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 (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.


Busy Summer!

This summer was jam packed with lots of travel and good sales through our business. We are excited about our brokering business which is going well. If you are actively looking for an item to add to your collection or to decorate your space, let us know. We can help you. Or, if you wish to sell a specific item, we would be happy to locate a buyer for you. Our fee is very reasonable. Contact us at or call 609-313-8275.

Below are some highlights of items that went to new homes this summer:

Joseph Hollinshead Tall Case Clock, made in Burlington, NJ

A set of 6 branded William McElroy Windsor chairs, made in Moorestown, NJ, circa 1790

Brand on one of the chairs. All 6 were branded.

A selection of fine vintage Southwest turquoise & sterling jewelry were purchased for holiday gifts.

Large herb gathering basket sold at our booth in Mullica Hill in June.

Ware Rocking Chair from Roadstown, NJ went to a discriminating collector's pristine home.

A Richmond Stove Company turtle match safe was quickly snapped up by a knowledgable dealer.

As Antiques Dealers Association of America members, all our items are guaranteed.






Noonmark Vacations

Where do busy Noonmark Antiques dealers go for vacation? Why, the Adirondacks, of course! We spent a blissful week with our family in Keene, New York. The fresh air revived us and we had a wonderful time hiking, shopping, dining, touristing, composing (Charlie) and antiquing  (Lisa) We can't wait to return!

Noonmark Mountain

The fam sets out to hike a bit of Noonmark Mountain. We encountered our first ever bear sighting. Little cub & mama.

Baby Lucy slept through it all!

My favorite view of Mirror Lake from Taste Bistro at Mirror Lake Inn

My favorite entre at Taste Bistro at Mirror Lake Inn - Fisherman's Stew paired with Mer Soleil chardonnay

Captivating Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, NY.

Lake Placid itself!

Lovely straw flowers by Mirror Lake Inn



The MacDowell Colony

Here are some excerpts from a whirlwind weekend we spent with our gracious & generous host, composer Andrew Rudin at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire. The MacDowell Colony is a 400 acre selected artist's retreat, founded in 1907 by Edward & Marian MacDowell. Once a year,on this particular weekend in August, the Colony opens its doors to visitors to participate in the annual Medal Day festivities. The Edward MacDowell Medal is presented to an artist of enduring vision and creativity. Nobel & Pulitzer prize winning novelist Toni Morrison was the recipient of the 2016 Medal. She is hailed as " the greatest living American novelist" by Michael Chabon, board chair of the Colony.
Composer and our dear friend Andrew Rudin has had the privilege of being a fellow here for a number of years and treated Charlie & I to a series of wonderful tours around the site as well as a beautiful dinner and delicious lunch.It was a whirlwind weekend filled with beauty, creativity, food for thought, 4 hour long thunderstorms, magnificent fresh air, nature, and dispensed wisdom. A day later, I was still processing all I had seen and heard and was quite grateful for the experience. Thank you, Andrew!

The Entrance

Inside the entrance

The Library

One of the cottages where the "fellows' create their works of art, be it literary, music, or visual.


Toni Morrison gives a compelling speech to a crowd of 2400 adoring fans after receiving the medal.


Hyde Hall, Cooperstown, New York

What to do on a sunny day with chance of showers in Cooperstown, New York? I had a number of options - Fenimore Art Museum, Farmer's Museum, Architecture Walking Tour. Instead, I chose to wander down Main Street and discovered the fantastic book store, Willis Monie Books. I spent about an hour there and came away staggering under a load of books. While there, I decided that the 1:00 tour at Hyde Hall should be the next thing on my agenda. Hyde Hall was the home of George Clark (1768-1835) a wealthy English landowner, who married the widow of James Fenimore Cooper's oldest brother. George Clark bought some land on Lake Otsego in 1817 which was located beside his new wife's property. He commissioned a grand house with wings that faced a central courtyard. The construction of the mansion lasted from 1817-1834 and was considered the largest private home of that time. Since this seems to be the summer of grand homes, I was curious to visit this National Landmark.

First of all, I must mention that our guide Linda, was excellent. She had only been a docent for two weeks, but she was very knowledgable about everything to do with Hyde Hall and then some. I learned a few things, which was great!

Hyde Hall, Cooperstown, New York.

I asked if there were any plans for landscaping. Linda explained that for safety reasons, shrubbery and trees were not ever planted. She also told us that the crunchy stones on the driveway announced guests or intruders.


The front entry.

Hyde Hall has had massive amounts of water damage over the years. And so, when one enters the front hall, the very strong odor of mildew is present. I was surprised at this, but, as the tour continued, I began to understand why. Notice, there is no grand sweeping stairway visible.

Left parlor.

Many of the furnishings of the mansion are original to the house. They had been sold at auction and stalwart volunteers are hunting them down and purchasing them back.

View from the parlor, across the front entry to the dining room.

Dining room, to the right of the entry.

Original furnishings in a smaller room off of the parlor.

The room as it is interpreted today.

Beneath this window is a small door.The sash would slide up and farmers entered to pay their rent to Mr. Clark.  Below this window is a trap door, which leads to the basement where Mr. Clark kept his safe.

View from a side wing of the house to Otsego Lake.

The courtyard.

Original plaster mold.

Work is contiually in progress here. This plaster mold is used for ceiling decoration.

The hidden stairway behind the wall of the front entry. It is quite beautiful and a shame it is not in full view. Maybe to prevent heat from rising to the third level as an economical measure.

This piece of furniture is original to the house and held the leaves to the dining room table.

Tickets for the Hyde Hall tour are $12. I would not bring children to this tour. There was a boy about 8 years old and he was quite bored. He sat on the furnishings and the docent very kindly reminded him not to sit on these original pieces. However, I was delighted by the tour and could have asked questions for hours. Very informative and very helpful. Interesting furniture and lighting. Many of the rooms are incomplete. It is a fascinating work in progress.