Published: March 18, 2003
Antiques In Long Valley:
By Nancy Vozar
LONG VALLEY, N.J. – Despite the aftermath of an East Coast blizzard, the threat of severe flooding, and fog that would rival the streets of London, when the doors opened at 10 am on Saturday, February 22, for the 17th annual Antiques in Long Valley Show, dealers were ready with the wrapping paper and receipt books.
With mountains rising in the background and the trees silhouetted against a blanket of snow, this annual event benefiting the Long Valley Women’s Club, held at the Long Valley Middle School, is managed by Joyce and Don Coffman of Great Barrington, Mass.
The 75 participating dealers proved that they too live by the credo of the postal service, “Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor gloom of night can stay these swift couriers from the completion of their appointed rounds,” as they traveled from North Carolina, Maine, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and of course, the Garden State.
Perhaps Marty Greenberg, Country Samplings, Kingston, N.J., summarized the show best when he said, “I love this show, I love everything about it. The customers, the promoters, other dealers, even the moving in and the moving out.”
Perhaps the “sweetest” find of the day was seen in the booth of East Chatham, N.Y. dealer Sandy Klempner, The Wood Witch of the East: an 1880s bee skep. The bees were drawn into this hive to create a honeycomb, which the beekeeper would then remove to obtain the honey. Also see in her booth was a Shaker confetti rug; a folk art canvas decoy goose with original paint; a large feather basket with its lid; a Windsor style bench from the first half of the Twentieth Century; a pair of Nineteenth Century mirrored sconces; and a signed piece of Outsider art of a freshwater fish, carved by Robert Thurston on June 7, 1904, at his High Bridges camp at Moosehead Lake, Maine.
The show met Klempner’s expectations. “Both the dealers and show promoters are nice and it certainly helps that it’s not an expensive show to participate in.” Items that did not have to be packed up included sides of a wagon with advertising on them, a braided rug, and a painting.
Walking into Jeff Bridgman’s booth (York County, Penn.) on Washington’s Birthday was appropriate, as Bridgman’s vintage American flags were displayed on the booth wall, as well as Union first issue covers from the Civil War. Indeed, a poem on a Civil War envelope wonderfully expressed one’s patriotic sentiments that day:
“The Union of lakes, the Union of lands, the Union of soldier, the Union of states none can sever, the Union of hearts and lands and the flag of our Union forever.”
Another rdf_Description in Bridgman’s booth was a set of six Pennsylvania stenciled chairs, circa 1860-1870. He mentioned that what makes these chairs so desirable is the fact that “rarely do you find black stenciled chairs from Pennsylvania, usually they are from New England. Brown and green painted chairs seem to have been more prevalent in Pennsylvania.”
Rounding out his booth was a Pennsylvania jelly cupboard; a circa 1880 paint decorated dry sink; a New Hampshire wall cupboard, circa 1820-1834, with shaped shelves, a great surface and its original hardware; and a Maine corner cupboard in dusty blue paint, circa 1800-1830. Pleased with the snow, Bridgman reported that he had “two significant sales and bought two nice quilts and a few other rdf_Descriptions.”
It’s quite apparent when entering the booth of Dorothy Gray’s Country Classics, Wading River, N.Y., was the adjective “classics” reflects her merchandise, which included Quimper, Staffordshire, and choice sewing rdf_Descriptions. Without a doubt, this is the upshot of 30 years of collecting.
Gray’s husband proudly showed us what he felt was the highlight: a hand-blown lace maker’s lamp that was used to shed light on close needlework. The bulb of the lamp was filled with water and then positioned in front of a light source, such as a candle. The water magnifies the light, making it much easier to conduct find and detailed sewing work. This is only the third one that they have owned in 30 years, and the first one in perfect condition.
“Turn your swords into ploughshares,” or in the case of another unusual rdf_Description seen in Gray’s booth, “turn your rifle into a cribbage game.” The object was a Nineteenth Century rifle stock made into a game board. Also seen were a pair of Victorian Staffordshire figures portraying the British actors T.A. Cooper and Edmund Kean. Kean’s pose as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice suggests that he wants his “pound of flesh.”
Also showcased was a carefully selected group of smalls, which included some choice ivory and pearl sewing rdf_Descriptions, and an intricately handmade snuffbox lined with tortoise shell and accented with coral. Also found in this case was a late Eighteenth Century bone lady’s spirits ladle. The small size and delicate shape enhanced the femininity of the user for this particular time in history.
Seen at the booth of Sawmill Antiques, Egg Harbor City, N.J., was a Nineteenth Century Humphrey’s Remedies chest. By just reading the exhausting list of remedies listed on the front panel, one almost thought he had earned three credits in a medical course. There were “cures” for kidney disease, heart disease, cholera, toothache, and “faceache,” just to name a few.
Adjacent to this booth was Dorothy Mades, who left her home in Raleigh, N.C., on Thursday in order to make it to the show on time. Among her offerings was a collection of antique Easter egg candy containers. A show patron, who already noted that he has a collection of 500 of these containers, found another egg in Mades’s booth to add to his already extensive assortment.
Across the aisle was The Old Wood Shed, Brick, N.J. They reported sales of a butter churn, blue decorated crock, Betty lamp, a copper kettle, an apothecary chest, and a horse head hitching post. Regarding the hitching post, Joanne and Patrick mentioned that “This is the perfect area for an rdf_Description like this.” What they meant was the Long Valley, N.J., is in close proximity to the training facility for the United States Equestrian Team, and the former horse ranch of Jackie Kennedy Onassis.
Exhibiting for the fifth year at this show was Pear Tree Antiques, Moorestown, N.J. The centerpiece of the booth was an Eighteenth Century Connecticut chest of drawers on bun feet. Denise and Lon Haines also displayed a grouping of stoneware in good, strong colors.
Webb’s American Country from Cazenovia, N.Y., reported selling an overshot coverlet to a young collector, and two doll cradles to a long-time collector who displays them each year under her Christmas tree. Sales at the booth of Pinkerton Antiques, Newark, Del., included a demilune table, a two-drawer blanket chest, a dome trunk,, and lots of smalls.
The Coffmans’ next show is the 21st annual Antiques in August outdoor show held on Sunday, August 17, at the North Hunterdon High School, Annandale, N.J. For information, 413-637-3580.
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