CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. — The weather gods were with the New Castle Historical Society this year as it staged its 45th annual Chappaqua antiques show at the Westorchard School on November 2–3. The highly anticipated event of the fall antiquing season in the Northeast was dealt a snowy blow in 2011 when a freak early blizzard brought down trees and power lines over the show’s weekend run. Then, last year, Superstorm Sandy surged up the East Coast and cancelled the event.
This year, however, temperatures were suitably autumnal, the skies clear and sunny as about 45 antiques dealers set up their collections inside the school’s two main gymnasiums and along corridors. The two-day show also featured an appraiser, a design consultant, a rug restoration service, glass repair and the society’s popular Gold in Your Attic booth offering treasures pried from Westchester attics. The event raises funds to support the society’s Horace Greeley House Museum and its myriad activities for students, adults and researchers.
Show chairs Buffy Haas and Nancy Ruffner, plus a team of 150 energetic volunteers, were good to go on Saturday morning to make the show come to life — and dealers came to life as well with a wide variety of wares to tempt showgoers, from silver, jewelry, posters, quilts and textiles to midcentury furnishings, rare maps and books, folk art and collectibles.
Betsy Guardenier, the society’s president, commented, “The 45th annual Chappaqua Antiques Show was a great success! Our gate was up from two years ago. The majority of the dealers did well, and many of the dealers raved about the show. Bob Barbo of All Your Yesterdays mentioned that ‘Yours is the best show. You take such good care of your dealers.’ The café and the homemade desserts were a sell-out. The celebration to honor the town’s volunteer first responders, who were the show’s honorees, was a special event for the New Castle community one year after Sandy forced the cancellation of the show last year.”
As promised, the show did have something for just about everyone. Its theme of “Antiques & Design” raised the bar for participating dealers, many of whom did not just bring “stuff,” but also presented it in attractive, designerly fashion. Hubert and Susan van Asch van Wyck, co-owners of Black Swan Antiques, Washington, Conn., for example, put together a cozy room display featuring some of the bespoke furniture pieces that Hubert creates using a fusion of antique papers and classic forms. Centered in the display was a Midcentury Modern-like leather covered table designed by Hubert, 26½ by 26½ by 22 inches, flanked by a pair of armchairs in the style of Milo Baughman, circa 1970s, and topped with a collection of Italian glass balls, stone fruit and four Dutch Seventeenth Century roemers. Artwork by Susan rendered in charcoal, pencil and pastels graced the booth’s walls .
In another area of the show, Margaret and Vincent Rowan, owners of Fenwood Studio, Mahopac, N.Y., offered, among their many antiques and collectibles, a Nineteenth Century Biedermeier table in walnut with harp base, a Shaker dining table and French walnut armchairs with profuse carved decoration on arms and aprons. The large dining table was one of five designed and constructed by Thomas Fisher for a church family of Shakers at Enfield, Conn., in 1876. Such tables were made to be used in the huge first floor dining room just in time for Thanksgiving dinner, and white inlays in the table’s surface indicated a separate space for each family — four families to a table.
Artwork on offer in the Rowans’ booth included a William Lester Stevens (1888–1969) winter scene, 29 by 24 inches, and a Georgina Nemethy (b 1950) view of the Coney Island side-wheeler Dreamland plying the Hudson River. Stevens was an Impressionist painter born in Rockport, Mass., and Nemethy is the daughter of the late Hungarian-American artist Albert Szatmar Nemethy and sister of painter George Nemethy.
Jewelry was plentiful at the show, notably presented by Jamie’s Antiques, Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., and James Levinson, Inc, of New York City, among others. Jamie Shenkman offered a choice selection that featured Czech necklaces that until recently, according to the dealer, “had never seen the light.” She also had some nice examples of French Egyptian Revival jewelry, again in vogue, including some scarab necklaces from the 1920s–30s. Among Levinson’s glittering treasures were single-stone Tiffany earrings and designer earclips from the 1940s up to today.
Ron and Marilyn Saland, Scarsdale, N.Y., decked out their booth with an oil painting on canvas by Kenneth Fass (1901–1980), a local Chappaqua artist who had created the portrait as a Christmas gift for a neighbor, a working decoy, “Old Fowler,” from Old Saybrook, Conn., a pair of cast iron Sealyham terrier bookends, an early Nineteenth Century six-board child’s blanket chest, a group of ten framed Seventeenth–Nineteenth Century delft tiles and an early Twentieth Century demilune hooked rug.
Fine prints were offered by Lynne Ward Fine Art, Norwalk, Conn., who displayed four Italian shell prints by Niccolò Gualtieri (1688–1744), attractively custom framed in shells, as well as depictions of German ships and an interesting collection of full color Victorian house design prints by the Scientific American Architects and Builders, an edition of street views and schematics of Connecticut residences (1885–894).
A stylish Hermes A-line coat in eggshell blue was among the 1970s fashions offered by Elaine Klausman of Vintage With a Twist, Bedford, N.Y., along with racks abristle with furs and faux furs, while another warming thought was evoked via the enduring appeal of antique Oriental rugs on display by the Caravan Connection, Bedford Hills, N.Y.
And, yes, there was “brown” furniture to be had, such as a pair of mahogany chests flanking a prewar 1930s wing chair with original upholstery at Albert Joseph & Co., Woodbury, Conn. The dealer also offered a couple of barrister bookshelves, one a three-part unit, circa 1900. A leaded glass china cabinet, an Art Nouveau sideboard in quartersawn oak with beveled mirrors and a Dutch curio cabinet with five shelves were also featured in the dealer’s booth. “Everyone has something they want to view,” said Joseph of the curio cabinet.
The show turned out okay for Judith Lesser, owner of Antiques at Home, Frederick, Md., “although I’d always like more customers!” she said. “Sunday was my better day, and I was pleased to sell three Art Deco Shelley Vogue trios. English Deco ceramics are my particular interest and specialty, and I enjoy passing the interest on to others.”
For information, 914-238-4666 or www.newcastlehs.org.