Published: June 29, 2021
MORRISVILLE, PENN.- Mark Foster and his mother, Nattley Veenstra, noted antique dealers from Morrisville, Penn., both passed away this winter.
Mark died unexpectedly in his sleep on December 17, 2020, and Nattley followed after a lingering illness on February 23, 2021.
For many years, this dynamic duo was a popular presence at antiques shows, including the Wendy shows at the Park Avenue Armory and the 69th Regiment Armory. They exhibited often in Morristown, N.J., Greenwich, Conn., White Plains, N.Y., and their favorite spot, Nantucket, Mass.
Nattley Veenstra, one of five siblings, was brought up in Ewing, New Jersey. She married Wallace Foster and moved with him to Boston, where he attended law school. There she worked as an interior decorator at a Boston department store that also sold a fine collection of antiques. Boston was a city where people valued tradition and appreciated the history and beauty of antique furnishings. Nattley was able to interpret this rather staid, traditional bent with style and flair, and her clients were thrilled with their elegantly re-imagined rooms. When she and her husband divorced, Nattley was able to start her own antiques business and was proud of its success. At one time, the business carried on in a shop in Bucks County, Penn., but when antiques shows became popular, she embraced them as a successful venue for selling her collection of decorative and fine arts.
Mark Foster, her son, grew up in the business and became an important factor in its success. He was a rare combination of exuberant creative energy and serious scholarship. He devoured books to learn all he could about the history of furniture and of the myriad objects that passed through their booth. He also consulted with other dealers, who helped him develop an incredible eye for authentic, rare and beautiful objects. His creativity showed in the stunning booths that he decorated for every show. While drawn in by the beauty of the overall display, people were soon struck by the quality and the value of the items offered and Mark’s articulate discussions about them. For many, on entering the show, it became the place they would hasten to first.
Nattley and Mark, who had wonderful senses of humor, enjoyed the people they met at the shows. They had a good rapport with their clients, many of whom became valued friends for life.
They were colorful, funny, honest and hardworking, proud of the things they sold while taking an interest in those who bought them. Together they were unique. They will be greatly missed.
Nattley and Mark adopted several pets over the years from the Bucks County SPCA, 1665 Street Road, New Hope PA 18938; 215-794-7425. Those who wish to may make donations in their memory.
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