years, brought out more people than in 2006 and buying was much better for most of the exhibitors.
“There was no grumbling from the dealers, which indicates that we had a pretty good show overall,” Marty Shapiro, liaison for the Antiques Council, said after the show closed. He mentioned that the show is easy to set up, there is plenty of storage, and three large air conditioning units were brought in, but not really needed this time. He also praised the show committee for being easy to work with and so considerate of the dealers. “They gave us a party on Thursday night, and there was also lunch and a breakfast for us,” Marty said, adding, “The committee knows how dealers like to eat.” This show is run as a benefit for Greenwoods Counseling Services, Inc.
New to the show this year was W.M. Schwind Jr of Yarmouth, Maine, who offered a selection of furniture that included a drop leaf table in maple from Northern New England, Queen Anne, with shaped apron and measuring 42 inches in diameter. Perfect for surrounding the table was a set of six Pennsylvania side chairs, plank seats, painted with stenciled decoration.
An American Eastlake Victorian secretary of small size, circa 1880, with glass doors and fitted interior, was against the side wall in the booth of Terry and Angela Brinton of Racine, Wis. Among the smalls that filled several cases was a nice selection of early folding rulers, calipers and brass jeweler’s anvils.
Experiencing a good show was Running Battle Antiques of Newagen, Maine, with a booth filled with English furniture and nautical paintings. A Georgian oak dresser with plank top over three long drawers, paneled sides, measuring 60½ inches long, circa 1760, was against the right hand wall of the booth and over it hung an oil on canvas by Antonio Jacobsen. This work, one of three known seascapes depicting the Otter Cliffs, Mount Desert, Maine, measured 29 by 48 inches and was signed and dated lower right, 1910.
“I bought this from a jewelry store and it is the most interesting thing in the booth,” Stephen White said of his large cobbler’s advertising trade sign in the form of large shoe. It dated circa 1860 and was made of tin and pine. White and White Antiques of Skaneateles, N.Y., offered another piece of advertising, a sign for “Isabel Smith Tea Room.” Patrons were tempted to visit this establishment as it boasted “Air conditioned for your comfort by G.E.”
A mixture of furniture, works of art and decorative accessories filled the booth of Dana E. Tillou of Buffalo, N.Y. Hanging against the back wall of the booth was a large full-length oil on canvas portrait of a young woman, Anglo American, Eighteenth Century, that measured 46 by 32 inches and dated circa 1750. An English George III bachelor’s chest in mahogany, circa 1780, measured 32 inches wide.
A George III rent table in mahogany with inset leather top, four drawers, English, circa 1830, was at the front of the booth of Cunha-St John Antiques of Essex, Mass. A carved and polychromed processional figure of a female deity, Zanzibar, circa 1820, stood in the middle of the booth.
Holding down the back corner of the ice rink, near the raw bar on preview night, was the inventory of The Finnegan Gallery of Chicago. Probably the heaviest items in the show were shown here, including a large cast iron industrial cart on tracks, French origin, with a 45½-by-20-inch top surface. A bit lighter was a carved stone gargoyle, also of French origin, circa 1820, used to direct water from a roof top.
Lisa McAllister of Clear Spring, Md., had a good show and reported a number of calls from people several days after the show closed. A large cast iron pair of pineapples, circa 1880, came from a building in Chicago, and a selection of stoneware had pieces with blue decoration showing flowers and a deer. A carved and painted bird tree was of New York State origin, and a hooked rug dating from the early Twentieth Century, mid-Atlantic states, showed a large black horse on a white ground with a rust colored border all around.
A large sailing ship weathervane, cast iron and from the collection of Eric Sloan, was in the corner of the booth of Nancy Prince of Portland, Maine. Four painted and decorated boxes were stacked nearby, and an interesting hatbox, Nineteenth Century, depicted Clayton’s ascent commemorating the longest hot air balloon flight.
There was not room for another object in the booth of Axtell Antiques/Vlasak Antiques, Deposit, N.Y. Filled with early American furniture in the original surface and all the appropriate accessories, the booth was more than inviting. A circa 1810 rare redware wine bottle from Pennsylvania was displayed on a New York State bucket bench/dry sink in bass wood and pine, circa 1830, with untouched painted surface. A small step back panel door cupboard, Pennsylvania origin, retained its original yellow grained surface and painted interior.
Summer landscapes and mountain views hung on the walls in the booth of The Cooley Gallery, Old Lyme, Conn., including John Willard Raught’s “Summer,” an oil on canvas, 20 by 30 inches, signed and dated lower right, 1894. “The Boatyard, Northport,” was the subject of an oil on canvas by Charles Abel Corwin (1857‱938), signed and dated 1911, lower left, and measuring 16 by 24 inches.
