Thursday, July 1

"green" thinking when shopping for antiques....

going green with antiques
at the
2010 East Hampton's Mulford Farm Antique Show

The quiet before the storm the friday night kick-off party fundraiser became a perfect time to meet the vendors and talk about their antiques.

I did a post on the hunt for antiques last August and used the beautiful and historic Mulford Farm on James Lane in East Hampton as my project. This year I went back after meeting a few vendors that inspired me. First, I wrote an editorial for Dan's Papers magazine, a favorite East Hampton read for many in the area. The story ran the week leading up to the antique show. I interviewed two dealers from Massachusetts to get their perspective on the area, how they like this show in particular and what they love about collecting and selling antiques. See below the story -

Dan's Papers Magazine -July 8, 2010 The Hunt for Antiques at Mulford Farm By Tamara Matthews-Stephenson

A crafted plate, the scene at the windmill, a pleasant place to rest, and mussel prints.
Photos by Gabby Stephenson I am looking forward to one of my favorite events of the summer-the 2010 Mulford Farm Antique Show in East Hampton. The Mulford Farm includes a 17th Century house, homes and outbuildings that are among the oldest structures on the East End. This year the Antique Show breezes into town from July 9-11, and takes place over three days on the bucolic, rolling historic farm museum under the windmill on James Lane in East Hampton. The Bank of New York Mellon Wealth Management, House Beautiful magazine and Polo Ralph Lauren are corporate sponsors of the show and act as "financial angels" to the farm. An opening night Preview Cocktail Party kicks off the event. Interior designer Jamie Drake will act as the Honorary Chair, Brent Newsom will cater the festivities and Jane Hastay and Peter Martin Weiss will perform live music. The Mulford Farm Antique Show draws an eclectic, talented group of collectors and vendors from many communities. I recommend moving slowly around the pretty green lawn and allowing yourself the luxury to stop and chat with the vendors. Last year, as I meandered from tent to tent, I was struck by how engaging many of the vendors were as they shared their expertise and explanations of their collections. Last year, I was particularly interested in Majolica and chatted with a woman who had a display of Victorian metal baskets that were originally used to showcase the colorful earthenware. The hunt for antiques can be daunting, especially if you are just beginning, so I recommend this show to both novice and savvy collector, as there are a variety of antiques and vintage collections to choose from. This show has something for everyone. I am impressed with the range of items from Majolica, folk art, botanical prints, garden and outdoor antiques to vintage wood and rattan furnishings. Last year I sat with two out-of-town dealers from different areas of Massachusetts - Andrew Spindler from Gloucester and Lisa Whitney of of Whitney Antique Prints in Marion, Massachusetts. She and I shared tales of the history behind many of the incredible botanical prints in her collection. Whitney's father is an American dealer so she grew up around antiques, and she has vivid memories of her great grandmother's decoupage botanicals in the 1950s in Darien, Connecticut. Whitney began collecting English botanicals 20 years ago because they were relatively inexpensive compared to other antiques. She notes that for a mere $45 you can scoop up a hand-painted 18th century botanical. She has tapped into artistic framers as well, and plans to bring to the Mulford Farm Show works framed in interesting whitewash and French matting, as well as a hummingbird collection and a host of marine life prints. Next, I met with Andrew Spindler whose shop in the tiny, picturesque town of Essex is elegant and beautifully edited. Spindler has been in the business for many years, and after studying literature at both Brown and Yale, he relocated to London to work for Sotheby's. Andrew applies his educated palate and understanding of history to hunt for eclectic antiques including those of American, Italian, French and English origins. The common thread to his aesthetic seems to be clean sculptural lines. Spindler plans to bring a wide assortment of pieces to the Show, including an 1830s drop-leaf square farm table and a pie crust cocktail table in Chippendale style. He designs the space to create a mini version of his shop in Essex. The Mulford Farm Show is one of the year's most important fundraisers for the museum. The Mulford Farm is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is considered one of America's most significant, intact English colonial farmsteads. In addition to maintaining the structural integrity of these historic buildings, The East Hampton Historical Society interprets the social and natural history of the area through exhibits, living history programs, publications, tours, lectures and workshops. The Show is managed by Ferguson & D'Arruda, and I spoke with Tom of Ferguson & D'Arruda. As antique shop owners in Providence, Rhode Island, Ferguson & D'Arruda are able to bring their expertise of the business to the Show and add to the well-rounded group of exhibitors. Here is what I found at the show and some tidbits I learned about the vendors and their unique antiques....

Andrew Spindler Antiques. Essex, MA
each time I see Andrew and his collection I become more intriqued with his pieces, how he puts it all together, and his expanded knowledge of antiques and history. The soldier fireplace andirons above are from the Beauport section of Gloucester in a neighboring home called RED ROOF. This home was decorated by the famous owner of the now Beauport museum, Henry Sleeper. Beauport is a lovely gem tucked into a waterfront community in the quiet hamlet of Gloucester. The former home is now preserved into a museum, kept virutally intact from the days when Henry Sleeper collected beautiful colored glass and unique furnishings. There seems a connection between Sleeper (a creative colorist and possessed a decorating talent in his day) and a particular home in the Hamptons - to be discussed in an upcoming story....

