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- Published on Tuesday, 10 January 2012 21:46
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This past Saturday our family paid our annual visit to the Washington Winter Show, always one of the finest antique shows in America. Again this year housed at the Katzen Center at American university, the show hosted 45 of the nation’s premier antique dealers, who brought some of their finest treasures.
The theme of this year’s show was entitled, “Celebrating The White House.”
The welcoming exhibit featured items for the Executive Mansion’s earliest years down to the present. The catalog of the show contains wonderful articles about The White House and the antiques that have passed through it over the past two centuries.
The exhibits were truly awesome. Of particular regional interest was that of A Bird In The Hand Antiques from
Florham Park, New Jersey, which included some superb Virginia and Maryland stoneware. The dealer, Ron Bassin, is particularly knowledgeable on the topic, and I enjoyed chatting with him about his Peter Hermann crocks from Baltimore and the variety of Shenandoah Valley jugs and crocks.
With stoneware the maker’s name makes the big difference in determining value. Peter Hermann’s pieces have clearly incised stamps bearing his name. Shenandoah Valley crocks by the Bell family and Alexandria ones by the Milburn and Smith families are the most popular in this area. The quality of the blue decoration is another factor in assigning value. This year’s show had some splendid examples, and they were selling well.
This year’s show chair was Amy Zantzinger, whose husband’s grandparents were Dick and Isabel Zantzinger, the owners of Westhatton Plantation across the Potomac not far into Charles County. She and her committee put together an outstanding presentation, which the public clearly relished. Each year I find the show to be one of the best teaching tools for novice collectors and connoisseurs alike. Each booth contains the highest caliber wares, hosted by wonderfully informed dealers who enjoy telling visitors all they know about their pieces. The show is always great, but this one was especially brilliant.
Next week I shall speak of some of the other dealers and the great collections they assembled for the show.