Wednesday
Nov162016

Delaware Antiques Show - 2016

It is always a treat to visit the Delaware Antiques Show. Classy, sophisticated, subtle - it does not knock one out with razzle dazzle but rather, demonstrates educated good taste. It is not boring. On the contrary, the dealers are quite knowledgable and are happy to discuss the unique items in their booths. Winterthur benefits from the proceeds of this lovely show.

Below are a few highlights from 2016.

Sofa sold by Sumpter Priddy

Pair of New England fan back Windsor side chairs - Stephen/Douglas

Unique volute or "ear" on a fan back Windsor side chair - Stephen/Douglas

Beautiful starburst quilt - Lowery Antiques

Fiddle Head-  Norwood Spirit of America Antiques

Beverly Norwood, Spirit of America Antiques & Lisa Hammell, Noonmark Antiques

Tuesday
Nov082016

Meet the President

Today is election day in the United States. As I write this, the outcome of the election is not clear. But, I do know who will be the next president of the Antiques Dealers Association of America in 2017 – Steven S. Powers.

I first got to know Steven as a dealer through visiting various high end antiques shows. His booths are always fresh and edgy. I like that. I also like what he has for sale in his cases –snuff bottles, boxes and Native American items. I collect snuff bottles so Steve’s booth is always a stop on my rounds at a show. Steve is a specialist in Native American Woodlands /Sculpture and an expert in treen, burl and folk art. He is your go to for early wood objects. He has written two books, “ North American Burl Treen: Colonial and Native American” and the woodlands volume of “Art of the Spirit World, The Steven Michaan Collection.”

Steven S. Powers is also a talented and prolific painter. My husband Charlie & I were fortunate to be in the area to attend an open house where Steve has his studio. It’s great to see an artist in his world. A few years ago, Steve used one of my photographs that I post on social media as a springboard for one of his paintings. Quite an honor for me, to be sure. The painting has sold.

You can check out his websites for antiques or paintings at  www.stevenspowers.com  and www.stevenpowerspainter.com

A sample of artwork by Steven S. Powers

Steve's palette - I love the green!

 

Thursday
Nov032016

Wallace Nutting and Wethersfield, Connecticut

Why would a cup of coffee lead to this blog post on Wallace Nutting? Because, we serendipitously stopped for a cup of coffee in beautiful Wethersfield , Connecticut and parked directly in front of the historic Joseph Webb House. Outside the Webb house was a placard announcing an exhibition inside. It was early Sunday morning and the house did not open until 1:00. But, there was a wonderfully helpful description board on the premises that I carefully read and learned a great deal.

I am very concerned about historic preservation and was delighted to find that Wallace Nutting shared my passion. Wallace Nutting (1861-1941) was a committed collector of antiques, an enthusiastic photographer, and prolific author. During his 80 years he managed to gather a significant Pilgrim Century Furniture collection, which was eventually purchased by J.P. Morgan, Jr. and donated to the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford, Connecticut. Nutting loved antique furniture and enjoyed creating household vignettes to photograph and promote historic preservation. The Joseph Webb House in Wethersfield, Connecticut was one site where Wallace Nutting could create his historically accurate settings. If a piece of furniture was not available, he had a band of trusty woodworkers create an accurate likeness. Over the years, an astonishing 1000 plus items were copied and created for Nutting. They were high quality and eventually sold to those who could afford them. His hand colored and signed photographs were synonymous with good taste at that time. I am not surprised to find these framed prints in good old collections when I am on a house call. See example we have for sale below.

In his spare time, Wallace Nutting wrote books on a variety of subjects dealing in various aspects of historic preservation and antique furniture. A few years ago, I went on a book buying spree and picked up a book by Wallace Nutting titled, “Pennsylvania Beautiful.” At the time, I intended to sell it, but, I have decided to keep it because the book contains a number of photographs of rural scenes from my childhood stomping grounds. There are also pen and ink illustrations by the author. What a prolific man!

By the way, the book “Pennsylvania Beautiful” was dedicated to J. Stogdell Stokes, who lived in Moorestown, New Jersey and was among other things, President of the Philadelphia Art Museum. I like that South Jersey connection.

