Journal

Genres of Antiques for Rustic Décor

10.19.2015

Adirondack Museum Antiques Show

(Adirondack Museum photo)

The Adirondack Museum Antiques Show & Sale, held every fall in Blue Mountain Lake, New York, is a perfect place (in an inspiring setting) for rustic home owners to find the types of antiques they favor.

On the last morning of the show this year, I had a little time to shoot photos in many of the booths to gather images of the array of antiques for sale. This selection is not exhaustive of the categories of antiques that we and other dealers seek and sell for rustic homes, but it represents some of the typical offerings at this long-running show in the Adirondacks.

The antiques show is held outdoors on the Museum grounds, which presents challenges for setting up booths that are evocative of the upscale indoor spaces that are the ultimate destinations for many of the antiques. Despite the potential wet grass, uneven terrain, low light, rain, dew and (sometimes hurricane force) winds, customers who know what they like can see past the conditions and home in on individual objects that catch their eye. So here is a sampling of things that caught my eye as representing popular categories of rustic décor.

WALL DECOR

Fine Art

Landscape paintings are a natural fit for rustic homes that are nestled into their own beautiful surroundings. Paintings of lakes and mountains, whether depicting an identifiable local region or simply evocative of one, are understandably popular in the Adirondacks.

Saratoga Fine Art

Saratoga Fine Art

Prints and Posters

Plants and animals can look almost as appealing in ink on paper as they do in real life.

Anne Hall Fine Antique Prints

Anne Hall Fine Antique Prints

Chimney Corner Antiques

Chimney Corner Antiques

Signs

There are all kinds of vintage trade, cottage, and roadside signs at the show, ranging in age from the 1890s to the 1970s. Their creative and quirky presence is a refreshing respite from the standardized, too-good-to-be-real reproductions found in gift shops throughout the Adirondacks.

Loose Moose Antiques

Loose Moose Antiques

Snow Shoes

Snow shoes vary widely in age and style, whether hand-made or manufactured. Older Native American snow shoes especially have aesthetic appeal, and can also have high value depending on their rarity, decoration, condition and historic importance.

Pastime Antiques

Pastime Antiques

Canoe Paddles

Paddles with colorful paint, as well as those with sculptural forms such as Native American and Adirondack guide boat paddles, can make a striking decorative statement hanging on interior walls.

Cotton's Antiques

Cotton’s Antiques

Pastime Antiques

Pastime Antiques

FLOOR COVERINGS

Oriental Carpets

The muted hues and stylized geometric and floral designs of antique oriental carpets make an elegant base layer to set off rustic furnishings.

1880 House

1880 House

Navajo Rugs

Traditional Adirondack Great Camps always included Native American art within their décor, and Navajo rugs with crisp geometrics and simple color schemes continue to be popular floor coverings for rustic abodes.

1880 House

1880 House

FURNITURE

Indiana Hickory

Hickory furniture is always well represented at this antiques show as it typically forms the core furnishings of great rooms, bedrooms and porches of rustic homes in the Adirondacks and all across the country.

Parrett/Lich Inc.

Parrett/Lich Inc.

Arts & Crafts

There has been a long tradition of mixing Arts & Crafts/Mission furniture with rustic furniture in Adirondack Great Camps, so that style can usually be found among the offerings at the show.

David Zabriskie Antiques

Lodge

Comfortable seating that harmonizes with lodge aesthetics, such as French leather club chairs and ottomans, are another furniture option for buyers.

Cotton's Antiques

Cotton’s Antiques

Unique Rustic

Surprisingly, one of the least common forms of furniture at the show tends to be early, one-of-a-kind rustic pieces, such as this circa 1920s table by Adirondack craftsman Lee Fountain. Unique rustic pieces have never been as prevalent in the antiques market as manufactured rustic furniture, but even at this specialized show they are becoming increasingly rare.

Adirondack rustic furniture Cherry Gallery

Cherry Gallery

DECORATIVE ACCESSORIES

Taxidermy

Some wild animal lovers are as happy to live with the creatures’ inanimate but life-like forms indoors as they are to see the living beings in the outdoors, so antiques dealers aim to please them.

Loose Moose Antiques

Loose Moose Antiques

Black Forest

Black Forest animal carvings are a good alternative for people who love being reminded of animals, but prefer them to be smaller than life-size for displaying inside their homes.

Mountain Thistle Antiques

Mountain Thistle Antiques

Tramp Art

Another style of carving done in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Europe and North America is notch carving, also known as tramp art. These accessories come in an amazing variety of forms including boxes and frames.

Clifford A. Wallach

Clifford A. Wallach

Camp Textiles

Colorful Indian-motif blankets add visual and tangible warmth to any room.

Michael Friedman Antiques

Michael Friedman Antiques

China

Hotel china decorated with the logos of old Adirondack resorts (including pieces that divers have retrieved from lake bottoms), as well as elegant porcelain accessories painted with nature themes, make stylish enhancements to rustic dining spaces.

Pastime Antiques

Pastime Antiques

Appleton Manor Antiques

Appleton Manor Antiques

Scale Models

Scaled-down versions of the full-sized components of rustic estates, such as boats and log cabins, have timeless appeal.

Antediluvian Antiques & Curiosities

Antediluvian Antiques & Curiosities

 

Linda Davidson Antiques

Linda Davidson Antiques

COLLECTIBLES

Fishing and Hunting Equipment

This category includes lures, reels, flies, creels and traps.

Black Bass Antiques

Black Bass Antiques

White & White Antiques & Interiors

White & White Antiques & Interiors

Black Bass Antiques

Black Bass Antiques

Pack Baskets

Ash splint pack baskets were the traditional carry-all for hikers, trappers, loggers and hermits in the Adirondacks and other northern regions. Outdoorsy types still use them as back packs, but they are now more commonly used for display.

White & White Antiques & Interiors

White & White Antiques & Interiors

Books

Interior designers regard books as an important decorative element of rooms, but collectors value antique and vintage books for their substance as well. If you want to read about days-gone-by as well as live with the artifacts of those days, you can fill a library room or a single shelf with books about your local region, such as these rare Adirondack titles.

Comstock Books & Antiques

Comstock Books & Antiques

ENDNOTE

Although it is rewarding to exhibit at a show where people enthusiastically appreciate your aesthetic as a dealer, it is invariably the shoppers who have the most fun. Visitors to the Adirondack Museum Antiques Show have a once-a-year opportunity to make selections from each dealer’s specialty offerings, then put them all together in ways that bring personality, warmth, style and history into their own rustic homes.

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