2015-07-23 / Around Town

'Revolutionary' Exhibit at Antique Show

By Betsy Sherman Walker


English creamware mug English creamware mug “Liberty Forever: Treasures from the Museum of the American Revolution” will offer an intimate look at people and events alongside the popular Newport Antiques Show.

George Washington’s silver camp cups, c. 1777, used to serve wine to aides and guests in his battlefield tent; an inscribed power horn made in Warwick, Rhode Island and inscribed with the name Samuel Dudley; and a 1786 portrait of French officer Joachim du Perron Comte de Revel, who fought at the Battle of Yorktown, are some of the Revolutionary War artifacts, documents, and artwork included in an exhibit that will accompany the Newport Antiques Show, scheduled for Friday through Sunday, July 24 – 26, at St. George’s School in Middletown. All of the objects in the exhibit are from the collection of the Museum of the American Revolution (MOAR), which is under construction and scheduled to open in 2017 in Philadelphia.

Ho-hum artifacts these are not. The exhibit’s title, in fact, comes from an inscription on a creamware mug brought up from Philadelphia which reads, “Success to ye City of Boston, Liberty For Ever,” which probably referred to the Boston Tea Party (and could have been the 1776 equivalent of a commemorative Red Sox mug). The museum’s permanent collection includes objects that span both the historical and human scope of the war, from Washington’s headquarters tent to a war drum, British and French swords, maps, currency, and personal diaries.

The portrait of du Perron is making its debut in Newport—which, says curator R. Scott Stephenson, MoAR’s Director of Collections and Interpretation, is reason for fanfare. According to Stephenson, the museum’s recent acquisition of the painting is very exciting. “Contemporary portraits of those who took part in the American Revolution are very rare,” he says, “and rarer still are portraits showing a distinguished French officer in uniform. Newport, where the French troops landed in 1780,” he adds, “is the ideal place to unveil this painting.” Stephenson will be presenting “Liberty Forever: Exhibiting the Revolution” as part of the Newport Antique Show’s annual lecture series, on Saturday, July 25, at 11 a.m.


Portrait of Joachim du Perron Portrait of Joachim du Perron Antiques are, after all, objects that people — often one’s ancestors

— lived with. Part of their appeal (age and beauty notwithstanding) is that they are a connection to a past and a dif- ferent scenario of daily lives. The MoAR provides a glimpse into the human side of wartime experience when, with smartphones, selfies, and Instagram nonexistent, there was little opportunity to record it. According to Newport Historical Society Executive Director Ruth Taylor, to have the Revolutionary War playing as sort of a backdrop to the Antiques Show will make it all the more interesting. “We are thrilled to celebrate the American Revolution at this year’s Antiques Show,” Taylor said. “It will offer New Englanders a preview of what is being developed in Philadelphia, and is also a great complement to the presentations of the dealers at the show.”


Washington mantel clock Washington mantel clock Now in its seventh year, the Newport Antiques Show is regarded as one of the region’s most popular summer antiques and decorative arts shows (American Fine Art Magazine calls it “top-level”). Since 2007, the show has raised more than $1.6 million for its co-benefi- ciaries, the Newport Historical Society and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport County.


English silver-hilted sword English silver-hilted sword For more information, visit NewportAntiquesShow.com or call 401- 846-2669.

The Newport Antiques Show runs July 24-26, at St. George’s School in Middletown. Admission is $15 per day or $20 for a threeday pass, which includes entrance to the loan exhibit, a daily lecture and the chance to shop among the country’s most exclusive antiques dealers.

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