Published: April 22, 2008
When promoter Marvin Getman proposed an early spring antiques show for March of last year, old hands advised against it. He persisted, and the result was a strong show. This year, Getman moved the show to the Seaport Convention Center, a newer and much fresher venue than last year, and he tightened it to deliver an even sleeker and more successful event.
The April 12‱3 event was advertised heavily, and the result was a strong gate. Visitors and dealers alike expressed delight over the new location in the seaport district, now replete with fine restaurants and views of the traffic in a busy harbor.
The quality of merchandise was strong and, with 13 lectures and demonstrations spread across two days, virtually every area of interest was covered. More than 230 dealers participated in essentially the same triptych-style format as last year: roughly 60 percent antiques dealers, 20 percent antiquarian books and ephemera dealers, and the remainder antique textiles and vintage fashion dealers.
Collectors and dealers found much to please them. Antiques of every stripe were on offer. Damariscotta, Maine’s, Cherry Gallery filled up a booth with rustic furniture and accessories, such as a small birch bark canoe, three sets of owl andirons †one in stone and two in cast iron †a handsome burl root planter and a pair of beautifully wrought Athabascan child’s snowshoes. Furniture included an Indiana hickory coffee table and a rustic armchair and footstool.
From Voorhees, N.J., Bernice Conn showed an electrified iron fish tank with a large vaseline glass bowl, brass andirons, sparkling silver and crystal powder jars, samplers, silver napkin rings flatware and service pieces, a full assortment of canes and colorful lithographed tin biscuit boxes.
Fine European linens of every variety are perennial favorites from Linge de Berry of Boston, attracting highly knowledgeable collectors, other dealers and the interested. The booth enjoyed steady traffic throughout the fair. Diane Kane, in an e-mail after the show, reported some interesting sales and believes she has acquired new clients from the event. One of her several good sales was an impressive late Nineteenth Century French linen tablecloth with lavish embroidery.
JSD Antiques of Durham, N.H., specializes in Asian antiques and antiquities and brought along much to attract shoppers. Jim Dolph filled cases with ivory, netsuke, and perfume bottles, cloisonné spiced with Neolithic jades (with forensic authentication).
Of the prime pieces of Dedham pottery that Dedham, Mass., dealer Jim Kaufman had for sale, the dolphin decorated wares prove to be the most desirable. An early, 1894, Chelsea dolphin plate was the crème de la crème. Kaufman also showed Dedham pieces decorated with lions, turkeys, polar bears, crabs and mushrooms.
Steven Thomas brought a tempting selection of woodblock prints from his eponymous Woodstock, Vt., gallery, including two by Margaret Jordan Patterson: “Morning Glories” and “Windblown Trees.” There was also the Tod Lindenmuth circa 1917 print, “In the Weir,” “Mt. Shasta Flood Gates” by Frank Morley Fletcher and the very sweet gouache of a fawn licking a papoose, “Fawn and Papoose,” by Harrison Begay.
Theatrical photographs beckoned from A Fine Thing, Edward T. Pollack’s Portland, Maine, gallery where rare books included the 1904 Italian Villas and their Gardens by Edith Wharton with illustrations by Maxfield Parrish. Visitors seemed to appreciate the woodcuts by Boston-born California artist Prescott Chaplin. Especially attractive was the handsome Fundamentals of Japanese Archery.
Diamond Fine Art of West Harwich, Mass., showed works by Pop artist Pat Jensen, whose “Fireman,” a portrait of a yellow-coated firefighter, and “Old 97,” a graphic depiction of a locomotive and its cars, stopped many in their tracks. Diamond also showed work by Clement Drew, John Whorf, William L. Engle, Frederick S. Batcheller and Daisy Hughes. Of special interest was the evocative “Winter Play” by Martha Farnham Cahoon, depicting children skating and sledding as a horse drawn sleigh passes.
Needle’s Work Antiques of Morton, Ill., brought exquisite sewing tools, including two piano-form Palais Royal workboxes from about 1820, one in tortoiseshell and another in bone, both of which were fitted intricately. The showcases were full with other boxes †including a mother-of-pearl example †necessaries, etuis, scissors, clamps and pincushions.
A two-tier whirligig dominated the booth of Portsmouth, N.H., dealers Pat Reese and John Rice. The device had four propeller-driven vignettes of a woman and a rooster, a man at a forge and sawyers. Reese and Rice had delftware, Native American jewelry, a Seminole dress and a selection of Native American jewelry.
Armen Amerigian showed an especially fine Baccarat tantalus from about 1840‱860 with four decanters and 16 liqueur glasses and two compartments for cigars. There was also a pair of guglet-form covered bottles, a Worcester tureen, Dresden and Meissen.
Dark Flowers Antiques of Haverhill, Mass., specializes in Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Arts and Crafts ceramics. The booth was bursting with Continental Art Deco pitchers and jugs decorated with fruit and flowers whose pleasing uniformity made an arresting display.
Jane McClafferty came from New Canaan, Conn., with a dashing fireplace surround, a broad selection of Staffordshire and an entire shelf filled with brasses. She also offered a Pembroke table, a form for which she is noted. Chairs of interest included a roundabout chair and two striking side chairs.
