Winterthur prepares for its annual antiques show with speakers

Caryl Huffaker
Caryl Huffaker

Fifty years ago Winterthur began holding its famous Delaware Antiques Show, considered among the top five antique shows in the US. This year’s show, celebrating the 50th anniversary, will be held Nov. 8 through 10 at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington. It will feature more than60 of the finest dealers from across the country.

Throughout its history the Delaware Antiques Show has been held at six different locations. It was held at the Wilcastle Center for 13 years, the hotel DuPont for three years, the Hagley Soda House for five years, the DuPont Country Club for 10 years, the Tatnall School for six years and the Chase Center on the Riverfront for the past 13 years.

Winterthur, the 175-room home-turned-museum, is known worldwide for its preeminent collection of American decorative arts, is the perfect host for a show on American antiques. The first chairman of the Delaware Antiques Show in 1964 was Arminda Dunning du Pont (Mrs. E.I. du Pont). The first honorary chairman was her cousin, Henry Francis du Pont, who cherished this position until his death.

There is a choice group of speakers at this year’s show. On Friday, Nov. 8 at 10 a.m. the key note speaker will be Lady Henrietta Spencer Churchill, who will share stories of her legendary home Blendheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill. A book signing will follow. Lady Churchill is honorary chairman, along with Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and first lady Carla Markell. Expert gardener and author Barbara Paul Robinson will speak on English garden legend Rosemary Verey and her contributions to the field of landscape design on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. Her lecture will be followed by a book signing.


The inaugural Wendell D. Garrett Award to honor one of Winterthur’s most illustrious alumni for achievement in melding decorative arts and history with originality and elegance will be presented on Saturday, Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. The recipient is Gerald W. R. Ward, senior consulting curator and the Katherine Lane Weems Senior Curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture Emeritus at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

The opening party on Nov. 7 runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Sponsor tickets for $250 give you early entrance at 5 p.m., patron tickets at$175 give you entrance at 6 p.m.; young collector (guests age 35 and under) are $125 each and get entrance at 6 p.m. For tickets call 800-448-3883.

General Admission is $15 with tickets valid for all three days and includes the special lectures.

Fox Chase

The Radley Run Country Club is inviting the public in to enjoy an elegant weekend in the country. On Saturday, Nov. 9, the bar will open from 5:30 p.m. From 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Colin McNeil will speak on “The Fox Chase of Today and Yesteryear” ($10).From 7:30 to 9 p.m. at Mansion House hot hors d’oeuvres will be served, there will be music ($15) plus a cash bar and swapping of tales.

On Sunday, Nov. 10 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. will be a parade of huntsmen, horses and hounds who will meet at the mansion, where the traditional stirup cup will be served. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. there is a lovely Sunday Brunch ($19.95 plus taxes and service). The Mather Farm was purchased by Charles Mather in 1897 from the Painter family. Mather was master of the fox hounds, known as the Brandywine Hounds at the time. It was sold in 1963 and converted into a state of the art equestrian facility, new kennels, a kennelman’s house, the huntsman’s house and the formal gardens.

For information or reservations call 610-793-1660.


Assistant curator Amanda C. Burdan will give a gallery talk on “Jamie Wyeth: Back to the Sea” on Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. The talk will focus on Wyeth’s choice of subject matter on Monhegan Island, emphasizing people rather than landscapes. Included with museum admission.


Author Richard Meryman, biographer of Andrew Wyeth, will speak on Friday, Nov. 15, at the Brandywine River Museum at 2 p.m. He will discuss his memories of Andrew Wyeth based on 45 years of recorded interviews with Wyeth, his family, friends and models.

Meryman met Wyeth when he wrote an article about him for Life in 1964, and the two kept in touch until Wyeth’s death in 2009. He has a correspondent, editor and staff writer at Life magazine for 23 years, written several books about Wyeth, “Andrew Wyeth” (1980 a major book of the artist’s paintings) and “Andrew Wyeth: a Secret Life” (1996). His recently published book, “Andrew Wyeth; A Spoken Self Portrait,” will also be available. Meryman will sign will sign copies of his book (limit of two signatures per customer following the presentation).


