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2016 Annual Antique Events Caleendar

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24 Water Street
Palmer, MA 01069


February 2016


In My Opinion
Aggregated Aggravation

John Fiske

I’m going to begin this month with someone else’s words. They come from Andrew Richmond of Garth’s Auctions, and they lit a bulb in my mind.

“As we write this, there are, at this very exact moment, more than 500 auctions on LiveAuctioneers. There are currently nearly 2,000 cupboards/armoires coming up for auction on Invaluable. There are in excess of 250 stoneware lots, just now, on BidSquare. There are, according to AuctionZip, roughly 100 auctions within 50 miles of our house in the next seven days. And, of course, on eBay there are a staggering 2,000,000 items currently listed in the antiques category. (Yes, yes, we know what passes for “antique” in eBay. Play along.)” Maine Antique Digest, January 2016, 3-E.


In My Opinion Archives

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Canning and Crate Labels
The art of mass distribution

Melody Amsel-Arieli
All photos courtesy of www.thelabelman.com.

In times past, when America was largely rural, people ate local foods in season, like radishes in springtime, sweet corn in summer and pumpkins in autumn. At the height of each harvest, they also pared, parched and preserved whatever remained for the coming winter. They tucked carrots, onions and beets in root cellars, lined pantry shelves with crocks of pickles and jams, and packed barrels with shredded cabbage, which, over time, became savory sauerkraut.


The Passion of a Magnate
The William Burrell Collection in Glasgow

Jenny McNeely
All photos copyright CSG CIC Glasgow Museums’ Collection

Dashing into Glasgow’s Burrell Collection through the pouring rain, I was unaware I had already encountered the museum’s greatest enemy. The building, completed in 1983, may be one of the city’s most interesting examples of post-war architecture, but it is now unfit for its purpose. Buckets dot corridors and the upper galleries are closed due to irreversible water damage. Only 20 percent of the 9,000 strong collection is on show, partly due to the museum’s pared-back aesthetic, but also because the items need to be protected from the damp. Museum Manager Muriel King showed me around: “It’s not a sealed antiseptic box, there’s a real sense of the changing seasons, different weather, different times of day.” A touch more sealant might have been just the thing... The museum is tucked away in a quiet corner of Pollok Park in South Glasgow. Walking its light-filled corridors with the woods pressing against the glass walls instils a feeling of calm, but this is a collection on the cusp of great change, one that has to reinvent itself to survive.


A Charlestown Sugar Bowl
The rediscovery of a redware masterpiece

Justin Thomas
Photos by the author unless otherwise credited

Today, what is important in American pottery is determined by the eye of the beholder. It may be the desire for a certain object or a specific maker, but it could also be as simple as the aesthetic qualities of the form, skill and glaze. If history has proven anything, it is that what was overlooked in the past can be seen a highly significant today. Such as the case with a piece of eighteenth-century slip-decorated red earthenware that sold at a Tim Gould sale in Augusta, Maine, in November of 2014.


Hampton and the Ridgelys
Luxury and slavery in early Maryland

Barbara Miller Beem
Images courtesy Barbara Miller Beem

Charles Ridgely, “the Builder;” Charles Carnan Ridgely, “the Governor;” the Carrolls and the McHenrys, - all prominent families in the tapestry of Maryland history. These are the men and women who made their home at Hampton, once deemed a house grander than any other in America.


Yours Sincerely

John Fiske

Just before Christmas, Lisa and I were in a garden store buying evergreen garlands and wreaths. I was being hubbily helpful – i.e. I was the good husband agreeing that this wreath was definitely better than that one, and that that garland would look great over our overmantel.

But then, out of the corner of my eye, I glimpsed some boxes labeled “Fatwood.” If you read me regularly, you’ll know that I’m not one who thinks that history should be confined to the past – the more of it that we can coax into the present, the better we’ll all be. I thought that fatwood was something whose day had long passed, but those fatwood boxes were lined up on the shelf just like any other commodity. Maybe I’m a deficient shopper, but I’d never seen fatwood for sale. I’m sure that many of you will have difficulty keeping the smirk off your faces at my deficiency.


Yours Sincerely Archives



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