A circa 1850 cast-iron garden dog with a great original painted surface, by the Gray Foundry of Poultney, Vermont, was $16,500 with Hilary and Paulette Nolan of Falmouth, Massachusetts.
Roger Williams of Boathouse Antiques, Wiscasset, Maine, had this $4800 gilded 48" pilothouse eagle, created around 1950, perched dramatically atop a tall stepladder.
by Mark Sisco
The Ellsworth Antiques Show at Woodlawn, held August 16-18, is now owned by the host of the show, the Woodlawn Museum Gardens & Park in Ellsworth. Thinking of this show, I'm reminded of the iconic line from the classic movie Pat and Mike, in which Spencer Tracy as Mike describes Pat, acted by Katharine Hepburn, as with "not much meat on her, but what's there is 'cherce'!" With only 27 exhibiting dealers, it's a very small exhibition, but all the dealers bring their "A" game material, and what's there is definitely "cherce."
Nothing about this show is cheap--not the merchandise, not the $15 luncheon lobster rolls, not the exhibiting costs. Dealers have to fork over $1650 for the booth, and many have to pony up a considerable amount for travel expenses, lodging, etc. Most dealers need to gross somewhere in the low five figures to make it all worthwhile.
Exhibitor and museum trustee Bill Schwind agreed. "To cover your costs, you've got to do ten thousand dollars. That's exactly it," he said, "and usually that will happen. It's only in this part of Maine that we could stage a show like this, where you've got the buying power." Later he added, "We're dealing with the one-half of the one-half of the one percent here. These people can buy anything they want to buy."
They did buy. I visited the show during the first few hours of the first day following the preview party, when everyone had to speak loudly to be heard over the roar of the rain pounding on the tent. A good number of dealers reported that the preview had been enough for them to make it a successful show on its own.
Eleven Maine dealers and sixteen from out of state (including one partnership from Missouri) joined up to present their "best of the best." Most of them have been returning year after year, and this year only two were first-time exhibitors.
The museum now owns the showlock, stock, and antique barrel. Schwind explained, "It is now going to be owned by the museum and wrapped under their 501(c)(3) umbrella," solving a nagging liability insurance problem. For the dealers who formerly each owned a share of the show, it will be business as usual. All the proceeds of the gate and booth rent will go to the museum. The former owners really haven't lost anything, as most of the previous year's profits had been reinvested in the show. So the show will now be permanently lodged at the museum. Exhibitor Sally Good summed it up: "They really love having it here, and we really love being here...It's a terrific location."
For more information, call (207) 667-8671 or visit the Web site (www.woodlawnmuseum.com).
The linen advertising banner reads in full "Warner's Corsets/ Fit/ Millions Wear Them." It shows a woman with a waist so thin that she would snap in half in a stiff breeze. Scott DeWolfe and Frank Wood of DeWolfe & Wood Rare Books, Alfred, Maine, who deal in Shaker material as well as rare books, offered the banner for $1350.
This patriotic silk memorial with an eagle grappling with a dragon over a field of American flags and laurels and a central battleship illustration, all under a banner reading "In Memory of My Cruise [illegible] Japan and Philippines Waters 1907," was $2250 with Patricia Anne Reed of Damariscotta, Maine.
Paul Vandekar of Earle D. Vandekar of Knightsbridge, Inc., New York City, offered this interesting sailor's woollie, 22½" x 32", showing a British Royal Navy ship, probably a third-rate battleship, flying a red ensign and a red banner, approaching the home shore as a dove flies to greet the inbound ship with a message in its beak, circa 1870. Framed in bird's-eye maple, the woolie was $9500.
One of Tad and Mary Kate Runge's favorite rugs from A.E. Runge Jr. Oriental Rugs, Yarmouth, Maine, was this smallish (9'11" x 7'8") Persian Heriz, circa 1920, in brilliant, unfaded reds and blues for $9750.
Kass Hogan of Cherry Gallery, Damariscotta, Maine, showed a rugged Old Hickory game table by Indiana Willow Products, circa 1940, for $995 and matched with a set of four Old Hickory Furniture Company chairs of the same vintage for $1200.
Colette Donovan of Merrimacport, Massachusetts, showed this amazingly intricate cased ship model of the U.S.S. Constitution for $5200. "Complete to the minute detail. A BEST!" her tag proclaimed.
John Hunt Marshall of Florence, Massachusetts, showed a richly grained New York mahogany bowfront chest of drawers on a bracket base, with ivory keyhole escutcheons, original eagle and shield bails, and light delicate inlays, for $1750.
This was the only 1923 exercise bike in the show. It had the original leather tension strap, and George Subkoff of Westport, Connecticut, had it for $2500.