Published: August 29, 2017
Review and Photos by Andrea Valluzzo
NANTUCKET – The Nantucket Summer Antiques Show, now in its second year of management under the Antiques Council, marked its August 11-14 outing with robust sales and a noticeable buzz among shoppers. Opening with a strawberries and cream brunch Friday morning and winding down the weekend with a raw bar Sunday featuring oh-so-fresh local oysters from Nantucket waters and Bloody Marys, the show ticked off all the boxes for attractiveness with a full list of special features, but no one could forget that the focus was on antiques. The dealers furnishing the dealer booths here put their best foot forward and set up interesting displays offering shoppers a variety of luxurious antiques and traditional items, from the rare to the quirky and a lot more.
Marty Shapiro, owner of Finnegan Gallery, Chicago, and council president, was placed well to gauge to the mood. “With our booth situated at the opening of the show, we received so many compliments from the attendees as to the quality and variety of this year’s exhibitors. There was a real party atmosphere despite the fact that it was 10 am with visitors eager to catch up with dealers who were old friends, as well as discovering the exciting additions to the show.”
The energy continued all weekend with events benefitting the Nantucket Preservation Trust and the Community Foundation’s Nantucket Fund. On Monday, to benefit the Nantucket Garden Club, Laura Dowling, former chief floral designer to the White House, gave a lively presentation about her years under the Obama administration.
Dealers also benefitted from all the energy, seeing brisk sales across the board. According to a jubilant Paul Vandekar, “We had the best show in years. We sold in many categories, woolies, Chinese export and creamware.” By Sunday afternoon, Victor Weinblatt was busy hanging up new signs to replace the number of signs that were sold in his booth. He said that people saw the publicity and advertising and the banners on Main Street saluting the Preservation Trust, a first for an antiques show, and really brought people in.
Finnegan Gallery’s booth, with important garden antiques dramatically lit and displayed, had a good show with the sale of a pair of massive copper window frames that was the focal point, as well as a rare pair of Nineteenth Century incised scroll pots and on Monday a stone fountain. Walking further down the aisle was Ralph M. Chait, which had a good show selling among other early pieces, a Seventeenth Century rare Chinese carved stone guardian lion.
Rehs Gallery, New York City, making its second visit to the island as an exhibitor, believed that the show picked up momentum from last year and sold a number of paintings, including “The Cathedral of Senas,” a painting by Thomas Kluge. Howard Rehs saw a lot of interest in contemporary art, saying that people loved the bright, crisp colors of many of the paintings in his booth, and he plans to expand on that next year.
A number of dealers who were new to the show this year said they were pleased with the reception they received. Jeffrey Henkel, who offers a striking combination of garden antiques, sculpture and interesting objects, was very positive about the show. “There was a great reaction to my look, which is not classic and focuses on what speaks to me and makes an interesting statement,” he said. He sold a portrait of two gentlemen, a campaign chest and a terrific pair of garden “mushroom” seats. Also new this year was Daniels Antiques, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., which featured a collection of World War II binoculars displayed on tripods, leaving several behind on the island where they will no doubt be put to good use to take in Nantucket’s dramatic views.
Christopher Anthony Ltd came all the way from Palm Springs, Calif., bringing with him some great examples of Midcentury Modern furniture and accessories. “Customers welcomed midcentury as an important addition to the show. I sold the star piece in my booth, a mixed metal sculpture attributed to William Freidle, circa 1960,” Anthony said.
Lawrence Jeffery Estate Jewelers, Litchfield, Conn., had a good show, with lots of interest and sold earrings, rings and 1940s gold bracelets.
Yew Tree House offered a great Welsh dresser on one wall and a giant woodblock print of a whale on the other, and reported having a good show, with the potential definitely there for the future. The dealers wrote up a set of six English Nineteenth Century English tavern stools, mixed metal copper and brass mirrors and sold an Eighteenth Century full-bodied weathervane to a Pennsylvania collector. The dealers said they were happy to find many enthusiasts shopping the show.
James Butterworth and Michael Donovan, antique wicker specialists, had a constant stream of people in their booth, with much interest in their main set of rare early Nineteenth Century wicker chairs and a settee. One gentleman spent a long time complimenting them on the two high backed Bar Harbor chairs with natural finish in the corner of their booth.
William Cook Antiques had a good show, with the important sale of a George III long case clock, circa 1780, that was once the property of the Duchess of Newcastle. He also sold a lovely farm table to a young couple for their Nantucket house.