Earlier I mentioned the invitation for people to bring their computers to Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House in West Chester to fast click vote on the Passmore Williamson visitor’s book in prison to get it elected as the most valuable historic item at the Chester County Historical Society. It was a great success, as 53 people showed up for the click-a-thon and the visitor’s book received 58,000 votes that should help getting funding to restore the book. It does make one wonder about how the votes are done at “Dancing with the Stars.”


Wade Catts will be guest speaker for the Chester County Historical Society on Nov. 11 at the General Warren Inne, 9 Old Lancaster Road, Malvern. Catts will explore the srcheology of the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge in Delaware. The cost of the dinner and lecture is only $49 and will benefit the Paoli Battlefield Preservation Fund.


The Delaware Museum of Natural History is the first stop for the winning photographs from the Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition with the opening Nov. 8. The 29 most unusual photographs will be on display through Jan. 5. The top winner is a picture of a choetoceros debills capturing the complexity and stunning detail of this fragile helical chain.


The Nov. 14 concert at the Brandywine River Museum will feature harpist Caroline Cole, a graduate of the Julliard School and winner of the Wayne Barlow Prize for harp. Admission is $25 for adults and $20 for members and students. Full bar and small plate offerings will be available for purchase. The galleries open at 6 p.m. with the concert at 7:30 p.m.


Winterthur will have one of its elegant brunches on Nov. 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Along with the gourmet food guests will be treated tolively jazz. The cost is $27.95, children half price. For reservations call 302-888-4826.


The Hadley Memorial Fund will present Alan Fox in a free lecture on “Destiny in a Cross Cultural Perspective” on Friday, Nov. 8 at 8 p..m at the Lower Brandywine Presbyterian Church on Route 52 opposite Winterthur. Fox is Professor of Asian and comparative philosophy and religion at University of Delaware.


Master gardeners of the Penn State Extension will offer holiday greens workshop on Sunday, Dec. 8, at a house in West Chester at110 West Boot Road in Boot Road Park. Attendees will learn how to make a gorgeous swag to hang on their door. All materials will be provided

There will be two sessions, one from 1 to 2:15 p.m. and the other from2:45 to 4p.m. The cost is $25. Call 610-696-3500 to register.


The Kennett Flash has the following programs scheduled:

Nov. 7: Billy Burger CD Release Party with special guest Cliff Hills 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Nov. 8: The Kennedy/ J.D. Malone

Nov. 9: Johnny A.


The Arden Gild will host an evening with the Debo Band on Saturday, Nov. 9, with the concert beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets are $18 in advance and $22 on the day of.


The show Masters of Motown will be at the Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall in West Chester on Saturday, Nov. 9, at 7:30 p.m. The cast recreates an entire Motown experience. The 10-member cast with three female and three male vocalists reproduces the style, sound and feel that Motown brought with such artists as Stevie Wonder, The Four Tops, Diana Ross and the Supremes, The Jackson Five, The temptations etc. Tickets are $15 and $20. Call 610-436-3500.


Jane Austen’s masterpiece “Pride and Prejudice” will be performed at the Bristol Riverside Theatre through Nov. 24. This is being given on the 200th Anniversary of the beloved novel. For information or tickets go to


People’s Light & Theatre, 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern, is continuing its tradition of presenting an English pantomime (a Panto, and there are no mimes in a pantomime) where a skewed fairy tale is rewritten with strange and delightful results. The multiple award “Cinderella” will be presented again to the joy of audiences from age 5 to 105. For tickets call 610-64-3500.


The stage adaptation of the 1983 hit film “Flashdance” will be at the Academy of Music, Broad and Locust streets. It features the hit songs from the movie, all of which became top 10 hits on the radio, as well as 16 brand new songs that have been written for this. This tells the story of Alice Owens, a Pittsburg steel mill welder by day and a bar dancer by night, with dreams of becoming a professional performer. When romance complicates her life,she learns the power of love and how it can fuel the pursuit of her dreams. For tickets call 215-731-3333.


The Walnut Street Theatre Independence Studio on 3, 825 Walnut St., Philadelphia, will present “Sophie Tucker: The Last of the Red Hot Mamas,” the story of America’s queen of the double entendres, Nov. 19 through Dec. 29. Sophie was naughty in a loving way with a wink or two that was quite lady like. She became the inspiration for generations of comediennes including Bette Midler, The show is packed with musical hits from the 1920s, including her signature song “Some of These Days.” For tickets call 215-574-3550.

Caryl Huffaker lives in Kennett Township.