The above is a framed red fabric that caught my eye in Andrew's booth. He told me a bit about this fabric, named for an area in Lanesville section of Gloucester called Folly Cove. A group of women designers collaborated to create this collection which often depicts women in repetitive and stylized events, such as the above red fabric of girl jumping rope. Beginning in the 1940s and spanning two decades these Gloucester women created this fabric now called Folly Cove. Andrew briefly told me the history of this hard-to-find fabric and wallpaper. He most likely has the largest collection of this collectors items.
Speaking with Andrew inspired me to dedicate a future story on this fabric, the Beauport area and Gloucester. My mother loved Gloucester passionately, and she lived in Rocky Neck area of Gloucester for fifteen years. Each and every time I visited (which was often) I discovered something new and artistic. The area has some similarities to eastern Long Island, yet is quite different all together, but the similarities lie in that Gloucester has a long history of attracting artists to the area for its incredible light and interesting people and culture. It has a slightly different temperment that the other neighboring, quiet New England towns. I look forward to giving you my take on the layers of history and culture and how that relates to the world of interior design today. Look for this blog post in the Fall months!

Andrew brought a mixture of unique items this year including Arts & Craft furniture, the inlaid wood hexagon shaped table above and Victorian dollhouse (I think it would make an interesting display cabinet for a unique pottery or porcelain collection in the right oversized kitchen).

When in Essex and heading back from a beautiful day at Singing Beach, don't forget to stop by Woodman's seafood restaurant - grab some clams and dine on the outside picnic tables. Top off the visit elegantly with a stop into Andrew's lovely shop in town....
Lisa Whitney of Marion, MA

Lisa's engaging smile and willingness to share her collections and knowledge are what drew me originally to her booth in 2009. She has an amazing sense of color paring - unique prints, frames and mattes combined (not your typical run of the mill botanicals). While I was visiting this year, the items seemed to fly off the walls faster than she could keep them on. By Friday evening, she has sold quite a bit of her stock and was working hard to keep her space looking fresh.
This tree stump-like lamp caught my eye - Lisa cut the material - longer metal piping to make a pair of lamps made. She has a creative way of mixing indoor and outdoor items together, blending them in a way that looks sophisticated yet playful. I see "shop owner" in her future.....
I bought two of these subtly colored prints from Lisa's collection (she had several) they have musical instruments woven into the collage - violins, a harp, and some details of hunt scenes as well. I think I'll frame them in natural faux bamboo frames to hang on my master bedroom tiffany blue walls. They are feminine yet not too much so due to the hunt scene and musical nods, but the blue bows topped it off for me.

other vendors I chatted with....
Jill Frankel of
Lawrence Farms Antiques & Interiors in Chappaqua, NY
Jill Frankel has a great collection of antique accessories including extensive Majolica pottery, which I covered in detail last August on Nest (look in the August 2009 archives for details on Majolica). She has other glass, pottery, porcelain, some prints and lots of goodies to choose from.
These blue and white jars below are stunning, and Jill has been collecting this series for many years. She told me they often can be found in yellow and white as well, but the punchy french blue color is her favorite. Jill laughs as she divulges that these were another era's version of "tupperware" truly for storage. You will sometimes see knock off versions at shows and shops, but a complete set as the one below is quite unique.

Eve Stone Antiques, Ltd.
Purveyors of metalware
Woodbridge, CT
Eve's booth caught my eye with the beautiful display of glistening copper nicely shined. After stopping by and learning more about these copper molds, I was intriqued. During the Victorian era candy, cake and aspic molds were yet another way to elaborately entertain throughout Europe and America. Eve may have the largest collection of antique molds in the country. She showed me some very old copper of cake molds marked and dated from Marie Antoinette's collection in Versaille. This walnut mold was another one of her older items. She has complete sets including salmon poachers and intricate candy molds in many sizes and shapes.
The American Wing vintage Rattan, Wicker & Bamboo and more.... Bridgehampton, New York

This gentleman was nice enough to share with me the subtle differences between wicker, rattan and bamboo. His collection is quite varied, and one or two pieces in a home evoke a very American feel. Because bamboo is mostly hollow, the pieces may not be as sturdy as the other styles, but became quite popular during the 1950s, while Wicker goes back farther in time and can often feel quite Victorian in style. I love it all!

Thanks for stopping by and seeing what I've been up to in July...
August is all about summer fun & easy entertaining!we are in the throes of it, trying to take all we can from this month before the cold weather settles in again.
whether you are hosting guests in your home in August or will be a visitor, come back to Nest in August for photographs/inspirations and bits of advice on the subject of stocking a comfortable guest room and creating fun and innovative meals for your weekend guests!


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading this story about this antique fair, which is one of my favorite ones in the Hamptons. I did not get to attend this year but it looks like a great amouont of stuff was on display. Look forward to your blogs every month. Hope you keep it up. thanks so much, Jessie

Anonymous said...

once again, thanks! I have been reading your blog these past few months and find it very informative and beautiful photographs with lots of fun points. Not sure how to leave a comment so hope this finds its way to you but want you to know that I am a fan. Barbara F.

Anonymous said...

I found you! Would love to catch up, please email me.
xoxo Amanda Bushey (Wessels)

Norbridge Antiques said...

I loved visiting the 2010 East Hampton Mulford Farm Antique Show through your blog. I'm making it a point to go one year. It looks very special.