John Sylvia Antiques, Nantucket, reported having a good opening night sale of an important tobacconist figure and also rang up sales of a pair of miniature British sailor-made wood items, Nantucket baskets, paintings and vintage barware. Fletcher Copenhaver Fine Art, Fredericksburg, Va., which featured a group of early California paintings, did well with the sale of a major painting by French artist Alix Ayme. The dealers are in the process of working on a documentary movie about the artist (more details on that to come in a future issue).
Among standout items seen at the show was a wonderful pair of Qianlong period famille rose elephants with striking enamel and gilt trappings and saddle blankets decorated with breaking waves under red lingzhi and five red bats that was offered by Imperial Fine Books & Oriental Art, New York City, displayed front and center in its own glass showcase.
Charles Edwin Puckett, Akron, Ohio, showed an important Waldseemuller map of the New World, 1513, “The Admiral’s Map” and an original woodcut engraving of a Ptolemaic 1535 world map featuring Europe, Asia and Africa from the first Servetus edition.
Standouts among English paintings at David Brooker Fine Art, Southport, Conn., included a harvest scene by renowned landscape painter Alfred Augustus Glendenning and works by Septimus E. Scott and Edwin Lara, circa 1870-1900.
Moving on from English paintings to English furniture, Roger D. Winter, Ltd, Bucks County, Penn., could be found set up a few aisles over in the show, featuring a George III dining table with two pedestals in mahogany, reeded edge and turned columns over saber legs, circa 1800; and a set of seven Regency chairs in mahogany with concave backs and drop-in seats above saber legs, circa 1830.
S.J. Shrubsole, New York City, featured a New York silver salver by Myer Myers, circa 1750, and a pair of George II sauce boats, London, 1748, James Schruder. The dealers’ jewelry showcase was also attracting attention.
The Cooley Gallery, Old Lyme, Conn., is known for paintings, which were plentiful in Jeff Cooley’s booth, but the most interesting piece here had to be “Voyager” by the AbEx sculptor Bruce Beasley (b 1939), a cast bronze sculpture in an edition of nine, 44 by 24 by 18 inches, mid 1990s. “Nature arrives at this perfect point between changes and stillness, between form that is evolving and form that is complete…” said the artist of his works. Among the paintings in Cooley’s booth were Warren W. Sheppard’s “Ocean Sunset,” a 24-by-36-inch oil on canvas, and Courtland L. Butler’s “At the Wharf,” a small but powerful oil on board, 10 by 12 inches.
Paul Madden Antiques, Sandwich, Mass., aptly embraced a nautical theme for this island antiques show: offering an antique fish weathervane attributed to Fiske, circa 1890, in its original surface with gilding remnants, and a carved and painted folk art sea creature, circa 1960, having a polychrome surface. Made by an unknown carver, the creature surfaced in Truro, Cape Cod.
Also featuring items of local interest was Connecticut River Books, Deep River, Conn., which had a historical map of Nantucket, surveyed and drawn by the Rev. F.C. Ewer, in 1869; a hand colored US Coastal survey of Nantucket Harbor, 1966 from the 1948 survey, with two fine cartouches, and an 1882 map of the streets of Nantucket from designs by E.K. Godrey, 1882.
An unexpected find in the booth of American flags specialist Jeff Bridgman, York County, Penn., was a carved American eagle, circa 1810-30, that was what they call in the theater world, a “triple threat.” The piece did not dance, act or sing, but it certainly boasted great form, craftsmanship and scale. The spread-winged figure measures 5 feet 2 inches from wing tip to wing tip, and though its carver is unknown, his work lives on in the original gold-painted surface and the attention to detail, most noticeably observable in how the talons recess, the beak and feathers.
Roberto Freitas American Antiques, Stonington, Conn., featured a monumental refractor telescope by noted scientific instruments maker Marc Secretan, Paris, late Nineteenth Century, on a large carved oak tripod. A highlight among paintings here was an oil on canvas by Elisha Taylor Baker (American, 1827-1890), “Sloop Yacht Under Sail, Hudson River.”
As The Nantucket Summer Antiques show closed Monday, the Antiques Council reported much positive feedback from both dealers and customers, with one buyer saying, “This show has really taken off, we look forward to attending for many years to come.”
For information, www.nantucketsummerantiquesshow.com.
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