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Optimistic Response to Inaugural Annapolis Fair

June 25th, 2017

Annapolis Summer Antiques Fair, Annapolis, Maryland

The first annual Annapolis Summer Antiques Fair was held June 24 and 25 at The Byzantium events center in Annapolis, Maryland. The show was produced by Dordy Fontinel Show Management and was the logical extension of her successful run of January shows at the same venue.

Forty-two vendors set up for the event, offering a broad array of antiques, fine art, and collectibles. Perhaps I am becoming more sensitive to the educational aspects of the antiques trade, but as I moved around the show, I noticed that several of the dealers were conducting impromptu workshops or question-and-answer sessions at their booths. Dealers offering clocks, metalware, and jewelry were engaging small groups and explaining the histories and distinguishing characteristics of their offerings. Dordy Fontinel has been an outspoken advocate of education as a way to energize a new generation of antiques aficionados. It appeared that several of the vendors at this show had heard her loud and clear.


This painted double-sided metal trade sign was in the booth of Mason’s Antiques, Nellysford, Virginia. The sign is an advertisement of the skills of A.H. Vaughan. It reads “A.H. Vaughan / Violin Taught / Pianos Tuned.” The figures are cut out within the upper panel. Stillie Mason tagged it $395.


Here is a parade of animal-form cast-iron still banks. Leading the group is a lion, priced at $75. Following closely behind are a dog with its front paws resting on a washtub, $110; an elephant with the coin slot within the howdah, $85; a prancing horse, $175; and a small horse marked “BEAUTY,” $95. Bringing up the rear is a carved wooden duck-form pull toy marked $235. This menagerie was in the booth of Benjamin and Linda Scherer of Blue Lion Antiques, Williamsburg, Virginia.


Mark Semmes and Carol Buscher trade as Southern Traditions, Hughesville, Virginia. This grouping features a late 18th- or early 19th-century American school oil on canvas portrait of a young red-haired girl in a natural setting. She is dressed in a high-waisted dress and is holding a rose. It was priced at $1850. The tall, three-legged demilune hunt table is from Essex County, Virginia. It is constructed of yellow pine and dates from the late 18th or early 19th century. The medial shelf is original to the piece. The hunt table was priced at $1500. The Pennsylvania bride’s box was marked $595; the Continental pewter charger, $295; and the mid-18th-century milk glass mug, hand painted with a boar hunting scene, $375.

Following the show, Fontinel’s e-mail synopsis of the weekend was upbeat. She stated that she received more compliments from customers during this show than at any event in her 28 years of show management. She also noted an encouraging sign—there was an increase of 18- to 25-year-olds in attendance. Not all of them may have been buyers, but they were interested and willing to learn.

With those flashes of optimism, there was also a dose of reality. At other recent weekend shows, some dealers have reported excellent sales, while others did not fare as well as they had hoped. That was also the case at the Annapolis Summer Antiques Fair. Anecdotally, however, during my visit on Saturday, I noticed more sales being consummated than at any of my prior visits to an Annapolis show. It is hoped that bodes well for future shows in Annapolis.

For additional information, contact Dordy Fontinel Show Management at (434) 361-1770 or online at (www.dfshows.com).


Mary Louise Spoor (1887-1985) was an illustration artist. This framed two-panel example of Spoor’s work was offered in the booth of Peter Piper Antiques, Arlington, Virginia. These are lithographed posters, published by C.H. Congdon, Chicago, in 1917. They illustrate the nursery rhyme “Little Bo Peep.” The images are drawn in an Arts and Crafts style. The framed lithographs were marked $550. Philip Richard Smith of Peter Piper also offered two framed triple-image examples of Spoor’s work illustrating the nursery rhymes “Hickory Dickory Dock” and “Bye Baby Bunting” (not shown). Those examples were marked $750.


This large painted druggist’s mortar and pestle counter display was difficult to miss in the booth of Karen F. Austin of Apropos, Inc., Richmond, Virginia. It dates circa 1900 and was marked $1495. The black and gold paint-decorated cutlery box is clearly dated 1871. It was tagged $795. The top hat tin trade sign is English and dates from the 1920s. It was priced at $695. The watercolor and gouache recreational sailing scene is by 20th-century Connecticut artist Tim Eastland. It was tagged $450.


This Chatham County, North Carolina, six-tin food safe was found in the booth of C. Casper Antiques, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Charlie Casper is a familiar face at mid-Atlantic antiques shows. The food safe has an undisturbed surface, geometrically patterned face-mounted tins, and original half-spool knobs. It was marked $2900. The cod-form hollow-body weathervane is from Boston, circa 1890, and was tagged $1500.


This mirrored cabinet is completely covered with intricate marquetry. It has a plain cornice and a shaped skirt. The surface of the case is covered with a combination of barber pole and checkerboard patterns. The door is fitted with a beveled mirror. There are two interior shelves. The cabinet is from the North Carolina/Tennessee border area, and it was marked $995 by Stonecrop Antiques.


This pillar-and-scroll shelf clock is by Lucius Bradley of Watertown, Connecticut. The clock was found in the booth of Jeff and Sue Ade of DoveTail Antiques, Williamsburg, Virginia. The clock dates from the first quarter of the 19th century. The case displays a deeply carved crest and pillars and rests on carved paw feet. The dial is paint decorated and features hands with Federal shield-breasted eagle cutouts. The reverse-painted glass is original. The clock is in working condition and was priced at $1695.


Fresh off of his successful Rhinebeck show, Frank Gaglio of Rhinebeck, New York, set up a booth at Annapolis. The three cast-iron garden urns on wooden bases were marked $1650 for the group. The cast wall/shelf brackets with flowing bird figures were priced at $575 the pair, and the tree-stump-form cast-iron post with a perched songbird was tagged $1650.


Charlotte Whitenight said she had recently returned from a vacation and buying trip to Europe. These four oil on canvas paintings were a few of the fruits of that excursion. Whitenight trades as Curiosities Antiques, Baltimore, Maryland, and admitted that she loves paintings that depict water. The larger paintings were priced at $350 (left) and $395. The smaller paintings were tagged $225 each. The silver-plate food domes were $175 and $190.


It was good to see Toby Chittum back on the show circuit. Chittum trades as Charley Horse Antiques and Art and is a veteran antiques dealer from Partlow, Virginia. This pair of unsigned portraits dates from the mid-19th century. They depict what is presumed to be an unidentified physician and his wife. That is not a cigarette in the doctor’s hand; it is a hypodermic syringe. The portraits were marked $8500 for the pair. The blacksmith-made arched meat rack was tagged $650, and the circa 1930 child’s quilt was $120.


The focal point in the booth of Dark Horse Antiques Gallery, Annapolis, Maryland, was this diminutive four-drawer slant-top merchant’s till. Dark Horse’s owner, Mike Vasilik, stated that the till is from Vermont and dates to circa 1820. The drawers are outlined in scratch beading, and the lid is decorated with scribe lines. The green paint is original, but the feet are old replacements. The piece sold within the first 15 minutes of the show. The folky portrait of a young girl with her doll, marked $4500, was still available; the carved wooden panther head, circa 1900, was $295; the early 19th-century mirrored sconce, $250; and the array of hogscraper candlesticks ranged from $125 to $250.


Originally published in the September 2017 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2017 Maine Antique Digest

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