During preview night, the courtyard outside the museum was set with a bar and food stations. Other catered stations were on each floor inside the museum.
The Norwoods' Spirit of America took out a full-page ad in the show catalog for this framed needlework sampler. It reads "Brandywine March 1798" and has a grapevine border, trumpeting angels, birds, and flowering bouquets. They asked $8800 for it. Bev Norwood commented that it had received a lot of interest.
The large Walter Baum (1884-1956) winter farm scene was $12,500 from Thomas Brown of McMurray, Pennsylvania.
Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania
by Karl H. Pass
"The committee is absolutely extraordinary. It is hard to image being treated any better," said exhibitor Bev Norwood. "This is one of those special shows we really look forward to each year." Norwood's sentiments were echoed unanimously by exhibiting dealers at the 2012 Brandywine River Museum Antiques Show.
Traditionally held over Memorial Day weekend and in its 41st year, the show ran May 26-28 with a preview party held the evening of May 25. Thirty-two dealers showcased a fine array of art and antiques in the museum's converted gristmill situated along the picturesque Brandywine River.
The converted mill is one of the finest adaptations of a structure into a modern museum that you will find. The antiques show utilizes three floors of museum space plus a courtyard for exhibiting dealers to showcase their offerings.
Peter Chillingworth, who took over last year following the passing of longtime manager Bob Armacost, again oversaw the elegant show. The many highlights included the food, drink, and music at the Friday evening preview party; the dealer booth talks on Sunday and Monday; the dealers' party on Saturday night; and a topnotch loan show, Pierced, Punched, Painted: Decorated Tinware from Winterthur, accompanied by an informative essay in the show catalog by Ann Wagner.
The Brandywine River Museum show is a benefit for the Museum Volunteers' Art Purchase Fund, helping to make purchases for the museum's collections. You can't talk about the museum and the show without mentioning its volunteer force. "We have an incredible group of volunteers that make up a very stable and enthusiastic family," stated staff member and coordinator of volunteers Donna Gormel.
Gormel has run the volunteer program at the museum since 1988. It is true-every established museum relies on volunteer support. The over 400 volunteers at Brandywine are especially dedicated to the mission of the institution. For the show they cook much of the food and make the incredible flower arrangements displayed throughout the museum in dealer booths.
"The dealers are genuinely appreciative of how they are treated," said Gormel. "The preview party attendance was up this year. We had four hundred thirty-seven. Saturday was up as well, and overall it was good throughout the weekend."
"For the first time being here, I was very pleased," said James Price of Carlisle, Pennsylvania. "There was more activity on preview night than I've seen at many shows, and the committee is great." Among his sales were a Chester County tea table and a Chester County chest of drawers signed "Moses Way."
"It's the best show committee of any show we've worked with," stated Lee Hanes of Hanes & Ruskin, Old Lyme, Connecticut. "We started the show in 1976 and have been back every year since. It is our favorite show. Our business is always good there, and sometimes great," Hanes continued. They sold English pottery, two portrait paintings and a still life, brass candlesticks, 18th-century wrought-iron lighting, jewelry, a miniature Philadelphia Chippendale chest of drawers, and an 18th-century child-size Windsor side chair.
If it has been several years since you have made the trip to this show or museum, you should put it on your calendar. For more information on the Brandywine River Museum, located on U.S. Route 1 in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, call (610) 388-2700; Web site (www.brandywinemuseum.org).
This set of 12 Japanese woodblock prints by Tanigami Konan (1879-1928) was $7200 from Charles Edwin Puckett of Akron, Ohio.
Bill Shaeffer of Shaeffer's Antiques, Reisterstown, Maryland, wanted $1250 for the Dutch creamware tankard with twisted strap handle. The creamware plate with pierced edge was $395.
Heller Washam Antiques, Portland, Maine, had an exceptional David Wood shelf clock for $68,000, flanked by a pair of Bristol, England teal green blown glass hurricane shades for $7800, all situated nicely on the windowsill.
SAJE Americana, Short Hills, New Jersey, asked $7350 for the eight-panel Federal four-drawer chest from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, circa 1800. The pair of Federal mahogany knife boxes was $5950, and the still life by H. Beard, circa 1855, was $3350.
Carlisle, Pennsylvania, dealer Jamie Price was a first-time exhibitor at Brandywine. The circa 1770 Philadelphia Chippendale walnut chest of drawers with notched corners was $12,000. In the background is a tall-case clock by John Jackson (a Tory clockmaker) of Marlborough, Chester County, Pennsylvania. The asking price was $41,000. "I sold six pieces of furniture," noted Price.