Upcoming Auctions in the Mid-Atlantic


Saturday, October 24, 2009, Tillet& Damewood Auctions, Leesburg, Virginia, features antique furniture, vintage glass and pottery, jewelry and collectibles


Sunday & Monday, October 25 & 26, 2009, Alex Coopers Auctioneers, Washington, DC, Antique Furniture, Sterling Silver, American & European Paintings & Artwork


Saturday & Sunday, November 7 & 8, 2009, Cordier Antiques & Auctions, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania will feature a 1954 Fender Stratocaster electric guitar and bronze sculptures


Upcoming Estate Sales


Estate Sale, Thursday – Saturday, October 22 – 24, 2009, 11405 Twining Lane, Potomac, Maryland featuring rugs, Asian art, Limoges boxes and antique furniture:   301.871.1643


Estate Sale, Thursday – Saturday, October 22 – 24, 2009, 8402 Reflection Lane, Vienna, Virginia featuring African art, furniture, lamps and decorative:  703.385.5452


Estate Sale, Thursday – Saturday, October 22 – 24, 2009, 511 Clinton Street, Jamestown, New York featuring vintage dolls, collectibles, vintage prints and art:  716.569.3449


Estate Sale, Thursday – Saturday, October 22 – 24, 2009, 225 Old Lancaster Avenue, Bala Cynwood, Pennsylvania featuring antique furniture, books & art:  610.446.0504


More than seventy signed will go under the auction hammer to benefit the Hibiscus Children’s Center in Florida on November 9-24, 2009. This online auction will feature some rare books and other interesting signed books by such iconic figures as President Barack Obama, JK Rowling, Jay Leno, Bill Cosby, Donald Trump and others.  Hibiscus Children’s Center in a non-profit organization that addresses abuse and neglect.  More info about this auction . . . .


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Furniture Designer Thomas Sheraton


A few months ago, we wrote about The Georgian Period and Thomas Chippendale.  Many people who admire or collect antique furniture are very familiar with Thomas Chippendale and George Hepplewhite; and rightly so, as these are two of the most talented and gifted furniture designers of the 1700’s; a period that was full of gifted designers.  What a lot of people don’t realize is that there was a third member of that group that was equally talented craftsman whose name is not as well known unless you are really into period furniture.  His name was Thomas Sheraton.


Although we know that Sheraton was born in 1751 in Stockton on Tees in England, not much has been written about his personal life or what led him to become one of the most sought after furniture designers of the time.   An interesting fact is that the first book penned by Sheraton was indeed a religious tome and had nothing to do with furniture design.  It wasn’t until he moved to London in about 1790 that he was finally recognized as a premier designer and teacher/consultant of other craftsmen.  In 1791, he published a four book series titled, The Cabinet Maker’s and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book.


This series of books as well as the design and encyclopedic books that followed were hugely popular with craftsmen and cabinetmakers and many of them built Sheraton Furniture.  It is widely believed that Thomas Sheraton did not ever build a piece of furniture and that furniture attributed to him is indeed built in his “style” or “design” but never by his hand.  Most of Sheraton’s designs were in the Louis XVI pattern and featured delicate and simple legs, gorgeous inlay and highly polished woods as well as classical motifs.  He used a lot of satinwood and mahogany in his designs and used rosewood, kingwood and zebrawood for the most beautiful and intricate inlay designs.


Where to Find Sheraton Furniture – Upcoming Shows


This Saturday and Sunday, October 24 & 25, 2009, the Salt City Autumn Antiques Show will take place at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, New York.  This annual antiques show which attracts over two hundred and fifty dealers from around the world features period antique furniture, vintage pottery and glass, estate jewelry, vintage toys and lighting as well as rugs, antique lighting and quilts.  It runs from 9 am to 5 pm on both days.


People in the DC metro area are very familiar with the DC Big Flea which takes place every few months in Chantilly, Virginia . . . well this Saturday and Sunday is the debut of the Baltimore Big Flea run by the same folks of DC Big Flea fame.  This antique show, which will take place at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, has attracted many dealers from around the country featuring antique furniture and vintage collectibles as well as vintage posters, fine art and vintage toys. 


