CONCORD, N.H. — Nan Gurley filled the Everett Arena here with 83 exhibiting antiques dealers for a one-day event on April 21. Typical of her shows, this affair was filled with early American antiques. Great finds from northern New England, such as furniture that had paint decoration on native woods to imitate the grain of more exotic materials not available or affordable there; exceptional small objects made for utilitarian purposes but now highly prized, such as miniature baskets and carved household tools and textiles were available.
Maxine Craft travels from her Bradenton, Fla., home all around New England to shop for her collections and to exhibit at various shows. This spring show offered her the opportunity to shop in the north and allowed her to add to her inventory. Her sales were also sufficient to cover her expenses and effort, with an interesting early leather bag finding a new home, a tall standing shelf and a large variety of small antiques going to other collectors.
Stephen-Douglas Antiques, Rockingham, Vt., showed an assortment of early New England furniture, small accessories and folk art. Stephen Corrigan, in describing one painting in their offering, said it was probably the work of an untrained artist, using some other work as a study for the unfinished painting of a small child. While the study has been seen before in other mediums, this appeared to be watercolor on paper.
Centered in Brian Cullity’s exhibit was an eight-pointed star, often referred to as the Star of Bethlehem. This Cape Cod dealer was also showing a collection of early furniture and blue Staffordshire.
Milford, N.H., exhibitor Candlewick Antiques was showing a collection of early New England painted furniture and accessories. Offerings included several painted firkins and a large faux grain-painted blanket chest, which the dealer John Anderson said was painted on pine to resemble a fine hardwood. He reported that sales were good, with more of the small things selling than furniture. He also said “the location seems to work good for the antiques show, because the Everett Arena is just off I-93 and easy for the customers to find it.”
Bettina Krainin from Woodbury, Conn., sharing the exhibit area with Harold Cole, said, “The show was very good. We both sold very well, although not too much furniture. A hanging shelf was our largest piece and a lot of smalls. I also sold a fine coverlet.” Their collection included an assortment of hollow copper animal weathervanes and an early faux grain-painted server.
The mother/daughter combination of Pam and Martha Boynton came away pleased with their results for the weekend. Daughter Martha reported that among their sales were an early cream pitcher of mochaware in very good condition; an early New England basket; one of several early samplers; a sewing roll up; an early blown glass bottle and several other smalls. She also said that furniture was not in her sales total, but she expected that and so brought mostly early and valuable small antiques.
Mainers Tom Jewett and Butch Berdan were offering an assortment of early folk art, textiles, furniture and small antiques. Their home base is Newcastle, and their shop was closed for the weekend while they sold well and early at the show.
Bob and Mary Fraser, Chester, Vt., offered a large collection of one of their specialties, coin silver from Vermont and other areas of Northern New England.
The centerpiece of the Tates’ exhibit was an early carousel horse with some of its original paint. From nearby Londonderry, N.H., they were also offering early textiles and some early tinware in the form of sconces and a coffee pot.
An early sack back Windsor chair and a Queen Anne swing leg drop leaf table were among the most prominent offerings from Gail and Don Piatt, Contoocook, N.H.
Firehouse Antiques, Galena, Md., assembled a creative collection of early furniture. One of the groupings shown was a set of six small chairs, which looked as though they were from a school study area, as they nested into a circle.
A sure show-stopper, according to several of the expert collectors and dealers, was Matt King’s Pembroke table. This Marshfield, Mass., exhibitor was showing what he described as an American Hepplewhite drop leaf in Cuban mahogany, priced at just under $1,000. He was also offering a large collection of small antiques, which included several painted firkins, a paint-decorated bride’s box and more.
Pat Stauble, Wiscasset, Maine, and Priscilla Hutchinson, Cape Cod, were sharing space, exhibiting their collections of early American painted antiques. Stauble was showing furniture and Hutchinson was offering folk art, but they were also each crossing over with a great collection. Across the aisle, Framingham, Mass., dealer Sheila Robbins exhibited an early hooked rug picturing a buck in cattails.
Upon the show’s conclusion, manager Nan Gurley said she was very pleased with the event, except that she had worn herself down to where she had pneumonia for the week after. Her sales were good from the exhibit that she and her husband, Peter Mavris, had, and she was also pleased with the dealer participation and attendance. “The ice rink was full to capacity and the crowd was good!,” she said.
“Easy access from I-93, just a few hundred yards from the interstate highway, and lots of parking make this a great place for the show, the only problem is that between Labor Day until April 1, it has ice on the floor, but we will be back again next year.” She said her date is tentatively set for Sunday, April 27, 2014. Gurley has shows all year, with her next event at Deerfield Fairgrounds on August 6. For information, 207-625-3577 or 207-625-5028.