Published: April 8, 2003
By Tom O’Hara
GUILFORD, CONN. – Show manager Trisha McElroy conducted the 34th annual Guilford Antiques Show and Sale March 8-9, a benefit event for the Hyland House, in the Adams Middle School gymnasium.
Hyland House, a two-story saltbox, was constructed in this coastal village circa 1690-1710. In 1916 it was purchased and restored by the Dorothy Whitfield Historic Society, which has operated it as a museum of early Colonial life and architecture since 1918. Open to the public in the summer, some weekends and by appointment, it is also the site of old-fashioned cooking reenactments, especially for the town’s fourth graders.
The show has become the primary fundraising event for the organization, supplemented by membership fees and donations. This year’s event was again successful in its support. Some 40 dealers, most from New England — with a few representatives from nearby New York — set up shop in room settings throughout the gym, including side rooms and halls. At the entrance, the Dorothy Whitfield Historic Society members had an unusual exhibit and sale of artifacts and flowers.
The quality of antiques offerings was excellent. Jan & John Maggs, Conway, Mass. dealers, brought a pair of 200-year-old banister back side chairs and a Hepplewhite drop leaf dining table. The accessories in their booth also were a period before 1800.
Among the furniture pieces brought by Carol Wojktun was a collection of four fanback Windsor chairs in black paint, priced at $2,000; a farm table; a mule chest; and a tilt-top tea table, which she sold for approximately $1,500. She also had period accessories, including English pearlware dishes and pewter. Wojktun, from Preston, Conn., is a software engineer full-time but never misses shopping the big New England shows and exhibits at several, including Forbes & Turner’s Hartford show.
Just across the aisle, Haneberg’s from East Lyme, Conn., had early furniture, including a mahogany Chippendale swing leg table that served as a display for dishes from China, including some Canton and Rose Medallion.
New England House Antiques, Wethersfield, Conn., offered a more country and primitive look, including a grain painted hutch. Pomfret, Conn., dealer Eric Wohl showed both primitive furniture and some more formal pieces.
Lorraine German has been collecting early textiles for most of her adult life and now shows many in her booth. Together with husband Steve, trading as Mad River Antiques, they sold a wide variety of antiques: a black walnut drop leaf table for $1,100; a pair of tiger maples chairs, Sheraton period, New England, for $500; a sea chest at $575 and, of course, some of the textiles.
Philip Roberge, East Haddam, Conn., offered several paintings, including a pair of portraits from the early Nineteenth Century.
Some dealers seem to be able to offer great collections of early small objects. 1843 House Antiques is one such business, run by Natalie Werner of Springfield, Mass. Her offerings included early kitchen paraphernalia, small tools, sewing equipment and more. Kathy Tarr, Victorian Rose, also offers small antiques but from the middle to late 1800s.
One booth looking like an early Nineteenth Century keeping room belonged to Karen and Daniel Olson of Newburgh, N.Y. Another kitchen setting could be found in Jim Murphy’s booth. Antiques are Murphy’s second job; his primary occupation is newsman for a Connecticut television station.
Ester Gilbert Antiques offered a hired man’s rope bed made into a comfortable-looking sofa. Summer Hill Antiques, Cranston, R.I., had a charming patio or garden setting that included iron folding chairs and table with some accessories. Lawton Fine Arts represented formal rdf_Descriptions with a dining room featuring a set of Chippendale chairs, a Duncan Phyfe-style table, dishes, stemware and silver services. Lawton is a partnership of Kristin Donlan, Marcia Kalajian and Marcia Wrubel from nearby Madison, Conn.
Lewis Scranton has participated in the show for all of its 34 years. His taste runs to early American-made furniture and accessories accented with some more formal accessories. He grew up in Guilford and at one time was a member of the board of the event’s sponsoring organization. Now residing a few towns away, doing this show was, for him, literally coming home again.
Kirt Crump, Madison, Conn., had a tall-case clock with a very curious crown detail. The top of the clock was decorated with what appears to be clock main springs. West Simsbury, Conn., dealers Mary and Ken Vincent had an early brass candelabrum, circa 1800, priced at $3,800.
The show is held in early March. For information, 603-778-8842.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm