August 13, 2011

Newport Antiques Show

It has been a long and full day! The alarm clock rang at 3:45 this a.m., and I gathered up my suitcase, my computer and my needlework (only three projects with me, since I am flying on this visit--man, it was hard to choose just 3 (Blue Santa, Liz Easdon and Adam's Menagerie). And if I had it to do over again, I'd have chosen one of my Rhode Island samplers, because I'm that inspired. The plane left Baltimore at 8:15 and landed in Providence at 9:45, I collected the rental car and headed to Newport. Lots and lots of people traveled with me today: even at 6:30 a.m. there were enormous lines for security, check-in and then on the road to Newport. Newport itself was crammed full of people. After driving around for quite a while looking for the antiques show (boo to mapquest but yay to the guy I nearly mowed down in a crosswalk to ask for directions and boo to me for being too cheap to rent the GPS. I mean really, Avis--$15 a day?)

But I found it, and my oh my, is all I can say. My only disappointment was that I need to learn to read: the online brochure said that highlights from the 50 samplers would be exhibited, not all 50, so I was expecting more than the 15 or so that I viewed. What wonderful choices they were though! And they were accessible; I was able to get up close and see every stitch, my nose 1 inch from the glass that encased them (but didn't spoil the experience at all). The lighting was very good and everyone was cheerful and kind. However, I didn't take photos, although there were no admonishments anywhere that I could see not to. But it just felt wrong to click away, even if surreptitiously, especially since most museums don't allow it.

I will show you the little catalog though (itself gorgeously photographed):



Do you own the Mary Tillinghast chart? I do; it was a reproduction done by Sheepish Designs in possibly the 80s? 90s? I bought it on ebay. Now I want to kit it up after seeing the original. Although--the "Wisdom" sampler charted by Vermillion Stitchery is virtually the same, and I started it some time ago. There were some nice marking samplers and a few samplers we'd all recognize, but a few that I did not (including the one in the catalog page above).


And oh, my goodness, the dealers. I've been to many an antique show, far and wide, including the famous (Brimfield) and the not-so-famous local run-of-the-mill, and the offerings here knocked my socks off. Pretty much everything I saw was museum quality, as far as I could tell. Some of my favorites: the stitched wool pictures of ships done by sailors; the sailors' valentines using tiny exotic shells to make pictures that looked like samplers, some needle punch, rugs, china and a few samplers. One sampler wowed me--it was probably the nicest antique I've laid eyes on anywhere in terms of quality, color, composition and condition. (It was $8500, which I thought was completely justified. It was perfectly stitched, and the best part was the Adam and Eve figures, which looked a lot like American Indians. One of them appared to be waving.) My very favorite non-stitched objects were the oil paintings brought by William Vareika Fine Arts.


By early afternoon I was tired and hungry and so I headed to the Cape. On the way I stopped and devoured this sub: the "baked stuffed lobster." The crumb topping is graham cracker/butter/lemon rather than Ritz crackers, though, which is my only complaint--it was a bit too sweet, especially since the generous portion of lobster had enough sweetness of its own. It was nearly my downfall on this long, hot, busy day.

I then sat in traffic for quite a while. Tomorrow is the Falmouth Road Race, which attracts tens of thousands of additional visitors to this small town, on top of the already busy late-summer tourism.


Digging their dinner: these folks are digging clams. While the town checks the bacterial count of that water regularly, I would not be interested in eating these guys raw (and I love raw shellfish).

We went out for fried fish tonight, and I sat in the fish place, which was hot and filled with the smell of fish and oil. As I sat there, I noticed a large sailboat bobbing up and down on the wake of the boats coming and going. As I watched, the heat and the smell and my rich lobster lunch and my fatigue combined with the pitching of the boat to create a full-on queasy feeling of stomach-rolling, sweaty seasickness. Please don't let me be sick, I was thinking desperately. Fortunately our order came quickly, and to my parents' surprise, I insisted on eating at home instead of sitting at the harbor, and I rode home with the window down and the cool breeze in my face. And oh heavens, my paernts are in their 80s and therefore always chilly, even though the house is a toasty 80 or so. In fact, hilariously, my mother has just brought me a stack of blankets in case it gets chilly. Please let it get chilly.


