Published: August 7, 2012
There were prints, oils and watercolors of horses hanging every where, horses posed in both carved wood pieces and bronzes, signs advertised for the care and maintenance of a horse, a life-size bronze jockey stood in one of the booths, and photographs recorded winners at various tracks. In fact, there was enough there to choke a horse, as the old saying goes. But that is just the way it should have been, for where else would horse interest run higher than in Saratoga Springs, and the racing season had begun. So understandably dealers came to the new Saratoga Springs Antiques, Art & Jewelry Show on July 27′9 loaded with equine material.
According to Frank Gaglio, president of Barn Star Productions and manager of the show, “We stepped away, for the first time, from being entirely folk art, country and brown furniture and offered people a real nice mix of dealers with different inventories.” The show blended together well, was presented attractively and was not overweight in any one category of collecting. “We did not get a huge crowd, but an interesting group who seemed to enjoy the show, and many said they would be back next year,” Frank added.
The general report from some of the exhibitors seemed to fall in line with many of the other shows these days, namely business was spotty, good for some and bad for others. “I did not get a chance to talk to all of the dealers as they were packing out, but those I saw said they would give the show another try,” Frank said. He added, “That included several dealers who did rather poorly.” The dates for next year have not been set yet, “We are waiting for the schedule of the City Center to decide,” Frank said.
The Saratoga Springs City Center at 522 Broadway is a very convenient place for a show, with a large, air-conditioned and clean exhibition area, just across the street from ample parking. Gaglio did mention a couple of hitches loading in, and fewer loading out, but said attention would be paid to those problems next year. Fifty-four dealers fit comfortably into the space and more could be worked into the floor plan if the show increases in size.
Two pairs of yellowlegs decoys were in the booth of Home Farm Antiques, Bolton Landing, N.Y., including two from New Jersey, circa 1900, and two from Massachusetts, ex Shelburne Museum collection. An Eighteenth Century blanket chest, with applied molding across the top and the base, boot jack ends, had the original key and was possibly from the Connecticut River Valley.
Lake Placid, N.Y., exhibitor Antediluvian had two large frames, each containing 12 photographs of the winner at River Downs, Ohio, and several sailor’s Valentines with horse related subjects in the center. A very fancy saddle, weighing in at 70 pounds and covered with sterling silver, was by Edward H. Bohlin, saddle-maker to the stars. In the past he created saddles for John Wayne, Cisco Kid and Hopalong Cassidy.
Once again Nancy Steinbock of Chestnut Hill, Mass., covered the walls and an extra large table with vintage posters, covering all types of subjects. She kept changing those on the wall, but at the start of the show, posters represented the D.M. Ferry & Co., purveyor of vegetable seeds, the 1939 New York World’s Fair, the US Navy, and Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth.
Charles L. Washburne Antiques, Solebury, Penn., filled tables, showcases and the walls with examples of majolica, including animals dressed as people, large fish platters, and colorful, life-size three-dimensional fish on a string.
There was not enough wind in the City Center to activate the carved and painted wooden man on the high-wheel bicycle, with fan wheel, in the booth of The Rathbun Gallery, Wakefield, R.I., but he appeared ready to move on if a breeze should happen. He was placed near a one-drawer Shaker sewing table with splayed legs, stretcher base, and a 203/8 by 127/8 top. It was of chestnut and pine, original surface, from Union Village in Ohio. Another piece of Shaker was a double-sided peg rail with ten pegs on one side, nine on the other. It dated circa 1825 and was probably used in either an attic or a workshop. Horse items did not escape this booth, but included a horse stall sign for “Sussie Watts” and steeplechase bookends in brass.
Holden Antiques of Naples, Fla., and Sherman, Conn., offered an auto-pony by Amey Specialty Co., Port Huron, Mich., a horse and buggy pedal ride-on toy that had a patent date of July 6, 1906. A silhouette weathervane, sheet metal depicting Paul Revere on horseback, circa 1875, measured 28½ inches long and 18¼ inches high. A switch to nautical included a pair of ship portraits on wood panels by marine artist Salvatore Colacicco, the Charlotte and the Quiberon , each measuring 26¾ by 21½ inches sight. “We got these right out of a private home in New Jersey,” Ed Holden said.
Coming the longest distance to do the show was Baker & Co Antiques of Soquel, Calif. Bringing along a variety of objects, the collection included a New England townhouse dollhouse; a selection of tin cookie cutters; six doorstops in the form of vases or baskets of flowers, all painted; and an early croquet set with wire wickets.
A set of three horse and jockey wood carvings from an arcade game were running across the back of the booth of Fine Weatherly, Westport, Conn. Three horse portraits hung on the left wall, a running horse weathervane was toward the front of the booth, a small sculpture depicted an Indian on horseback and a large decorative horseshoe hung on the back wall. Changing the subject, an oil on canvas laid on board featured Spanish mackerel and seagulls by the Dutch American artist Arnold Wyderveld, and a blanket chest in old blue paint, with a portrait painted on the inside of the lid, was from Kennebunk, Maine, with the original hinges and till.
