Published: September 20, 2011
The Harwinton Antiques & Design Weekend was twice as nice as its spring edition at the Harwinton Fairgrounds, with the show having comfortably settled into its new home. Making only its second appearance here on September 3‴, the show has come into its own. Blessed by good weather, the show was attractive and put to good use both the fields for tent exhibitions, as well as the onsite buildings. Dealers looked happy as customers immediately scurried into booths on opening day. A fine and diverse mix of merchandise was offered, while a noticeable uptick in the amount of Americana in booths was pleasing.
One of the fairgrounds’ barn buildings used for the show is labeled “Rabbits” but Jenkins Management, the show’s promoters, could have slapped on a new sign for the weekend, dubbing it Americana Hall. The handful of dealers inside all seemed to specialize in good, high-end Americana furniture, primitives and other country/folk art “merch.”
Among the Americana/folk art dealers featured in this building was Kocian DePasqua Antiques, Woodbury, Conn., which showed a roulette wood-rimmed wheel made from a bicycle wheel, circa 1930, of the types used at speakeasies during Prohibition; a horse vane with lovely surface; and a Nineteenth Century double-sided, painted gameboard with original paint and dry surface. A great conversation piece was a large red, white and blue, double-sided gaming wheel, circa 1930, with a 42-inch diameter. The patriotic piece had first paint surface and retained all its nails.
On the other end of the building, Nancy and Craig Cheney, Newark, Ohio, prominently hung a south Ohio quilt from the Nineteenth Century in its booth. The piece was noteworthy for its triple border in green, cream and red, as well as its tight stitching. It was signed by its maker at the bottom. A long New England Windsor-style bench, probably for a large home or a hall, circa 1830‴0s, was another standout.
Next to the Cheneys was Easter Hill Antiques, Sharon, Conn., which showed a great churn, believed to be Nineteenth Century Shaker. The piece is in original paint with no repairs and has great wear on the dauber. A colorful and fetching quilt in the Country Fence or Fences pattern was deaccessioned from a Tennessee museum in the 1980s. The velvet quilt is in good condition and is roughly 100‱25 years old.
David Allan Ramsay, Cape Porpoise, Maine, and Lake Worth, Fla., offered a Victorian-style antique twig bench with two matching chairs. A matching table was attractively decorated with greenery and decoys, while the bench offered seating for a grouping of black dolls.
Ramsay had aptly hung a large sign that read “Signs” in the center of his back wall. He sprinkled a collection of other folky signs around his booth, including “Hilltop Acres,” “Sweet Farm / Rooms / with Bath” and “Old General Store Hardware.”
Fans of garden antiques also had much to linger over in the booth of Ann Marsh, Danbury, Conn., whose galvanized tin tubs and buckets are always a hit at antiques shows. These can be repurposed in so many ways, both indoors and outdoors.
Also specializing in garden antiques was Storb Antiques, Rowayton, Conn., which featured a rare Dodd & Struthers arrow weathervane with loop and four stars, as well as a hand blown amber glass ball. The piece dates to the early Twentieth Century.
Vintage Fabrics, Oakland Park, Fla., filled its booth with fine examples of bark cloth and old grain sacks that decorators will use to reupholster antique pieces or make accent pillows, drapery and other items.
Other highlights at the show included the booth of Sugar Princess, Montville, N.J., displaying two handmade model boats and a collection of Walt Disney bottle caps from the 1930s‴0s with the corks intact; Marvin Wies, Baltimore, Md., showed three merry-go-round caps that would have been displayed around the inner center of the carousel. Still in good paint, the caps were painted with a Big Top theme, and showed three lions and his tamer, an equestrian act, and a trio of clowns.
The show will be back here next June. For information, www.harwintonantiquesweekend.com or 317-598-0012.
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