Published: December 19, 2006
It is not easy to put on an antiques show in the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, but one has taken place there for the past 29 years. During that time management has taken pains, and rightly so, to protect the elaborate woodwork and inlaid marble of this historic structure, once the summer home of LeGrand Lockwood.
Built 140 years ago, at the cost then of $2 million, this 62-room house is undergoing constant renovations to bring the mansion back to its original splendor. In today’s dollars, the mansion would cost about $200 million to construct.
During the last weekend in October, all work at the mansion is directed toward the Antiques & design Show. Booths are set to protect the woodwork, columns are encased to provide more exhibition space, and portions of the floor receive added coverage. Eighteen dealers moved in and guests arrived on Friday evening, October 27, for a preview party. Close to 100 tickets, at $35 each, were sold in advance, and “we have had calls all day long about the opening” one volunteer said, indicating a larger crowd was expected. The show ran for the following two days with a general admission of $10.
Deacon’s Horse, one of the dealers in Hiden Galleries in Stamford, Conn., offered several pieces of American furniture including a Nineteenth Century card table with blind drawer in the front panel, and a circa 1840 secretary from the Federal period with a brass finial in the center arch. Fresh from a Boston estate was a pair of circa 1840 Rose Medallion covered jars of unusual form.
Poverty Hollow Enterprises’ booth, painstakingly put together, offered a French farm table, circa 1890, at the front of the booth, laden with cake plates, china and several pairs of Staffordshire dogs. The large English cupboard was filled with a luncheon service for 12, Wedgwood Pearl, circa 1830.
From nearby Danbury, S&H Rugs Gallery showed a Lavar Kerman, Iran-Persia, wool and cotton, dating from the Nineteenth Century and measuring 4 feet 3 inches by 6 feet 3 inches, and a Kazak, Caucasus in wool, circa 1880, measuring 5 feet 11 inches by 6 feet 11 inches. A selection of Adirondack and country objects filled the booth of Indian Pipe Antiques, Portland, Maine, including skies, ship andirons and a number of carved decoys.
Doorstop collectors needed only to shop the booth of Nicholas DiBenedetto, East Quoque, N.Y., to select from a collection that included five ships, a number of flower baskets, six horses, ten dogs, a turkey, several cats and a frog. Grace Packer Antiques from Bridgeport, Conn., offered a burl mahogany tantalus box, with no bottles, and a Gorham silver coffee-tea service, six pieces on a large tray.
A large yellow and black lettered sign for Lyons’ Cakes hung in the booth of Red Sleigh Antiques, Easton, Conn., together with a child’s sled, green painted and decorated, in very good condition. Among the furniture shown by Pierce Archer II Antiques, Nesconset, N.Y., was an English Windsor armchair in elm and ash, circa 1770, and a very nice pond boat on stand, circa 1890. A Georgian mahogany chest of drawers, circa 1820, was enhanced by fine boxwood stringing.
Sharing a portion of the large, round, center portion of the mansion was Bonsal-Douglas Antiques of Haddam, Conn. In the front of the booth was an American scroll-foot classical center table in mahogany with marble top, circa 1825, 28 inches high and 35 inches in diameter. An oil on canvas, signed lower left by Paul Philippe, 9 by 13 inches, was titled “End of the Day, British Fishing Boats.”
Just inside the main entrance was the booth of Wilson’s Main Line Antiques, Strafford, Penn., with an English Georgian armchair, circa 1850, a sailing ship in a shadow box, painted, circa 1840, and a large still life with fruit, 1909, by N.W. Steinbach, signed lower right. This attractive oil on canvas measured 23 ¾ by 39 ½ inches sight, 30 ½ by 46 inches framed.
Baner-Saradjian of Stamford, Conn., showed a pair of Federal side chairs, mahogany with pedestal backs, circa 1795, and a seven-piece temple set from Thailand dating from the Nineteenth Century. Spread about in the booth was a set of eight Hitchcock-style chairs, seven sides and one arm, with rush seats and foliage decoration.
All proceeds from the show benefit the continuing restoration of the mansion. For information on the mansion museum, www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.org.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm