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Steampunk. Never heard of it? Trust me. You'll encounter the term more often from now on. Briefly and somewhat simplistically, steampunkers play with the illusion that time periods can coexist. They imagine what things might have looked like if our technology had been available to the Victorians, and then they create those things. Those who make steampunk objects primarily modify Victorian antiques, but they also use antiques from other eras, recycled items, salvage, and plain old junk. And while often their creations qualify as art, they commonly also have a specific, practical purpose. There are rideable steampunk bicycles, playable steampunk guitars, steampunk clocks that tell time, and steampunk houses that people live in. Both an aesthetic and an interior-design solution, steampunk is also, for some, a philosophy of life.
Here is an interview I did with Style Music TV at The American Antique Show last year. The style of the interview is pretty laid-back, but the content that I get a chance to convey is fun. It also offers a great chance to see my booth and what goes on at the show. The clip is one piece, watch the beginning to see Martha Stewart, but my portion is from 3:45-7:10
A 28" tall Federal mirror clock by Joshua Wilder of Hingham, Massachusetts, with eight-day time-and-passing-strike (i.e., just one bong on the hour), sold in the room for $35,550 (est. $25,000/35,000) to collector Joe Arvay. The underbidder on the phone was dealer Gary R. Sullivan of Sharon, Massachusetts.
While researching the award-winning Harbor & Home: Furniture of Southeastern Massachusetts, 1710-1850, with Brock Jobe and Jack O'Brien, Sullivan located a total of five mirror clocks made by Wilder, including the present one, which sold at Skinner on June 8, 1997, for $25,300. Robert Cheney recalls that he tried to buy it at that sale but was unsuccessful. A couple of years later, Cheney said he bought it at Christie's for roughly the same price. It went on from there to be owned by others.ne bong on the hour), sold in the room for $35,550 (est. $25,000/35,000) to collector Joe Arvay. The underbidder on the phone was dealer Gary R. Sullivan of Sharon, Massachusetts.
We are delighted to announce that Harbor & Home: Furniture of Southeastern Massachusetts, 1710–1850, co-authored by our own Gary Sullivan, Winterthur professor Brock Jobe and independent scholar Jack O’Brien, is the winner of the 16th annual Historic New England Book Prize.
As a recognized clock expert, Gary Sullivan has for many years been involved in gathering information on the early clock making industry in Southeastern Massachusetts. The product of this research has been documented in a book which Gary co-authored with Jack O’Brien and noted furniture scholar Brock Jobe. Working together with The Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, they have been studying the furniture of Southeastern Massachusetts from the William and Mary period through the Classical and Empire periods (circa 1710-1850).
The result of the study is the first detailed catalog of the furniture making industry in this vital New England region. The project culminated in the 2009 release of a book entitled Harbor and Home; Furniture of Southeastern Massachusetts, 1710-1850. It was released in conjunction with a traveling museum exhibition, which opened at Winterthur and then traveled to the Nantucket Historical Association for the summer season.
Clock making was a significant industry in Southeastern Massachusetts, particularly during the first quarter of the Nineteenth Century. A portion of the volume documents the work of these craftsmen, and whenever possible, identifies the clock case makers and allied artisans. Gary Sullivan’s goal in undertaking this study was to identify the usually anonymous clock case makers.
As research continues, we are interested in learning about and documenting any pre-1850 furniture or clocks which can be firmly tied to this region. (The study includes the counties of Bristol, Plymouth, Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket) Some of the clockmakers and cabinetmakers that are being sought are Abiel White, a prolific cabinet maker from Weymouth, Massachusetts; Elisha Cushing and Elisha Cushing Jr, cabinetmakers from Hingham, Massachusetts; John Bailey, Calvin Bailey and John Bailey Jr. all clockmakers from Hanover, Massachusetts; Joshua Wilder and Reuben Tower, innovative clockmakers from Hingham, Massachusetts; Stephen Taber and Josiah Wood, clock makers from New Bedford; Josiah Gooding, a clockmaker from Dighton, MA. and Bristol, RI; Joseph Gooding and Alanson Gooding, clockmakers from Dighton, MA, Allen Kelley, a clockmaker who worked in various Cape Cod Towns; Ezra Kelley from Dartmouth and New Bedford, MA. and Samuel Rogers and David Studley, clock makers from Bridgewater and Hanover respectively. Pertinent contribution to this research are welcome.
"I bought an Aaron Willard tall-case clock with a spectacular Boston-made dial depicting a fisherman in the lunette, a fine old surface, and with a mint paper label inside the door and a fine old surface," said Sharon, Massachusetts, dealer Gary Sullivan on the phone, incredulous at his good luck. "I found it on line," said Sullivan, "but it wasn't given away."
Maine Antique Digest, August, 2010.
This is a review of the 2010 TAAS show. Our booth is described in the article. If you would like to see what Marta Stewart thought of the show follow this link, a wing chair from our booth is image #16.
Since the 1970's, the third week in January has been Americana Week in New York City. Nine years ago The American Antiques Show (TAAS) became a new addition to this jam-packed week of auctions and shows. TAAS took over the Metropolitan Pavilion at 125 West 18th Street, and it has remained there ever since. This year the show was held January 20-24.
Maine Antique Digest, April, 2010.
Gary Sullivan is a clock and furniture dealer, as well as an appraiser for “Antiques Roadshow.” In this scholarly interview, Sullivan explains the differences between early American tall-case, banjo, and dwarf clocks and offers tips on what to watch out for when buying these popular antiques. Sullivan’s book, “Harbor and Home: Furniture of Southeastern Massachusetts, 1710-1850,” was published last year.
Featured Interview, Collectors Weekly.
When reading the Declaration of Independence, no doubt some of our founding fathers would have chosen to sit in a favorite "lolling" chair. This kind of chair, with an upholstered seat and back, was popular then and has come down to us today as a classic form still much used and much loved. Norm Abram seeks out Antiques expert Gary Sullivan to help with his research. Gary provides a terrific Federal lolling chair as an example, from which Norm makes an excellent replica.
For the last five years Brock Jobe, professor of decorative arts at Winterthur, and several cohorts have been investigating the cultural history of southeastern Massachusetts. The result is a book and exhibition, Harbor & Home: Furniture of Southeastern Massachusetts, 1710-1850, to commemorate this pioneer regional study of a section of New England about the size of Delaware.
Maine Antique Digest, May, 2009
"What the world needs is whimsy. It's the best antidote," said folk art partisan Stephen Score, radiant before an A.L. Jewell & Co., molded copper horse weathervane with a luscious surface and an oversized hooked rug of storybook charm and innumerable puppies.
One of 45 dealers exhibiting at The American Antiques Show (TAAS), January 22–25, Score's association with the sponsoring American Folk Art Museum goes back several decades. Over the years, Score and other veterans have seen good times and bad in the antiques trade, but 2009 is in a class by itself.
Antiques and the Arts Online, February 10, 2009.