Whitehall Blog

Archive for February, 2013

Understanding Life in Georgia Hunt Country

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Thomasville, Georgia sits at the heart of the plantation region of  the southwestern part of the state about 30 miles north of Tallahassee, Florida.  Vast single family plantations fill the landscape for perhaps 50 miles in every direction, plantations dedicated to the preservation of the land and its abundant wildlife, yet also dedicated to hunting (quail in particular).  These historic pieces of land range from 7,500 acres for the smaller properties to 40,000 acres for the larger holdings.  This past week during the 24th annual Thomasville Antiques Show I was the very happy guest of one of the wonderful local families who have long supported this antiques show, this gracious Victorian town and this remarkable way of life which has brought the great families of America to annually take up residence for a few months, hunt, party, attend various arts events and simply spend quality time with their families and friends.  Now many have settled into a semi-permanent residency with perhaps some escape during the humid summer months.

I took two photos of a painting in the dining room, painted about 1994 by an artist I failed to annotate–sorry!  What is so interesting is it shows the landscape of towering pines with low ground cover for the quail families to hide and forage.  The hunt wagon is pulled by a mule or horse in a tradition dating back over one and a half centuries.  On the wagon are the dog care team with the pointers in particular caged on the wagon bed until the point of the hunt is reached.   Two dogs have gone on point.  The hunters are a short distance behind them–with guns.  The men on horseback to the right foreground are the guides who know every inch of these thousands of acres!  A retriever is sitting on the wagon seat–one of several that will retrieve the birds once they have been shot.  So there is a tidy division of labor among the hunting dogs–pointers and retrievers.  For three months every year this hunting scene is recreated hundreds of times across hundreds of thousands of acres as it has been since the middle of the 19th century.

A second full photo:

The next photo is fun because it recounts the creation of the painting from the sketch to finished piece.

And here I am being served breakfast while looking across the beautiful landscape from the breakfast area of the dining room!

Thomasville, Georgia Transformation

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

I am always amused when folks say:  “we can’t have a nice antiques show, we have no facilities” (by which they mean no convention center, no grand hotel ballroom, etc).  And then there is Thomasville, Georgia where the prefab metal buildings normally housing displays of vegetables, rabbits, pigs, roses and more at the fairgrounds are transformed!  Take a tour through this amazing transformation!

Tented facade connecting two "quonset huts"

What those tents are hiding!

The grand entry is through the flanking bathrooms for the fairgrounds, yet look at this magical transformation!

Grand Entrance

Dining area set-up

Tenting in the large metal hut!

All of the lighting was by candlelight from “chandeliers” of cascading fairy lights to massive candelabras.

Side view of our booth

The other side view

Turner Reuter, America's leading sporting art dealer

Katherine Denny Blair--fine English and bamboo!

Katherine also specializes in fine Old Sheffield Plate which covers her banquet table.

William Secord Gallery, America's leading expert on dog paintings

No show is complete without great Asian art and Antiques

More tomorrow with some photos of the plantation where I am visiting as well!


Friday, February 15th, 2013

Nashville was an exciting show with tremendous buying across the entire floor.  The carts carrying furniture, art and garden accessories to the loading docks seemed endless and from our booth at the entrance to the show we watched literally thousands of people carrying out antiques and garden items  (from exquisite plants to bundles of pussy willows).  I wish I had photographed our and other booths at the end of the show–simply decimated.  Here is a photo filled and I will tell you what disappeared to give you an idea.

Off to the Thomasville, Georgia Antiques Show on Tuesday–look for some posts from there!

Center View

From this photo the tall case clock left corner sold, as did many objects from the etagere.  Then the massive Regency sideboard, the French mid-century Maison Jansen table under it, the 18th century Delft jars of monumental size, the pair of Bernard Bloch terra cotta black figures all sold.  Additionally we sold a great watercolor of the Hudson River by Jasper Francis Cropsey painted in 1889 as well as Tiffany flatware, a sterling punch bowl and tray, a wonderful Dutch pastel portrait, bamboo tables, fireplace equipment–just on and on and on!  What fun–it seemed like the 1990′s!



