“We had rain on top of rain, but that is not so bad for an antiques show,” Frank Gaglio, manager of the Princeton Fine Antiques and Fine Arts Show, said. He indicated the gate was good from the start, with 350 people attending the preview opening on Friday evening, September 26, and a “better than last year” attendance over the following two days.
“It was encouraging to see a great many young people at the show this year,” Frank said, “especially at the preview.” As usual, it was a mix of good and bad shows for the dealers, but “some of them had the best shows ever at Princeton,” he said.
Fifty-five exhibitors set up in the large hangar space at the Princeton Airport, with a large area filled with tables and chairs in the middle for people to rest and have food. During the preview, some food was prepared and served there, and a small band, with vocalist, provided the music.
There was only a handful of dealers offering American furniture, far outnumbered by dealers of English furnishings, and there were specialists in paintings, prints, jewelry, glass and porcelain. As one exhibitor put it, “People are not rushing out to buy lots of furniture these days, but they do like to find something small to take home with them.” Many of the dealers realized this and came prepared with lots of “smalls.”
The show was very attractive and inviting and it was obvious that effort was put into most every display. Witness the booth of Centreville, Md., exhibitor Aileen Minor, who looked as if she was throwing a fancy dinner party with a large mahogany extension table, Boston origin, circa 1825, 151 inches long and 48 inches wide, from an Old Lyme, Conn., estate, set with china plates for ten with a large oval covered tureen and two platters in the center of the table. These porcelain pieces dated from the Nineteenth Century and were retailed by Tyndale & Mitchell, Philadelphia and Paris.
Bridge Over Time of Walden, N.Y., with a booth right across from the entrance to the show, offered a nice mixture of furniture and accessories, including a Padil McCobb chest, circa 1960s; an English chest on stand, Eighteenth Century; an assembled set of eight Georgian side chairs, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century; and a Robert Chandler hand painted and carved three-piece screen.
Among the dealers offering works of art was David Brooker of Woodbury, Conn., with an oil on canvas titled “Harvest Moon, Venice,” 1900, and “The Hay Bailers,” an 1870 oil on canvas by Henry Sinclair Jackson.
An Irish Galway open rack dresser in pine, 1840‱850, original shop feet, was in the booth of James Curran Antiques of Lambertville, N.J. A brass chandelier, circa 1920, hung over a table and an English late Regency four-drawer chest in mahogany was signed W&C Wilkinson. It retained the original wood knobs.
Richard A. Smith Antiques of Camden, Maine, had a good show, moving both furniture and accessories. He offered an American double oval drop leaf Pembroke table in mahogany, with one drawer, and a Philadelphia lowboy with scalloped skirt, ball and claw feet, fluted quarter columns, probably the original brasses, and a 28-inch case. A sheet iron weathervane, found in Maine, was in the form of a peacock and dated from the Nineteenth Century.
Not even a fingerprint bothered the shine on the vast array of copper and brass objects that filled the booth of Eve Stone Antiques, Woodbridge, Conn. At the front of the display was a matched set of six graduated brass Victorian wine measures of English origin, circa 1870, and stacked toward the back of the booth was an assembled set of seven English copper confit pans, circa 1880.
Wilson Maine Line Antiques, Berwyn, Penn., had little floor space left in the booth once furniture was moved in, but the inventory attracted many buyers, which translated into sales. An English Georgian linen press dated to circa 1800, while an English Jacobean chest was circa 1720. A two-piece Irish highboy, circa 1790, stood next to an English Edwardian three-piece desk, circa 1910.
The Country Squire, Inc, Milton, Mass., offered a George IV library table in rosewood, two frieze drawers outlined in egg and dart design, trestle base, knurl feet and brass casters. It dated circa 1830. Another rosewood piece was a William IV breakfast table, tilt top, carved paw feet, 50-inch diameter top, that dated circa 1840. An English collector’s chest in mahogany, three rows of two short drawers, bronze fox head handles, was circa 1880, and an impressive collection of miniatures, including a highboy, tables, cupboards and chairs, was displayed in one section of the booth.
Among those offering American furniture and accessories at the show was Emele’s Antiques of Dublin, Penn. A step back cupboard in cherry with 18 panels of old glass in the top section, rat tail hinges, double spoon rack, circa 1825, was from Lancaster County, Penn., and was completely filled with blue and white sponge, including a good number of pitchers and bowls. A rare tray-top tea table in walnut, Queen Anne, one drawer, retained a wonderful old surface and dates circa 1740‱760.
An American cast iron table, circa 1870, now outfitted with a later round sandstone top, was at the front of the booth of Brennan & Mouilleseaux of Northfield, Conn. A perfect surface covered a Nineteenth Century bronze finial from Belgium, while a Nineteenth Century French oriel window surround in zinc, circa 1870, with untouched surface, had been converted into a handsome mirror.
A French table lamp with round repousse base, tole shade with gold stenciling, circa 1830‱840, was shown on a Lancaster County, Penn., dish top candlestand in cherry, 17½ inches in diameter, ring-turned base and slipper feet, in the booth of Mr and Mrs Jerome Blum of Lisbon, Conn. Cases against the back wall held four shelves of candlesticks and six shelves filled with mocha, including bowls, mugs and pitchers in many colors and designs.
With winter and cold weather on the way, J. Gallagher of North Norwich, N.Y., had all the answers for dressing up the fireplace with rows of brass fenders, polished andirons and all manner of fireplace tools. A British two-piece bookcase in mahogany dated circa 1860, and two vintage Princeton College banners were draped over the back of a wing chair.
