Doug Ramsay of Hadley, Massachusetts, asked $3600 for the 1930’s car weathervane; $1250 for the hooked rug; $2650 for the painted chest; and $650 for the iron duck on it. The druggist sign on top was $1750; the bellows, $350. The carving of a black man was $3800, and the hanging box to its left, circa 1820, was $450.
Joseph Lodge of Lederach, Pennsylvania, asked $3750 for the signed and dated checkerboard; the folky floral hooked rug was $1350. The hen and chick hooked rug was $1675; the finial (upper right) with weathered green patina was $975. The Pennsylvania tapered leg one-drawer stand was $695; the pair of nine-spindle bowback Windsors in mustard paint sold, as did a tiger maple sideboard, an inlaid cherry card table, and an inlaid cherry candlestand (not shown). Lodge also sold a hooked rug with stars, two weathervanes (an Indian and a ship), some redware, and painted woodenware. Who says no one is buying Americana? Lodge said he sold something every day.
Francis J. Purcell Inc., Philadelphia, asked $34,000 for the Robert Welford mantelpiece, Philadelphia, circa 1700; the lunette transom from a house at 14th and Spruce Street in 1805 was $4500. The desk is Chinese and about 150 years old. It has marble inserts on its top that resemble King of Prussia marble. It was $6700.
Roger Winter of Solebury, Pennsylvania, offered this Regency extension dining table, shown partially open, 14'4" long x 60" wide, that seats 18 comfortably, for $29,000. The set of 12 English Georgian chairs was $14,500. The George II architectural mahogany secretary, circa 1755, was $36,000. The English pewter cupboard in its original scumbled paint finish is filled with Canton Chinese export porcelain. Winter said he made some sales, had some follow-up, and hopes the show continues. “There seems to be an upswing because people are buying houses,” he said. “Let’s hope the economy improves.”
Show promoter Frank Gaglio of Barn Star Productions goes with the flow. His 23rd Street Armory Antiques Show, “Where Antiques Week in Philadelphia Begins,” held April 12-14, reflected the changing marketplace. There was a considerable turnover in dealers from the year before, but enough of the mainstays returned to anchor the show with Americana. The show was more diverse than ever before.
Ted Fuehr of American Spirit Antiques was up front and center as usual, and David Horst moved up front next to him from his usual spot on the left aisle. James Grievo was still on the right aisle, across from Ed Weissman, and Martin Chasin was tucked into the back corner on the right as usual.
Some new faces were in between. Marcia Moylan and Jackie Smelkinson of The Spare Room, Baltimore, Maryland, showed here for the first time and were glad to be in Philadelphia. They sell English china, jewelry, snuffboxes, and more, and were well received.
Some dealers who had not shown here for several years came back. Nula Thanhauser brought a wardrobe of stunning handbags and accessories; she has a following. Eve Stone came back with a Williams-Sonoma-size display of antique copper and brass cooking pots, molds, kettles, and measures.
There were a few dealers with French, Spanish, and English antiques, and three dealers came from the U.K. with ceramics, jewelry, medals, and globes. Only half the dealers were specialists in Americana, including glass, woodenware, folk art, and furniture, and only four of them sold really well. Some said that they were waiting for callbacks, and some said they got them the very next day.
The gate was disappointing, and sales were generally spotty. The rain was torrential on Friday when the show opened. After a small rush of collectors and dealers at 10 a.m. (Gaglio gives Philadelphia Antiques Show dealers free tickets to shop), the crowd thinned. The weather on Saturday was gorgeous—too nice to spend inside at an antiques show, even one that was advertised in all the media and provided shuttle buses to and from the Philadelphia Antiques Show.
On Sunday the noon shuttle brought just seven shoppers, but more came by 2:30, and by the last hour of the show there was a good crowd. A Texan came late in the day and bought some furniture from Ted Fuehr, and then crossed the aisle and bought from the Shapiros. He went around to the next aisle and bought from Joseph Lodge. The buyer made their shows by staying after the show closed to consummate sales. It was encouraging that he was buying American furniture, most of it curly maple. Who said Americana is dead?
It was disappointing that Philadelphians did not come in great numbers and buy with gusto. Collectors and dealers who did come and buy said they were pleased with their purchases. Gaglio said his shipper was busy. Dealers said most of their sales were to people from out of town.
The First Troop Philadelphia City Armory is a comfortable and convenient location for a small show of only 44 dealers. Dealers said Gaglio makes it easy to set up and pack out. This show is known for first-rate loan exhibitions in the entryway. This year it was Jeanne Bertoia’s cast-iron figural doorstops, door knockers, and a few painted cast-iron lawn sprinklers in the form of ducks. It will be hard to top. Bertoia was there every day and gave tutorials on the fine points of painted cast iron, pointing out all the rarities.
Gaglio could not confirm dates for next year and said it all depends on the dates of the Philadelphia Antiques Show, which he thinks will be the last weekend in April, making his show April 25-27. Whenever it is, it is sure to be full of surprises.
In the meantime Gaglio is getting ready for his two shows in August in New Hampshire: the Mid-Week Antiques Show and the Pickers Market Antiques Show. He is reviving the Wilton Fall Antiques Market on October 27 at the high school to benefit the Wilton (Connecticut) Historical Society. The Greenwich Winter Antiques Show in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, December 6-8, is his pre-Christmas event.
For more information, contact Barn Star Productions at (845) 876-0616 or check the Web site (www.barnstar.com).
Yellow grain-painted bird’s-eye maple jelly cupboard, $4500; hooked rug, $750; game wheel, $850. All were offered by Mark Saylor of Bertolet House Antiques, Oley, Pennsylvania.
Ted Fuehr of American Spirit Antiques, Shawnee Mission, Kansas, talks with Diana Bittel on Friday morning. Bittel was one of a dozen Philadelphia Antiques Show dealers shopping. Several did some buying. Fuehr had a very good show and sold multiple pieces of furniture to two collectors. One bought the table and chairs in the foreground. A collector from Texas came to the show on Sunday and bought several pieces of furniture, then called back on Monday and bought some more, mostly curly maple. On the way to delivery were an oval tavern table, a Queen Anne armchair, and a corner cupboard with a white-painted door. Fuehr said he did not sell anything to a Philadelphian.
Ralph and Gretchen Franzese of R.G.L. Antiques, Pittstown, New Jersey, asked $12,500 for the electric blue Sandwich glass dolphin candlesticks. The rare looped cobalt South Jersey glass mug was $3860. The blue glass cream pitcher (left), either Pittsburgh or New England, was $3900.
Zane Moss of New York City offered a selection of Black Forest carvings dating from the 1890’s. The hen and chicks on a tray (center) were $6750; the grooming bear (right), carrying a brush, was $2150.
Originally published in the July 2013 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2013 Maine Antique Digest