While the rains were falling across the region at the start of Antiques Week In Vermont, there was no apparent trepidation on the faces of either the local residents or dealers and collectors. The rains were slight, unlike those from Hurricane Irene that inflicted devastation throughout the region little more than a year ago, and it was business as usual.
Opening for preview on Thursday evening, October 4, the Weston Antiques Show, conducted at the Weston Playhouse, saw its usual vivacious crowd on hand for opening. The show was brimming with new exhibitors this year, partly due to the conflicting dates of the Antiques Dealers Association annual show in Deerfield that caused several dealers to choose between exhibiting at one or the other, yet it was as eye-pleasing as ever.
Weston is the first of five shows to open during Antiques Week In Vermont, and each of the shows presents a slightly different flavor of American antiques, with Weston representing the most formal and polished look. The preview party is a major attraction throughout the region, and loyal patrons are out in force to support the show, a benefit for the historic playhouse.
The booth of Robert Perry greeted shoppers to the right of the entrance with a nice country cupboard filled with period textiles, an early table and chest, quilts and an arrangement of smalls that included a brass door knob with a relief figure of the Statue of Liberty that the dealer stated was from the home of the president of Liberty Bank in upstate New York.
Flanking the entrance was Hanes & Ruskin Antiques, in a new location this year after exhibiting on the second floor of the playhouse for many years, with a good selection of early ceramics, a paint decorated Federal graduated five-drawer chest and an attractive tavern table with shaped porringer top.
“We have all of New England covered,” stated Harry Hepburn of Hermitage Antiques, Harrison, Maine. The dealer was referring to the selection of tall case clocks represented in the stand that included a red and black grain painted clock made by Charles French of Brattleboro, Vt.; a Berwick, Maine, clock by Paul Rogers; a tiger maple example from New Hampshire; an early Massachusetts tall case clock; and a Silas Hoadley clock from Plymouth, Conn., with a rare face decorated with an eagle and stars. The dealer also displayed a rare bull weathervane that had once been a fixture on the Bridgton, Maine, barn at the Moxley residence until the building collapsed during a storm in the 1950s.
Paul & Karen Wendhiser, Ellington, Conn., displayed diversified wares that ranged from early stoneware and weathervanes to an Indian war club and mirrored sconces. A good selection of jewelry was also offered, with a large selection of Taxco silver by many popular makers, to midcentury copper items by makers such as Renoir, Matisse and Rebajas.
A nice country Chippendale slant front desk in bold tiger maple was priced to sell at White and White Antiques, Skaneateles, N.Y. The circa 1790 desk was quite attractive and was thought by the dealer to display the markings of an Eastern Connecticut case piece. Other furniture in the booth included a Queen Anne Spanish foot side chair, circa 1740, a demilune table with drop leaf and a spider-leg candlestand. A portrait of the SS Antilles by Antonio Jacobsen was offered on one wall of the display, while the other featured an early portrait of a gentleman with a book and feather pen.
West Windsor, Vt., dealer White Fox Rare Books and Antiques was a new exhibitor at Weston this year and among the literary offerings was The History of the Royal Residences of Windsor Castle& in three volumes that featured 100 hand colored plates and was marked $10,000. A French automaton in the form of a blackamoor drummer boy was attracting attention.
A good selection of small-sized crocks with bird decoration from Vermont makers was featured at Mad River Antiques, North Granby, Conn., along with a graduated set of redware flasks with manganese splotches that the dealer felt were surely made in Norwalk, Conn. Game boards, textiles, a primitive wall shelf and a wooden ship weathervane were also displayed.
Charles and Barbara Adams, Yarmouth, Mass., reported a good show selling a wide variety of merchandise that included lighting, Bennington pottery and even some “brown furniture.” One thing that had not found a buyer, according to Barbara, was the bear skin rug that had its head peeking out from under a tilt-top chair table.