Guilford Antiques Show: 45 Years Of Americana

GUILFORD, CONN. — The Guilford Antiques Show was a gorgeous treatise to Americana and fine antiques overall, as the show celebrated its 45th anniversary March 29–30 at the Elisabeth Adams School.

“The 45th annual Guilford Antiques Show was hugely successful, with a 15 percent increase in the gate reported by the Whitfield Historic Society, beneficiaries of the show, as well as furniture sales steadily moving out of the doors,” said show manager Frank Gaglio. “Opening day saw over 565 paid attendees and society members visiting the show and Sunday attendance topping an additional 300.”

Two special events new this year were well received. Gaglio led an “Accent on Antiques” tour of the show, and a free appraisal clinic conducted by Nest Egg Auctioneers hosted close to 40 patrons bringing in family heirlooms and personal antiques for assessments.

Dealers apparently fared quite well at the show too.

“Witt’s End Antiques reported excellent sales, including two fantastic carved and painted sperm whale wall plaques, a step back cupboard and other pieces,” stated the manager. “Richard Axtell had an excellent show, requesting a contract for the 2015 Guilford Show before leaving, and Joe Collins also had a great show, selling two ship shadow boxes and several other pieces.”

“John Rogers Antiques sold an American shoe foot hutch table and several pieces of Asian furniture and architectural panels, and the list goes on,” Gaglio added. “The most interesting aspect of the Guilford Show is the number of younger attendees in the 35- to 45-year-old age category who are anxiously and enthusiastically buying art and antiques.”

Also having a good show was Lewis W. Scranton, Killingworth, Conn., who is the last remaining original dealer at this show and has not missed a single year in his 45 years as an exhibitor. He also is no stranger to the area, having served on the board of directors for the Hyland House Museum, which the show benefits, as well as being a former student of the Elisabeth Adams School back when it was a high school.

At the show entrance, on its outer booth wall, Ackerson Homestead Antiques, Park Ridge, N.J., featured a rare coverlet bordered by presidential profiles, mid-Nineteenth Century, and a circa 1880–90 penny mat, either New York or Pennsylvania origin. Inside its booth, an Americana showcase continued with an early painted Eighteenth Century sawbuck table and a New England mid-Nineteenth Century stenciled box in original surface. The dealer noted the box was obviously by Moses Eaton (1796–1886).

Neverbird Antiques, Surry, Va., offered its usual eclectic mix of folky artifacts, smalls and samplers. Standouts included a circa 1800 sampler by Abigail Baylies (b 1789) of Randolph Township, Orange County, Vt., and an East Tennessee stoneware harvest jug, attributed to Charles Decker, Keystone Pottery, circa 1880. The dealers noted that this was a rare but known form of stoneware for Decker.

Maria and Peter Warren Antiques, Wilton, Conn., offered an English folk art painting on board of the White Star ocean liner Ceramic, sister ship of the Titanic, which met a similar fate. Launched in 1912, she was sunk by a German submarine in 1942. Other highlights here included a vintage wooden carving of a beloved dog, dated 1920, which looks to be assuming the “downward dog” yoga pose as his back feet and hindquarters are up but his head rests on his front legs, which are lying down. An oil on canvas by Elliot Candee Clark (1883–1980) was another fine work on view here.

John H. Rogers Antiques, New London, N.H., featured an assortment of fine Asian wood carvings, including a double lace carving, probably from a bed, Jianxi Province.

Among fine Americana at Witt’s End Antiques, Wallkill, N.Y., were a hooked rug with a red flower pot pattern, 28 by 26 inches, mounted to fabric on a stretcher, and an Eighteenth Century, lift-top blanket chest in Massachusetts sycamore having two drawers. The piece had early red surface and was on a bracket base. Making the biggest splash in the booth, however, was a collection of folky carved and painted wooden whale plaques, Twentieth Century. Two 60-inch long sperm whale carvings, one with tail up and the other tail down, sold early in the show.

Fine American furniture was well represented at the show, from a set of six Margolis Chippendale-style dining room chairs in mahogany, mid-1900s, by the Nathan Margolis Shop, Hartford, Conn., in the booth of Edwin C. Ahlberg, Guilford, Conn., to a Seventeenth Century American table at Benting & Jarvis, Barrington, N.H., and a Chippendale slant front desk with ogee bracket base in figured birch, retaining original brasses as seen at Martin J. Ferrick, Lincolnville, Maine. The desk sold at the show, according to show management.

Choice paintings, most with a nautical theme, filled the booth of the Cooley Gallery, Old Lyme, Conn., including an unsigned oil on board by Helen Savier DuMond (1872–1968), titled “Monhegan Headlands,” 12 by 16 inches; a signed and dated oil on canvas by Roger Dennis (1902–1996), “Gloucester Evening,” 12 by 16 inches. Raymond A. Ewing (1891–1975) was represented by his stunning “Rocky Coast,” 25 by 30 inches.

Great paintings could also be spotted in the booth of Nicholas DiBenedetto & Co., East Quogue, N.Y., which offered a pair of small gems by Frank Gervasi: the oil on board, “Autumn,” and “Winter,” an oil on board that was shown at the Salmagundi Club in 1948.

Folk art was also prolific at the show, including a full-bodied rooster on stand with a pointing arrow, displayed alongside a fine Parcheesi gameboard having great color, in the booth of Griffith’s Antiques, Utica, N.Y.

Gaglio’s Barn Star Productions’ next show is the June 21 launch of the Newtown Antiques Market. For information, www.barnstar.com or 845-876-0616.

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