While originality of structure and surface are always qualities we look for, alone they are not enough. We look for pieces that in some way are exceptional…that display qualities of the imagination, not only of craftsmanship. What moves us most are pieces that attest to a single maker's imaginative interpretation of prevailing forms. We look for pieces that have that little bit extra--where craftsman becomes artist, not only solving technical problems, and understanding the potential of form, but also applying his or her own creative insights to create a work that is in some sense unique. We seek pieces that are evocative, that open a door into another era and speak to us of history and art in a human and personal way.
Furnishing an apartment while studying for his Ph.D. in English at the University of Connecticut, Elliott fell under the spell of both early American antiques and colonial architecture, quickly developing an interest in American furniture of the WIlliam and Mary and Queen Anne periods, both abiding passions to this day. After brief careers teaching at the State University of New York at Albany, Elliott and Grace moved from being part-time collectors to full-time dealers in 1970, making their passion into their profession.
While dealing in a wide variety of 17th, 18th, and early 19th c. material, they specialize in 18th c. American vernacular furniture in old or original finish, textiles, and lighting. Grace began as a collector of 17th. English needlework, but soon expanded her interest to American needlework of the 18th and 19th c., and to American hooked and sewn rugs.
Both have taught courses on antiques, and have lectured extensively at museums, historical societies, and several colleges on a range of antiques-related topics, with Elliott focusing on American furniture, and addressing questions of authenticity, aesthetics, and comparative evaluation. Grace has lectured on topics relating to her speciality of early American textiles. Most recently, Elliott has taught courses in antiques appreciation at Simon's Rock College of Bard, has lectured at the American Folk Art Museum, Colby-Swayer College, the Springfield Museum, and the University of New Hampshire. Grace has lectured on samplers at the Albany Institute of History and Art, on quilts and rugs at Simon's Rock, and at various historical societies in Connecticut and Massachusetts. They have helped organize and loaned material to various exhibitions on early American rugs, most recently to the "The Great Cover-Up" at the American Folk Art Museum in New York, and earlier to the WIlton Historical Society. In addition, Grace has co-authored an article entitled "Wool Embroidered Blankets"
Founding members of the Antiques Dealers' Association of America (ADA), they have served that organization in various capacities: Elliott as past president, member of the Board of Directors, head of vetting for the ADA show, and member of the furniture and metalwork vetting committees. In addition, Grace has also served that organization as a current Board member, chair of the Membership Committee, and head of textile vetting for the show. In addition, Elliott and Grace serve as vettors in metalwork, textiles, and folk art at the Winter Antiques Show.
They participate in four shows a year, including the Winter Antiques Show in New York, the Connecticut Spring Antiques Show in Hartford, CT, the Collector's Fair in Manchester, NH, and the ADA Show in Deerfield, MA.