New York dealer Vicki Turbeville specializes in southwestern jewelry and she showed highly desirable silver and turquoise and silver and coral in the way of belts, concho belts and buckles, bracelets, rings and necklaces.
Bradford Trust Fine Art of Harwich Port, Mass., exhibited the abstract “Mermaids of Provincetown” by Ada Gilmore, one of the original six Provincetown artists who developed the white-line woodblock print. The block used to print “Mermaids” was owned by Reggie Cabral, proprietor of the Atlantic House in Provincetown, and was used to make the recent print in 1984.
Roy and Sheila Mennell had a set of seven Wedgwood plates decorated by the London-born Clare Leighton with scenes of Cape Cod occupations: fishing, lobstering, harvesting corn and cranberries, among other pursuits. A Leighton print of clamming on the Pamet River was also for sale, along with a bronze of a man and a woman by Gilbert Franklin and work by Cape artist Caleb Arnold Slade.
Avolli Antiques of Scarborough, Maine, filled a booth with the soothing accents of fine Scandinavian furniture and accessories in a pleasing pastel setting. An early Nineteenth Century Mora clock in yellow paint and a delicately carved circa 1795 Gustavian chair were stars. Avolli also showed a circa 1800 Gustavian bed, a rococo elm wood and inlay games table from the mid-Eighteenth Century and a stunning tilt top alder wood table signed by Carl Hollst, Nineteenth Century Swedish maker. Avolli also exhibited a late Nineteenth Century Gustavian-style clock and a mid-Nineteenth Century Gustavian-style sideboard. Denmark was represented by a five-drawer waxed pine chest.
Sandra McNeil of Deerfield Beach, Fla., and Onset, Mass., had a generous selection of the Christmas tree pins for which she is known. She had an entire tray of vintage Trifari jewelry, a handsome Stanley Hagler necklace and ear clips.
Known also for a wide selection of head vases, pride of place went to one of a veiled Jacqueline Kennedy, flanked by figures of her children.
The jeweled tones of illuminated manuscripts dating from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Centuries summoned visitors to Griffon’s Medieval Manuscripts, the St Petersburg, Fla., dealer who also offered choice ornithological and botanical prints for every taste. Anthony, of Griffon’s, reported in an e-mail after the show, “We had a very good show, which for us, is not unusual with this promoter.” Many dealers expressed the same sentiment.
Books and ephemera booths were clustered to the right of the main entrance where Boston’s Brattle Book Shop saluted opening day with the 1834 The Book of Sports by Robin Carew, and published in Boston, that contains the first mention of baseball. The 1860 The Baseball Player’s Pocket Companion , published by Mayhew and Baker of Boston, explains the rules for “The Massachusetts Game” and “The New York Game.” New Yorkers played on a diamond field; the Bostonians on a square one. Another rarity was Alcoholics Anonymous, a red cloth bound edition in excellent condition. Joyce Kosovsky of Brattle Books explained that such books, when found among someone’s effects, were often tossed out. The book dealers also had leather bound sets of works by Fielding, Schiller, J.M. Barrie, Charles Lamb, Tennyson and Smollett.
Objets de Jean Schlumberger and Bijoux de Jean Schlumberger beckoned readers and collectors to the booth of Lux Mantis of Portland, Maine, where a first edition of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land and a collection of presidential documents from Washington to Reagan were for sale.
Colorful gasoline company road maps drew the eye in the booth of Conway, Mass., dealer Southpaw Books, which also displayed postcards, graphically appealing sheet music and political pamphlets, travel brochures and the Daily Worker.
Interesting retail catalogs were the draw in the booth of Greenfield, Mass., dealer Steve Finer Rare Books. They included one for Bennington Pottery and another 1850 example for weathervanes. There was also the interesting brochure “A Report on the Street Traffic Control Problems of the City of Boston 1928.” Some things never change.
Manchester, N.H., dealer Resser-Thorner featured a circa 1760 Hogarth original strike of periwigs. The dealers also presented antiquarian photographs and the citation, “Funeral Honors to the Late President 1841” for President Harrison, as well as Mother Goose from Germany .
History Gallery of Ashford, Conn., offered a copy of the petition to Congress to reward Thomas Paine for his 1776 Common Sense, which helped inspire Americans in the Revolution. There was also the useful volume Addresses in the Presentation of the Sword. Two maps of interest among a selection were “A Map of the British American Plantations” and “A Map of New England, Nova Scotia and New France.” The rare World War I recruiting poster “Join the Air Service and Serve in France” was signed and dated 1917 by artist J. Paul Verrees.
Winslow Homer’s print “Snap the Whip” was also of interest.
A scrapbook of newspaper clippings on “Flood in New England,” beginning in the 1930s, was for sale from Hopkinton, Mass., dealer Vintage Books. The booth showed a compelling selection of books on architecture, law, medicine, technology, sports, religion and literature.
Museum Books of Wyomissing, Penn., had antiquarian books by such estimable authors as Fiske Kimball on Samuel McIntire, Samuel and Narcissa Chamberlain on New England rooms, and on such other subjects as Boston bird’s-eye views, Willard clocks, silver and furniture.
For further information, 781-862-4039 or www.bostonantiquesweekend.com .
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