Published: October 23, 2001
By Genevieve Ward
RHINEBECK, N.Y. – The Rhinebeck Antiques Fair ended its 25th Silver Anniversary year with yet another successful show. During the weekend of October 13 and 14, about 8,000 shoppers packed the fairgrounds to shop from more than 190 dealers, offering country and formal furniture, fine art, textiles, ceramics, jewelry, prints, folk art and more.
According to show manager Jimi Barton, both staff and dealers alike were concerned about how well the show would do in the aftermath of the events of September 11. However, Barton, added, as the family of dealers began to arrive for setup on Friday, October 12, spirits were lifted by the camaraderie that is always present at Rhinebeck.
Dealers and staff gathered for an uplifting champagne toast and cake on Friday afternoon. In a crowded room, Jimi announced the winners of the “Best-looking Booth Contest.” At third place was Jeff Cherry Antiques of Pine Plains, N.Y. Instead of second place, Jimi announced a tie for two first-place winners, who were Mike White, Loudonville Folk Art, Loudonville, N.J. and Gloria M. Lonergan of Mendham, N.J., who also won first place in May.
Sixty-four percent of dealers reported a good-to-excellent show. At the top of that list were Charles and Barbara Adams of South Yarmouth, Mass., Joan and Larry Kindler of Whitestone, N.Y. and George Harding of Wynnewood, Penn. Enjoying his second-best Rhinebeck ever was Howard Graff of Colt Barn Antiques, Townshend, Vt.
With attendance at just below 8,000 (just about 88 less than May attendance), Jimi noted that as many trips were made to the delivery tent on Sunday as there were on Saturday. Halfway through the show, four more porters were sent to staff the pick-up/delivery tent. The only other time when this help was needed was at the May show. About 136 pieces of very large furniture (caninet-sized) were sold on Saturday, with 88 selling on Sunday. The delivery service was kept busy with shipping rdf_Descriptions both locally and out-of-state. Chairs, small tables and other furniture was carried out in the arms of the buyers.
Tom D’Arruda of Ferguson & D’Arruda reported selling Grenfell rugs, room-size braided rugs, a sofa two circa 1910 chairs, and lots of smalls, including lamps, early glass, decanters, and hanging light fixtures. He noted lost of new business, and said that one woman from Salisbury, Conn. came to the show each day and bought two braided rugs for a home she is restoring. “We were all quite surprised and happy with the results of the show,” said D’Arruda, noting the change in weekend from the usual Columbus Day date.
Jan Pollo of Bearsville, N.Y. was staffing her husband Mario’s booth while he was at the Nashville show. She also noticed many new faces, and reported that the gate was pretty good. The Pollos deemed it a “great show,” having sold a Dutch cupboard, paintings, a tavern
These thoughts were echoed by Claire Dounoucos of Slingerlands, N.Y., who thought the “crowd was incredible and very enthusiastic.” Noting that people came to buy, Claire sold furniture, textiles and many smalls, making this one of her better Rhinebeck shows.
New to the show was East Dennis Antiques of East Dennis, Mass. and New York City. Tom Buto reported “it was a wonderful experience and we look forward to it again.” Sales included three sandpaper paintings, a tiger maple washstand, a davenport desk, an ogee clock, a cast brass box, botanical prints, and a cast iron terrier doorstop.
Justin Cobb of Captain’s Quarters, Amherst, Mass., said, “attendance was strong – better than I had expected.” He sold six paintings, including a work by Milton Burns, a silkwork of the Panama Canal, a work by J.J. Enright, a painting of the America’s Cup, a work by Xantheus Smith, and an American School painting. Other sales included a scrimshawed whale’s tooth, a sailor’s valentine picture frame and a sailor’s block and tackle, among other smalls. “It’s my nest New York show. I’ve never had a ‘bad’ Rhinebeck,” said Cobb, who is expecting follow-up sales in his shop in the coming week.
Victor Weinblatt had a dramatic grain-painted four-drawer chest, circa 1860, as well as a tall circa 1780 blue painted cupboard of Quebec origin. A circa 1880 gameboard, also from Quebec, was decorated with a compass star and nautical flag motif.
Paul and Karen Wendhiser, Ellington, Conn. brought a New York hat box with label, circa 1835, and a Lyme, Conn. sampler by Eliza F. Jones, dated 1835. Atop an Eighteenth Century one-drawer chest with red stain sat an Eighteenth Century man’s purse with vivid Borgello stitching.
In addition to her collection of American quilts, such as a circa 1930 pinwheel star quilt in cornflower blue and a circa 1880 Bear Paw quilt in a darker shade of blue, Marie Miller of Dorset, Vt. brought several pieces of furniture, including a circa 1820 New England pine corner cupboard.
