Published: July 31, 2007
Stella Show Mgmt Co. produced Antiques & Design in the Hamptons, June 22′4, the show for the New York state of mind, at Bridge Hampton Historical Society’s Corwith House and Museum on Montauk Highway.
The show is a fundraising affair for the society whose mission is the preservation and dissemination of the artifacts and traditions of Greater Bridgehampton, which includes several surrounding villages. Proceeds go toward restoring and maintaining the society’s facilities, which include the Corwith House, the Strong Wheelwright Shop, the old Hamlet Jail and the future restoration of the Nathaniel Rogers House.
Stella collected about 50 dealers of antiques, designer furnishings and accessories and early personal articles, including jewelry silver and fine china. For the first time, Irene Stella even had some dealers in outsider art exhibiting at the twice-a-summer event.
Early for the Hamptons season, the visitor traffic, Stella said, was more than last June, which was hurt by heavy rain in this tented outdoor show, and on par with the last August event. “The weather was near perfect for the weekend; not too hot and dry, so that was probably a help with the gate,” she said. Dealers in postshow interviews were generally in agreement. “For this early in the Hamptons, the gate was OK, and we sold fairly well,” is how one dealer put it.
The show is not called simply an antiques show nor does it try to limit the offerings to that genre. “What it offers is the most up-to-date style and design demanded by the best known decorators and designers in the city and the Hamptons,” Stella said. “We had Jimmie Hedges here with outsider art, A Bird in Hand with folk art and Cottage Treasures with fabulous funky stuff, which sold extremely well.”
Jimmie Hedges is from Chattanooga, Tenn., where his shop, Rising Fawn Gallery on Lookout Mountain, features a wild collection of outsider art, folk art and “other funky stuff,” according to Hedges.
His exhibit featured a totem of drywall buckets made of plastic and reformed by artist Danny Hoskinson of Polk County, Tenn., using a welder’s torch and some other tools to make faces and paint them in wild and crazy colors. One in the booth was $2,000. Another unusual object was a naked girl on a tricycle that “can only be seen in a photo, for the description in words would not explain how anything so ugly could be so cute and appealing,” he said. She was priced at $1,500.
Cottage Treasures was selling Nineteenth Century furniture, which the Long Valley, N.J., dealer had repainted in garish colors for very good prices. One early Victorian console table, originally in mahogany veneer with four pedestals connecting the low base and feet to the top, was spray painted in a turquoise shade of blue that matched Irene Stella’s sweater.
Another object was an early Windsor armchair painted in silver; both of these pieces found new homes during the show.
Also from New Jersey, Ron and Joyce Bassin were offering folk art in several forms in their collection. Their business, A Bird in Hand, was selling an early game board, carved birds and some sculpted pieces, as well as more conventional early paintings and furniture.
Another of the unusual pieces found at the show was offered by Leah Kleman, a dealer known for offbeat furnishings and art. She had a nearly life-size sculpture of a horse, made by cleaning and welding together used parts from cars and trucks †not the sheet metal parts, but gears, disc brake pads, drive chains from motorcycles and bicycles. The piece was then given a clear coating to prevent or retard rust.
As the Hamptons are known for summer homes, outdoor and porch furniture were popular exhibits at this show. Rico Baca is manager of Objects in the Loft from West Palm Beach, Fla. His biggest object was a seven-piece grouping of vintage rattan furniture, circa 1940, and priced at $25,000.
Cincinnati, Ohio, dealer Scott Estepp was offering a patio dining set made from tubular plastic. New Preston, Conn., dealer Dawn Hill was selling a vintage iron dining set. Wicker from the early Twentieth Century is very popular with James Butterworth of Nashua, N.H. For this prestigious event he was showing several groupings of wicker and a few mixed pieces.
The show was not all offbeat antiques. Anita Taub has a full-time business as an attorney in New York City, but her passion is her fine estate jewelry collection. Two dazzling pieces she was pleased to show at this sale were a butterfly and a fern frond each made of diamonds and sapphires set in 18K gold.
Margaret Doyle, from Maine and Manhattan, offered a variety of furniture and accessories with the majority of her sales coming from smalls.
Earle D. Vandekar’s Knightsbridge, New York City, was selling among other antiques a group of “woolies,” wall hangings of clipper ships made of wool and other fabric backgrounds in fine detail. These were usually English and of a particular ship with their popularity in part due to the durability of the textiles versus the paint mediums of the day.
Andrew Spindler of Essex, Mass., sold an Eighteenth Century Dutch chest in japanned lacquer with gilt detailing sold at the show.
Irene Stella said after the show that she was very pleased with the results and dealer comments. She felt that for the early summer date of the show results were satisfying for the society, the dealers and her company.
The show will be repeated again at the Corwith House August 17‱9 with many of the same dealers, but they are expected to have different inventory. For information, www.stellashows.com or 212-255-0200.
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