Published: July 3, 2007
Morgan MacWhinnie hosted an early season country antiques show for the Bridge Hampton Historical Society, June 1 and 2, on the grounds of its Corwith House, one of several properties the society owns and maintains. The show has, for many years, been an important part of the society’s annual income.
MacWhinnie had one of the largest shows in many years for this 30th edition, with more than 75 exhibiting dealers and paid attendance approaching 1,000 during the two-day event. As an antiques dealer himself, MacWhinnie has been in the Hamptons for more than 20 years, and during that time he had produced many shows in the vicinity. While reducing his activity in the past few years, he still keeps this show as his opening of the antiques season in the area.
For its 13 years in existence, the show has been a venue for Long Island dealers to congregate, along with many from outside the area. It is their chance to visit, and while they are there, to sell and buy some antiques and collectibles. It is a very low stress market for the customers, offering them a chance to wander around the grounds of the old house and perhaps find some fresh piece for their home or, in some cases, their second home.
Lise Richey is a Port Jefferson, N.Y., dealer of early American country-style home furnishings. Her exhibit was put together with the assistance of her son and his fiancé, and included a houseful of practical, primitive furniture and equipment. Her collection included a quilt stretcher, long round poles held by sawbuck legs over which workers would lay out a patchwork quilt top, upside down, then lay down the batting and quilt bottom for the needle crafters to assemble the entire quilt. There was also a very stoutly built sawbuck farm table with chairs and a red milk painted hutch available for sale.
Northport dealer R.S. “Toby” Kissam was exhibiting with a collection of his specialty, maps of Long Island from the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries. Additional merchandise in his collection included some early clocks, hardwood furniture, brass candlesticks and household accessories. Kissam, who manages two shows in Huntington, N.Y., also had several five-tube radios from about 50 to 75 years ago.
Pig on the Porch is from nearby Northport, N.Y., and the collection included an assortment of whale oil lamps, typical of Long Island from about 150 years ago. Northport was once a home port for whaling ships.
The partnership of Bill Grotheer and Brandon Levine, from Huntington, N.Y., was exhibiting a large selection of fine art, prints and some Art Deco household goods. Amy Bagnato, Glen Cove, N.Y., was offering several tables filled with small decorator items and curios. There was a set of Retro 1950s patio or porch furniture as the centerpiece for James McGuire, a Hampton Bays, N.Y., dealer.
But not all the dealers were from Long Island or even New York. The Brewster Shop was there with its most recent collection, found while recently shopping in England. This Brewster, Mass., dealer had a large collection of garden antiques, including a selection of Victorian iron benches and gnomes.
Pennsylvania was represented by several dealers, including Wilson Ross of Lewisburg, who offered a chest of drawers signed by a noted early Twentieth Century designer and cabinetmaker, Serge Roche, priced at $2,200. There was also a pair of Victorian chairs, recovered in zebra-dyed cowhide, with the same price for the pair. Another dealer from Lewisburg was Donna Laszewski, who was offering a collection of early sporting paraphernalia.
Nancy Wells from Portland, Maine, brought a mixture of Pop Art and Art Deco furniture. The Pop Art was in the form of two identical wooden form men with paint brushes in hand, which Nancy said had been used as advertising at a paint store. Priced at $475 each, she sold one to a shop owner who was going to use it for the same purpose.
Morgan MacWhinnie is himself a dealer with a shop on North Sea Road in the village of North Sea, a part of Southampton. His taste runs to traditional early American antiques, but he is also aware of the market in the Hamptons and so his collection included some later Art Deco and garden items for the show. Look for him again next June; this is the only show he still manages.
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