Monday, August 26, 2013

Gardiner's Bay and a map of Orient, Long Island

As a rule I reserve the month of August for relaxation with the family, so it was with no expectations that I visited a small New England flea market, only eight or nine dealers set up, and while wandering around spotted the words "Gardiner's Bay" on a framed print hanging from a hook on an old oak coat rack. It turned out to be a lithograph map of Orient, New York, the town at the easternmost tip of Long Island's North Fork.

Click to enlarge

Signed in the plate, H.H. Hale, in the box at the lower right the design was dated 1935, the artist was identified as Herbert H. Hale, Orient, L.I.

Still in its original simple frame, 13-5/8" x 20-5/8", I think it's a very attractive example of tourist maps in similarly delightful styles being made in this period. This one, focusing as it does on the names of the early (17th Century) settlers of the tip of the fork, especially mirrors the interest sparked by the Colonial Revival of a decade earlier. Although printed in the depths of the Depression, people who could were interested in exploring, close to home if necessary, and experiencing the areas within reach. Nowadays the North Fork is the heart of Long Island wine country, but Orient, way out east, is still another country altogether.

It turns out the Southold (NY) Historical Society sells reprints of this map, but in a larger format than this one, which I have every reason to believe is a period print. Elsewhere on the site it is also noted that Herbert Hale was born in 1892 and died in 1968, but thus far I've been unable to learn anything more about the artist.

And yes, I will be set up at Brimfield next month, on Wednesday, September 4th, at Heart-O-the-Mart. Stop by.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Antiques in Vermont Summer Antiques Show July 13 Manchester, VT

I'll be set up in Manchester Center, Vermont, outdoors "on the green" in front of Riley Rink, Rt 7A, north of the village of Manchester Center, from 10am to 4pm. Like most summer shows in New England, we'll be under tents so the show will go on rain or shine.

Promoted by Carlson & Stevenson, this is their first summer show at the Riley Rink, site of their autumn show, Antiques In Vermont, which has wrapped up Vermont Antiques Week in October each year for the past 28 years.

I don't plan limit myself to country antiques (though I'll bring plenty); my offerings will span the Late Federal to the Art Deco periods (1815-1930) I plan to squeeze in some Garden items, a circa 1820 tiger maple chest of drawers made in Upper Canada, some Victorian Bamboo, Lighting, Rugs, a Quilt or two, Shaker smalls, some Stoneware, cast iron Kitchenalia, and a recent find, a Tramp Art Magazine Rack, never offered for sale before.

Who knows, if there's room I might bring some vintage Industrial Style pieces, and there's even a chance (if I can get some help) that I'll bring along the kitchen sink...not just any kitchen sink, mind you.

Hope to see you there on Saturday, July 13, 2013.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Summer Antiques Shows

I'm back from a busy couple of days at Brimfield and I'm happy to report that there was a lot of "good stuff" there on the field. The buyers seemed, in the words of one of my neighbors at Heart, to lack energy but the dealers obviously felt enough better about the economy that they brought better stuff, and more of it, than I've seen on the field in the last few years. Now it's time for the buyers to come 'round and step up, because that's what will actually make it happen.

I had hoped to be in Old Saybrook, CT, on June 1 to set up at the Old Saybrook Historical Society’s Inaugural Antique Show at the historic Gen. William Hart House, 350 Main Street. It opens at 9am and admission is free, yes, free! In addition to the dealers selling under tents, there will be several appraisers available between 10am and 1pm to give verbal appraisals of your antique and collectible items for a very reasonable fee that will help to support the Historical Society's projects. Alas, I won't be there... Instead I'll be in Chestertown, MD, at my wife's 50th college reunion where I intend to eat enough crab cake to make up for missing the Saybrook show.

A week later, however, on June 8, I plan to be in Cheshire, CT, set up at the Historical Society Antiques and Collectibles Sale on the Church Green across from the historic Hitchcock-Phillips House. This is a show I've never been to, even as a visitor, so I can't tell you what to expect (from anyone else, that is) but the antiques sale shares the green with the annual Strawberry Festival, so you know you really can't go wrong.

This is the "garden" time of the year, so among the things I'll be showing this spring (subject to prior sale) are a circa 1900 Rotating Bench that was originally intended to hold potted plants in your attached conservatory. It can still fill that purpose in your sunroom, or you may find an entirely new use for the three shelves, perhaps a server for an alfresco luncheon...

I also have what was touted as a "man-made hollow tree"...

It was designed as a working bee skep, but proved problematical because it took a long time to build out of strips of wood lath and because there was no efficient way to remove the honey when the time came except by following the custom of a bear, clawing it out in large chunks. Although it could still function today as a skep, it might better be seen as a wonderful sculpture, and if you were to add a light inside it, a most interesting nighttime addition to your garden.

And more, both large and small.

Then for July I am already planning what I'll take to the first Antiques in Vermont Summer Antiques Show to be held July 13 on the grass in front of Riley Rink in Manchester, VT. No question about what this show will be like. Tim Stevenson and Phyllis Carlson have been running the Fall Antiques in Vermont show for almost thirty years to wrap up Vermont Antiques Week each October and it is, hands down, as good a one-day show as you can expect to find, anywhere. We're all quite excited about being a part of this new show. More about that next time...

Monday, January 14, 2013

Mid-January Thaw

I had planned to be set up at Jack Donigian's Milford Antiques Show in Milford, NH, show on December 30, but we had not one but two decent snows late that week and I had to spend enough time clearing the driveways, paths and roofs that I didn't have time to pack the van to go to the show, so I missed what has been reported as a very good show for both buyers and sellers. So it goes.

Now, just two weeks later, we've had a January thaw and although the snow isn't gone by any means, there is less of it on the ground, and what's left isn't very pretty to look at, as you will see. All the same, I've managed to get out and find some interesting things in these New England attics and sheds.

 This spelter eagle, gilded and mounted on a walnut flagpole, is wonderfully sculpted front and back, and that rondel at the base is hand-carved ivory. It's a nice touch, something that I would only expect to find on a pole used in a Courtroom or other important public building. I have only the top half, five foot tall, of the pole itself, which makes it possible to get close to the eagle to admire its fine detail.

This is a paper mask, folded along the profile edge seen on the right, the forehead, nose, mouth, and chin. As a result when it's unfolded for use, it's a three dimensional mask Marked "Made in Japan" it was surely a Taishō era (1912-26) product. Clearly aimed for the Western market, what we know as Art Deco was almost as popular in Japan, prior to the increasing militarism of the 1930s, as it was in America.

 Often attributed to the Shakers, there is no substantial reason to suggest that these bentwood lapped knife trays actually we made or sold by the communities, which by the end of the 19th century were in decline, but it is nonetheless an attractive and useful object, two qualities which were certainly important to the Shakers, qualities which make it a desirable object to this day.

 And finally the picture of that dirty snow... which was also soft enough that this Bamboo Stand sank right in for two or three inches, so had had to resort to some plywood scraps to support it. The stand is a 19th C example that was probably made somewhere in southeast Asia: the Spanish East Indies (the Phillipines), Indo-China (Viet Nam), or the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia). The hot tool decoration on the legs and belt trim of the top and the shelf is especially attractive and indicative of the stand having been crafted by a village artisan rather than in a factory-type shop in either Europe or America.

I wasn't able to catch a last minute space at Marvin Getman's Boston Antiques & Design Show in Wilmington, MA, show this last weekend, about which I've also heard good things, so what's next? I don't know yet, but when I find out, this is where you'll see it. Until them, happy hunting.