Nashville–A Gorgeous Show

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

Last night the opening was well attended with nice sprinklings of sales, including us.  Today was a madhouse of attendance and sales, with modernism strong, followed by country French and formal/country English.  American furniture seemed to be the slowest area of sales.  Painted continental furniture was also clearly strong.  Accessories with zing were hot, but so were silver, tea caddies, fine art–and that is the Antiques side of the show.  The garden/horticultural side looked equally strong with vast quantities of pussy willows marching out the doors!

Here is a montage of the gardens and booths prior to opening as well as some shots of the opening party.  I hope you enjoy them!

This year featured a tribute to Albert Hadley, one of America’s leading designers and long time advisor to this show, who passed away in 2012.  Entering the show straight ahead is this tribute space.

our booth is the lead booth to the show on the right side–the antiques side, a 15′ x 25′ space designed to open from the side, shown here, and the front aisle.

Elizabeth just inside the booth--waiting to sell, drink, eat and party with old friends

The sparkle garden!

Lion Topiary with giant cool shades!

Elephant--with shades!--spraying himself every few minutes

Music Garden

Giant mother earth tree with music pounding from within to slowly pulsing lights

A typical garden side booth

Another garden area booth

A great poster dealer--another aspect of the garden side--less formal antiques and collectible areas

Our friend Betsy Greene’s South Pointe Gallery, Key West, Florida at:  www.authenticvintageposters.com/

Whitehall booth, long aisle one view

We are featuring many antiques from the collection of Sigourney Cheek, the co-founder of this show who sadly passed away in 2011.  More of her estate collections are on our website–each item is carefully documented as being from her collection.  The copper items on the mantle were from one of her many collections.

The armorial platters on the back wall once graced Sigourney's living room.

Another interior booth view

Jeff Littrell's booth shows a popular blend this year, modernism with continental antiques

Roberto Freitas' fabulous American booth

Paul Vandekar's magnificent porcelains, Chinese paintings, prints and more

Another great blended booth

Charlie Hanlon, show manager for Jacksonville and Tampa dealer has a stylish blend of modernism and antique.

Jayne Thompson Antiques--a fabulous traditional booth of superb quality

Caroline Faison's wonderful booth--now partnered with her grandson!

I confess, the wonderful pugs are going home with me!

Fabulous bling!

Of course no little show montage is complete without some glorious diamonds, emeralds, rubies and other magnificent bling!  This is the booth of Donnie Grissom and we will in April again combine our displays of antiques and jewelry in a huge booth at the entrance to The High Point Antique and Design Center.

These are only a few of over 120 antiques booths and garden booths.  By no means does this even begin to represent the diversity of this huge show.  If you cannot attend this weekend, mark your calendar for the first weekend of February, 2014 when the show will appear in the new Convention Center here in Nashville, Tennessee!



Nashville Set-up Begins!

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

After unloading our truck last night–Ari haven driven 11 hours from Chapel Hill–we ate dinner at 9 pm and collapsed, beginning again this morning at 9 am!

Here is Ari attaching a southern pine classical period mantle to the front of our booth.

No idea where the water drop looking stuff came from but given the billowing dust from garden construction projects on the floor, it could be monster sneeze drops floating through the air!!!!

A view of chaos!

Here Ari is gluing on a piece of veneer knocked loose in transit–no works in the clock yet–they get installed tomorrow.

Just out the back of the convention center is Broadway with it’s Music City dives filled 24/7 with live groups playing C&W music, etc.  We are on our way to the noon repast (a daily pig out on Jack’s Barbeque).  And here is the entrance:

Does my lunch make you want a midnight snack?

There are six different sauces from which to choose–my favorites are Jack’s Traditional and a Hot and Spicy, both served hot as well!

Nashville Antiques and Garden Show link for lectures, events, hours, and most importantly the dealers!   www.antiquesandgardenshow.com/

Come see us now ya hear!!!!