October 25, 2009, Octoberfest Toy Show, Nur Shrine Temple, New Castle, Delaware


October 24-25, 2009, Greenberg’s Train & Toy Show, Fredericksburg Expo Center, Fredericksburg, Virginia


October 30 – November 1, 2009, The New York Antiques Show, Wallace Hall Church of St. Ignatius, New York, New York


October 30 – November 1, 2009, Treasures Show & Sale, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Celebrating 50 years, The Annual Manhasset Antiques Show will take place on Saturday & Sunday, October 30 – November 1, 2009 at the Congregational Church of Manhasset on Long Island, New York.  This antique show usually attracts over fifty of the top antiques and collectibles dealers in the country and features period antique furniture, antique jewelry, vintage linens, porcelains, pottery and art glass.  The show runs until 5 pm both days.


What is Inlay?


Inlay is the technique of inserting pieces of materials into cutouts of contrasting materials.  This technique was used by many designers, who use this type of technique to decorate items with mother of pearl or ivory.  Many of us have seen examples of this in Asian pieces, where black lacquered furniture has mother of pearl designs inset into the furniture creating a beautiful mosaic type design.  In many cases, they also used Rosewood as the base and ivory or shells to create the designs. However, one of the most prolific furniture designers that used this technique was Thomas Sheraton.

Sheraton did not use ivory, mother of pearl or shells in his inlay furniture designs, instead opting to use rosewood or kingwood to create the designs inset on a rosewood piece of furniture.  Oversimplified, in order to achieve these beautiful designs, the craftsman must first cut the form from a pattern or picture into the base.  Using the same pattern, the craftsman then cuts the same pattern or picture from a contrasting piece of wood.  The cutout is then inserted in the base where the original pattern was first removed, creating a contrast in the colors of the base wood and the inset wood.

Dumb Mikey Takes a Vacation


Mikey goes to see his travel agent.  "Hey Larry, going away on holiday again?"  "Yes, but I'd like to try something different this time."  "Okay,”  says the agent,  “what did you have in mind?."  "You know last year you suggested Hawaii and when I returned my wife was pregnant."  "Yes, but. . ."   "And the year before you suggested Bermuda and when I returned my wife was pregnant."  "Yes, but. . ."   "And the year before that I went to Bali and when I returned my wife was pregnant."  "Yes."  "Well!”  exclaims Mikey,  “Could you suggest something cheaper this year so that I can take her with me?"



Recent Auction of Tiffany Salt & Pepper Shakers


At the Richard D. Hatch Gallery in Flat Rock, North Carolina recently, a pair of Tiffany sterling silver salt and pepper shakers brought in more that $4,000.  The salt & pepper shakers measured about 3.75 inches tall and were in the Flying Crane pattern.  This auction, which included more than 1400 lots of antiques and collectibles grossed more than $250,000 and attracted more than 340 online bidders from around the world.  The winner of the Tiffany salt & pepper shakers was a buyer from New York.


Nothing can be further from the truth.  Take for example, a nice antique pocket watch which is not only intricately designed but a beautiful work of art. It can be expensive but also an excellent investment.  So much so, that a lot of these antique pocket watches end up in vast collections of the wealthy or in museums; like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York where they have a large and interesting display of some of the world’s rarest and most stunning watches.  The pocket watch pictured on the right is a part of that collection at the MET.  It depicts in intricate detail, Louis XIV on horseback and may have been made for a young king.  And interestingly enough he may not have carried it in his pocket.


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The name pocket watch may not actually be an appropriate name for these types of watches because back in the day the wealthy wanted to show everyone else how wealthy they were.  Often they wore these clocks around their necks suspended by either fancy ribbons or ornate chains; in the style of Flavor Fav, the hip hop artist with the big clock around his neck.  He may or may not wear his clock around his neck for the same reason, but one thing may be certain . . . his clock is not as fancy or delicate as the antique pocket watches of the past.  In fact, I have wonder if he tried to sell his clock to the people in the commercial, how much money would he get? 


Many people confuse inlay with marquetry or parquetry which were both later used by other designers.  In these techniques the cutout and inserts are done on veneer panels that are then used to cover a piece of furniture.  Parquetry is the term used for geometrical patterns.


Antique Pocket Watches a Good Investment


I was watching a television program the other day and a commercial for one of those companies that offer to buy your unwanted jewelry came on.  I’m sure you have all seen them, they are like vultures; they know that in a down economy, people are more apt to sell their valuables and take pennies on the dollar for things.  This particular commercial made me laugh because they had the audacity to say that jewelry that is just lying around your home is “never a good investment.” Then of course they make a pitch for you to come on down and sell it to them. 


Newsletter 10-23-2009