The exhibition in Wethersfield ended on October 30, 2016 but, there is a Wallace Nutting Collector’s Club you can join at www.wallacenutting.org

Joseph Webb House

The Coffee House in Wethersfield, CT

This Wallace Nutting Hand colored photgraph is for sale at Noonmark Antiques

For more information and price of the above photograph, contact info@noonmarkantiques.com

 

 

 

Saturday
Oct222016

A Townsend - Goddard Primer

Here is a very brief synopsis on the Townsend - Goddard families.

These folks were Quakers and made their homes in the Easton Point section of Newport, Rhode Island.

Christopher Townsend (1701-1787) and brother Job Townsend ( 1699-1765) arrived in Newport in 1707 after living in Oyster Bay, New York. They became cabinet makers in Newport, Rhode Island.

John Townsend (1732-1809) was the son of Christopher Townsend.

Daniel Goddard (1697-1764) was born in Rhode Island, moved to Massachusetts, and returned to Newport in 1727.

John Goddard ( 1723-1785) the son of Daniel, was an apprentice to Job Townsend. John Goddard married Job’s daughter Hannah Townsend.

Identifying features of these cabinet makers are the block and shell configuration on case furniture and the claw & ball foot, with space between the talon and the ball. These features are not unique to the families but are a clue when considering identification of a piece of furniture.

Christopher Townsend - desk and bookcase

Daniel Goddard - block and shell detail

John Townsend, claw & ball foot, space between talon and ball

Attributed to John Goddard, game table

All images were obtained from the current "Art & Industry Rhode Island Furniture 1650-1830" exhibition at the Yale University Art Gallery.

Friday
Oct212016

Art & Industry in Early America, Rhode Island Furniture, 1650-1830

This past summer, we traveled to Newport, Rhode Island to visit the mansions on the coast. We did not have time to visit Hunter House on the other side of town and promised we would return someday, since this building houses examples of Townsend and Goddard furniture. With this in mind, I was excited to discover on the front page of an August edition of Antiques & the Arts Weekly,  a feature article on “ Art & Industry, Rhode Island Furniture, 1650-1830” I quickly looked through the article and realized this was an important exhibit. We booked an air bnb and traveled to New Haven, Connecticut on one of the finest autumn weekends you could imagine. This was our first trip to Yale University Art Gallery. Street parking was a snap and admission is free. We quickly made our way to the fourth floor and were awed by the examples of Townsend and Goddard furniture along with 130 other interesting items made by known and unknown Rhode Island cabinet makers, artists, and silversmiths. Comparing and contrasting was easy to do. Well written placards gave useful information. We spent 2 hours soaking it all in and hardly realized the time had passed. We came up for air, refilled the parking meter and returned to the fourth floor. This time, a dignified woman was leading a tour of the exhibit and intuition told me this must be Patricia E. Kane, curator of Friends of American Art at Yale as well as the American Decorative Arts. Pat was the spark behind this fabulous exhibition. She conceived of the idea over ten years ago and meanwhile established the rifa.art.yale.edu (Rhode Island Furniture Archive) which contains 4000 pieces of furniture and 2000 known woodworkers. All of this effort has made Pat Kane a worthy nominee for the ADA 2017 Award of Merit.

Pat’s goal was to ”Broaden the understanding of who the makers of furniture in Rhode Island were and what they were making.” Her painstaking research led to some surprising conclusions and reattributions.

The companion catalog is a hefty book with contributions by Kane herself, Dennis Carr, Nancy Goyne Evans, Jennifer N. Johnson, and Gary R. Sullivan. This tome discusses furniture created in Rhode Island from its earliest beginning to the end of the Federal Period. The exhibition runs until January 8, 2017 and is located at 1111 Chapel Street in New Haven, Connecticut.

Early veneered Rhode Island furniture

Compare & contrast

Stunning work by Daniel Goddard

Sample of Rhode Island Windsor chairs

The table attributed to John Goddard is featured in the painting by Gilbert Stuart!

Patricia E. Kane, curator, leads a tour through the exhibit.