Published: June 14, 2011
Marking the 35th anniversary of the Rhinebeck Antiques Fair, this long-running show once again lived up to the reputation that began in 1976, when first presented by promoter and Rhinebeck Show founder, the late Bill Walter. Outstanding folk art, Americana, country and formal furniture and smalls dominated the stands in the four display areas over Memorial Day weekend, May 28 and 29.
It was not all Americana though; some country Oriental was mixed in, artwork was featured in several booth, Arts and Crafts, nautical items, leaded glass lamps, art pottery and garden and architectural ornaments were also prevalent. The show was attractive and well-rounded.
Attendance was good and as the rush of shoppers entered the buildings on Saturday morning, the usual plethora of sold tags appeared around the various buildings.
South Hadley, Mass., dealer Victor Weinblatt was his usual busy self in the moments after the show opened as he wrote numerous sales slips. Trade signs once again dominated the booth with colorful slogans and motifs that ranged from “Fresh Opened Oysters” to Club Harlem’s floor show. A small, stout and obviously well-used canoe was displayed, hanging vertically from a corner wall.
Newburgh, N.Y., dealers Dan and Karen Olson kept Americana items at the forefront with a nice pair of Windsor chairs beckoning collectors into the booth. A wonderful step back cupboard in a bright old red paint was filled with historical blue Staffordshire, redware, early glass and a neat tin cookie mold in the form of a squirrel. Displayed alongside was a collection of firkins, wooden shovels, butter churns and a massive rectangular splint basket.
Two Ethan Allen running horse weathervanes in good old finish were offered at the booth of Paulette and Hilary Nolan, Falmouth, Mass. The pair was displayed near a large double door cupboard with a cutout base that had been scraped down to the original blue paint. Folk art paintings with applied decoy carvings by Mucka Davis were displayed. Nolan commented that the paintings were done by the carver as novelties and sold from a roadside stand to tourists. Three of the primitive works were offered, each with a different pair of ducks in waterfront scenes. “The mergansers look exactly like his decoys,” noted the dealer.
Bill and Teresa Kurau, Lampeter, Penn., wisely displayed their huge and heavy cast iron frog collection on the floor, below the selection of breakable Liverpool, Staffordshire and other historical potteries that filled their booth. Kurau commented that there were about 300 frogs in the collection. It was not all frogs, though, there were a few cast iron turtles and a selection of cricket-form bootjacks.
Just down the aisle at Craig McElroy, New York City, a cutout advertising display from the 1950s, featuring two happy beachgoers, was humorously displayed in close proximity to a taxidermy shark. A midcentury walnut desk, quirky paintings and a pair of trade signs from a pawnbroker filled out the eclectic assortment.
Oriental was mixed in with the Seventeenth Century furnishings normally seen at Jan and John Maggs, Conway, Mass. “We furnished a room in our house with Chinese country,” stated John Maggs, “and everyone that came over wanted to buy it. So we started offering it as a sideline. Its a nice variation.” Among the traditional fare in the stand was a white oak bible box with an unusual double-arch carving that dated to 1680, and an Eighteenth Century oak coffer with applied geometric moldings. Oriental furniture included an Asian server in a red wash and a Chinese side chair with pierced slat and fretwork.
Michael and Lucinda Seward, Pittsford, Vt., added a little spice to their stand with a large selection of Italian and Swedish midcentury pottery that was displayed on a small Queen Anne dressing table. Moderne glass sculptures were also displayed alongside early American smalls.
Bill Lohrman, New Paltz, N.Y., offered a nice selection of stoneware, including an exceedingly rare Paul Cushman pitcher with the “half mile from the Albany Goal” mark around the vessel’s waist. Other items attracting attention from the booth included two paint decorated blanket boxes, a horse weathervane and a bright quilt in a star pattern with a red overall field and blue stars that were centered with white stars.
South Road Antiques, Stanfordville, N.Y., put together a fanciful display with a large yellow and red carnival side show sign for the “Wonder Show.” Floral rugs, a pair of intertwined carved snakes, industrial furniture and stuffed animals completed the satisfying look.
Jenkinstown Antiques, New Paltz, N.Y., offered a diverse selection of materials that ranged from English Windsor chairs to a country cupboard in the original blue-grey paint. Smalls were equally eclectic with a table filled with Imari plates, platters and dishes, contrasting with several early mocha pitchers and mugs.
Fall Rhinebeck will return October 8 and 9. For information, contact manager Bruce Garrett at 845-876-1989 or www.rhinebeckantiquesfair.com .
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm