By R. Scudder Smith
NEW YORK CITY — “It looks like things are back to normal in New York,” a delighted but suffering from a head cold Dianne Wendy said on Monday after taking stock of the events of the past few days in the Big Apple. She continued to say that “we had the best opening gate in the history of the show,” referring to her annual Park Avenue Antiques Show at Wallace Hall, Park Avenue at 84th Street. This event opened on Thursday, January 17, in the middle of the afternoon and then continued on through Sunday at 6 pm.
The 3 pm opening was well timed, considering the number of antiques events scheduled for this part of January. The two shows on 18th Street were already doing business, the Stella show at the 69th Regiment Armory opened the following day, and the Winter Antiques Show was still three days off. There was not a mob of people waiting at the open-ing gun, but within the first hour the floor was busy and it continued right up until the 7 pm closing.
“There was interest in both furniture and accessories, the jewelry dealers did well, and it seemed as if people just wanted to get out, spend some bucks, and be happy,” Dianne said.
This show always brings a mix of things including highly polished furniture, decorative rdf_Descriptions, much upholstered furniture, lighting, prints, paint-ings and unusual accessories. It has a strong attraction for many of the decorators in the city, and draws people whose furnishings are far more formal than country.
One of the front booths of the show is taken by Rinehart Antiques of Katonah, N.Y., where the offerings are varied and interesting. Among the doorstops in the case this time were a rabbit, the Old Salt in his yellow slicker and a duck in perfect paint. A small lady’s secretary, mahogany and bird’s-eye maple, two parts, circa 1810 and of Boston origin, was among the furniture offered, but probably the most unusual rdf_Descriptions in the booth was a thread tower in three parts, American, and of walnut. The threads, not original to the piece, were on spools inside the case and were accessed through small holes. Thus the buyer was able to see the color of each spool and pull out the desired amount for purchase.
Good & Hutchinson & Associates of Sheffield, Mass., offered a good number of furniture at the show including a New York linen press, popular and mahogany, circa 1790; an American sideboard, serpentine front, mahogany with inlay, circa 1870; and a two pedestal banquet table with one leaf, American and in ma-hogany. Neatly displayed on its shiny surface were four decanters with etched designs. “We are delighted with our space this time,” David Good said, indicating that he had space across the front of the show that ended in a L shape along the outside wall. It allowed for an expansive display of both furniture and many pieces of porcelain. And unlike the majority of the shows done by this firm, this time out David did not sell a dining table.
Jane McClafferty of New Canaan, Conn., had a different mix at the show, bringing a two-part camphor wood campaign desk and chest, China, circa 1840, to mingle with her collection of American furniture. Of Philadelphia origin was a one-drawer ser-ver in mahogany, circa 1780, and an American four-drawer chest in mahogany, circa 1810. Of Continental origin was a pair of fitted and mirrored knife boxes, circa 1830. Sandwich, Mass., dealers Van Slyke and Bagby showed a late Nineteenth Century Baltimore sideboard by Potthast, in mahogany with a generous amount of inlay, and a Bonheur du Jour, circa 1800-10, in mahogany and possibly of New Orleans origin. A triple pedestal dining table, circa 1930, was in the style of Dun-can Phyfe and measured 79 inches long without leaves, 112 inches with leaves in use.
Lynda Willauer of Easton, Conn., and Nantucket, Mass., again had a very large booth against the outside and it was filled to capacity with shelves of porcelain, furniture and many decorative rdf_Descriptions. In the center of the booth was a late Georgian two-board top center pedestal tilt-top supper table to seat six, beaded and string inlay, circa 1820, and a George III glazed door breakfront in mahogany, with ebonized paneled doors on the lower section, circa 1800, filled with majolica and Canton. An English sailor’s woolwork of large size showed three ships in a harbor with people on one of the ships and on the shore, and one of the ships under full sail. It dated circa 1860 and was in the original frame.
Circa-Prescott Meiselman of Natick, Mass., had a refrectory table in oak, English, dating from the late Seventeenth Century, and a Nineteenth Century ebonized cabi-net with bronze decoration and a marble top. A large oil on canvas of the artist Anthony Coypel, circa 1640, was in a Dutch ripple frame.
Clocks, furniture and a growing selection of pottery are the standbys of John and Patricia Snead of McLean, Va. From their usual spot at the front of the show, the Sneads offered a round mahogany dining/center table tilting on a tri-form base, with an elaborate satinwood inlay in the middle of the top. Of mahogany was a bow front secretaire chest of drawers, circa 1815, of English origin. Among the tall-case clocks was one dating from the late George III period, mahogany case, with a moving swan in the arch. It was signed John Elliott, Ashford, England, and measured 7 feet 3 inches. One of the wall clocks was an eight-day regulator in a walnut ebonized case with a large brass pendulum.
An Edwardian curio cabinet, mahogany with satinwood and fruitwood inlay, 60 inches high, urn inlay on the panel doors and two glass doors in the upper section, was shown in the booth of Nicoll Fine Art & Antiques of Newcastle, Me. Other furniture included an English Regency breakfast table, circa 1815, with single pedestal base and brass casters.