|By Ginger Levit
RICHMOND, Va. — The capital of Virgina will continue to have its special antiques show, as usual, in the month of February as it has for the past 50 years.
The Richmond Academy of Medicine Alliance Foundation’s (RAMAF) annual show, as conceived, which drew national dealers to the commonwealth, is no more. This special project was a major fundraiser for the medical profession in the area and a cultural boost for art and antiques lovers.
Although there are several other antique shows in areas around the city, the RAMAF show has been considered the city’s major antiques event.
Richmond has never completely abandoned tradition. Antiques devotees are delighted the RAMAF show now continues under a different banner.
The Art, Antiques and Design (AAD) show, produced by antiques dealer and show organizer Jay N. Melrose, filled the void on Feb. 15-17.
When RAMAF did not contract for the 2013 show at the marble-columned hall of the Science Museum of Virginia, Melrose quickly picked up the ball.
Selecting the same February weekend that had always been the RAMAF show, Melrose hosted an event with respected dealers – mostly from the South.
Following the tradition that opening night should be a benefit, a portion of those proceeds went to the Virginia Commonwealth University Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center. Fliers about Parkinson’s disease were at the check-in table.
The Feb. 15 preview night attracted many of the same attendees who had always frequented the RAMAF opening.
The AAD offered a mostly traditional array of paintings, jewelry, furniture and porcelain. The show had 31 dealers. For the first time, a few Richmond-area dealers had a presence; including Gates Antiques, Northumberland Antiques and Millstone Antiques. The RAMAF had not allowed local dealers to exhibit.
Roger D. Winter came to Virginia from Bucks County, Pa. – occupying a double-booth filled with furniture and Canton China. Other New Englanders included Robert Eric French from Portland, Maine and Gary Bardsley Antiques from Sudbury, Mass.
Among noteworthy objects shoppers were admiring was an Empire game table, decorated with inlay, resting on a thick pedestal base at the Barbara Rew and Manlove’s Choice booth. Probably of New York origin, the rich wood was burled mahogany with veneers of holly or fruitwood. Although an American piece, it would have been at home in Napoleon’s salon. The price was $2,500.
Another Empire piece was at Chestnut Galleries of Spartanburg, S.C. The classical chest had a pierced gallery on top and lion-mask drawer pulls. Made by Kittinger, a manufacturer of fine furniture reproductions for Colonial Williamsburg, it was made around the second quarter of the 20th century. Less than 100 years old, it was priced $1,500.
Vilnis Antiques of Strasburg, Va. continued the early 19th century neo-classical tradition offering an 1810 New York mahogany sideboard standing on its original brass feet, complementing the brass galley on top of the piece that is described as Federal, Sheraton or Duncan Phyfe. It was priced at $6,800.
Seekers Antiques of Columbus, Ohio specializes in Staffordshire transfer ware, which was a way of printing onto china prevalent between 1830 and 1850. His collection of 18th century English Wedgwood Basalt, black porcelain is rare and valuable.
Sparrow’s Nest of Williamsburg, Va. had a large collection of Canton china and Staffordshire figures. Not to be missed by the ladies was jewelry presented by Josephine Hart Thrasher of Alexandria, Va. This dealer was partial to her collection of butterfly pins.