Published: February 12, 2008
The New Hope Winter Antiques Show, a small but stylish show that has developed a faithful following over the years, was once again presented by managers David and Peter Mancuso over the weekend of January 19. Conducted twice a year at the conveniently located Eagle Fire Hall, the show hosts 26 dealers and features a diverse selection of merchandise ranging from Americana to Orientalia.
Taking place during the waning days of Americana Week in New York City, several shoppers seen among the crowd had left Manhattan and made their way south to the show. There they found a good selection of country wares that included trade signs; three carousel figures were seen on the floor, as well as primitive furniture in old paint and a fine selection of Pennsylvania smalls, such as redware and stoneware, treen, tole and wrought iron. Prints, ceramics, silver, carpets, jewelry and formal furnishings are also offered.
Buyers began lining up for the start of the highly anticipated show more than an hour prior to the 10 am start time, and as the promoters prepared to swing the doors open, the line extended out the building and into the parking lot.
Americana fans were pleased with the view as they entered the show. Marc Witus, Gladstone, N.J., filled the side wall of his booth with an attractive carousel horse that retained a bright coat of old park paint. A nice 6-foot-tall barber pole in good paint stood next to the horse, a bright “Barber Shop” sign was appropriately hung next to that, and a colorful geometric pattern hooked rug filled out the visually appealing display. Paintings, coverlets, baskets, statuary, along with the dealer’s usual assortment of showcased smalls, made up the remainder of his eclectic booth.
There was also a good selection of formal furniture offered by several of the dealers, including Wilmington, Del., dealer Windle’s Antiques. A cherry highboy, circa 1740, was one of the featured items from its stand. The highboy retained the original finish and original pulls. With a nicely carved fan in the lower drawer, it had been discovered in a Wethersfield, Conn., home and has been in the dealer’s home ever since
A nice inlaid Hepplewhite four-drawer chest was available, along with a variety of tables that ranged from a one-drawer stand to three-drawer worktables. Numerous paintings were offered, with subjects ranging from landscapes to a cityscape, although the item attracting the most attention was a nice Eighteenth Century portrait of a man with long muttonchop sideburns dressed in a red vest and holding a glass of wine. The portrait was executed by Per Krafft, a court painter for King Stanislaw II of Poland.
Keith and Diane Fryling, Green Lane, Penn., offered a couple of nice Pennsylvania blanket boxes in mustard paint, one with ochre sponge decoration, the other tastefully grained, as well as a miniature example that sat atop a Hepplewhite slant front desk with flaring French feet. A Montgomery County dry sink in old red paint was attracting interest, as was a Leigh County two-part corner cupboard in old paint with upper glazed doors. The interior of the corner cupboard was filled with choice examples of spongeware pitchers, along with spatterware plates and numerous pieces of mocha. A set of three graduated stoneware jars, each with identical cobalt floral decoration, was displayed, as were several bird carvings that ranged from an early merganser decoy to an assortment of shorebirds.
Lambertville, N.J., dealer Tom Martin termed his Gustav Dentzel carousel horse a “sweet faced mare prancer.” The circa 1905 figure with a carved wooden tail was marked as retaining the original paint and glass eyes. Stoneware items were selling quickly from the booth, including a nice New Jersey jug in small size with large cobalt script lettering. An attractive yellow painted tole tray was also snapped up right away by an anxious buyer. A Bennington churn with floral decoration was available, as was a half-hull of what appeared to be an early powerboat. A nice chest in red paint, an early drop leaf table and a tall case clock filled out the furnishings from the stand.
Antiques at Old Church also offered a selection of stoneware with an early jar with swag decoration getting attention as the show opened. An eclectic mix was featured with items including a nice carved horse head hanging from one wall, a hooked rug decorated with a large ship under full sail hanging nearby and a selection of botanical watercolors on the back wall. A Halloween cat and a wall shelf with cutout birds on the back were also offered, along with a horse-head hitching post.
Midcentury design was offered by Anthony Rosa, Beacon, N.Y., with an interesting selection of sculpture and artwork filling the booth. Sculptures in clay, bronze and carved wood were offered, along with numerous paintings and prints by Modernist artists.
David Pownall Willis filled his booth with porcelains that included Minton, Rose Mandarin, Fitzhugh, Canton and Staffordshire. Silver, “mostly American, with a smattering of English and European,” according to the dealer, was also offered. At the ready to point out some of his better items to clients, the dealer mentioned several rare Minton pieces decorated with scenes of young boys playing, one with an image of a boy flying a kite, another with a child lawn bowling. “They are quite rare and desirable,” stated the dealer.
It was a small chalice from the selection of silver that Willis was most intrigued by, however. The rare piece of Judaica was a presentation piece dated 1865 and engraved to Eliza Lilienthal, whose father Max was one of the founders of the Jewish Reform Movement.
The Mancusos will return to New Hope in September for their fall show. For information, 215-862-5828 or www.mancusoshows.com .
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
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