Published: November 22, 2011
“The place was packed on Thursday night, November 3, with a record gate for the preview,” Diana Bittel, manager of the 48th annual Delaware Antiques Show, said. The attendance continued to be good for the rest of the show, up 29 percent on opening day, and there was some good selling around the floor. “All in all, Winterthur makes it happen,” she added.
Sixty top exhibitors were in the show, staged at the Chase Center on the Riverfront, and the three days were sprinkled with special exhibitions, discounted tours of nearby Winterthur and lectures. The show had its usual good look, with a variety of antiques available to suit most every collector.
Filling in the classical needs were Charles and Rebekah Clark of Woodbury, Conn., with a pair of Charles X five-light sconces, French, circa 1830; a pair of Regency Argands, English, circa 1825, 11 inches high; a set of nine classical chairs, Boston, circa 1820; a Philadelphia looking glass, circa 1820, 46½ inches high and 25¼ inches wide; and a classical pier table, Boston, circa 1825, in mahogany, pine and poplar.
Bittel of Bryn Mawr, Penn., in addition to managing the show, set up in the entrance area offering a Queen Anne Bermuda blanket chest with Queen Anne padded foot and cabriole leg base. This piece, measuring 49 inches wide, 30 inches high and 20 inches deep, circa 1770, is of cedar, the only wood indigenous to the island. A large tray, 29 by 21 inches, English and attributed to Miles of Northleach, depicted whimsical animals, including a large snake, lion, tiger, leopard, giraffe, horse, elephant, turtle and more, all seeming to be getting along together in this peaceable kingdom. It dates circa 1840 and is enclosed in a later frame measuring 35 by 27 inches.
A pair of massive famille rose chargers, each with a scene of three musicians and dancers, the cavetto with scenes of courtesans in various activities, was in the booth of Cohen & Cohen of Surry, England. The chargers were Yongzheng period, 1735, and measured 22 inches in diameter. Also shown was a massive Chinese Export punch bowl with sepia panels of landscapes, one European and one possibly depicting the farmer’s Free (or Dyckman’s) Bridge, New York, built 1759, with unusual neoclassical borders after Robert Adam, to the interior. It was of the Jiaqing period, circa 1801‱803, and 22¼ inches in diameter.
A pair of portraits, the gentleman with his right hand tucked into his coat and the lady holding a book in her right hand, hung centered on the back wall of the booth of David Good and Samuel Forsyth, Camden and Columbus, Ohio. A highly decorated dome top box with the original lock was among other folk art objects in the booth.
Among the paintings in the booth of Dixon Hall Fine Art, Phoenixville, Penn., was a portrait of a lady on horseback titled “Lady Fox Hunting,” an oil on canvas by Herbert (Hobart) D. Stitt (1880‱943), signed and dated lower left and measuring 30 by 40 inches. The provenance lists the du Pont estate in Wilmington and a private collection. Another oil on canvas, “Potato Harvest Scene,” 24 by 42 inches, was by George Washington Nicholson (1832‱912). The work is signed and dated lower right and inscribed in pencil in old handwriting on the original frame is “Conrad F. Clothier.” The provenance lists Conrad Clothier, founder of Strawbridge and Clothier department store, Philadelphia. It notes further that this painting was probably consigned by Conrad Clothier.
Federalist Antiques, Kenilworth, Ill., showed an American circular dish top tea table with turned pedestal supported by an arched tripod base, terminating in pad feet. It was from the Delaware Valley, circa 1780, 28 inches in diameter, and of walnut. An American chest of four graduated drawers on bracket feet, also of walnut and from the Delaware Valley, dated circa 1790 and maintained oval stamped brass drawer pulls with cast bail handles. Paintings in the booth included a portrait of a young girl in a lace bonnet with pink flowers and a bow. This oil on canvas, probably New England, measured 26 by 30 inches framed and dated circa 1825.
M. Finkel & daughter, Philadelphia, offered a number of American samplers, including one from Northampton, Mass., by Rachel Breck, circa 1803. It was conservation mounted, complete with family history, and was one of the samplers that sold early into the show.
James L. Price Antiques, Carlisle, Penn., offered a William and Mary gate leg table in walnut with oval drop leaf top on a base with two drawers and boldly turned legs. This Pennsylvania piece dated circa 1750.
Among the pieces of needlework shown by Stephen & Carol Huber, Old Saybrook, Conn., was a view of Saint Joseph’s Academy, anonymous, Emmitsburg, Md., circa 1820‱825. It was of silk, chenille, watercolor and paint on silk, 18½ by 23 inches, depicting the school building, a popular subject to copy at the school run by Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton (1774‱821). She established her Catholic school in 1809 after leaving her society life in New York City. She also founded the Sisters of Charity in America and in 1963 became the first American-born saint of the Catholic church.
