Marion is a lovely New England community. Its harbor is filled with so many boats it appears one could almost jump from one to the next without falling into the water. Beautiful homes dot the shoreline, with lawns going down to the water and long docks for mooring the families’ crafts. And it is home to Tabor Academy, the site for the annual Marion Antiques Show, now in its 15th year and one of the social highlights of the summer’s calendar.
This year more than 700 tickets were presold for the preview party on Friday, August 17, and other guests came and paid at the door. “It was the biggest crowd we have ever had at a preview and it was nice to see a lot of young people out this time,” Trisha McElroy, the show’s manager, said. She said the gate was steady over the weekend and it was mostly a retail crowd attending. As usual, sales varied for the dealers, with a good portion of the 69 attending doing “good business” and planning to return in 2008.
Steve Gonzales of Eden Landscaping created a garden at the entrance to the building, decorated the lobby, and prepared the flowers for the tables at the preview. He also gave a well-attended talk on planting pots and caring for plants on Sunday.
Several new exhibitors were added to the show this year and the overall look seemed to please those attending. Furniture ranged from country to formal, all periods were represented, two jewelry dealers showed, painting, prints and photographs were offered, many nautical objects were available and those seeking to improve the look of their gardens could find both seating and decorative pieces. “People have been saying it is the best-looking show we have had here,” Trish McElroy said, “and that is what we like to hear.”
One of the first booths inside the entrance belongs to Kemble’s Americana of Norwich, Ohio. Here, variety is at work, with objects ranging from a New England Windsor armchair in old green paint, circa 1780, attributed to Tracy, to a selection of cast iron doorstops, including dogs, horses, several frogs and Mickey Mouse. An Eighteenth Century courting mirror hung near a corner cupboard, and a sewing cushion with drawer and button feet, original red paint on the base, circa 1840, was displayed on a one-drawer stand.
A Hepplewhite sideboard dominated the back wall in the booth of Glenwood Antiques, Walden, N.Y. The sideboard dated circa 1790‱800, with bell flower inlay, and centered on top of it was a silver tray and meat cover signed Mathew Boulton. Over it hung a large landscape, oil on canvas, by the German artist Ernest Kaufhold (1884‱955).
Paintings covered the walls in the booth of Langenbach’s Fine Art & Antiques, Kingston, Mass., including a large oil on canvas by Frank Chester Perry (1859‱943), Boston and Rhode Island, “Sandy Neck Beach and Marshes, West Constable.” Displayed on the corner of a slant front desk was a nice nest of four swing-handle Nantucket baskets, the largest measuring about 10 inches in diameter.
Horse lovers certainly should have been attracted to an 11-piece hanging sign in the booth of Wenham Cross, Topsfield, Mass. Items such as saddle horses, ponies, saddles, bridles, work horses, pony carts and harnesses were advertised in red lettering on a white ground. A small step back cupboard in yellow paint had two panel doors over one large door in the lower section.
“It was a really good show for us,” Steve German of Mad River Antiques, North Granby, Conn., said. The first-time-at-Marion dealers offered a nice clipper ship oil on canvas of the ” Dreadnought ” by Robert Edmond Lee (1899‱962). This painting was commissioned by the Canadian Pacific Co., circa 1920. An Empire chest of drawers with rich colored surface, circa 1845, 44¼ inches wide, was shown, and a nice pond boat dating from the mid-Twentieth Century was marked “Seaworthy Boats, Chester A. Rimmere, Naval Architect, Jacrim Mfg. Co., Boston.” It had a red and black painted hull.
A tall chest with mixed veneer woods, glass knobs, circa 1830 and probably of Vermont origin, was shown by Brian Cullity of Sagamore, Mass. A pipe box in mahogany, circa 1790, hung on the back wall and a late Eighteenth Century burl bowl with scrimshaw ladle, circa 1860, was on a drop leaf table.
One of the largest booths in the show was filled with furniture by Douglas Constant of Orient, N.Y. A sawbuck table with scrubbed two-board top, raised on cruciform base and retaining the original blue painted surface, was of New England origin and dated from the early Nineteenth Century.. A two-part Dutch cupboard in cherrywood had two six-light doors on the top and two drawers over two doors in the lower section. It was from Eastern Pennsylvania, circa 1815, and was of rare small size, measuring 80 inches high, 42½ inches wide and 18½ inches deep. A Chippendale chest of drawers in the original red, probably from Massachusetts, was 43 inches high, 36 inches wide, and rested on bracket feet.
Probably the best nonmanufactured weathervane in the show hung in the booth of Hilary and Paulette Nolan of Falmouth, Mass. The form was a large three-masted schooner, wonderful weathered surface, New England origin, circa 1910‱920, measuring 48 by 40 inches. A round top chair table, 55 inches in diameter, was at the front of the booth, surrounded by a set of eight matched bow back Windsor side chairs. A flat iron skiff, about 5 feet long and in the original paint with a gray interior and red and white hull, circa 1930-40, once hung as a trade sign for a New England boat yard.
Zane Moss of New York City packed his booth with all manner of furniture, including an English partners’ writing table in mahogany with tooled and gilded leather top. Dating from the Nineteenth Century, it had octagon legs ending in brass casters. A mahogany apothecary with original labels on the 14 drawers dated circa 1880, and a Scottish sideboard, circa 1800, had a center drawer with cabinets on each side. It measures 60¾ inches wide, 36 inches high and 18½ inches deep.
