Published: October 14, 2008
Photos By Sharon Platt
The inaugural edition of what is anticipated to become a popular annual event, The Old York Antique Show, was conducted on a perfectly crisp autumn-like weekend, September 11‱3. Taking place in this quaint and early New England coastal village, the show was a benefit for the Museums of Old York.
The Old York Antiques Show featured 20 dealers, carefully selected to ensure consistent quality and a diverse range of materials designed to appeal to both experienced collectors and newcomers alike. Unique in its appearance, the dealers displayed their wares as room settings in three of the museum’s structures, including Jefferd’s Tavern, 1754, the Old School House, 1745, and the newly reconstructed period Remick Barn, 1834.
Founded more than 100 years ago, the Museums of Old York is the steward of nine historic properties that showcase an array of architecture and outstanding furniture, folk and decorative art. In celebration of Maine’s arts and antiques heritage, the museum banded together with the community to present an all-encompassing antiques and art weekend titled “York Arts and Antiques Week.” Aside from the show, a wide range of programs were presented by the museum and local art galleries hosted special exhibitions, as did the public library and antiques shops.
The show got off to a brisk elegant preview party on September 11, under a striking white tent on the Bluestone Terrace at the Remick Barn. While the fine wines and lobster rolls proved to be popular with all, so did the array of antiques that was presented.
Fiske and Freeman displayed their selection of Eighteenth Century furnishings in the front room of the Jefferd’s Tavern. An early corner cupboard with scalloped sides along the open top was filled with delft and other early ceramics, a William and Mary period gate leg table surrounded by four early chairs with carved crests dominated the center of the room and a diminutive William and Mary oak desk stood tall on the front wall of the room. The Ipswich, Mass., dealers’ selection was filled out with accessories from the period, including early glasswares, mirrors, metalwares and lighting.
Jim and Nancy Glazer also set up shop in Jefferd’s Tavern and among their display was a selection of folk art, country furniture and Maine-made items. A nice octagonal-top Empire stand, in superb orange-red Maine grained paint was attracting attention in the booth, as was a miniature chest of drawers painted to simulate a strong curly maple and with an unusual carved crest and carved drawer pulls. The Bailey’s Island, Maine, dealers also displayed a parade fire hat decorated with a Masonic eye on the top and “Moyamensing Hose Company” and the date 1837. “These were actually the ‘bad boys’ of the fire company and they were intimidators to both other hose companies and their clients,” according to the dealers.
Neville Lewis, proprietor of The Barometer Shop, Cushing, Maine, was on hand with a large selection of barometers including an English Sheraton wheel example with mahogany veneers and satinwood shell inlays and also a “fabulous” American stick barometer by the well-known Peterboro, N.H., maker Charles Wilder. Retaining the original finish, the rare barometer dated from 1860.
Robert Sears and Harold Tither III were on hand with a quality selection of glass and silver. A sterling water pitcher with an unusual “ice-lip” by New York City makers Graff, Washbourne and Dunn was among the assortment of silver and a Pittsburgh mold-blown glass pitcher with applied handle and base was featured among the early glasswares. The Somers, Conn., dealers specialize in early silver serving pieces and also have a large assortment of napkin rings for collectors.
Specializing in antique metalwares is Fort Washington, Penn., dealer Michael Whitman and the stellar selection of brass and copper objects proved pleasing to the crowds. Among the usual extensive assortment of lighting was a pair of English six-lobe shell base candlesticks, circa 1750, that the dealer classified as a “superb pair.” Also offered was a rare pair of Swedish bell metal candelabra, signed S.B. Crown, that measured an amazing 44 inches tall. Numerous stylish copper tea and coffee pots were displayed, as were measures, mugs and skillets.
An attractive Queen Anne walnut and tiger maple bonnet top highboy was displayed at Portsmouth, N.H. dealer Ed Weissman’s stand located in the Remick Barn. Aside from the quality selection of furnishings was an assortment of marine paintings highlighted by a portrait of a fully rigged sailing vessel by Percy Sanborn. A James Tyler oil on canvas depicting a fishing vessel sailing in rough seas, titled “Heading for the Catch,” was also offered, as was a painting of a clipper ship heading into port by H.R. Butman.
Yarmouth, Maine dealer W.M. Schwind Jr Antiques and Fine Art was celebrating its 41st year in the antiques business and among the featured items in their booth was a mahogany Pembroke table, New York State, circa 1790, with decorative inlays across the base and extending down the legs. A selection of artwork, decorative accessories and other furnishings filled out the booth, but it was the offering of jewelry that proved popular throughout the show.
Known for their eclectic eye, Newcastle, Maine dealers Tom Jewett and Charles Berdan served up a stunning assortment of Americana highlighted by several pieces of paint decorated furniture. Two washstands with great paint took center stage with a yellow painted fancy Sheraton-style washstand with green highlights and silver painted berry and leaf decoration leading the charge. A child’s stand in a cream-colored paint with faux grained drawer and floral decoration was also attracting looks from showgoers. A nice mustard painted dome top chest with black painted banding and a central diamond decoration was offered; above it hung a wonderful tablecloth with a fringed edge, floral border and a central bunch of flowers complete with butterflies.
A.E. (Tad) Runge, Jr, Yarmouth, Maine, set up shop in the Old Schoolhouse where he was able to display a selection of Oriental carpets in elegant style. Carpets hung from the walls and were stacked about the booth. Items of interest included a South Caucasian (Gendje) carpet that measured 9 feet by 3 feet 9 inches, a Persian Kurdish Hamadan, 5 feet 11 inches by 4 feet 2 inches, and a Persian Bijar, 8 feet 3 inches by 4 feet 9 inches.
Hollis Brodrick and Sharon Platt, conducting business as The Antiquarium, Portsmouth, N.H., made fine use of the kitchen in the Jefferd’s Tavern building, taking advantage of the fireplace to display their hearth tools and early cooking-related items. The dealers presented a selection of Eighteenth Century tavern wares, an unusual early scalloped red painted shelf filled with treenware, Eighteenth Century English stoneware and a rare Pilgrim Century sea chest with incised decoration.
Local New England collectors, along with patrons from Minnesota to Canada, came to enjoy this unique experience. Attendance was steady throughout the two days, and sales were reported by dealers as “positive.”
Emerson Baker, archeologist and professor of history at Salem State College, presented a lecture during the show that dealt with identifying and discovering early New England ceramics. Thomas B. Johnson, curator of collections and Canterbury Shaker Village and former curator at the Museums of Old York, conducted another well-attended lecture focusing on the history of southern Maine furniture and illustrating it through some of the museum’s finest examples.
For information, 207-363-4974 or visit the museum’s website at www.oldyork.org .
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