A British high dresser in oak, circa 1760‱795, Queen Anne with cabriole legs and cutout skirt on both ends, 68 inches wide, 20 inches deep and 77 inches tall, was shown by Hanes and Ruskin of Old Lyme, Conn. A theorem on velvet, showing a basket of flowers, circa 1830, 20 by 25 inches framed, was found in the top drawer of a chest while the dealers were on a house call. They noted, “It was rolled in tissue and had never been framed.”
A number of mechanical banks were in a case in the booth of Steve Smoot Antiques, Lancaster, Penn., including the Speaking Dog, World’s Fair and Organ Grinder. A large dry sink at the back of the booth was in old red paint, circa 1850, and came from either Berks or Lancaster County, Penn. Inside the dry sink was a Nineteenth Century, red painted, chopping bowl of large size, and an early Nineteenth Century trencher with the original blue painted exterior. A brightly painted red, white and blue barber pole, of good size, was in the corner of the booth.
A small statue of a thoroughbred in bronze, signed Hozan, Japan, circa 1880‱900, a piece made for the Western market, was on a pedestal at the front of the booth of Ed Weissman, Antiquarian, of Portsmouth, N.H. Furniture included a Sheraton bowfront chest with ovolo corners, drawers with string inlay, ring-turned legs ending in tapered toes and of Massachusetts origin. It dates circa 1815 and measures 39 inches high, 40½ inches wide and 19 inches deep. Hanging was a portrait of the horse Austerlitz with Fred Hobsen by Alfred S. Bishop, an oil on canvas signed lower left and dated 1877. The work measures 20 by 24 inches sight, 28 by 32 inches framed.
Mixed in with the tall case clocks offered by Time & Strike, McLean, Va., was a circa 1900 American wall clock, A.C. Gilbert, eight-day works with time, strike and calendar. It was all original and in perfect working order. An eight-day English timepiece was contained in a carved mahogany case, signed Benson, Ludgate Hill, London, also in perfect working condition.
A hutch table with red base and scrubbed top, circa 1850, possibly New York State, was in the booth of SAJE Antiques, Short Hills, N.J., along with a painted ladder back armchair of large size, circa 1820, with a tablet scene painted on the top splat.
Bob Baker of Poverty Hollow Enterprises, Stamford, Conn., had a good show, selling both furniture and accessories both days of the show. His sales included a Welsh cupboard, a pair of circa 1940 sofas, a tole tray table, Staffordshire Dalmatians, a pair of French cast stone Dachshunds, three sets of china and a set of 12 fish knives and forks. Other furniture included a set of four English ladder back side chairs with rush seats and an English coffer, circa 1680, in oak with paneled sides and front.
A large county farm table, possibly of Swedish origin, capable of seating eight comfortably, was across the front of the booth of Holden Antiques of Naples, Fla., and Sherman, Conn. One corner of the booth was held down by a large apothecary trade sign in the form of a mortar and pestle with a large spread-wing eagle mounted on top. It dated from the Nineteenth Century and measured 31½ inches tall and 17½ inches in diameter. A pair of painted doves in chalk or a chalklike substance, Nineteenth Century, was perfectly mounted on a tree branch.
Paintings covered the walls in the booth of Jaffe & Thurston, Wawarsing, N.Y., including “Clouds Over A Mountain Top,” an oil on Masonite work by Charles C. Curran (1861‱942) that measured 25 by 30 inches. John Walter Scott (1907‱987) was represented by an oil on Masonite, “North Salem Horse Pasture,” 20¼ by 30¼ inches.
A labeled Federal inlaid sideboard by Elbert Anderson, New York City, circa 1790, with shaped top, bowfront cupboard doors, 41 inches high, 75¾ inches long and 31 inches deep, was offered by Douglas Constant, Inc, of Orient, N.Y. Among other pieces of furniture was a Queen Anne highboy in maple with molded cornice, cabriole legs and pad feet of Massachusetts origin. It dated circa 1730‱750 and measured 64 inches tall.
A white-painted cast iron garden chair in the fern pattern was shown by Winslow & Manciocco, West Rutland, Vt., and of interest was a set of three Italian screens, metal, circa 1950, made with branches of white-painted leaves on branches.
Jane McClafferty of New Canaan, Conn., had a selection of maple furniture that included a New England five-drawer tall chest, dovetailed, circa 1780, and a New England tilt-top tea table with cut corners, cabriole legs, pad feet, circa 1780, and probably of Connecticut origin. Five shelves of Staffordshire included eight pairs of spaniels.
Louis J. Dianni, Fishkill, N.Y., offered many nautical paintings including a 1930 view of the America’s Cup Race, Enterprise vs Shamrock V , a dated oil on canvas by James G. Tyler (American, 1855‱931). An oil on canvas by Edouard Adam (French, 1847‱929), showed the barque Dunkerque departing Le Havre on its maiden voyage in 1896. Two display cases were filled with many ships in bottles and a large selection of nautical themed bookends.
Roy Pedersen was the guest speaker on Saturday afternoon, addressing “Impressionist Painters of the Jersey Shore,” and Rago Arts and Auction Center conducted an appraisal clinic on Sunday. About 45 appraisals were given at that time by Meredith Hilferty, director of fine art auctions at Rago.
This is the third year Frank Gaglio of Barn Star Productions has been managing the show. “I had a three-year contract to do the show and to make it a better benefit for the Historical Society of Princeton, and I think we have accomplished that,” Frank said. “We will all be meeting soon to plan the future of the show and I expect to be here again next year,” he said.
When the show first moved to the Princeton Airport one visitor flew in to attend the show. He made a purchase, loaded it into his plane, and left for home. A very handy way to do it. He did not do that again this year, overcast and rain.