American Indian rugs, pottery and baskets filled the booth of Marcy Burns, including a Hopi Polacca shallow bowl with Polik Mana, circa 1890s, in excellent condition, along with an Acoma/Laguna bird jar, circa 1880‱900, excellent condition with stabilized cracks, ex-Pennsylvania collection. An Apache tray with geometric design (stylized mission churches), willow and devil’s claw, dated circa 1880‱890.
Mellin’s Antiques, Redding, Conn., offered a pair of silver-mounted tortoiseshell tea caddies, English, dating from the early Nineteenth Century, knife box shape with pierced foliate mounts and shield-shaped escutcheon, matching interior lids. In very good condition, they measured 41/8 inches high.
An eagle weathervane, displayed on a decorated six-board blanket chest, was American, circa 1880, of molded copper and zinc talons, weathered painted surface, wingspan of 41 inches, in the booth of Olde Hope Antiques, New Hope, Penn. Several hooked rugs included a view of a white house, Maine origin, circa 1900, wool on burlap backed with cotton ticking, mounted, 33¼ by 57 inches, and one with a dog, Maryland, first quarter of the Nineteenth Century, cloth rags on burlap, mounted and measuring 48 by 46½ inches.
Philip H. Bradley Co. of Downingtown, Penn., was in its usual spot at the show with furniture that included a Pennsylvania schrank, circa 1780, in walnut and probably from Lancaster County. It measured 87 inches high, 75 inches wide and 25 inches deep. A walnut trifid-foot dressing table in old finish, Pennsylvania origin, circa 1755, retained the original brass and measured 29½ inches high, 35 inches wide and 21½ inches deep.
Among the miniatures in the booth of Elle Shushan, Philadelphia, was the portrait of William Bicknell, with lace shirt front and cuffs, by Samuel Cotes, signed and dated 1777. A corner cupboard in the booth of Sumpter Priddy III, Inc, Alexandria, Va., was from Accomack County, Eastern Shore of Virginia, 1790‱810. It was of yellow painted pine, 82½ inches high, 41¼ inches wide and 18 inches deep.
Elliott and Grace Snyder of Egremont, Mass., had a very rare and beautifully embroidered baize table cover on its original octagonal top, England, circa 1750, measuring 34½ by 35½ inches. A fine walnut chest on frame with trifid feet and elaborate shaped apron, 37 inches wide, 59 inches high and 20¾ inches deep, was signed on the drawer bottom “Du Bois.”
“The Discoverer,” 1920, an oil on hardboard by N.C. Wyeth (1882‱945), 24¼ by 89¾ inches, was in the booth of Somerville Manning, Greenville, Del., and an important nest of woodlands ash burl bowls, circa 1820, was in the display of Steven S. Powers, Brooklyn, N.Y.
A neoclassic five-drawer chest, Philadelphia, circa 1825, solid and veneered bird’s-eye maple with poplar, cherry and white pine, ball feet, was in the booth of Taylor B. Williams, Chicago, and over the chest hung a portrait of “Echo, First and Champion Polo Pony” by Albert James Clark, signed and dated lower right, London, 1903. It measured 24½ by 20½ inches, framed. A large oil on Eastern white pine panel, portrait of two children, unidentified artist, hung in the booth of Jeffrey Tillou, Litchfield, Conn. The painting measured 48 by 35½ inches, excellent condition, and was probably from the Albany, N.Y., area.
Visitors to the show were given the option of a combo ticket that was good not only for the show, but for a visit to Winterthur to view the new exhibition “Paint, Pattern & People: Furniture of Southeastern Pennsylvania, 1725‱850.”
Another exhibition, “Blooming Beauties: A Garden of Antiques,” was on view at the show, exploring the world of floral-inspired decorative arts, including fraktur, redware and garden furniture.
Special lectures, included in the general admission ticket, were given each day of the show, and included P. Allen Smith’s talk on the importance of antiques to his sense of design. Smith is a renowned garden and lifestyle expert. On Saturday, “The Sophisticated Garden: Furnishing The Outdoors in the 1920s and 30s” was addressed by Maggie Lidz, Winterthur Estate historian and curator of estate and garden objects. The final lecture on Sunday was given by Lisa Minardi, assistant curator of Winterthur’s current exhibition, on “The Flowering of Pennsylvania German Art and Gardens.”
All proceeds from the antiques show benefit educational programming at Winterthur.
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