As usual, Peter H. Eaton of Newbury, Mass., offered a fine selection of American furniture, including a Queen Anne single board top table, serpentine with molded edge, urn-shaped shaft above cabriole legs, in a deep original finish. It was from Essex County, Mass., circa 1770‱780. A Chippendale five-drawer chest sported a bold cornice molding, bracket base and original surface and brasses. It was of pine and figured maple and was found in a house on the South Shore of Massachusetts. It was probably made there and dates circa 1780.
SAJE Americana of Short Hills, N.J., offered a set of six plank seat chairs from Lancaster County, Penn., in fine condition with painted and stencil decoration. A child’s firehouse Windsor was of Maine origin and in the original painted surface.
Probably the largest piece of wood sculpture in the show pranced into the booth of Brian Cullity, Sagamore, Mass., a white painted and decorated carousel horse, probably by Looff and dating circa 1910. A tall chest of mixed woods, Vermont origin, circa 1830, with glass knobs, was against the back wall of the booth and among the accessories displayed were an Eighteenth Century trammel, European, in iron; a tin candle sconce with three lights; an adjustable one candle holder in iron; and an Eighteenth Century spoon rack with pinwheel carving, Hudson River Valley.
Among the small number of dealers with brown furniture was Artemis Gallery of North Salem, N.Y. Prominently featured at the front of the booth was a Federal dining table with double swing-out leg supports that when open measures 62 by 54 inches and comfortably seats eight people. It is from Boston, circa 1810‱820, and is attributed to Thomas Seymour.
An interesting music stand in rosewood, circa 1830, in original condition with brass candle sconces, was in the booth of Hanes and Ruskin of Old Lyme, Conn. A Connecticut continuous arm Windsor chair, circa 1780‱800, was in undisturbed original paint.
A selection of fine American furniture, with a generous portion of it from Connecticut, is usually found in the booth of Nathan Liverant and Son of Colchester, Conn. This time was no exception, with a Queen Anne high chest of drawers in maple, pierced heart, scrolled apron, original brasses, circa 1775‱795, coming from the Stonington/Mystic area of the state. From Lisbon, Conn., came a pair of fan back Windsor side chairs branded “E. Tracy” for Ebenezer Tracy. An oil on canvas portrait of a thoroughbred horse, “Young Duke,” was by William Van Zandt, signed and dated lower right, 1887, and in the original gilt frame.
Dawn Hill of New Preston, Conn., had a booth filled with white furniture, giving it a definite summer look. A “salgbord” drop leaf table in the original paint with scrubbed top, Sweden, circa 1810, measured 78 inches long, 47 inches wide and 29¾ inches high, and an assembled set of four Chinese-inspired early rococo side chairs, also from Sweden, circa 1750, had been dry scraped down to the original white painted surface.
On the outside wall of his booth, Thomas Schwenke of Woodbury, Conn., offered a Hepplewhite inlaid serpentine front D-shaped side board with one long drawer, string inlaid tapering legs ending in inlaid cuffs and measuring 73 inches long, 40 inches high and 27 inches deep. It was attributed to Aaron Chapin of Hartford, Conn. On the sideboard was a pair of round base conical-shaped and baluster-form three-light silver candelabra, English and dating from the early Nineteenth Century. Each measured 16 inches high, 6 inch base and 15 inches overall width.
Irvin and Dolores Boyd, Fort Washington, Penn., showed a New England drop leaf table in pine, circa 1820, that measured 53 inches long, 18½ inches wide and 30 inches high, along with a set of five matched and one odd bow back Windsor side chairs, Massachusetts, attributed to Abraham Shove, Bristol County.
A long butcher block table in solid maple, circa 1880, fitted diagonally into the booth of Otto and Susan Hart of Arlington, Vt. A large architectural eagle in zinc, circa 1875‱900, was mounted on a rocky crag and manufactured by M.J. Frand Co., Camden, N.J. “We just got that weathervane,” Joe Hart said, referring to a 58-inch-long running horse with cast iron head and rider, maker unknown. It dates from the early Twentieth Century and was among the largest weathervanes in the show.
Karen DiSaia, former liaison of the show, was busy helping out while at the same time turning the responsibilities of management over to Marty Shapiro. She found herself in charge of guarding the plentiful raw bar and not letting loose of an oyster, clam or crab claw until the proper moment. She finally gave in to some early “customers” and later said, “We had a better gate at the preview this year as they cleared out the raw bar. Last year there was lots left over.”
Marty and Kaye Shapiro were pleased with the show and said, “We are looking forward to increasing the gate again next year.” Marty indicated that many of the exhibitors have already indicated a return in spite of the rather poor showing for some of the dealers. “By and large, most did good to ‘a fine show,’ the exceptions being those dealing in brown furniture,” he said. He has hinted that possibly other periods of collecting will be introduced to the show, but time will tell. Best way to find out is to plan to attend next June, and if that is not possible, read our review.
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