Stella Shows Off 100 Exhibitors
NEW YORK CITY – A good number of those who attended the preview opening of the Winter Antiques Show were back on the antiques trail the next morning when Antiques at the Other Armory opened at the 69th Regiment Armory, 26th Street on Lexington Avenue. This show, which ran January 19 through 21, had 100 exhibitors and was under Stella Show Mgmt. Co.
“A member of the staff called me from the lower level of the armory on opening day, suggesting that we open the show a few minutes early before the line reached the underground parking lot,” Leanne Stella, manager, said. The line of those eager to get a first look at the show snaked its way from the entrance to the show floor, through the lobby, down the stairs, past the men’s room, and then some. And when the show did open very slightly ahead of schedule, the buying began.
“It was an interesting crowd and they certainly knew what they wanted,” Cheryl Scott of Hillsborough, N.H., said. Within the first hour the Scotts sold a rooster weathervane which was going to end up in Colorado, a horse weathervane which was heading south, and a sailor’s Valentine and Oriental design hooked rug to a New York City resident. By mid-afternoon a painted server with grained surface, a tole tray, and two carved birds sported red “sold” tags. An interesting piece in the booth, and one which was being carefully measured by a customer, was a pine book shelf that had a flap over each shelf which folded down to prevent dust from gathering on the tops of the books.
Folk art dealer Jim Hirsheimer of Edwinna, Pa., had one of the booths at the very front of the show and displayed a collection that included a half figure of a trombone man, circa 1930, found in Norway, Me.; a large carved Indian figure; and a large multi-drawer cabinet that came from a hardware store, turn of the century. Each drawer had a tool painted on it – hammer, saw, pliers, etc. – and it sold opening day.
“I showed this piece a good number of years ago and when it did not sell at that time, took it home where it has been ever since. Now seemed like a good time to bring it out again, and it was,” Jim said. “Sold” tickets were also on a trio of muses, Continental, and a gilded tin and iron figure of a lion, French.
Several landscape paintings hung in the booth of Frederick Thaler of Cornwall Bridge, Conn., including an oil on canvas, 13 by 17 inches, by Julian Alden Weir, and an 18 by 24 oil on canvas by Bruce Crane. An overdoor carved and painted putti, dating from the Federal Period, was centered on the back wall. Le Perigord, Great Barrington, Mass., had a large biblioteque, 1880, 98 inches high, which filled the best part of the back wall of the booth. This piece was painted white and had four large glass doors across the front. A wood carved model of the Eiffel Tower held a clock and thermometer.
“We have had a very good first day, not as good as last year, but we are happy,” Don Heller of Portland, Maine, said on Friday afternoon. Missing from this booth was a tiger maple one drawer stand, a painted apple tray, a pair of cast iron wall sconces, a patent model of a railroad breaking system, and a China Trade painting, about the size of a baseball card, that had 21 ships in the harbor. At the right of the booth was a large allegorical figure of Pomona with cornucopia, 1790-1810, New England, with painted surface. A tall case clock in cherrywood had an eight-day movement, moon phase, and was signed William L. Ponsel. It dated circa 1790.
“We try to bring as many American pieces as possible, and this time we have about ten,” Nancy Steinbock said of her poster collection. Among those posters was one for Scribner’s and another for The Allied Forces Sports Council. “There is a great interest in tea these days,” she said; and a number of posters carried this message, including one for The Chinbara de Ceylan.
A handsome model of the sailing ship Endurance was shown at the front of the booth of Portland Antiques, Portland, Me., and a large oil on canvas of the “Fisherman’s Wife” by Edwin Roberts hung on the back wall. A collection of miniature carvings by one person was displayed in three cases and rdf_Descriptions included tools such as pliers and knives along with dogs, lions and eagles. Among the furniture in this booth was a tilt-top table with birdcage in cherrywood.
“People are here from all over and we see people at this time of the year who we will not see again until next January,” Dave Smernoff of From Here to Antiquity, Bethany, Conn., said. It had been a busy opening day for him and his records reflected the sales of seven paintings, three pieces of furniture, a rare piece of art glass, and a piece of Sandwich glass.
“I have met people from all over,” he said. “Two paintings are going to North Carolina, one to Cincinnati, one to Massachusetts, one to Virginia Beach, and close by to New Haven.” A painted dressing table with mirror and a ladies desk were to be shipped to California.
The furniture leaving the show made for busy times for the shippers. “We had seven truckloads of furniture and other rdf_Descriptions leave with the shipper,” Leanne Stella said, “resulting in very good sales for most of our exhibitors.” She indicated that good reports came from all over the floor and that “it seemed busier this year than in times past.” A final count showed the attendance to be slightly higher than last year.
Joseph Topping of East Orange, N.J., had a small booth filled with small objects. Silhouettes hung all over the back wall, one showing Don Quixote being attacked by a lion, while another, circa 1840, showed a boy with cap and a whip. Interesting hair works mourning rings were displayed in the front case, along with a nursery plate celebrating Queen Victoria’s Proclamation, 20th June, 1837.
