Fancy Feathers' gala preview gives the show a flying start


BIRDS OF A feather flocked together at the gala preview party of the Maryland Antiques Show, the Maryland Historical Society's largest fund-raiser of the year. Hundreds of people were at the Boumi Temple on North Charles Street for a firsthand look at paintings, prints, furniture, rugs, silver, ceramics and porcelains brought to Baltimore by 30 of the country's premier dealers.

Again this year, Megan Wolfe and Cindy Rief put together a spectacular show with the theme "Fancy Feathers: The Tradition of Birds in Maryland." The show included an exhibit by the society that provided visitors with a whimsical look at how birds adorn collection objects.

Linwood Dame was at the preview party to oversee the serving and presentation of his catering company's tasty food. Huge trays of shrimp were most popular during cocktail hour, which was followed by a lovely buffet of beef tenderloin, chicken, salads, veggies, breads, and I could go on and on.

The decorative antiques business is good, according to party guests Stiles Colwill, of Stiles T. Colwill Interiors, and Robert Hale and Tom Williams, whose shop is in Ruxton.

At the event, I saw old friends Ann and Sam Hopkins, longtime patrons of the show; and Madge and Haswell Franklin, who donate the use of their lovely home each year for the Maryland Historical Society's monthly bridge games.

I chatted with Sharon Michaels, who says she's having a wonderful time with her new venture, the Austin group. In a nutshell, she buys land, then works as the architect, builder and interior designer, before selling the finished product.

Others I spotted were Margot Heller, Gerson and Sandy Eisenberg, Sue and Mickey Miller, Cindy and Peter Rosenwald, Bartie Cole, Barbara and Carl Hecht, Blair Barton, Anne Carter Stonesifer, Sheila and Dick Riggs, and, of course, this year's honorary chairs, Anne and Jeff Miller.

Opening-night bash

Members of the Women's Board of the Johns Hopkins Hospital held an elegant opening-night party celebrating the Carriage House Collection at Evergreen in the Tiffany-style. The party began at the Evergreen House on North Charles Street, where nearly 400 guests were put in the holiday spirit thanks to the beautiful floral arrangements by Andrea Steiff, Eleanor Oster, Rennie Friedlander, Suzanne Rafferty and Mark Fabian, Susan Uhlig and Susan Kershaw. The arrangements were complemented by Evergreen's collection of Tiffany objects.

Cocktails were served by Johns Hopkins doctors, hospital trustees and board members, and caterer Charles Levine dished up another delicious dinner. A tent led to the Carriage House, where more than 50 boutiques and shops offered guests a great selection of unusual Christmas presents.

Sheila Pakula, Sue Cashman and Judy Naughton, chairs of this year's show and sale, did a spectacular job with the board's most important fund-raiser of the year.

Proceeds from this year's sale will be used for patient care at the hospital.

Good causes

It's been a very busy season in terms of parties for good causes.

The second annual Casino Night Gala, benefiting the Muscular Dystrophy Association's summer-camp program, was sponsored by the Young Members Committee of the Center Club. Partygoers filled the club, which is on the 16th floor of the USF&G; Building, and an enthusiastic Mark Gloth, chair of this year's event, declared it one of the best social events of the year.

The next party was the Children's Cancer Foundation's 12th Celebrity Ball at the Towson Center. Again this year, the project was handled by Shirley Howard, who is a real dynamo. Her celebrity star was Bobby Rydell, who put on quite a show for the more than 900 people at the party. And best of all, according to Howard, the foundation gave $1,328,774 in grants to Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Lombardi Center at Georgetown Hospital, University of Maryland Medical Center, Children's National Medical Center in Washington and the National Cancer Institute.

Inn expansion

More than 600 visitors stopped by the Admiral Fell Inn for the grand opening of the inn's expansion project. Dominik Eckenstein and Gabriel Eckenstein, the team of brothers who are the inn's managing partners, welcomed one and all to the party, which transformed the 39-room urban inn into a deluxe 80-room boutique hotel.

Highlights of the evening included morsels from Savannah's gourmet Southern fare and a martini bar. Among those who stopped by were U.S. Rep. Ben Cardin, still celebrating his victory at the polls; Cynthia and Don Nelson, she owns OC Cotton; Bob Eney, who's responsible for the inn's eclectic interior; and Lee Rayburn, architect for the expansion.

And because the inn is home to lots of "Homicide" folks, there were a few faces from that Hollywood contingent, including television directors Ulie Edel ("Twin Peaks") and Barbara Koppel. nTC Also in attendance were Carroll Armstrong, director of the Baltimore Convention and Visitors Association, and his wife, Barbara, who are new to the Fells Point community; Ed and Cami Kane, owner of the Water Taxi, which carries people to most of Baltimore's waterfront attractions; Gusty Taler, attorney; Sherry Minkin, party planner; Rebecca Katz, who has recently returned to Baltimore after a four-month sabbatical in Italy and is working for her father's gourmet salad-dressing business; and WJHU's Nan Rosenthal.

Kudos for Clarisse

Congratulations to Mrs. Morris (Clarisse) Mechanic, who received standing ovation opening night of "Applause" at the Mechanic Theatre. She was called onstage, where former managing director of the Baltimore Center for the Performing Arts, Hope Quackenbush, introduced her, gave her flowers and said the powers that be had dedicated the 1996-1997 season to Mechanic for her longtime interest and involvement in Baltimore's theater life. It couldn't happen to a nicer lady -- but one note: The program said that she once sang with her brother, Blue Barron, and his band. Not so, Baltimore's first lady of the theater confessed to me. She cannot sing a note, but she did book the band during its heyday.

Pub Date: 11/17/96

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