Gabby makes a cameo at Winterthur, needles a few folks at the Festival of Trees in Dover and brushes up on local artists at the Children’s Beach House in Lewes.
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The Old and the Beautiful
It’s absolutely true that Gabby is a creature of the night, but on occasion, she will slip into something daytime appropriate and mingle with the masses on a Sunday afternoon. She did just that in early November at the 47th annual Delaware Antiques Show at Winterthur. While weaving among the treasures—oil canvases from the late 1800s, glimmering gold candlesticks from the 1690s, gemstone-and-pearl-encrusted brooches from the 1900s—it became quite clear to Gabby that somewhere, there exists a Male Antiques Proprietor Handbook that politely insists that all of its followers wear natty bow ties.
Gabby especially liked the one worn by Wilmington’s John R. Schoonover, president of Schoonover Studios. John, grandson of famed American illustrator Frank E. Schoonover, showed Gabby his favorite piece by his grandfather, the “Fairy Book” cover he created for the classic Harper’s series. “It’s an exquisite example of American illustration and what it’s all about,” he said. “There’s also a dust jacket for the book. I’m always looking for that.”
Speaking of exquisite examples, John was quick to praise her royal majesty, Martha Stewart, who was on hand to kick off opening night. “I thought she looked very good,” he said, not even a little shy about his admiration. “She came by my booth and almost turned left. Almost. But her entourage took her away. She was wearing a very nice brown dress.”
One of Gabby’s favorite stops was the Arthur Guy Kaplan booth. The Baltimore-based outfit was chockablock with gems, finely crafted brooches and earrings, and—Gabby’s weakness—row upon row of cameos. Lean in close enough and one could see fantastic little words like “Chanel” and “Tiffany & Co.” etched into these decadent, antique collectors’ pieces, crafted way before that little blue box even existed.
When it came to pieces, however, no one came bigger than Janice Paull. The international specialist in English Staffordshire Ironstone China (1790-1890) hauled more than 400 pieces of the stuff all the way from Portugal, where she has her studio. “What can I say?” she said. “I’m really an excellent packer.” Paull does only six shows a year. Why was Delaware on her radar? “This is just a beautiful-looking show,” she said. “The thing I’ve noticed, which is so wonderful here, is the fact that [the show] works so well with the museum. That’s very encouraging for people like myself.”
Page 2: Pretty Ribbons of Blue