This assortment of lusterware pitchers and pictorial children’s cups was found in the booth of Bill Shaeffer Antiques, Glyndon, Maryland. The prices ranged from $175 for the smaller mugs to $600 for the large pitcher.
Stuart Nordin Design, Alexandria, Virginia, offered these framed black-and-white prints. They are not dated, but they were taken from a book about Paris. The images appear to be from the 1950’s and were priced at $225 each.
David Brooker Fine Art, Southport, Connecticut, and Joseph M. Hayes Antiques, Bexley (Columbus), Ohio, shared a booth. The two-over-three drawer mahogany chest dates to 1790 and was marked $2500. The carved polychrome Spanish colonial santo figure was priced at $850. The large oil on canvas seascape, Cornish Waters, is by David James (British, 1853-1904) and is dated 1883. The price was $12,500. The small oil on panel depicts a peasant with a horse-drawn cart among seaside dunes with a church spire in the background. It is by John Decker and dates to around 1900. It was priced at $2450.
Tim Brennan and Dave Mouilleseaux of Northfield, Connecticut, trade under the name Brennan & Mouilleseaux Antiques. The loosely defined category of mid-century modern has found acceptance within most of the antiques show community. Brennan and Mouilleseaux stated that it was because of their emphasis on items within that category that they were invited to participate in the show. This modular Lucite room divider is a fine example of the category. The piece consists of shelf units, a drop-front desk, storage compartments, and a bureau-like set of drawers. The entire system is finished on all sides and can be assembled in several configurations. It was priced at $2950. The bronze sculpture of a young man’s head is from the 1950’s and was tagged $875. The sliced geode bookends (right) were $495, and the carved granite shell-form sculpture (left) was $295.
Past Pleasures Moderne, the booth of Annandale, Virginia, dealer Don Selkirk, was stocked with items that reflected a retro-industrial style. On the wall is a Santa Fe Railroad chief emblem that once graced the side of a 1950’s train car. It was tagged $1800. The nude figure on a pedestal holding an airliner overhead was tagged $1600; a 1930’s arcade racing car, $1500; the 1958 United Airlines DC 7 Mainliner model, “City of San Francisco,” was $1800; and the Art Deco urn, sugar, and creamer on tray, $350 the set. The Kingsbury streamlined racing car from the 1930’s was $750; the 1950’s industrial strap-on toe guards were $150; and the 1940’s Meccano construction set store display was $675. The large early 1940’s Art Deco-style mirror was tagged $4500.
The 17th annual Antiques in Alexandria was held March 7-10. For most of the show’s history it was located in the gymnasium of Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia. Three years ago, the school installed a new floor in its gym, and the manufacturer’s warranty would not allow the show’s foot traffic. As a consequence, the show has been something of a gypsy, first setting up at a Hilton hotel one year, and for the past two years finding a home at the Waterford, an events and conference facility in Springfield, Virginia.
The Waterford offers excellent space for the show with ample on-site parking and large open rooms designed for such events. The only problem with the location is that it is situated at the intersection of two main arteries within the so-called “mixing bowl” of highways encircling Washington, D.C. Those familiar with the area are used to the often confusing highway signage, but even with onboard navigation, individuals from out of the area may find the facility difficult to locate.
The venues have changed, but the beneficiaries of the show have remained constant: the Alexandria Association, the Lyceum Company, and the Twig. The Alexandria Association sponsors monthly lectures on archeology, architectural history, 18th-century decorative and fine arts, and historic gardens and homes. It also supports specific smaller preservation and conservation projects in and around Alexandria. The Lyceum Company is the “friends” organization of the Lyceum: Alexandria’s History Museum. The Twig is the Junior Auxiliary of Inova Alexandria Hospital. The Twig is involved with many healthcare-related activities; in particular, it has a continuing commitment to the Twig Surgical Center, a facility for post-surgical patients.
