Published: July 15, 2003
The 32nd Annual Brandywine River Museum Antiques Show, conducted Memorial Day weekend, benefited the Brandywine River Museum Volunteers’ Art Purchase Fund.
This year’s show coordinator Judy Mark said, “The museum is currently in the midst of a major expansion project that will greatly improve public programs.” Mark was assisted by Mary Ellen Perri and Donna Gormel, volunteer coordinator. Ruth Bishop was again on hand selling tickets along with Kay Herbert.
As previously, the show was hosted by museum volunteers and presented by professional show manager Robert W. Armacost, Armacost Antiques Shows. A preview party took place Friday evening.
Thirty-two exhibitors brought Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century English and American furniture, paintings, Georgian silver, delft, pewter and collectible accessories. New to the show this year were Eric Gronning Antiques Shaftsbury, Vt., and Lovrinic Antiques, Lambertville, N.J.
In addition to the gala, the museum presented a special exhibition, “The Art and Design of Antique Smoking Pipes.” Featured were approx-imately 80 examples dating from the Sixteenth Century to the present, of European and American clay, porcelain, wood and meerschaum. Pipe collectors Benjamin Rapaport and Saranuas Peckus were on hand during the preview to share their pipe expertise and discuss their collections.
The museum courtyard stalls held an unfortunate eight participants. It rained Friday evening — all Friday evening. But a few — very few — patrons hurried down the steps, scurried across the courtyard cobblestones and ducked under and through the long wet plastic sheeting that attempted to keep the heavy rain and wind away from the treasures.
These brave ones found some real buys. One cabinet in the booth of sixth-year exhibitor Fiske & Freeman displayed a 1650 English two-prong sucket fork; a real, rare, rare gem. Lisa Freeman mentioned that she sold a Seventeenth Century English oak side table plus two other rdf_Descriptions.
In the booth of Ronald Klinger, Elinor Gordon, a long, longtime dealer and expert on Chinese export, spoke of the recent ADA event in Philadelphia at which she was honored. “It was a very emotional evening for me and truly a lovely evening.”
Pipe collector Benjamin Rapaport, Reston, Va., when asked how many pipes are in his collection, said, “A large number. I have been collecting for a half a century.” The oldest, he said, was a stone pipe, 800 AD. Fellow pipe enthusiast and exhibitor Sarunas Peckus commented that he had “a little bit of everything: wood pipes, porcelain, Oriental pipes. My oldest is about 1820. I’ve been collecting since about 1982.”
In the booth of Brill’s Antiques, Newport News, Va., was a good English Welsh oak dresser, Eighteenth Century. Also an English tall-case clock, circa 1820, and a Pennsylvania dower chest in poplar and pine. Connie O’Reilly of Davis-O’Reilly Antiques, Northport, Ala., who has done this show for four years, said, “It’s a 1,000-mile trip [each way].” On display was a large London timepiece, circa mid-Nineteenth Century. “One of a kind,” O’Reilly told us.
From York, Penn., Christopher Brey brought a small Queen Anne corner cupboard, American, early Eighteenth Century. Also shown were several good Nineteenth Century oil on canvas paintings. Kemble’s of Norwich, Ohio, offered a cherry Federal period banquet table and a country Queen Anne male tall chest, circa 1770.
Show manager Robert Armacost took a moment to reflect on Brandywine. “These are dealers who like one another. One of them has been here for 27 years. I am very fond of the show and I love coming here. The committee is marvelous.”
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