Bytown Antique & Bottle Club
2017 Show Display
A Unique Display of Antiques & Folk Art
It was a special project that just kept getting better and better! We were looking to do something special for our annual show at the end of April to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary when the suggestion came forward that we organize a display of some of the best items from our members’ collections.
With the concept roughed out, we put out the call to members to see if they would agree to provide items for the display. We had reason to be concerned. In some cases we were asking members to give us antiques that had never been out of their collections. The majority had never been on public display. Could we ensure the security of these rare and, in all cases, valuable items?
True to form, the Club members embraced the concept of the display and, in the end, came through for us big time!
Before long we had some 40 very special antiques and collectibles offered for display. The list included important examples of country furniture, merchant stoneware, decoys, shorebirds, folk art, textiles, advertising – most of which had an Ottawa or Ottawa Valley connection. All of them were museum quality.
Portrait of a Clydesdale horse called "Maccombie" by artist J. J. Kenyon,
Washington, Ontario, oil on canvas, circa 1880
Many hours were spent planning the display including one dimensional scale models with all of the pieces laid out on paper.
The organizers made three separate site visits to the Nepean Sportsplex, Hall A, to measure and view the area for the display. None of us had actually organized a display like this and we are not professional curators. We did our best knowing at least that the “raw material” with which we were working, the antiques, were unique. More meetings were held and we slowly planned the other elements including signage and the handout listing and describing the various antiques in the display.
The day of the Show arrived and fifteen members of the Club began arriving at the Nepean Sportsplex on Woodroffe Avenue in Ottawa with their items for the display. We had roughly two hours to build the display, and, a few minutes before show opening at 9 AM, we were placing the numbered cards with each item and making final adjustments.
The display was a great success and impressed the public and members of the Club.
Colin Latreille, of Colin Latreille Auctions took some great photographs, which accompany this article.
How will we outdo ourselves next year? Wait and see!
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By Shaun Markey
2017 Bytown Antique & Bottle Show Display Committee Members (left to right)
Jon Church, Shaun Markey, Carol Cameron, Alvin Cameron. Absent is Don Hewson. Congratulations on your hard work in organizing a superb display!