Garden antiques draw crowd to Hunt Valley preview party

March 09, 1997|By Sylvia Badger

WHILE I WAS away enjoying the balmy Florida weather, I understand you were also treated to springlike weather, much to the delight of those involved with the 27th annual Hunt Valley Antiques Show. The warm temps gave antiques buffs even more reason to get out of the house and enjoy "Garden Style Antiques," the theme of this year's show.

More than 350 people attended the gala preview party at Marriott's Hunt Valley Inn, where they browsed through the exhibits while a trio played background music, and food and drinks were served. This event, a fund-raiser for Family and Children's Services, was chaired by Barbara Hart with the help ++ of vice chair Lucy Mohler and a committee of more than 50, which included key players like Susan van Wagenberg, Eleanor Hale, Joan Quinn and Betty Robinson.

One of the highlights of the show was floral designer Jake Boone's enormous arrangement, featuring beautiful stone urns, and a garden display by Pinehurst Landscape Co. The centerpiece of the garden display was a hand-crafted replica of an 18th-century bench believed to be the earliest wooden garden bench designed in America. The bench was courtesy of Baltimore native and Gilman grad John Danzer, who founded Munder-Skiles, which specializes in new and historic designs of garden furniture.

There was a large contingent of people from Family and Children's Services led by Stanley Levi, executive director; board president Victor Rieger Jr., Signet Bank; chair of the endowment campaign Hank Butta; director of development Alison Walker and board members Anne Bailliere, Armand Levin, Susan Flanigan, Charles Keenan, Eva Higgins and David Mock. Others admiring some divine antique garden furniture from a Fells Point garden included Ronald and Annette Nagler, Gwen and Harry Bruggman, Jay and Brett Clifford, Anne and Douglas Huether and Steven and Helen Rockwell.

Again this year, the lecturers brought in record numbers of people, with two of the most popular being Baltimorean John Danzer and best-selling author Barbara Milo Ohrbach.

Time for tea

When Judith Hundertmark, a travel agent, and Maris Stella Mueller, a medical office manager; heard that tea was served daily at the Harbor Court hotel, they knew they had come up with a perfect birthday present for their old friend, Nancy Slaughter. They invited her sister, Addie Murray, from Wilmington, Del., to join them for tea, which was accompanied by a variety of tea sandwiches, fruit and scones.

The scenery is always good at this hotel, especially the day they were there, because world-renowned stage and film star Christopher Plummer happened to be sitting across the room. (Plummer was in town for several weeks at the Mechanic Theatre in the title role of pre-Broadway production of "Barrymore.")

Ducky event

The Greater Baltimore Chapter of Waterfowl U.S.A. recently held its 10th annual benefit dinner and auction at the Hillendale Country Club. It was definitely a macho evening, where guests feasted on raw oysters and wild game, smoked cigars, wore "camouflage" ties and cummerbunds with their tuxedos, and went home with duck-nesting boxes given to them by Waterfowl U.S.A.

My spies tell me 80 percent of every dollar that the group raises stays in the state and is used for the duck-release program and to increase the nesting population; also, funds help restore and manage wetland habitats. Again this year, auctioneer Richard Opfer donated his services and helped bring in the big bucks for auction items. Among those bidding on waterfowl artwork by Ned Ewell, deep-sea fishing trips, shotguns and Remington bronzes were attorney Dana O. Williams, chair of the chapter; Baltimore County District Court Judge Sandy Williams; attorney Jan Heisler and his wife, Penny; attorney Bob Lazzaro and his wife, Susan; avid hunter and banker-about-town Ed Hale; Hans Wilhelmsen Jr., who did his usual good job with the raffle; Harry Janelsins, Janel Electric Co.; chapter secretary Susan Dumont, Patuxent Publishing; and attorney Glenn Lazzaro, and his wife, Stacy.

Charm and talent

Our party photographer stopped by the Lyric Opera House, where George Benson, one of the country's most popular jazz performers, put on a fabulous show for supporters of United Cerebral Palsy. Like most performers, he didn't make an appearance at the preconcert reception, but he was charming when he greeted those who went backstage after the show.

And speaking of performances, Expressions '97, the annual fund-raiser for the Baltimore School for the Arts, lets partygoers act out their fantasies, whether it is acting, dancing under stage lights, playing an instrument or painting a masterpiece. Combine those activities with dinner and performances by students, tomorrow's stars of stage and dance, and it's a really good show.

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