Stout’s Great Stuff, West Newton, Penn., showed a nice French metal dollhouse, circa 1900, with a balcony extending from the third floor, and an Arts and Crafts sideboard, circa 1930. A concertina with leather case featured a fancy Bakelite inlay. A selection of Staffordshire was offered by Willow Springs Perennial, Rexford, N.Y., with many pairs of animals, including cats, dogs and sheep, as well as three pairs of Spaniels of different sizes. Pieces of majolica also filled the shelves.
A life-size bronze jockey holding his saddle was standing in the booth of Saratoga Fine Art, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and behind him was an oil on canvas by American artist Clarence Montfort Gihon (1871‱929), measuring 39 by 31 inches and titled “A Breezy Day.” Known for his scenes of leisure, this work was done of the coast of Brittany and depicted sailboats, country homes in the background and three figures in the foreground.
Images of horses and dogs filled the walls of the booth of Hooper’s Book & Art, Washington, D.C., including a set of four pochoir hand colored plates, circa 1930, “Equestrienne,” by Etienne Le Rallic, French, 1891‱968. Each picture showed the horse and rider, each with a dog running alongside. A jumping horse with jockey weathervane was offered by Bernice Conn Antiques of Voorhees, N.J., along with a varied inventory that included three double student lamps of different sizes and a three-section floral decorated fire screen.
“One of the best horse racing paintings I have ever seen,” said Ed Weissman of Portsmouth, N.H., of his E.H. Dewey (1850‱939) oil on canvas laid on Masonite image, “Anticipating The Race.” This work is signed and dated, lower left, July 1892, measures 32 by 42 inches framed and depicts five jockeys mounted on horseback, in their racing colors, on the track with lots of people in the background leaning against the rail awaiting the race. His horse interest continued with three bronzes that were designed as presentation gifts to retiring employees of Delaware Park in Maryland. “I originally bought nine of them and brought the only three I have left, and sold one of them here,” Ed said. He also noted that he has a horse portrait by the same artist that measures 20 by 24 inches and is signed and dated lower right, ’31. A walnut and tiger maple bonnet top highboy of Massachusetts origin, circa 1750‷0, with two fan-carved drawers, measured 7½ feet tall, 40 inches wide and 21½ inches deep.
Baldwin House Antiques, Strasburg, Penn., showed a pin top bench table in pine, New England origin, dating from the early Nineteenth Century, and a bronze sculpture, “Paix” (Peace), was signed Jules Felix Coutan (1848‱939), French, measuring 36½ inches tall. A painted whalebone showing the vessel Cameo of New Bedford was signed “Gorham Clark 1916.”
Tramp art filled the booth of Clifford A. Wallach of Manalapan, N.J., which included a folk marquetry table by George Rehm, Frankfort, N.Y., and a regal gilded dressing stand with fancy top and drawers, with mirror on top. A tramp art stand with drawers had a lift top displaying a decoupage eagle on the underside.
Art and Antiques Gallery, Inc, of Worcester, Mass., showed a Vermont sugar chest, circa 1820″0, in walnut, poplar and oak, dovetailed case over two drawers and tapered legs, and a pair of portraits by Ammi Phillips, the man holding a newspaper, “The Cultivator,” and the woman holding four rings of hair on a folded square of paper. Two pond boats of good size flanked the booth.
Axtell Antiques of Deposit, N.Y., searched the shop for horse related objects and came up with a good showing, including a black horse carved in relief on a green paint board, and a circa 1820 two-sided tavern sign from Massachusetts depicting a horse and sulky, the driver dressed in a green jacket. On the back wall hung an oil on canvas of General George Washington’s steed, a white horse standing up on its hind legs against a yellow background with black paper border representing the frame. “The picture dates to about 1820, for it was about that time period when making picture frames out of paper went out,” “Smitty” Axtell said. A general store display case held a sampling of 14 white men’s shirt collars, and a sailor-made, carved wood hand was holding a peg lamp.
Colin Coots, an American equine artist, did two watercolors that hung in the booth of Dana Tillou of Buffalo, N.Y., works that were actually painted in Saratoga. Also of “horse” interest was a pair of English coaching paintings, oil on canvas, dating from the Nineteenth Century, by Charles Cooper Henderson (1803‱877). One picture was titled “Changing Horses,” the other “A Stop for Refreshments,” and “both were offered for sale at one time from The Incurable Collector Shop in New York City,” Dana said.
A highlight of the show was a special loan exhibition, “The Equestrian,” located in the center of the show and featuring an early weathervane, horse hooked rug, trade signs, horse portraits, small works of art, and a couple of saddles. The majority of the pieces were from the collection of the show manager, Frank Gaglio, plus a couple of objects on loan from exhibitors doing the show.
The show benefits the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, founded in 1983, and one of the largest equine sanctuaries in the world devoted to the rescue, retirement and rehabilitation of thoroughbred racehorses no longer able to compete on the track.
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