Published: December 5, 2006
If you happen to be a resident of the town of Wethersfield, then the program for the Wethersfield Antiques Show must certainly read as a Who’s Who for the community. Few stones have been left unturned and all sorts of talent, businesses and organizations have joined the cause.
Volunteer show managers Joan Hughes of Antiques on Main and Tim Verre of Hiram Griswold Antiques pulled together a nice list of 49 exhibitors to take part in this event that opened on Friday evening, November 17, with early buying at 4 and a preview party that got underway at 7. The show then continued for one day, Saturday, November 18, filling both the gymnasium and the banquet room of the Pitkin Community Center, 30 Greenfield Street. Attendance was up at all three segments of the show.
CBT and Mohegan Sun shared the corporate sponsor light, while business donors ran all the way from a couple of markets to several restaurants, with even the Sunshine Laundry helping out. The culinary arts students prepared and served food, some show patrons and members of the sponsoring group, The Wethersfield Historical Society, lent a hand where needed, and three of the exhibiting dealers gave of their time conducting booth chats. Ron Chambers started off the program with “American Pewter,” noting that “it all started for me with a spoon mold.” He was followed by Tom Landers who talked about “Oriental Rugs.” Tom has been in the rug trade since 1988, doing business as Palisades Trading Co. The last chat was with Donna Kmetz on “Fine Art and Paintings.” With her husband David, she deals in late Nineteenth to early Twentieth Century works with a focus on New England impressionism.
A Sheraton dressing table from Maine, grain painted surface and one drawer, was in the booth of Davidian Americana, Holden, Mass., and a Masonic quiver, without arrows, circa 1840, was carved and paint decorated. Its possible origin was Vermont.
A comfortable looking New England country sofa, mid Nineteenth Century with new upholstery and turned legs, was against the back of the booth of Denise Scott of East Greenwich, R.I. Next to it a selection of pewter and redware was shown in a New England open top white pine cupboard, three shelves in the upper section, two doors in the lower, Eighteenth Century and with an old blue painted surface.
A wrought iron tree, about 4 feet tall with old white painted surface, stood in the booth of Robert Baranowsky, Portland, Conn. This piece was designed to hold flower pots in the circles at the end of the branches, but at this time of year the tree would best serve holding large Christmas balls. A rustic table and chair fit in well with the pair of pine tree figural cast iron andirons.
Hanauer & Seidman of Scotland, Conn., offered a pie safe from the Midwest, Nineteenth Century, with painted surface, six punched tin panels in the top section, one long drawer over two doors in the lower, on bracket feet, and a late Eighteenth Century Pembroke table with arched stretchers and old finish. A circa 1790 Hepplewhite bureau with original finish, bracket base, came fresh from a Windham, Conn., estate.
As usual Jan and John Maggs of Conway, Mass., had a nice selection of early furniture including a William and Mary high chest from southern New England, circa 1720, shown against the back wall of the booth, along with an oak wainscot chair, circa 1600, English. Hanging on the wall was a set of 23 Dutch tiles of mounted cavalry men, mid to late Seventeenth Century, that had been salvaged from an old Massachusetts house.
A schoolmaster’s desk in old red finish, two drawers and lift top, tapered legs, was shown by Joseph Collins of Cobalt, Conn. Displayed with it was a double student lamp with the original green shades, and two ship dioramas, one with the vessel flying the British flag, the other under the American flag. A flat top highboy, Queen Anne with the original brasses, cabriole legs, was made in Stonington, Conn.
From Gorham, Maine, Country Squire Antiques offered a cherrywood drop leaf table with turned maple legs, button feet, and a New England 1808 blanket box in the original red. A large spread eagle was depicted on a hooked rug that covered the best part of the back wall of the booth.
Ron Chambers of Higganum, Conn., had several pieces of Connecticut furniture including a Guilford or Wallingford banister back side chair with rush seat, circa 1750, and Mansfield, Conn., exhibitor Field and Stream showed a painting by William B. Gillette (1864–1937) of a 33-inch lake trout caught at Bigsby Lake, N.Y., on May 20, 1925. This commissioned work was in the original frame.
A one-drawer tavern table in pine and maple, two-board top with breadboard ends, original red paint, circa 1800, was shown by Richmond House of Ashford, Conn., along with three blanket chests. One had two drawers with blue surface, another had three drawers and dark red painted surface, while the third, the smallest, was also in red and with only one drawer.
The center of the booth of William Blakeman Antiques, Wilbraham, Mass., was taken up by a New England rope bed in old red, and beside it was shown a two-drawer blanket chest in old red from either Glastonbury or Middletown.
Lewis Scranton of Killingworth, Conn., had a nice ladder back rocking chair in old blue paint, splint seat, and a large Currier & Ives hung on the back wall of the booth. Pictured was “The Champion Pacer Johnson,” who had just set a track record. Across the way Phil Liverant of Colchester, Conn., had hung five bed warmers on the wall, copper pans each with an engraved bird design. “When have you ever seen five warming pans, each with a bird design on the lid?” Phil asked. He also has a ship’s wheel made from iron taken from the US frigate Constitution, complete with a picture of Old Ironsides.
“The show ran very smoothly and there seemed to be plenty of sales in the midprice range,” Tim Verre said. The show committee provides a light supper for all of the exhibitors to fill in the time between the end of early buying at 6 pm and the start of the preview party one hour later. “That did generate our only complaint for the entire show,” Tim said, “as one dealer told us the ham was too salty.”
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