Artist Charles D. Cahoon (1861‱951), a descendent of the early Cape Cod settlers and raised in Harwich, was represented in the works of art hung in the booth of Bradford Trust Fine Art, Harwich Port, Mass. Cahoon is one of the early artists who helped make Cape Cod famous through art. Two works by New York City artist Henry Callem (1912‱985), painter, graphic artist and printmaker, were in a bold abstract style.
A very colorful booth was set up by Pink Swan Antiques of West Yarmouth, Mass., with works by Peter Hunt on display. Included were a small foot stool, a large plant stand, a mailbox, a lift top school desk and a small step back cupboard. Roberto Freitas of Stonington, Conn., offered a Hepplewhite bow front chest of drawers in cherrywood with thin line inlay, bracket feet and the original brasses. A second bow front chest was of Massachusetts origin, circa 1780-‱800, bracket feet, with the original eagle motif brasses.
Heller-Washam of Portland, Maine, and Woodbury, Conn., arrived at the show a bit late due to truck problems. “I have been awash in diesel fuel while getting the truck back on the road,” a tired Don Heller said. The booth took shape rapidly, however, and was filled with American furniture, including a William and Mary chair table in pine and cherrywood, New England origin, circa 1745. This piece had a three-board top, ring and vase turned legs, and block and turned stretchers. It was surrounded by a set of four Queen Anne Massachusetts side chairs in walnut, yoked crests, cabriole legs, pad feet and block and arrow turned stretchers. The chairs retained the original surface.
Hanging over a highboy at the center of the booth was a large gilded and polychromed spread wing eagle with stylized Federal shield, crossed arrows in the talons, and of New England origin. It dated circa 1870 and was 54 inches wide.
A wide selection of furniture also filled the booth of Georgian Manor from nearby Fairhaven. The mix included an Irish sofa table in mahogany, Nineteenth Century, two drawers and two drop leaves, brass casters and dating circa 1870. It measured 29 inches high, 36 inches wide, 30 inches deep and 58 inches open. An American breakfast side cabinet, circa 1870, was in walnut with shaped marble top, framed panel doors and measuring 32 inches high, 48 inches wide and 20 inches deep. A highly polished English regency old Sheffield tea urn with domed lid and finial, circa 1810, 19 inches high, was on an incurved plinth with reeded bun feet.
A George III sofa was against the back wall in the booth of The Marion Antiques Shop. One of the works of art was by New Bedford artist Leander Plummer, a carved wood relief painting of a trout leaping for a fly, circa 1900. A well-preserved Nineteenth Century drum and sticks was from the Boston firm of Allen and Hall.
A collection of New England furniture, paintings and accessories filled the booth of Sheridan Loyd American Antiques, St Joseph, Mo. Eye-catching was a splayed leg table in brilliant chromium yellow over the original red surface, tapering Hepplewhite-inspired legs, circa 1820, 24-by-36-inch top, and probably of New Hampshire origin. On top of the table was a paint decorated, dome top box, circa 1820, from Worcester County, Mass. It was decorated with gold vines and red flowers, swags, and retained the original lock and hasp. It was lined with a Federal period wallpaper and measured 20 inches wide, 10 inches deep and 8 inches high.
The Village Braider, Plymouth, Mass., reported a very good show. “We finally cleaned our cast iron patio set, bench and two chairs, of the new white paint and got them down to the original surface. They sold right away,” Bruce Emond said. A large telescope on tripod stand was at the back of the booth and a pair of cast cement urns on plinths sold from the front of the display. Also ready for the garden was a large stylized plant stand in cast iron with leaves and rings to hold about a dozen potted plants.
Almost across the aisle was the booth of Brennan & Mouilleseaux of Northfield, Conn., with a selection of garden objects, including a pair of cast iron urns, English, with the original plinths. Two sets of nine hand colored engravings from Jane Webb Loudon’s The Ladies Flower Garden of Ornamental Bulbous Plant s covered the back wall of the booth. The engravings, London, dated circa 1849.
A selection of small paintings again filled the walls in the booth of David and Donna Kmetz, Douglas, Mass. Of local interests were “Provincetown Dunes” by Arianna Kelley (d 1922) and “A Beautiful Nude” by David Ericson (1870‱946) with a Provincetown label.
A set of six folding tin Sanderling decoys was on the table in the booth of Decoys Unlimited, West Barnstable, Mass., along with a canvas over frame Canada goose by George Boyd of Sea Brook, N.H. Among the birds by A.E. Crowell was a red breasted merganser drake.
Drake Field Antiques of Longmeadow, Mass., showed an American game table with turned legs, mahogany, circa 1830, and an English corner chair in oak with slip seat, circa 1800. One of the interesting pieces of brass in the booth was a cylindrical candle box, English, circa 1840. “This in only the third brass candle box I have found in 25 years,” Patricia Keady said of the piece.
Pat Barger of Fairfield, Conn., showed a selection of furniture and five tall case clocks. One, of Pennsylvania origin, was in cherrywood and by Thomas Morton, circa 1790, with the maker’s name on the face and the original papers still inside. Jacob Sargent was the maker of the Massachusetts clock, cherrywood with satinwood inlay, circa 1790.
Next year the Marion Show will be August 16‱7, with a preview on Friday, August 15. The next show under the management of Trisha McElroy will be on January 5‶ at the Hilton in Mystic, Conn.