My mother has a little outside rabbit guy that she feeds. My dad tells me that these are Canadian cottontails, which unlike my neighborhood's wild bunnies, have long pointy noses, smallish ears and smaller back legs--they don't spring so much as sprint or tear along when startled.


To borrow Michelle's gratitude: I am grateful for an opportunity to view beautiful historic samplers and priceless art. And I am also grateful for not having hurled in the harbor!

Happy week ahead!

21 comments:

Catherine said...

Sounds like a great time - except for the traffic and the queasiness!

Laurie in Iowa said...

Thanks so much for sharing your views of the Newport show with us. It was a wonderful read. Sorry that lobster sandwich nearly did you in. Feel better.

MarchAnn58 said...

Sounds like you are having a great trip and seeing some wonderful samplers. We know they are your thing.
The sandwich looks like a winner to me. See you soon and take care

Brigitte said...

What a wonderful experience to attend such a show. It's always fantastic to see these old needlework treasures in person.

woolwoman said...

wow what a great recounting of the newport show - I have that wisdom sampler myself but not stitched - glad you were not sick - that is the worst feeling to be too hot and queasy. aacckkk - enjoy the rest of your trip - Melody

Margaret said...

I really enjoyed reading about the Newport show and everything else too. Sorry about feeling all queasy and stuff. I guess that lobster sandwich was really sweet! Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip! (3:45 -- yikes!)

Gabi said...

What a wonderful trip. It must have been gorgeous to see these samplers from close by.
I don't own the Mary Tillinghast chart, but bought recently the The Wisdom Sampler from Vermillion...and could lay my hands on Elizabeth Easton by Goode Huswife.
Do you stitch your Wisdom sampler with DMC as charted?

Michelle May (Shell) said...

How wonderful to see those samplers in person. Sorry you didn't feel well. Not fun.
xx, shell

Katrina said...

Sounds like such a fun weekend, I'd love to see all those samplers. Hope your tummy is feeling better and safe trip home again :-).

Cari said...

Relax...enjoy.....rest ! I so enjoyed the Newport show ! Thanks for sharing...HAVE FUN... Hugs

Melissa said...

Oh wow, thanks for showing those lovely photos, both inside and out! I love the photo of Mary Tillinghast. I have that chart too and it's lovely to see it in the original colours! I now want that tan linen!

♥marylin♥ said...

les broderies sont merveilleuses ! bravo
bises

mainely stitching said...

Heat, exhaustion, and oily smells would do me in for sure!

Isn't it fascinating how wild animals vary from location to location?? Look at the tiny ears on that wild guy - who'd have thought it?

I wish I could've gone to this show with you. Sounds absolutely fabulous!!

marly said...

Sounds like a great experience to see those samplers. You're off to a good start! You never know when you'll need another blanket. Enjoy!

samplerlover said...

Oh, it sounds like you had a wonderful time in Newport. To be able to see one of my favourite types of samplers would be wonderful. Enjoy the rest of your trip.

The Fab Furs said...

At least you were in good form for sampler viewing. Hope the rest of the weekend was better.

Karen said...

The Newport show sounds terrific and I'm glad you had a great time, even if it wasn't quite as much as you expected. Glad you didn't ralph in the harbor; hope you're feeling better!

Michelle said...

Thanks for sharing about the Newport show. I am in love with the blue house sampler in the catalog. Love your gratitude at the end of the post - you are probably grateful for cool breezes as well!!

Rabbits' Guy said...

One of those Tillinghasts came out here in the 1870's and eventually opened a large seed store in LaConner. The name lives on in a restaurant and gift shop ... we bought the last two trees sold by Tillinghasts as they closed about 9 years ago - they both died!

Siobhan said...

My daughter took one look at that sub and groaned--and then had to know where you were that you were able to get that, because she might aim to move there when she's older. LOL I hope you're having a good time! LOL at the comment about the 80 degree temp in the house. My mother always says she turns down the AC when I'm there since I like it 'cold'--"it's all the way down at 78!!".

Lucky you, seeing those samplers! I MUST do Mary Tillinghast soon.

Newport Historical Society said...

On behalf of the Newport Antiques Show, thank you for attending the Show and writing such a lovely post about the exhibit! We would like to use this for promotional purposes. Could you please contact me at: esulock @ newporthistorical.org to discuss?