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Antiques Considered - January 14, 2009

Last Saturday our family made the annual pilgrimage to the Washington Antiques Show.  This year offered a new venue, the Katzen Center at American University.  There, on three floors, one could visit with some of the finest antiques dealers from across the country, and see some of the best things that they had to sell.

As has been traditional for decades the first exhibitor which one encountered was Gary E. Young from Centreville, Maryland.  As usual, he presented an exquisite collection of pieces of furniture and works of art.  He deals in all aspects of the decorative arts from the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Moments before we arrived he had sold a pair of George III mahogany side chairs which were among the finest items in the show.  He also showed a wonderful mahogany library ladder, and a pair of continental Gothic Revival wall brackets.

Malcolm Magruder from Millwood, Virginia, had a great array of American and English antiques, which included three Staffordshire figurines by Obediah Sherratt, representing Saint Paul, Elijah, and The Widow.  At most shows I rarely see even two of his pieces.

The doyenne of the Washington Show is Elinor Gordon from Villanova, Pennsylvania.  She had been in business for 55 years, and has exhibited at this show since it began 54 years ago.   She is the undisputed Queen of Chinese Export Porcelain.  That is all she presents, and to my knowledge, no museum can equal what she displays.  She has written numerous works on her field, and is the world's greatest authority on the Chinese porcelain trade, and like all profound scholars, she delights in sharing her knowledge with all who stop by her booth.

On Saturday afternoon the show seemed to be bursting with people, eager to see and to learn, and for the sake of the dealers, I hope to buy as well.  This show should be a must for collectors in our region, as it is for so many who travel from far and wide to attend. Leaving, one takes home the magnificently illustrated catalog filled with in-depth articles, and beautiful photography.  It alone is well worth the price of admission.

• Lisa  and Henry Lane Hull operate Commonwealth Antiques and Appraisals, Inc. at 5150 Jessie DuPont  Hwy. (P.O.Box 35) Wicomico Church, Virginia 22579, a firm which he founded in 1973.  The appraisal service began in 1976.  Write to him there,  or by e-mail at comantqu @ crosslink.net, with pictures and descriptions of items you wish to have him treat in "Antiques Considered."

Please include a stamped, addressed envelope if you wish a personal acknowledgement. Snapshots once sent on to the JOURNAL for publication, cannot be returned.

 

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