Published: November 3, 2015
Review and Photos by R. Scudder Smith
WILTON, CONN. — About 25 people were standing at the entrance to the Wilton High School Field House on Sunday, October 25, waiting for the 9 am opening of the Wilton Fall Antiques Market. Thirty-six booths, with a couple of them hosting two dealers, were filled with a variety of collecting interests, all pulled together by Frank Gaglio of Barn Star Productions. “The show was smaller than in the past, but many of the exhibitors reported good sales and the public seemed to be enjoying it,” Frank said. He noted, “We had a slow start, but the people kept coming and we had a good gate.”
The booth of Hilary and Paulette Nolan, Falmouth, Mass., was at the front of the show and offered a maple butterfly table in old refinish, circa 1740–50, and a pair of Queen Anne side chairs that was quickly swept up by an early buyer. “The show has been good for me,” Hilary said, listing a few of his sales, including a hooked rug featuring a ship and the lettering “Welcome,” a Nineteenth Century tray on stand painted with a nautical scene of four large sailing ships and a secretary.
Across the aisle, a large booth was shared by the Village Braider, Plymouth, Mass., and Tom Clark, Francestown, N.H. As usual, this booth was filled with a vast variety of pieces, this time including a corner cupboard in the original blue paint, an early wood box in two shades of green paint and an early rack from a post office with a series of cubbyholes and a slot for a mail drop. On the facing wall was a collection of large wooden toys, including a variety of circus wagons and a couple of dump trucks. A large boot, very large, was once a trade sign for a shoe shop.
The Norwoods’ Spirit of America, Timonium, Md., again filled the walls with watercolors, samplers, fraktur and oil on canvas works, including a painting by John “Jack” Cuthbert Hare (1909–1978), “Autumn in New England,” showing a house among colorful trees reflecting the scenery of the moment. Shown on a stand at the front of the booth was a nine-drawer wooden spice cabinet with the original finish.
Stone Block Antiques of Vergennes, Vt., filled a booth with furniture, causing Greg Hamilton to say, “Thank goodness for porters.” He made good use of them, showing a circa 1790 English Hepplewhite chest of drawers with serpentine front and an Eighteenth Century mid-Atlantic of Southern architectural corner cupboard, two of several pieces of furniture in the booth. Positioned on top of a dresser was an Eighteenth Century carved wood and gesso santos.
One of the close-by exhibitors in the show was J.B. Richardson Antiques of Westport, with a sparse but interesting booth. An early ladder for apple picking leaned against one corner, while on the opposite side of the booth stood a one-dimensional figure of a sailor, dressed in blue with a white cap. With outstretched arms, he appeared to be a former mailbox holder. A large quilt (sold) filled the back wall, along with a couple of framed works, including a watercolor portrait of a young girl, dressed in black and white, holding her small pet dog, also black and white with a trace of brown collar showing.
Dating from the late Nineteenth Century was a ship model, in large glass case, of the Sea Witch clipper ship, at the front of the booth of David Thompson Antiques & Art, South Dennis, Mass. This ship was launched circa 1846 in Manhattan. One of the few pieces of furniture in the booth was an American corner chair, circa 1775, in maple and from southeastern Massachusetts. The chair was found in an Eighteenth Century Cape Cod estate.
Victor Weinblatt, better known as “The Sign Man,” of South Hadley, Mass., set up his booth true to form, blanketed with signs. One can spend the best part of a visit to an antiques show reading in Victor’s booth, catching up with some new offering such as “20 cents all day,” “To Office – Last Door” with a hand illustration pointing the way, “Sandy Beach” and “Health Walk.” Victor assures clients that “this is only a portion of our inventory. The rest is displayed in our gallery, which is attached to our house, and open when we are not away at shows.” He added a few other things of interest, including a very nice pair of Adirondack armchairs in the original yellow paint, circa 1920, and a large slat goose decoy, circa 1920, of Massachusetts origin.
A small, but well-arranged, booth was set up by Stiles House Antiques, Woodbury, Conn., including a pair of maple Queen Anne side chairs with serpentine crest rails, circa 1750, and a Quean Anne tap table, New England origin, circa 1780, with ovolo corners. Displayed on the table was a round wooden bowl filled with pieces of stone fruit.
Furniture filled the booth of Heller Washam, Portland, Maine, including a tilt-top birdcage tea table of Massachusetts origin, circa 1775–90, with boldly turned shaft and three-board top. One couple spent the best part of half an hour looking over a bittersweet painted maple chest of drawers, Newburyport, Mass., circa 1765–80, and a nest of eight Nantucket baskets, excellent condition, dated circa 1900. “We had a nice group of people who came to the show, they expressed interest, and I had one person who quickly latched onto the elaborate sailor’s valentine I was offering,” Don Heller said.
Gloria Lonergan of Mendham, N.J., really took a great risk when she gave in to a sick day on Sunday and remained at home, leaving the responsibility of staffing her booth in the hands of her husband, Pat. He seemed to be content at the show just shooting the breeze with friends, but by the end of the day he proudly announced a profitable outing. “I did very well for Gloria,” he said, listing a few things he sold, including a red painted bucket bench, a long hooked rug and a two-drawer blanket chest in salmon paint that dated from the Eighteenth Century. Displayed in the center of the booth was a set of four Windsor side chairs, painted white with red seats, early Nineteenth Century, and off to the side was a fifth matching chair. He was drawing interest to the chairs by announcing, quite loudly, “Buy four and get the fifth one free.” By noon he was still at it, and the chairs were still there.
Thomas Longacre of Marlborough, N.H., again shared his booth with his wife, Beverly Weir Longacre, who put on a handsome display of Christmas ornaments and feather trees. “Bev is going to have her own booth at York in November and not take up some of my booth space,” Tom said with a smile. At Wilton, with the space he had left, he offered a nice train weathervane consisting of a locomotive, tender and passenger car, verdigris surface, Nineteenth Century and found in New England, displayed on the back wall along with a circa 1910 barber shop sign on wood, red and yellow border, of New England origin. A three-drawer New England storage chest in pine, with the original knobs, circa 1800–40, was shown on a Pennsylvania single-drawer Federal tavern table with three-board top, walnut, dating from the early Nineteenth Century.
A highboy and running horse weathervane were among the sales made by Ted and Jennifer Fuehr of American Spirit Antiques, Shawnee Mission, Kan., and among the tiger maple pieces offered were a drop leaf table, probably Pennsylvania, circa 1830, with button feet and a console table with shaped two-board top, probably New York State, circa 1810. In addition to being known for tiger maple furniture, they are also known for weathervanes and this time out showed two running horses and a medium-sized eagle on arrow. Two wood-carved and painted eagles, with flags, hung on the walls.
John Gould of Yorktown Heights, N.Y., filled half of his booth with frames, many sizes, his longtime interest and trademark. In addition, he offered a couple of game boards, a three-drawer stand in tiger maple, a wall cupboard in blue with a salmon-colored center panel and a set of seven French pewter measures.
The next show on the Barn Star calendar will be on December 4-6, the Greenwich Winter Antiques Show, to be held at the Eastern Greenwich Civic Center, Old Greenwich, Conn. Forty-three exhibitors will take part in this show with a preview gala on Thursday, December 3, from 6:30 to 9 pm. For more information, www.barnstar.com or845-876-0616.
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