Hayden Goldberg & Curtis Brown

An Historical blue transferware Staffordshire Fairmount near Philadelphia platter, eagle and floral border

p4A ItemID E8907493
An Historical blue transferware Staffordshire Gilpin's Mills on the Brandywine Creek plate, shell border

p4A ItemID E8907363
An Historical blue transferware Staffordshire Scudder's American Museum plate, acorn and oak leaf border

p4A ItemID E8907319
An Historical blue transferware Staffordshire State House, Hartford, Connecticut, cup and saucer, floral border

p4A ItemID E8907303

Hayden Goldberg & Curtis Brown

My uncle, Hayden Goldberg, had been collecting “blue” for almost fifty years when at a family celebration, shortly before his death, he told me it was time to sell his collection. As I looked at his expression, I knew it wasn’t an easy decision for him. I do know one thing for sure, he always said he did not want his collection of historical blue Staffordshire to go to a museum and sit on shelves in storage rooms. He wanted collectors to enjoy the “hunt” as he did all those years as he pursued his vast collection.

Hayden was born on February 23, 1929. He was raised in Gardiner, Maine, but quickly outgrew the little city of paper mills and shoe factories. After his junior year in high school, Hayden left to attend Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine to study English literature. In 1949, he graduated cum laude and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He went on to obtain his master’s degree in English literature at Columbia University in New York and his doctorate at Cambridge University in England. Hayden enjoyed many things about England culture and history, such as Yorkshire pudding, Bedlington Terriers, English literature, a certain white ’55 Rolls Royce, early and rare Canadian and British Commonwealth stamps, and early English Staffordshire, aka historical blue china. While living in England, Hayden made several purchases, typical of his fine taste and eye for quality. He chose two patterns of Wedgwood china and two exquisite sets of sterling silver. As a complete surprise to me, he gave me one of the sets as a wedding gift and a set of English Kings silver celebrating the queen’s coronation of 1953.

For me, every summer began with anticipation for the annual arrival of Uncle Hayden from New York. Hayden returned to Maine each summer where he and his sister, Faye, my mother, became business partners, not only buying and selling antiques, but owning and promoting their own antique shows. In addition to orchestrating these coastal antiques shows, the duo catered them as well, with lobster stew and blueberry pie, just to name a few of their specialties.

Hayden and Faye dealt in a wide variety of fine antiques over the course of 50+ years in business together, including sterling silver, estate jewelry, cranberry glass, brass candlesticks and hardware, period furniture, yellowware, flow blue china, pattern glass, whale oil lamps, and old green pickle jars that Hayden dutifully made into electric lamps at the beginning of each summer. Over the years, both of them collected and furnished their homes with beautiful examples of fine antiques they acquired along the way. One of their earliest sources was a neighbor and friend in Gardiner, Hazel Morrell. Hazel would return from a buying trip of fresh merchandise and promptly call Hayden and Faye, and plans would be made for a visit. It was during one of these visits in 1963 that Hayden bought his first piece of historical blue Staffordshire, a 9.75″ diameter Ridgway plate with a view of the New York City Hall for $20.00.

Along the way, Hayden met his life partner, Curtis Brown, while each was pursuing their careers as college professors. Hayden began his teaching career with positions at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, and Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He then accepted a position at the New Jersey Institute of Technology where he taught until his retirement. Together, Hayden and Curtis purchased a three-story brownstone in the Boerum Hill section of Brooklyn, New York. Fully enjoying much of what the city had to offer, the pair frequented Broadway shows, the ballet, and their favorite, the opera, especially Hayden’s beloved “Carmen.”

Hayden and Curtis collected antiques that would furnish their home over several decades, including Shaker items, Sandwich glass candlesticks, bull’s-eye and diamond point glassware, candle chandeliers, Bennington, Mulberry, art, fine furniture, oriental carpets, and, of course, the “blue.” Hayden continued to make their home truly reflect their taste by hand-stenciling virtually every room in traditional designs, some his own creations. Known to be a Renaissance Man, Hayden’s “can-do” attitude meant he had the ability to do most anything and do it well. He was definitely the go-to guy in my family. Whether it was an everyday problem that needed solving or fixing or a question of mere trivia or serious academia, Hayden was the person to ask. It seemed he was interested in everything and was equally as knowledgeable in areas including genealogy and history.

Over the years, Hayden researched and documented interesting and detailed facts about manufacturers, artists, and forms of historical blue to publish a reference book. His passion for these historic forms of transferware can be seen in the vast number of pieces and the variety of shapes, sizes, and scenes in his collection. Please take time to enjoy the beautiful pages of this catalog and take notes of pieces you can’t resist bidding on; or, of the piece missing from your collection. Whether you are an avid collector or this is your first piece, when you purchase an item from Hayden’s collection, you will have fulfilled his wishes of enjoying the “hunt”. It is our family’s wish to establish a legacy in our beloved uncle’s name.

On behalf of the Goldberg and Brown family, thank you for your interest and participation in this great event!

Happy Hunting, – Karen Montell (niece)

______________________

We met Hayden and Curtis at a show in Stamford, Connecticut in the mid 1970′s. We were all in David and Linda Arman’s booth and discovered that we had mutual collecting interests. We lived about half an hour away from their home and through the years made many trips to Brooklyn from Queens. Hayden was always happy to add a missing piece to his growing collection. He particularly liked items depicting Bullfinch’s architecture and would later write articles for “The Magazine Antiques” about them. The Boston State House was a particular favorite. I remember that part of their collection was kept on steel shelving and when the local train would go by, all the pieces started to rattle! Curtis would make lunch that was served on antique china and the peach tart was enjoyed by all.

One summer, many years ago, we went to an auction in Bridgton, Maine that had a collection of “Historical Blue”. All the usual suspects showed up, so we knew we would have competition. Shortly before the sale started, an all-white vintage Rolls Royce pulled up and out popped Hayden. He certainly knew how to make an entrance and I am sure something nice was added to his and Curtis’s collection that day.

- Bill and Terry Kurau

Biographical Note courtesy of Pook & Pook Inc.


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