The board of directors of Antiques in Alexandria recently announced that it is experimenting with the notion of establishing the first week in March as “Spring Antiques Week.” This year in partnership with The Potomack Company, an Alexandria auction house, the board began to explore ways of attracting visitors to multiple antiques events in Alexandria. The Potomack Company set up an appraisal booth at the show and scheduled the preview for its upcoming catalog auction during the same weekend. Terrence Hartman, one of the directors of Antiques in Alexandria, stated that it is the intention of the group to work with other antiques and historical organizations to schedule events at historic properties during the first week of March. The goal is to present greater Alexandria as a destination for antiques enthusiasts from across the region.
The theme of this year’s show was early 20th-century Modernism. Two loan exhibits were assembled to showcase that theme. The early 20th century was a time when the motion picture industry was growing rapidly. A large display of authentic movie posters and lobby cards from the 1920’s was arranged at the show entrance. In addition to the posters, a display of Art Deco dresses was assembled to illustrate evolving designs in post-World War I fashion.
Forty dealers set up at the Waterford. The look of the show was excellent. The booths were well staged and interesting. One could not have asked for better quality and variety of inventory than what was offered.
Unfortunately, foot traffic was light. According to the dealers that I spoke with, it had been light throughout the weekend. One sad reality hovering over any event held in the greater Washington, D.C. area between November and April is that if the word “snow” is mentioned by a meteorologist, the city and nearby suburbs come to a standstill, and its inhabitants stay indoors. Hardy New Englanders do not understand this, and D.C. area residents deny that they themselves act in such manner, but the fact is that when the weather reports for the first weekend of March mentioned “severe winter weather,” the die was cast. I visited the show on Sunday. I walked into the exhibit hall from the pleasant sunshine and was immediately confronted by a dealer acquaintance asking, “Is it snowing yet? Please tell me it’s snowing.” It wasn’t, and it didn’t.
Snow or no snow, the show did go on. Sales were made, and several dealers told me that they had callbacks from earlier in the weekend and had made sales as a result.
In spite of its ups and downs, Antiques in Alexandria seems to be a survivor. As it continues to explore and expand the “Spring Antiques Week” concept, its future may very well be rosy.
For additional information, contact Antiques in Alexandria at (www.antiquesinalexandria.info).
Roger D. Winter of Solebury, Pennsylvania, specializes in 18th- and 19th-century English furniture and fine and decorative art. The graphite and watercolor hound’s head by Hans O. Brasen (Danish, 1849-1930) was tagged $450. The large, 39" x 49", engraving of hunting dogs is signed by Thomas Landseer (English, c. 1794-1880) and was tagged $3600. The unsigned oil painting on the left depicts a grouse hunting scene. It is probably Scottish and dates from the late 19th century and was tagged $1400. The platters are, left to right, ironstone, circa 1815, $1600; Spode, circa 1835, $1650; Copeland Spode, circa 1825, $1500; and an English Imari pattern, $1150. The George III (1790-1800) sideboard is constructed from mahogany with rosewood and other light wood veneer accents and priced at $13,800.
The booth of G. Keith Funston Jr., who trades as Funston Antiques, Sudbury, Massachusetts, was well stocked with items made from ivory and bone. This shelf features (from the right) a trinket box covered with strips of “piano key” style ivory veneer and a miniature portrait painted on ivory attached to the lid. It was marked $1399. A hippopotamus tooth was the base material for a carving of five frogs lounging on a lotus leaf. The frogs were marked $899. Center rear is an intricately designed 2" diameter box carved from a large nut. The so-called “vegetable ivory” box was marked $145. The fossilized crab was marked $279. The ivory plaque at the rear appears to be unfinished. It was marked $1495. The cased silver jar was $275.
These four fancy chairs were displayed in the booth of Park Place Gallery Antiques, Delton, Michigan. The chairs are from Massachusetts and date to 1800. The set consists of three side chairs and one armchair, and all are profusely decorated. Each crest rail features two conch shells resting on a bed of green and gold stylized sea grass. All of the turned elements display gilt leaf or rope and tassel decoration. The seats appear to be the original rush with traces of an old varnish. The armchair’s arms are slightly curved and carved. It is suggested that the chairs may have been made by the White family of Boston. They were priced at $18,500.
Originally published in the June 2013 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2013 Maine Antique Digest