“Things just keep moving out,” William Woody of Darwin, Philadelphia, Pa., said as he took one end of a two-board, breadboard end sawbuck table, and carried it out of the armory with its buyer. The table dated from the mid-Nineteenth Century and was from Bucks County, Pa. He added, “I could have sold this piece many times as there was great interest in it even after it was marked ‘sold’.” A Nineteenth Century twig table with yellow painted surface and a tea table in oak also sold during the first morning of the show. Unsold was a door from a country store with Bond Bread advertised on the screen.
Janet Drucker of Mt Kisco, N.Y., said, “There are always buyers of Jensen silver.” She had sold a sauce boat, a pair of candlesticks, a necklace, and important serving pieces by Georg Jensen Caravel, designed by Koppel. Bob Withington from Wells, Maine, had sold a pair of carved compotes, a sofa, pair of gilt mirrors, pair of brass sconces, several lamps, pair of console tables, and a pair of cast iron andirons with tree decoration at the top.
A nice selection of American furniture was shown by George and Debbie Spiecker, Fine Americana, of North Hampton, N.H. Pieces included a figured walnut chest on chest, probably Lancaster County, circa 1780; a Chippendale maple tall chest, circa 1760, five long drawers under three short drawers, bracket base; and a New England card table in mahogany that was on hold and 90 percent sold. Three weathervanes had been sold in the first two hours, a large eagle, a rooster and a banner, leaving two eagles and two horses for the afternoon shoppers.
Kelter-Malce was among the New York City dealers in the show and the back of their booth was covered with a large New York State quilt with red birds on green foliage on a white ground. A large wooden and green painted grasshopper weathervane was on the left wall, near a small wooden fish vane with unpainted surface. A pair of white painted terra cotta urns flanked the quilt.
A tall wooden arch with faux granite surface, possibly Masonic, Nineteenth Century, was at the front of the booth of Raccoon Creek of Bridgeport, N.J. This piece was put together in sections and was being measured for a New York apartment as it was photographed. Decorated wallpaper boxes, lots of yellow ware, an oil on canvas showing a farmscape, and several wood carvings had red stickers. Eight birds, circa 1920, decorated a tree which was displayed on a revolving folk art table with fretwork on top, circa 1880, possibly the work of J. Scholl, Pennsylvania.
“I am down to two pieces of furniture,” Bruce Emond of Village Braider Antiques, Plymouth, Mass., said on the first afternoon of the show. A painted bench, Italian commode, 27 astrological prints, Fortuni panel, and an Italian bench in walnut with carved heads on the arms were among the pieces sold. “It is just as healthy as last year,” Bruce said. “I have to bring in more furniture in the morning.”
“We do better here in the city than at the pier. It is a different crowd,” Judy Milne of New York City said. Her husband James listed some of the rdf_Descriptions sold, including a pair of cast iron chandeliers, several hooked rugs, a pair of pine tables with turned legs, several lamps, and a yellow painted wooden child’s bike labeled Bone Crusher. Judy, who can be seen all over the city, was at Christie’s where she added a couple of banner weathervanes to her inventory.
The title escapes memory at this time, but there was a Broadway musical that opened with members of the cast behind bars. The same effect was achieved in the booth of Praiseworthy Antiques, Guilford, N.Y., with a grill and gate that came from a bank in St Louis. Doug Taylor said, “This was the grill-work that separated the safe deposit boxes from the rest of the bank.” One never knows what will be shown in the booth, and this time buyers found a pair of Herman Miller chests of drawers, 1939, a pair of stone carved birds, a 12-inch world globe, a railroad water tower model, a giant clam shell, and four framed pictures containing a collection of “useful household tools.”
John Sideli of Hillsdale, N.Y., offered a choice pair of barber poles, circa 1865, red, white, and blue with stars painted on square blocks in the middle of the turnings; a pedal car in black paint, wood and tin in original condition, 1914-16; a backgammon board in yellow, red, and black, circa 1880; and trade signs which advertised horse blankets and glasses.
“This show has a good mix of dealers, comes at the right time of the year, and is our best show,” said Greg Randall of R.T. Facts, Kent, Conn. A reclining deer, stamped Fiske, had a “sold” sign around its neck. Four tall wooden columns were shown at the front of the booth, and the back wall was covered by three large arched windows that would fit nicely into a sun porch. Several pieces of rattan furniture, dollhouse size, were shown by Rick Dodge, Montauge, Mass., and a large drawing of the City of New York showed the buildings of the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States.
“We couldn’t seem to stop selling,” commented Joy Palmer, who with her husband Palmer had red “sold” tickets all over the booth. A hanging cupboard, Swedish headboard, French gallery clock, upholstered bench with a zebra pattern cover, Chippendale foot stool with ball and claw feet, and a pair of Nineteenth Century carved wooden lamps had either left the booth or were awaiting pickup.
“It is nice when things go really well both for the management and the exhibitors,” Leanne Stella said. From the management side of the show, “Move in and move out, with no snow, went well and we are looking forward to being back here in February.”
The Gramercy Park Antiques and Fine Art Show is set for February 16 and 17, and once again 600 dealers will move onto the piers for the Triple Pier Expo, March 17 and 18 and again the following weekend.