Comfort Fish of Springfield, Mass., hung seven charcoal on sandpaper scenes, including one signed G.K. Orr. Also available was a folk art marquetry clock by Joseph Bonenfont (1879-1960).
Daniel and Karen Olson of Newburgh, N.Y. brought an Eighteenth Century Connecticut slant front desk, several iron birdcages, a 1750-70 white pine New England pewter cupboard, and a John Rogers sculpture titled “Checkers Up at the Farm.”
Hudson River rdf_Descriptions at Jenkinstown Antiques, New Paltz, N.Y., included a circa 1790 apple green cupboard and a mid Nineteenth Century Hudson River view attributed to Joseph Hidley.
George Harding of Wynnewood, Penn., sold a large armoire, and was also exhibiting a circa 1830 miniature portrait with embroidery on the reverse. A circa 1880 mirror featured a reverse-painted scene of a house perched on a bridge.
Bob and Ellie Vermillion of Poughkeepsie, N.Y. exhibited an early two-drawer table with breadboard top. Circa 1775, it featured mortise-and-tenon joinery. The booth also contained a circa 1900 spice rack from Ohio, a Nineteenth Century illumination by W. Blair Hamilton, and a German child’s tea set from Rudostadt, pre World War II.
Dolores Murphy of Clinton Corners, N.Y. brought an 1831 American silk-on-silk embroidery by Sarah Agnes, an 1843 Hudson River scene by Mary Johnson, and a circa 1780-90 New York Hepplewhite table.
A highlight offered by Praiseworthy Antiques, Guilford, N.Y. was a stunning and large folk art “palace” from Warwick, R.I., 1911, that featured reverse painted glass windows. Gloria Lonergan of Mendham, N.J. offered a unique and large red awning advertising “Moxie is the National Health Beverage.” Fleetville, Penn. dealer Mimi Cutler was featuring a 1930s partners desk from the DL&W Railroad offices in Scranton, Penn. The desk measured 6 by 5 feet.
Darwin of Philadelphia, Penn., brought a pair of circa 1920 handmade Sheraton chairs, a Pennsylvania carved walnut salt box, a marble topped worktable, and an extremely rare and stylized Victorian memory jug.
Artists represented by Joyce Kirschner (New York City) included Rosamond Tudor, Morley Hicks, and Stephen Hopkins Hensel. Don & Kay Buck of Millington, N.J. brought a circa 1875 Jewell horse vane, a 13-star patriotic shield from Lancaster, Penn., and a large standing horse vane attributed to W. A. Shaw of Boston, 1875.
Netherwood of Salt Point, N.Y. brought a painting by self-taught artist Doris Lee titled “The Farmers Wife,” with 1933 exhibition label.
Cheryl and Paul Scott of Hillsborough, N.H. exhibited a circa 1860 American Victorian center table, a Hepplewhite demilune card table, circa 1790, and a pair of large wooden screws from a cider mill, in addition to a Blackhawk gilded horse vane, circa 1875.
Unique regional pieces are often found at Rhinebeck. Jill Wojtaszek brought a circa 1830 mantel from Bergen County, N.J. found in Essex Fells. Dennis and Valerie Bakoledis showed a Nineteenth Century copper bronze banner vane from East Hampton, Mass. and Judith and James Milne had a pair of cast iron bob tail horse millweights from Beatrice, Neb. William Lohrman had a signed Nantucket corner cupboard, and Mark Moody brought an impressive circa 1820 cherry corner cupboard with all original hardware.
Bill Merner of Merndale Antiques, New Hope, Penn., brought two examples of his specialty: Paris Manufacturing Company wagons. The makers began production just before the end of the Civil War, and continued until about ten years ago in their location in Paris, Me. The firm produced wagons, and sleds for farmers and children alike. On display at Rhinebeck was a circa 1911 example of a farm wagon in red.
In addition to country furniture, the show is strong in garden-inspired antiques, with dealers such as Kate Alex and Pam and Gene Martine. At this show, Kate, of Warner, N.H., displayed a large wrought iron stand, and four ovoid cast stone garden urn finials.
Rhinebeck has enjoyed the best attendance ever during this past year, as the show celebrated 25 years of history. As show management surveys its successes and plans for the future, it is only logical that the business will continue to grow. So far, over 100 dealers placed their names on the waiting list, and just this year, show management added over 1,100 names to its mailing list.
In November, Jimi will be heading to Sarasota, Fla. to solidify plans for another antiques show, which he said is “virtually filled.” Readers should also look out for another of Jimi’s shows to crop up in a New England location. Stay tuned.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm