AMENIA, N.Y. — The entire contents of Happy Endings Antiques – an upscale antiques and collectibles shop in Amenia, N.Y. – will be sold at an on-site auction slated for Aug. 15, by Tim’s, Inc., of Bristol, Conn. The shop is located at 3330 Route 343 in Amenia, N.Y., on the New York-Connecticut line in Duchess County, N.Y., just west of Sharon, Conn., and not far from Poughkeepsie.
The sale will be a total liquidation of about 500 lots in a broad array of categories, to include country pieces, painted furniture, 20th century Modern (1900-1950), vintage toys, lighting, architectural antiques, advertising items and more. The items – all of which will have their price tags still attached – comprise the single-owner collection of the shop’s owner, Pamela Haft, a resident of Sharon, Conn.
“It looks like there won’t be a happy ending for Happy Endings Antiques,” Mrs. Haft said sadly. She opened the shop in February, but a combination of factors – chief among them the poor economy – are forcing her to close the business after less than six months of operation. But, she added, “Interior decorators, dealers and collectors who attend the sale can expect to get some truly wonderful bargains.”
Tim Chapulis of Tim’s, Inc., echoed that sentiment. “Bidders might want to plan on driving their trucks to this event,” he said. “This is not your average auction. Mrs. Haft is a discerning collector, and her shop reflects that good taste. There are three rooms, all beautifully decorated with hundreds of fine antique items and collectibles. It will all go to the highest bidder in one day. Good deals are assured.”
Some of those good deals, in the furniture category, include a fine drop-leaf Chippendale desk with four graduated drawers (circa 1780-1820); an old 12-drawer seed chest, rimmed in brass with a rich patina; a mid-to-late 19th century cherry English high-back bench; and a circa 1880 Arts and Crafts English bookcase with beveled glass doors, about 7 feet tall by 5 feet wide.
Other furniture pieces include an early 20th century five-drawer tiger mahogany chest, designed by Donald Deskey, the interior designer of Radio City Music Hall (circa 1920-1940); a black lacquered table designed by Alvar Allto, the renowned Finnish furniture designer of the 1930s; and a pair of Tibetan benches from the early 20th century, both meticulously painted with ornate decorations.
One piece of folk art certain to pique bidder interest is an unsigned scale model of a wooden red barn, tremendously detailed and crafted with wit and care in the early 20th century. Advertising items include a double-sided trade sign for a shoe repair shop (circa 1920) and a three-piece figural advertisement for Blatz beer (circa 1910-1930), one figure each for cans, bottles and kegs.
Decorative accessories include a mid-19th century French sewing box with all the pieces intact, made of burled walnut with stunning figural oil paintings on the box cover and inside (12 inches by 8 inches); a 19th century four-panel paint-on-leather folding screen; and a 19th century hobby horse on a sliding base in excellent condition with a leather saddle and harness.
One unique item that will be available is an original oil painting on the head of an actual tambourine, made in the late 19th century. The unsigned painting depicts Mont Saint Michel in France, but the piece is English in origin. A monumental pair of 7-foot garden columns will also be in the sale.
Mrs. Haft first became interested in antiques in 1995 when she and her husband bought a home in Sharon, Conn., and furnished it with items bought from local antique shops. “At first I bought mostly country pieces, folk art, fine art, painted furniture and 20th century modern,” she said. “At that time we also maintained a residence in Manhattan, but starting in 2002 we moved to Sharon full-time.”
Following her husband’s death several years ago, Mrs. Haft began selling some of her antiques out of booth space in malls like Kaufman’s in Great Barrington, Mass. (now closed). Then, about a year and a half ago, she took space at another shop in Amenia called Artisan Gallery Antiques. But when the owner of that business took ill and closed the shop, she decided to plow right in and and start her own business.
However, a continued deteriorating economy, and Amenia’s somewhat remote location, led to the painful recent decision to close the doors of Happy Endings Antiques. “I don’t regret a thing,” she said, “and I’m happy that everything I own will soon be owned by many other lucky collectors.”
The auction will begin promptly at 6 p.m. on Aug. 15. There will be a preview the hour before the sale (5-6 p.m.) or by appointment (call Mr. Chapulis for details, at 860-459-0964). Phone and absentee bids will be accepted, with prior arrangements and approval.
Photos courtesy Tim’s, Inc.