Published: October 28, 2003
The Millbrook Antiques Show, which moved to Dutchess Day School on Route 343 last spring, returned to the new venue for its 13th fall edition on October 10-12. The show, sponsored by the Millbrook Rotary, opened with an evening preview party from 5 to 8 pm on Friday, October 10, including early buying, with proceeds benefiting the Dutchess Day School.
Antiques dealers with room setting booths, numbering about 30, were set up in the school’s gymnasium, representing a wide range of styles and periods, with a slight emphasis on fine art. On offer were American, European and Asian antiques, fine art, decorative objects, period furniture and accessories, estate jewelry, posters, rugs, prints, textiles, lighting, pottery and more.
Under the management of Oliver and Gannon Associates, Inc of Altamont, N.Y., the Millbrook show exemplifies the promoters’ community-focused business model of mounting fundraising antiques shows that benefit nonprofit organizations. For shows like Millbrook, Oliver and Gannon absorbs advertising, promotion, site rental and preparation costs and administrative expenses, so that the sponsor realizes a greater share of the profits.
On this Columbus Day weekend, however, it seemed as if few of the local residents who bought preview tickets to support the event actually came to the show. They were drawn out of town, perhaps, by the lure of other peak foliage season activities. “The preview was light,” said Jerry Oliver. “Overall, the gate was not what we expected.” Oliver said that about 750 people came to the show during Saturday and Sunday, short of the 1,000 or so who attended the May show.
Despite the light attendance, some dealers did well.
Running Battle Antiques, locally situated in Millbrook, had a good show, according to Helen Meserve. She said that she and her husband, Hamilton, sold a fine early Nineteenth Century oil painting, an ash and elm long bench, and several pieces of brass and copper. Running Battle was showing a Montgomeryshire dresser, circa 1740, with arched apron over hanging pendants; a large 1790 oak farm table and a set of ladder back chairs, circa 1820, and an unusual Welsh dresser with sponge painted backboards, with five drawers over two cupboards.
The Dutchess Day School is a great new location for the show, said Meserve, “Easy in and out for the dealers, nice light space for the public.” While she added that it may take some time for the public to get used to the new location, “those who were there were buying, so some dealers had very good shows. Sunday seemed to be the busiest day, with buying at all levels.”
For Bird in Hand’s Jean Haworth, the Millbrook show achieved better results than the Hancock Shaker Village she had done in late August. “It turned out fabulous,” she said, and customers seemed to be a mix of returning established clients and new contacts. It was the third Millbrook show for the Westport, Conn.-based dealer who specializes in copper, brass and silver. Having recently returned from a shopping trip to England, Haworth was gratified to sell some of her new merchandise, including some fancy silver repousse napkin rings. One customer purchased two boxed sets and four singles. “I also had dealer sales,” she said. “I guess I have the right things for the right people.”
“The show went well for me,” said David C. Beauchamp, Hancock, N.H. “I sold a number of things to both dealers and retail.” Beauchamp, who specializes in the neoclassical period (circa 1800-1840s) Federal, American Empire and formal mahogany furnishings, decorative accessories and antique boxes, sold a pair of chairs, a tall chest and some boxes.
When not enjoying the live music provided by Ram Miles Entertainment, a three-piece light jazz band, during the preview, Thierry and Leslie de Chaunac of T.L.C. Rugs of Alexandria, Va., were educating showgoers on their wonderful selection of antique Persian and Aubusson rugs and textiles. Among the rugs displayed were an 1890s Serape and an 1880s antique Serab runner. The Serape’s main feature, according to the de Chaunacs, is an open field of jewel blue and a stunning medallion. The size of this one was 8.6 by 12.9 feet and it was in excellent condition.
“Serapes are actually a specific and beautiful type of Persian Heriz made between the 1860s and 1910s,” said Thierry de Chaunac. “These rugs are extremely well made with a more open field than a traditional Heriz. The colors tend toward jewel blues, salmons, corals and teals.”
The 1880s Serab runner measured 4 by 14 feet. The tribal rug from Northwest Iran exemplified the Serab’s typical beautifully toned camel colored field of natural, undyed wool. “Rose, blues and greens are the accent colors in the large geometric chain medallion devices down the center,” explained de Chaunac.
“The show went very well and was beautifully set up and attended,” concluded the de Chaunacs.
Returning to the show was Paul Nicholson Antiques, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., with his trademark Shaker furniture and smalls, Arts and Crafts furniture and American clocks. The selection of Shaker side chairs were hung on the wall and set up on the floor. A #7 rocker from Mount Lebanon, N.Y., that was displayed had been “rescued” by Nicholson, who had laboriously removed layers of red, green and blue paint to reveal the chair’s classic natural finish. None of his chairs sold at the Millbrook show, but Nicholson did sell clocks, including a small Seth Thomas tambour clock, circa 1908, an Ansonia shelf clock and clockworks from an advertising clock. “It was a pretty good show,” said Nicholson, although he noted that competition from the Rhinebeck Antiques Fair and other Columbus Day weekend activities may have kept the crowds away.
A pair of cast-iron lamps that had been made from a Nineteenth Century fence post were the center of attention at the booth of Cecelia B. Williams Antiques of New Market, Md. “The people who bought them just loved them,” said Williams, who added that most of her other sales were accessories. “The show turned out very nicely for me,” she said. “The facility couldn’t be better and there was excellent diversity on the show floor.”
Contributing to that diversity with a large selection of antique American posters, Poster Glory, Upper Montclair, N.J., brought examples from categories such as advertising, World War I and II, travel and publishing. A 1935 poster by an artist named Winslow admonished “Eat More Milk,” while a 1938 poster by an anonymous artist supporting local produce extolled “Strawberry Ice Cream – A Refreshing Old Favorite.” “Strawberries were seasonal, and posters like these were made to display at those times,” said DJ Dougherty, Poster Glory’s owner as he constantly flipped through the pile.
Oliver said the spring show, conducted the last weekend in May, is already sold out. For 2004, he said, the fall show will be conducted one weekend later than the Columbus Day weekend, hopefully leading to a better turnout.
For information, Oliver and Gannon Associates, Inc, PO Box 651, Altamont, NY 12009; 518-861-5478 or www.showsfairsfestivals.com.
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