The 55th Annual Delaware Antique show last weekend (Nov 9-11, 2018) was its usual flawless event held at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington.
As we entered the show, there was an impressive display of paintings by well-known local artists and illustrators including N.C. Wyeth, Howard Pyle and Schounever, as well as a display of old country furniture and silhouettes. These exhibits were a fine introduction to the top of the line articles available throughout the show by more than 60 distinguished dealers.
The opening party offered shrimp and rice, risotto, lollipop lamb chops and individual beef wellingtons which were a big hit. While there were tables set up, most guests ate on the fly as they were busy greeting friends and admiring the beautiful displays.
One of the guests was Charles Guerin (Executive Director of Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover, Delaware) and wife Catherine with two of the museum staff Ryan Grober and Reggie Lynch. They spoke glowingly of the current exhibit at the Biggs Museum featuring paintings by John James Audubon and impressive sculptures inspired by the Audubon paintings. This extraordinary show will close after Thanksgiving.
When I said I had always been concerned that Audubon massacred so many birds for use while he painted them, Mr. Guerin reminded me that at the time and location of Audubon’s work there were many more birds and species than we currently have. We discussed an Elephant Edition of an Audubon book that sold in the late 1950’s for around $70,000. He estimated that edition on today’s marked would sell for between 3 and 4 million dollars.
One of the first displays that caught any eyes was a beautiful bronze statue called “The Girl with Squirrel” by the late Nancy DuPont Reynolds Cooch who had been a resident of the Kennett Square, PA area. This sculpture was one of her early works before she became well known for her innovative sculptures in Lucite.
The show had over 65 vendors who offered almost every kind of antique from exquisite knickknacks to fine jewelry, paintings, furnishings, and each with a tale to tell. Money made from the antique show benefits the educational programming and preservation of American history and objects at Winterthur Museum, Gardens and Library.
Congratulations to Honorary show chair Charlotte Moss and show chairs Diana du Pont and Elizabeth Fiechter.