Whitehall Blog

Archive for June, 2012

Elaine O’Neill Textiles Show

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Our good friend artist Elaine O’Neill has a charming show dedicated entirely to the charm of Chapel Hill (including our Villa!) open now through July 4th at the Horace Williams House, home of the Chapel Hill Preservation Society.

Main Image

This campus view from an earlier show typifies the charm of her work and the colorful visual feast of her pieces.


Two Courses Closed

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

We are sorry (and happy) to announce that two of our Summer Antiques Seminar Courses are now closed:  American Federal Furniture and Oriental Rugs.


A few spots remain in the Advanced Silver Seminar.  Do not be frightened by the term “advanced” as collectors and students at most levels will benefit enormously from this course!



Join Us As We Climb These Steps July 25th

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Only two more spaces remain for this course–we hope you do not miss out.  A few more spaces are available for the exceptional Advanced Silver Course and the fascinating Oriental Carpets Course.

So join us as we climb these steps the day after a full lecture on the American Federal Period and a barbecue with hands on with Federal pieces the evening before at The Villa!


Elizabeth waiting on Ayr Mount's Porch

The long legs on the left are Elizabeth.

Taken two weeks ago as we selected 45 pieces of the collection to be intimately examined by all of us.  From Boston to Charleston, from New York to North Carolina, we will examine a truly fascinating collection.

Ayr Mount–Investigate the Collection!

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

A bit of Information of about fabulous Ayr Mount, site for day two of our Summer Antiques Seminar–we will be turning upside down and inside out every piece of the great American Federal Period Furniture collection.

- Roper House
South Carolina
- Edgewater
New York
- Millford Plantation
South Carolina
- Ayr Mount
North Carolina
- George F. Baker Houses
New York
- Estate Cane Garden
St. Croix
The front lawn of Ayr Mount was known as The Green by four
generations of Kirklands.

Hillsborough, North Carolina
Directions, Tour & Rental

To Purchase
Ayr Mount, a Federal-style plantation house built in 1815 just outside historic Hillsborough, N.C. was home to William Kirkland and four generations of the Kirkland family for the next 170 years. In 1984, a nephew of the widow of the last direct Kirkland descendant sold the house to Richard H. Jenrette, who has meticulously restored and furnished Ayr Mount with period antiques and decorative arts, including many original Kirkland furnishings.Ayr Mount, unlike the other houses in the Classical American Homes Preservation Trust collection, looks deceptively simple, even austere on the outside. There are no soaring columns proclaiming its classicism. On the other hand, Ayr Mount is far grander – especially in the interior – than one might expect from a first look at the exterior. The ceiling height of 14 feet is unusual for this period as is the elaborate Federal period woodwork found throughout the house. Ayr Mount also was the first major residence built of brick in this area of colonial wood frame houses. At the time of its construction, at the end of the War of 1812, Ayr Mount was considered the finest residential structure in this central Carolina area.

Ayr Mount’s classical architectural design, with a two-story central block and flanking single story wings on either side, became the prototype for many similar houses in North Carolina in coming years.

Ayr Mount stands today on 265 acres – about half Kirkland’s original acreage – and includes several miles of winding paths for walking. The Poet’s Walk, a mile hike around Ayr Mount itself, offers the serenity of woods, meadows, the twisting and sparkling Eno River, and other features – including the old Indian Trading path, once the principal route to the interior of North Carolina, and the Kirkland family cemetery.

Inside Ayr Mount there are displayed many Kirkland pieces which indicate the original furnishings were stylish. These have been supplemented by Duncan Phyfe antiques and other decorative arts of the period. Of special interest is William Kirkland’s portrait, hanging in the place of honor over the dining room fireplace, where it has hung since 1815. Among the more recently acquired items of interest are a rare complete set of 51 etchings of North Carolina architecture by Louis Orr.

Only eight miles from Duke University campus and ten miles from the University of North Carolina campus at Chapel Hill, Ayr Mount is just outside the Hillsborough city limits. Hillsborough itself is one of the oldest communities in North Carolina and was an important center of trade at the time of the American Revolution, serving briefly as the state capital when the then capital of New Bern was held by the British. Hillsborough is full of charming old colonial houses, but Ayr Mount is the crown jewel and well worth a visit.


Show Season Draws To A Close!

Friday, June 8th, 2012
Our last show of the season–we view the season as September 1 to June 30–has ended with a pleasant show in Grosse Pointe, Michigan benefiting many area charities and the splendid choral school and choirs of Christ Church. The truck returned safely today–always a blessing–and the unloading began. By Saturday the shop will be full again!

Today Elizabeth spent much of the day planning our buying trip to France and England beginning on July 3 (missing the 4th to arrive instead in Paris!). As always we endeavor to spend frugally on flights (all with miles), hotels, and car rental in order to continue keeping our prices as low as possible! By using those fabulous on line sites such as Priceline, Kayak, Expedia, etc. Elizabeth saves us hundreds of dollars in expenses every trip. For instance our four star hotel in London is $71.00 — yes dollars, not pounds!

If you travel here or abroad without looking at these sites you are wasting money. And we always find wonderful places exactly in the areas we want to stay. Check them out next time you travel.