Published: October 1, 2002
By R. Scudder Smith
NEW YORK CITY Thus the first New York event on the Wendy Management schedule, , got off to a good start.
The show opened Wednesday, September 18, at the usual 4 pm start, and ran through Sunday, closing at 6 pm. As is often the case, warm weather can still be hanging around and sure enough, it was. The armory is not air-conditioned and the heat is not always conducive to happy shoppers. One dealer reported that a customer came into her booth, claimed it was too hot to think about antiques, but did ask that a number of photos be sent to her for consideration.
The show had a snappy, clean look, with highly polished furniture completely dust free and brass shining without a single fingerprint smudge. Just about every booth showed many signs of attention to detail, with lamps showing the perfect grain of some of the tables and lights bringing the best features of an object to the eye. Clocks were running and striking, jewelry sparkled in cases, and rows of prints were arranged according to topic. The show was definitely on the formal slant, with only traces of paint and country sprinkled about.
A large George III armoire in mahogany, English, circa 1810, was against the back wall in the booth of Roland Ribbehege Antiques, one of the Canadian dealers in the show. He also brought along from Toronto a Federal-style mahogany and walnut sideboard, circa 1880, an American example, and a pair of paintings, oil on canvas, of terriers by J. Langlois, English, dating from the Nineteenth Century.
Interior Expressions from Millwood, Va., showed a Regency-style bow front cabinet in mahogany, English, late Nineteenth century; a Georgian chest-on-chest in mahogany, English, circa 1760, and a handsome pair of marble-top Italian consoles from the Nineteenth Century.
A number of Pennsylvania dealers are in the show, including Wilson Main Line Antiques from Strafford with an English Regency chest, 1830, with large brass “D” pulls on the drawers. A Georgian library table, one of several in the show, dated circa 1830 and was fitted with a leather inlaid surface. It had two drawers and rested on brass casters.
A standout object in the booth of Sharon B. Jorgensen/Euro Art, Boston, was a model of the Alexandria, a ship that had served many masters during its lifetime. It was built for the navy to use for cargo in WWII and following the war it became a weather ship. It was then sold in 1947 and converted for cargo. The model, painted red and white, measures about 40 inches long and is fully rigged.
A Wendy show is a good place to find a dining table (ask David Good), and Copley South Antiques of Cape Neddick, Maine, had the answer for those seeking a round example, Regency style, circa 1880. This table was in mahogany and measured 66 inches in diameter. Filled with sets of leather bound books was a pair of George III bureau bookcases in mahogany, all original, circa 1770-80 and measuring 36 by 24 by 78 inches.
Three Generations of Woodbury, Conn., showed a rare pair of stove-top figures, one commonly called George Washington and Martha. The George part is correct, but the female figure was originally listed in the catalog as Liberty. The figures showed a perfect white crackled painted surface. Close-by was a female garden figure in zinc, French origin, circa 1820, with one hand pointing up and a basket of picked flowers on the other arm.
Back in their usual spot to the left of the show entrance were John and Patricia Snead of McLean, Va. Tall-case clocks, different from the ones shown in their last New York outing, were lined up against the back wall and included an elaborate example signed Harper Nottingham. It dated circa 1810, late George III period, and had a moving moon in the arch. The case was mahogany with circles and lines of satinwood inlay. An English inlaid walnut library table with two drawers dated from the third quarter of the Nineteenth Century, and an English occasional table, circa 1830, mahogany, had a serpentine top over a single drawer, with a carved and shaped base ending in paw feet.
Patricia Snead, sitting across the aisle and surveying the booth as the show was about to open, asked, “Do you think we have enough stuff in there?” She answered her own question by saying, “We decided that we should bring lots of small things this time, and it sure looks like we did.”
Good and Hutchinson of Sheffield, Mass., was holding down the right-hand front corner of the armory floor and it was filled, as usual, with quantities of American furniture, ceramics, lighting, and many accessories. The 14-foot dining table in the center of the booth was, however, English, and it was not covered with sets of dinnerware and candlesticks. “People get confused when the table is set,” David Good said, “and better understand it when they see it cleared.” This shining three pedestal example was surrounded by a set of eight Chippendale side chairs with needlepoint seats, circa 1850-60, and there was still room to add a number of guests.
“When I bought that wing chair over there I first took it to be a repro,” David said, adding, “there was only a small portion of the legs showing.” When the fabric was stripped away for new upholstery, it turned out to be a period chair, circa 1780, and was shown complete with photos of the frame.
J. Gallagher of North Norwich, N.Y., boasted a different arrangement in the booth this time, making it “easier to see things.” Known for an extensive collection of fireplace equipment, fenders are usually placed around on the floor and this time they were elevated to a series of shelves, making more room on the ground level for andirons and tools.
For those not quite ready to give up patio dining and outdoor living, Cunha-St John of Boston and Nantucket showed a handsome Nineteenth Century cast-iron table base with swan decorated ends and heavy glass top. It was surrounded by a set of four Neo-classical wrought iron armchairs dating from the late Nineteenth Century. At the back of the booth was a Regency sideboard, bow front in mahogany, ebony inlay, with a single drawer and a one door cabinet on each side. The piece was English, circa 1820, with brass rail across the back and raised on urn topped supports.
White everything distinguishes the booth of Dawn Hill Antiques of New Preston, Conn., a shop recently moved to a new location in the village of New Preston, 11 Main Street. Offered at the armory were a late Eighteenth Century Swedish drop leaf table in white paint, a Gustavian corner cupboard in the original white/gray painted surface, circa 1790, with rounded front, and an interesting mirrored panel in old white paint, French, that dated from the late Eighteenth Century.
Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., dealer Sally Orient showed a wine cabinet in mahogany, English, circa 1870, with lettering across the top that read “Finest Ports, Wines and Brandys.” Glass cases were filled with collections of French pottery, Black Forest animals, majolica, and all shapes and sizes of picture frames. At the front of the booth was a pair of leather covered wing chairs, together with a library table with leather writing surface.
Ancient Art International of Vero Beach, Fla., showed a rare set of eight polo players dating from the Tang dynasty, 618-907 AD. They were of baked terra-cotta and were unusual in that they retained a good measure of the polychrome decoration. Looking down from a top shelf was an Egyptian mummy mask, gilded, Cartonage, dating from the 26th Dynasty, circa 600 BC.
Taking up the great part of the back wall in the booth of Oliver Fleury Inc of West Chester, Penn., was an Enfilade, plate shelf and pot rack, that measured nine feet, six inches long. It dated circa 1780-1800 and had floral carving, with four paneled doors and four drawers in the lower section for storage. A French School oil on canvas, titled “Abundance of Fruit,” showing a man with just that, was signed lower right, circa 1820, and measured 36 by 28 inches.
In addition to the show, a special lecture and luncheon was presented on Thursday in the Tiffany Room, with interior designer Mario Buatta giving a lecture, “Living with Antiques.” The lecture was part of an award ceremony for the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, Inc.
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