Published: September 18, 2007
For three years now, twice each summer, Stella Show Management has conducted its Antiques & Design in the Hamptons show for about 50 dealers as a fundraising event for the Bridge Hampton Historical Society. The final edition for 2007 took place on the society’s Corwith House grounds August 17‱9. It is a show where the rich and famous come to see one another and at the same time find that special piece of decorative art and functionality for their place in the Hamptons.
Prime Gallery is a shop in Southold, which is on the North Fork of this eastern end of Long Island. Because the Great Peconic Bay separates it from the South Fork, where the Hamptons are located, business owner Nicholas Atkins did the show to sell and also to gain more clients for the shop. It was working well. While there, he sold a large sectional sofa, several tables and chairs, and he has prospects for more sales from the exposure.
This is the show to which James Butterworth brings his best early wicker, rattan and bamboo furniture from his collection in Nashua, N.H. This most recent display included a sofa, chairs, chaise lounge and various side tables in a set with pastel print upholstered cushions; all in a very stylish 1950s elegance. Linda Elmore from Westfield, N.J., brought a set of bar stools shaped as armchairs but made of a clear plastic with bright aluminum pedestal bases.
T.J. Antorino is from nearby Oyster Bay, N.Y., and his collection for the Hamptons was nearly all white. There were white molded iron mesh chairs; a white wicker hooded chair; a white lacquered table in starkly simple lines; only the accessories had other colors, but the lamps in bright aluminum ginger jar shape with shades were still in the theme of stark white.
With a look and style right out of the Florida Keys, circa 1925, Coco House offered a wicker and rattan sitting room complete with palm trees, all in the natural color of the woody material, a warm soft brown. Even the mirrors were framed in wicker and cane. The look and style of the merchandise was probably easier for this dealer to acquire, as the business is headquartered in Palm Beach, Fla.
The show was more than just summer décor. It was also several dealers offering fine art. Borghi Fine Art is a gallery from Englewood, N.J., exhibiting at the show. Their collection included an oil on canvas approximately 6 feet tall by 3 feet wide by Michael (Corinne) West in 1953. Titled “Atonement,” it was priced at $95,000. The artist adopted the name Michael because she believed the art world would not take a woman seriously at that time.
There was an oil on canvas by Michael Knigin called “Girl and Servant,” dated 1981 and offered by Leonard Davenport for $12,000. Davenport is a resident of Bridgehampton and an active participant in the affairs of the Bridge Hampton Historical Society. Galerie Werner from Pittsburgh, Penn., was also offering art.
Joan and Harvey Wenz reside in East Hampton, so their appeal is pointed to the local market. The wall of their booth was decorated with the rolling signs that were used on the New York City subways to identify trains and where they were going. Furniture offerings included a pair of Moderne chrome round bar framed chairs with leather seats and backs, a glass topped table with a bright metal cubist pedestal and a grouping of Art Deco chairs in brushed aluminum.
Another local dealer, Schorr & Dobinsky of Bridgehampton, was offering a set of ten dining chairs, eight side chairs and two armchairs. They were constructed from wrought iron with leather backs and seats.
Art in some working form might be a good description for the collection of Cincinnati, Ohio, dealer Scott Estepp. He was offering gear forms and even the gears as wall hangings, machine and tool parts and, for furniture, Moderne designs of the post-World War II period.
Something for everyone and every style sense seems to have been the themes for Margaret Doyle. She and her husband, Bryan, live in Manhattan since early this year, with a second home in Maine, and she collects her stock everywhere. There were some architectural elements, including a pair of decorative columns. She was selling a set of chairs early Saturday morning, but there were two Windsor bow backs still in her collection. There were also a couple cupboards, which were probably built for a doctor or dentist about 100 years or more ago; they had been paint-over-metal, but the paint had been sanded off, leaving a brushed metal finish.
Jeff R. Bridgman, Dillsburg, Penn., was offering some of his outstanding collection of early American flags. Firehouse Antiques, Galena, Md., almost did not make the show as the dealer very recently opened a second shop in this small Eastern Shore town.
A dealer from England came for the show as well. Linda Gumb has been exhibiting at many of the better known shows there, but to expand her market, she hauled her collection to this Long Island resort community for the sale. Her offerings were art and prints, jewelry and a mixture of small antiques. Susan and Rod Bartha brought furniture from their Riverwoods, Ill., home. Trading and collecting primarily in Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century styles, their booth was filled with Eastlake chairs, Edwardian tables and fine art.
Bridgehampton is a great marketplace for antiques as well as a popular summer destination for New Yorkers. It has given this show a base of customers and created a uniquely Hamptons event for the summer, offering that special style of antiques and decorative furnishings so very popular there.
Look for Stella Show Management to be there again next summer in late June and August. For information, www.stellashows.com or 212-255-0200.
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