Lots of Variety at Washington Winter Show

The Washington Winter Show — benefiting THEARC, the Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys and the Founders Board of St. John’s Community Services — returned to American University’s Katzen Arts Center from Thursday, Jan. 10, preview night, to Sunday, Jan. 13, which saw the season’s first significant snowfall.

Highlights included Friday’s luncheon with event planner Bronson van Wyck and a lecture by former White House Curator William Allman on Saturday, with a jazz night later on.

The co-chairs of this year’s show were Marilouise Sibley Avery and Johanna Bayly Howe. Mount Vernon supplied the loan exhibition, “The Pleasure of Your Company: Elegant Entertaining with George and Martha Washington,” featuring French and Chinese export porcelain and a reproduction of the Washingtons’ English harpsichord.

Spread around the Katzen’s three-level curvilinear space, the 44 exhibitors, many from outside the Mid-Atlantic, offered a varied mix; like other antiques shows (many of which have deemphasized the word “antiques”), the Washington Winter Show is no longer dominated by brown furniture and folk and fine art.

Particularly eclectic was Carlson and Stevenson of Manchester Center, Vermont. Phyllis Carlson Stevenson has acquired some 700 decorative napkin rings of sterling and coin silver, priced from $150 to $1,200. On one wall of her and Timothy Stevenson’s booth were hung original, hand-captioned cartoons by Barbara Shermund, who began writing and drawing for the New Yorker in its first months of existence.

Another unexpected combination was found at the booth of Stella Rubin of Darnestown, Maryland, where racks and shelves of patterned quilts surrounded display cases of antique jewelry.

Stella Rubin’s display of antique quilts. Photo by Richard Selden.

Ann Wilbanks of Find Weatherly of Westport, Connecticut, proudly showed off an atlas volume from David Steel’s early 19th-century “Elements and Practice of Naval Architecture” containing 39 ship plans, priced at $14,995. Find Weatherly was one of two marine specialists at the show, the other being White’s Nautical Antiques of Yarmouth, Maine.

An atlas volume of David Steel’s “Elements and Practice of Naval Architecture,” offered by Find Weatherly. Photo by Richard Selden.

The copper and brass were gleaming in the booth of Whitman Antiques of Flourville, Pennsylvania, just outside Philadelphia. Margaret Whitman, daughter of the English-born founder, was representing the firm, a specialist in antique metalware.

As for fine art, Dinan and Chighine had brought from London a set of nine color lithographs derived under the artist’s supervision from cut-paper original maquettes by Matisse in the 1950s, going for $15,500. Among the noteworthy paintings at the show were American Impressionist Ernest Lawson’s “Houseboats,” painted in the 1890s, and a 1939 Andrew Wyeth, “The Wreck,” offered by G. Sergeant Antiques of Woodbury, Connecticut, for $85,000 and $165,000, respectively.

Save the dates: next year’s Washington Winter Show will run from Jan. 9 to 12.



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