Important American Furniture, Folk Art and Silver New York, January 19, 2018

The 2018 Winter Antiques events are getting under way in New York City. Charlie and I stopped in to Christie's Auction House at Rockefeller Center to check out the preview. Here are a few of my favs.

Charlie takes a look at a Chippendale Mahogany Block Front Chest of Drawers, Boston 1760-1780 Estimate $60,000 - $90,000.

Queen Anne Walnut veneered High Chest of Drawers and Dressing Table, 1735-1760

Estimate $200,000-$400,000.

Silk on Linen Sampler, 1840, Burlington, NJ   Estimate- $20,000 - $30,000. Sold for $17,500.

Leaping Stag Weathervane 1875, New York    Estimate $8,000-$12,000. Sold for $27,500.

19th Century Pennsylvania Farm Scene  Estimate $30,000 - $50,000. Sold for $68,750.

Lita and a friend at the Christie's preview.

The auction takes place on January 19, 2018 at 11:00, 20 Rockerfeller Plaza, New York.



Morristown Armory Antiques Show October 2017

"Noonmark Antiques, where have you been? You haven't posted since August 2017." Well, Charlie and I packed up 35+ years of accumulated memories and practical neccessities and moved to a gorgeous little town, an easy 30 minute express train ride to Penn Station New York. I am smitten with Maplewood, New Jersey and find it a privilege to live in this beautiful, friendly, hoppin' village. And because we live here now, there is no excuse for us to miss the Morristown Armory Antiques Show this weekend.

We arrived a bit after the opening and judging by the crowd, I imagine there may have been a line. By the way, it's a lovely hilly ride to the armory, perfect for antiquing.

We saw a few other ADA dealers there shopping the show. They left weighed down with their purchases "to sell." What were a few of my favorite things that I saw? Well, hands down, Charlie and I both went gaga over a pair of huge and heavy black and white glass windows leaning nonchalantly against a wall. They are wonderful. They came from a 1920's  factory and according to dealer Jim McGrath, they have been in his warehouse until now. There are a few issues but he has a guy who can repair them. These are great folks. If you have a spot for them, go check them out.

Jim McGrath, Massachusettes $6,500. for the pair

Other favorites? A set of animal shaped iron carnival targets in red/orange paint. They were pretty cool. A Stubbs ship painting for $4,500. A 1960's coffee set for $70. (very sleek) There is a lot to see. Worth the trip. Admission is only $5.00 Open today until 6:00 and tomorrow October 29 from 11-5.

The Morristown National Guard Armory, 430 Western Avenue Morristown, NJ 07960




Prospect Hill Plantation

Charlie and I enjoy exploring different restaurants when we travel. Most of the time, I will carefully research an area to find the highest rated restaurants since we like to have a good experience. For our Virginia trip, I discovered the Prospect Hill Plantation in Louisa County, Virginia. The Prospect Hill Plantation is a Bed and Breakfast that also serves dinner. The ratings were quite high so I made a reservation. We went on a Wednesday evening and there were no other diners in the intimate dining room. Uh oh, we wondered, did we make the wrong choice?

Not at all! We were treated to one of the best meals we have ever had, I would say, one of the top ten meals of our lives, ranking alongside Le Bec Fin. The opening salad was an extraordinary bundle of prepared vegetables, wrapped in romaine letteuce leaves and topped with artistic flair.

My entre was a carefully constructed tower of tender chicken medallions and butterfly shrimp topped with lime/tequilla sauce, which was quite delicious. But, the astonishing dessert was a beautiful baked meringue swan of strawberry mousse and a bit of candle concealed in a pastry sculpture. How did this chef know I was a musician or was it sheer coincidence, I am not sure, but I appreciated the treble clef signs on the plate. A masterful meal and all for us- no on else entered the restaurant. I should have found out the chef's name, they deserve recognition here.

Afterwards, we strolled the family owned grounds, caught another perfect sunset, and enjoyed the various millstones incorporated into the sidewalks. We were told that one of the buildings on the property dates to the late 1600's.

Our dinner at Prospect Hill Plantation was a gourmet dining experience. The room is quite small. I would not recommend taking young children although teenagers may be impressed by the creative displays.


Bluebird Cottage at Oliver Creek Farm

From time to time, folks ask me where we like to stay while on the road. I highly recommend Bluebird Cottage at Oliver Creek Farm air bnb in Troy, Virginia. The 2 story house is located on Ghost Dance Road on a very private farm. The grounds are well kept and much nicer than I expected. Justine and her husband own the farm. Her restored  Victorian farmhouse is about 100 feet away so there is plenty of privacy. Justine is very interesting and the cottage is loaded with books, particularly on the topic of photography. I would definitely return to this lovely secluded location. I could spend time here just in the cottage itself, perusing the books or working on my own research. The farm is close to Monticello and Montpelier.

If you enjoy photographing sunsets, this meadow will give you ample opportunity.

Bluebird Cottage at Oliver Creek Farm

Where the afternoon sky meets the evening sky

I believe there was a Civil War battle near here. Gives me a bit of a shudder to think.


James Madison's Montpelier

James Madison's Montpelier

James Madison's view of the Blue Ridge Mountains

It is always exciting to sell an antique item. It is especially exciting to sell a piece to an institution because we know that many more people will have the opportunity to observe an important piece of history.

Noonmark Antiques had within its collection, a pair of matching fan back  brace back Windsor chairs by Philadelphia maker William Cox. The chairs were in superb condition and one was branded “Cox” underneath the seat.

A few years ago, we received a call from Grant Quertermous, then Assistant Curator at Montpelier, James Madison’s home in Virginia. Grant  purchased the fan back Windsor chairs for Montpelier. Since that time, we have been curious to see the chairs in their new home. Our trip to Virginia provided us the opportunity to see the chairs. Charlie and I were very excited and could not wait to begin the tour. We went through the downstairs, room by room, no chairs. I began to steel myself for disappointment as I made my way to the second floor. Maybe the chairs were not part of the exhibition. But then, in “Mr. Madison’s Room,” right beside the bed where he uttered his last words, was one of the fan back chairs! What a special honor it was to see our chair here in James Madison’s room.

We continued on with the tour into Mr. Madison’s library and there was the other fan back Windsor, in front of the fireplace. I had the urge to rearrange it, after all I knew this chair so well and wanted to show off its lovely proportions. But, I resisted and finished the tour.

Our guide offered a very comprehensive explanation of Madison’s life, maybe because there were fewer people here than at the other two mansions we saw. Montpelier has only been open to the public since 2008.

Back porch

Dolley Madison was a larger than life figure in my young mind when I first read about her as a young child. It was certainly an honor to see her beautiful home.

Montpelier had several owners before it became open to the public. William DuPont purchased the home in 1901. Extensive renovations were made to the house only to be demolished when the home was purchased to be displayed in its original form.