Published: July 18, 2006
The main venue for the Two Rivers Antiques Show and Garden Tour was adjacent to the Red Bank, N.J., train station where pink ribbons, symbolizing the “color of caring,” greeted patrons at a June benefit event for the Jacqueline M. Wilentz Comprehensive Breast Center.
It was fitting that at the show’s entrance patrons were greeted by a loan exhibit from the Monmouth County Historical Association. One item, a circa 1722 painted hanging cupboard, featured a heart, hands and crown of gold representing the saying, “A true heart is a crown of gold.” And in a case of life imitating art, it was the true hearts and the caring hands of the dedicated group of volunteers who tirelessly worked to make the 12th year of this benefit event the success it continues to be. As dealer Jeff Bridgman expressed it, “They are outstanding in everything.”
Sometimes the treasures seen at this 30-dealer show mirrored the giving and self-sacrifice from our ancestors. For example, in the booth of York Country, Penn., exhibitor Bridgman, a Civil War era flag from a New York volunteer company had proudly emblazoned on it the names “Chancellorsville” and “Fredericksburg” – reminding future generations of their heroism.
Bridgman also had some other outstanding and early American flags with him. One example was a Civil War era, Nevada statehood, 36-star flag with the canton sewn in a star configuration. Offsetting this rare textile was a mid-Nineteenth Century lectern eagle. Bridgman described this eagle as “a piece of the highest quality, having a prominent brow and beak, the deep relief under its wings and its long tail feathers and surface are some of its strongest qualities.” It was offered for $16,500. Included in his nine flag sales was a schoolgirl, Betsy Ross style flag, with an unusual vertical shape and placement (resting on the ninth stripe) of the canton.
From American flags to an American Chippendale bonnet tophighboy in the booth of Heller Washam Antiques, Woodbury, Conn.,outstanding was the word. Executed in a cherrywood (secondary woodpoplar) this circa 1775 piece from the Glastonbury area ofConnecticut, was offered for $195,000.
Made in the 1790s in Bergen County, N.J. (not far from this show’s location), was a Chippendale carved pine corner cupboard with an unusual bow front. Complementing this piece was a still life of fruit on a marble slab, that was attributed to Severin Roesen (1815-1872). The price was $35,000. “The execution of the painting’s details of grape vine tendrils, champagne flute stem, basket and marble slab and the choice of background color, combined with the luminous quality of the fruit confirm the attribution,” said Heller. Several of Heller’s early sales included a circa 1780, Chippendale cherrywood linen press possibly made by Matthew Edgerton and a Maine circa 1835 flame birch harvest table.
Neighbor Thurston Nichols, Breinigsville, Penn., sold a pair of circa 1820 Baltimore fancy painted chairs decorated with large eagles and floral motifs. Also finding a new abode was a late Nineteenth/early Twentieth Century hitching post of a full figured George Washington, a pair of andirons and a collection of six South Jersey shorebirds. Some of their Pennsylvania pieces included a circa 1820 Lebanon County stippled and grained dower chest in polychrome decoration, a Chippendale walnut tall case clock by John Murphy, Allentown, Penn., that featured an image of George Washington, Esquire, on the clock’s face and a circa 1860 oil on linen fireboard depicting a Pennsylvania farm.
Saje Americana, Short Hills, N.J., also featured a fireboard, this one with a New Jersey origin. The provenance and photos that accompanied this circa 1831 rarity noted it was made for the Gabriel Houston house in Sussex County, N.J. Measuring 48 inches wide and 36 inches high it featured scenes of a fox hunt, church, animals and houses.
“It’s extravagant, but wonderful,” said David Linquist as hepointed out the expensive and thick burlwood used on a hidden,interior shelf of a Louis XVI Directoire transitional cherrywoodbuffet a deux. Trading under the name Whitehall Antiques, Linquistoffered this circa 1800 “tour de force of timber selections” for$18,500. Three circa 1860-1880 fruitwood mirrors would not bemaking the return trip home to his Chapel Hill, N.C., shop.
It was ironic that these exhibitors were literally situated over an ice rink – padded over, of course – since many dealers had hot sales. Included in this group was Michael Leslie, Port ‘n Starboard Gallery, Falmouth, Maine. During the Friday evening preview party, Leslie sold a William Stubbs oil painting, a Marshall Johnson maritime oil, a Hudson River School oil by George Clough and an oil painting of the 1903 America’s Cup Race by Richard Lane.
Front and center in Leslie’s booth was a “running rooster” carousel figure attributed to Charles J. Spooner (1871-1932) – the most prolific and innovative of English carvers, which earned him the nickname “The King of Roundabouts.” Patrons could begin building their own amusement park carousel for $25,000.
Patrons could also build a museum-like majolica collectionwith the help of Charles L. Washburne Antiques, Chappaqua, N.Y.Specialist in Victorian majolica, its rarities began with a pair ofMinton majolica blackamoor garden seats.
“Look at the amazing detail on this piece. The skin is in a flat finish while the rest of the piece is glossy,” noted dealer Celso DeOliveira. The pair was offered to showgoers for $64,875. A rare, circa 1871, neoclassical Minton majolica ewer, approximately 23 inches high, was bound to quench someone’s thirst at $39,875.
For enthusiasts of early textiles, Fiske & Freeman, Belmont, Vt., was a must stop. Where else would you find a circa 1680, Charles II stumpwork mirror frame? Stitched in colored silk and gold and silver metallic threads, the talented needleworker executed two courtiers, flowers and fruit on this work. Another mirror, this one a circa 1660 English example in excellent condition, featured extremely rare straw-work.
Showcased on a circa 1680, Charles II cedar and snakewood chest of drawers was a circa 1685 English silk needlework pillow that still retained its original tassels, backing and stuffing. Flanking this pillow was a pair of circa 1750 Swedish candlesticks with their original drip pans and bobeches.
Birchknoll Antiques, Wolfeboro, N.H., featured a circa 1790, Rhode Island, maple and tiger maple chest-on-chest. This “great example of a period chest-on-chest” was offered for $24,000.
Flanking an early Nineteenth Century, possibly Baltimore,mahogany demilune table was a pair of carved mahogany George IIIside chairs. Included in their selection of oil paintings was asigned “Bass Rocks, Gloucester” work by American artist Charles P.Gruppe.
Essex, Mass., dealer Cunha-St John Antiques sold a collection of 11 painted fish decoys, a vitrine, a pair of andirons, a campaign table and a Nineteenth Century grain shovel.
It was a zoo of zinc (and copper and iron, too) in the booth of Woodbury, Conn., dealer Autumn Pond. One entire wall of 1880s weathervanes included a Cushing & White running horse, another running horse by Jewell, a rooster weathervane and an American copper eagle weathervane. Offsetting the weathervanes was a circa 1900 iron ram trade sign from New York state.
For more information, the Monmouth Medical Center Foundation is at 732-923-6886 or www.mhcf.org.
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