Published: October 23, 2001
By Carol Sims
KATONAH, N.Y. – The peaceful country roads of Katonah were quiet the morning of Saturday October 6, the opening day of Caramoor’s Fall Antiques Show. Drizzle and a light breeze blew wet leaves to the ground. Not to worry about getting your shoes muddy, an Astroturf walkway led into the show, and covered walks were set up between exhibit areas. Beaming volunteers welcomed show-goers to the silent auction tent set up to benefit Caramoor, home of the International Music Festival.
Fletcher Copenhaver, positioned as the first exhibitor in the floor plan, had a large oil painting by Augustin Hanicotte (1870-1957), several beautiful works on paper hung from the top edge of the exhibition space to the floor, and a lovely Max Weyl (1837-1914) oil on canvas landscape that was attracting serious attention. Fletcher Copenhaver offered a wide price range with invariable quality.
With a light crowd of serious buyers, the 43 exhibitors could give their full attention to people in a relaxed and inviting atmosphere. Chinese Country Antiques had a gorgeous display of Chinese furniture, lamps and ceramics, including a large TL-tested Tang Dynasty Sancai-glazed camel. They were thrilled to have an Eighteenth Century fresco on plaster that might have come from the Forbidden City. It was framed under UV protective Plexiglass and attracted a buyer early in the show. That sale and others made Caramoor one of the top shows ever for them.
Marianne Stikas of New York City brought an elaborately carved wood Chinese mirror. “The preview party was wonderful,” said Stikas. She was one of five dealers hailing from New York. It was her first year at Caramoor and she was very pleased with the show.
Schorr & Dobinsky, Reading, Penn., sold a circa 1930 French faux bois garden set for five figures early on in the game. It had a rich surface of moss and lichen growth from years of outdoor use at a French vineyard.
Weiss Antiques Gallery, Birmingham, Mich, brought a good selection of Frederick Carder glass from Steuben. They had gold aurene, blue aurene, green jade and alabaster glass vessels. For an interesting but complimentary contrast, Weiss also displayed circa 1850-1890 temple candlesticks in bronze and furniture made by Philip LaVerne. LaVerne was known for his oriental designer furniture, created in his Manhattan studio in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. Using pewter, then bronze, then wax, he used ink transfers and acid baths to create intricately patterned surfaces for his furniture.
Deborah Bassett, New York City brought jewelry by David Webb, Cartier, Bulgari, Tiffnay and Van Cleef and Arpels. The display of pearls was breathtaking.
Eve Stone Antiques, Woodbury, Conn., had an outstanding display of gleaming copper and brass from earlier centuries. With the appeal of a candy shop, her wares hung in polished abundance. She had two or three very old alms dishes. One dated to 1540 and was decorated with pomegranates. She also had candlesticks, cooking implements, and other rdf_Descriptions. Some of the rarest rdf_Descriptions for serious collectors went to five figures. Stone (and every other dealer) had only kudos for Susie McMillan, show manager.
The Gurari Collection brought maps and architectural etchings to the show. He had a set of six prints dated 1739 that showed isometric views of Paris. Altogether they measured 8 ½ by 11 feet. Dealer Russ Gurari also handles some contemporary art. A particular favorite is Wendy Artin, who does outstanding watercolor sketches in sienna tones of the human figure.
Copley South Antiques, Cape Neddick, Me., brought an English Nineteenth Century oak table that measured 69 by 79 inches. Its nearly round shape was intriguing – allowing for some democracy but not relinquishing the authority of the head of the table.
Dawn Hill Antiques of New Preston, Conn., had a very appealing display. She had a large Welsh dresser, laden with blue and white and pink and white plates and platters. One of the platters, a large mostly pink and white Spode, sold at Caramoor. Dealer Paulette Peden also had a charming hanging Irish cupboard. This was the third show they had done since the events of September 11, and for the first time, they noticed that not every conversation began with an acknowledgement of our angst and shock in the aftermath of the attacks. “The show was very good,” said Peden. “All of the dealers had beautiful displays and the crowd was very knowledgeable and willing to buy,” she continued.
Linda & Howard Stein of Solebury Penn., sold a substantial bird bath. They specialize in garden accessories and outdoor decoration and furnishings. It seemed logical to find a good selection of outdoor things at an antique show situated on the beautiful Caramoor grounds, even in autumn. After all, Caramoor has its own devoted garden club.
The Elemental Garden, Woodbury, Conn., brought just a few garden rdf_Descriptions, their specialty, opting rather to bring mostly interesting interior pieces. Using large old clock faces for glass covered table surfaces is one of their trademarks. Tracey Young, owner of The Elemental Garden, said buyers are tending to use great outdoor pieces inside – as focal points in bathrooms, sunrooms etc.
There were many knock-out booths at Caramoor. One of them was Ile de France of Marbledale, Conn. They specialize in kitchen and wine-related antiques. They had an unusually long late Nineteenth Century enfilade with six doors and three long drawers. It was a simple country piece with loads of potential for a large kitchen. Dealer Xavier Bachelier had a good solid show.
David Brooker, an art dealer from Woodbury Conn., sold mainly sporting art. His display featured dozens of oil paintings. He sold four horse paintings, one dog painting and a couple of other pieces. It was a very good show for him. “Sunday was our busiest day. We had returning clients, met some new clients and had a very successful show.”
That success may not have been matched by everyone, and yet the dealers at Caramoor (both new and returning) had nary a complaint. With such an interesting venue, antiques in abundance, Caramoor is a magnet for serious shoppers.
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