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Antiques Considered - January 30, 2013

Last Saturday I participated for the twelfth time in the Saint Clement’s Island Museum’s Appraiser Fair at Colton’s Point, in Saint Mary’s County, Maryland.  I was happy to see a good contingent of Northern Neck regulars present as well as to have the opportunity to inspect some great antiques.

 

 A gentleman from the Northern Neck came with two great lamps, one an eighteenth-century Betty Lamp, made of hand-forged iron, and another, an 1864 nautical light, replete with its original burner.  Both of these pieces were worthy of museum exhibition.

20130130ac4A Maryland gentleman brought his Chinese mud figurine wall pocket.  Despite having a couple of minor chips, it was one of the finest pieces of oriental mud composition that I have seen.  It dates from the early twentieth century.

A local lady had a splendid Japanese woodblock print of a courtesan, in great color and excellent condition.   In examining it and many other framed items, I found that they artwork still remained in its original framing, with backing that was eating away at the pieces.

I urged the owners to have such items removed from the frames, and then to have them dry-mounted on acid-free material to arrest the corrosive process.  Over the many years that I have been a part of such gatherings I have seen more damage to fine prints and art from the leaching of chemicals from improper backing than from any other cause.

The Museum is one of the truly profound assets of Saint Mary’s County.  It sponsors events all year long that offer something for everybody.  Each January I have seen increased growth in the numbers of Appraiser Fair attendees, who have opened up their collections to bring some great antiques and artwork for all of the appraisers to see.

The Fair remains one of the bright spots in the winter scene, and an occasion for getting to see treasures from Southern Maryland, the Northern Neck, and a far away as Washington and Annapolis.

visit their website: http://www.co.saint-marys.md.us/recreate/stclementsisland.asp

Happy Antiquing!

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