Antiques-hunting is a favorite sport among visitors to the mid-Hudson Valley, and devotees of the chase have an enticing opportunity coming up on Saturday, August 22 in Stone Ridge. At a restored farmhouse at 414 Cottekill Road, a single-owner auction will be conducted by Schwenke Auctioneers of the lifetime collection of Reverend David L. Bronson, assisting priest at Christ the King Episcopal Church in Stone Ridge and an avid antiques buff.
Born in Jackson, Michigan, Bronson was mentored in the decorative arts from the age of 12 by a neighbor who was an antiques dealer and collector. He studied design in the University of Michigan’s Department of Architecture, but then went on to pursue a degree at Yale Divinity School. On assignment to a parish in Surrey, England, he expanded his knowledge of antique furnishings by attending local country auctions by bicycle.
Upon his return to the US more than five decades ago, the focus of Reverend Bronson’s hobby shifted to early American antiques and architecture. He moved to Kingston and became a protégé of the area’s most renowned expert on antiques, the decorative arts and interior design, the late Fred J. Johnston, and went on to conduct guided tours through the Fred J. Johnston Museum in Kingston for many years. In the 1980s Bronson bought his home in Stone Ridge and proceeded to furnish it with his extensive collection, now being put up for sale.
Some of that collecting took place on jaunts overseas, including a trip to India and Nepal. A pair of framed Tibetan Buddhist Thangkas that Bronson purchased in Kathmandu, being auctioned separately, are being touted as among the highlights of the 350+-lot sale. Also up for purchase are approximately 100 individual lots of Chinese and Japanese porcelain, Asian furniture and Japanese woodblock prints.
Bronson’s collection includes numerous pieces of American formal and country furniture, as well as American clocks, English furniture, Oriental carpets, paintings, sterling silver, stoneware, needlework and some interesting smaller items, such as a papier-mâché and mother-of-pearl-inlaid spectacles case that once belonged to Joseph Smith, a Civil War general from Kingston.
The auction begins on-site at 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 22, with previews beginning at 8 a.m. “Good old-fashioned country food” will be served before and during the auction by the Ladies’ Auxiliary of Christ the King Episcopal Church. More information regarding the sale is available on the Schwenke Auctioneers website at www.woodburyauction.com. To register or arrange for absentee bidding, call Woodbury Auction at (203) 266-0323 or download the forms from the website.
David L. Bronson antiques collection auction, Saturday, August 22, 11 a.m., 414 Cottekill Road, Stone Ridge; (203) 266-0323, www.woodburyauction.com.