Antiques Week in Philadelphia: The Philadelphia Antiques Show
May 9, 2012 | From its redesigned catalogue to its sleek new stands, the Philadelphia Antiques Show looked younger than its 51 years when it opened on Friday, April 27, for a five-day run.
Organized as a benefit for Penn Medicine, the show is one of the oldest and most traditional in the country with a reputation for top-flight American, English, and Chinese works of art, both fine and decorative.
Not everyone welcomed this year's move from Navy Pier to the Convention Center. But one look at this handsome new installation with its low lighting, sophisticated palette and large, airy stands had even the most jaded show goers convinced.
There was plenty to look at but, really, you had to be there. Not to be missed?
Arader Galleries' stunning, 1754 engraving of the Philadelphia harbor and skyline from the Jersey Shore by George Heap and Nicholas Scull, $585,000. It is one of a handful of known examples of this print;
A spectacular sheet iron and copper Angel Gabriel weathervane, $575,000, made by Mr. Whelden for the First Methodist Church in Springfield, Vt., around 1846, at Olde Hope Antiques;
Going to a new home, Christopher Rebollo's Philadelphia serpentine-back sofa, an outstanding example of a rare form combining Chippendale and Federal stylistic elements;
A watercolor on paper ship portrait, $65,000, of the "Sophia Godfrey" by Jurgan Fredrick Huge (1809-1878) of Bridgeport, Ct., dated 1870, at Nathan Liverant & Son;
A pair of inlaid Hepplewhite card tables, $85,000, by John Townsend of Newport, R.I., at Hirschl & Adler Galleries ;
An inverted pyriform silver coffee pot, circa 1775, with the mark of William Hollingshead of Philadelphia, 1760-1785, at Shrubsole;
A finely carved Indian cigar store chief, $75,000, with its first coat of paint at Giampietro Gallery;
A circa 1720-50 Boston Queen Anne veneered flat-top high chest of drawers,
$78,000 labeled "Best" in Sack's Fine Points of Furniture at Elliott & Grace Snyder;
A pair of watercolor on paper birth records, $145,000, for Joseph and Margaret Spangler of Stasburg, Va., by Henry Diefenback (1771-1837) at Kelly Kinzle;
An outsized folk-art carved and painted architectural installation, $785,000, by Noah Weiss of Bucks County, Pa., circa 1870-80, at Raccoon Creek;
One of Andrew Wyeth's signature Helga paintings of 1973 at Jonathan Boos;
Sumpter Priddy III's early to mid eighteenth century joined slat-back chair from the Cecil family of Maryland, $65,000, an austerely elegant piece;
A Marsden Hartley "Cactus" painting, $600,000, of 1918 at Ricco-Maresca Gallery, New York;
At Hyland Granby, a rare Thomas Buttersworth oil on canvas portrait of the sidewheeler J.B Schuyler , which ferried passengers between Orient Point and SagHarbor, N.Y. ;
William Vareika's pair of newly rediscovered ecclesiastical paintings by John LaFarge,$500,000.
We are told that there were some major sales although perhaps not enough to make all parties happy. Suffice it to say that the Philadelphia Antiques Show summoned every ounce of professionalism to pull off this classy debut at the Convention Center. Look for next year, when the fair dates are set for April 12-16, to be even better