BOUCKVILLE, N.Y. — For the 43rd consecutive year, the road between the two small villages of Madison and Bouckville on Route 20 in upstate New York filled with more than 1,000 exhibiting antiques and collectibles dealers and many more thousands of shoppers for the weeklong sale, August 12–18. The event was originally started by Jock Hengst as a small antiques show next to the restaurant he and a partner owned at that time, the Landmark Tavern, as a means to stimulate business. He never realized just how very big it would become, now one of the largest such events in the eastern United States.
In recent years ownership of several fields has changed, and with those changes many dealers have switched from one field to another. In many cases, the fields have virtually no independent identity, but just run from one yard or field to the next.
Entering from Madison at midweek, on the left is East Expo, measuring from the front 100 or so feet from the side of the road to the edge of a corn field and about 1,000 feet along the road. Here, in a tent, Jackie Spiegel from Lyons, N.Y., was showing her collection of early American country furniture and household goods. An early Windsor sack back armchair and firkin were front and center in her exhibit.
Nearby, in the same style of big-top tent, Robert and Sally Brown were selling an Eighteenth Century sled from South Paris, Maine, with painted decoration for $600. Their small antiques were getting a great deal of attention, including assorted carved ivory animals and baby and children’s shoes from 100–150 years ago.
Margaret Jones, Montrose, Penn., has been doing antiques shows for a long time, and she proudly proclaims her senior status. Exhibiting with her daughter, Barbara Klim, she offered early lighting, miniature baskets, miniature paintings and a collection of early tin molds.
Jean Tudhope, Back Door Antiques of East Middlebury, Vt., sold well, including an early day bed, a Vermont-made two-drawer stand in mustard paint, some signs and a great deal of small things.
Hometown Antiques, Glenburn, Maine, was also in one of the big tents on East Expo with a double booth. Owner Michael Gallant was selling from his assorted collections of pottery and early glassware; pewter and early woodenware. One display in the exhibit was a grouping of early pine boxes or chests in staggered sizes, which Gallant said all came from Maine.
Sherman and Glynis Thompson, Kennebunkport, Maine, were at East Expo again this year with a collection of Maine Shaker items. Originally sold by the Sabbath Day Lake Shakers as “fancy goods,” there were many little sewing items. There were also some pieces from the Alfred community, including a bucket and a wooden scoop, which found new homes before the show’s end.
Dave and Janet Crowther, Appleton Antiques, Dalton, Penn., exhibit at only a few shows each year in order to keep their shop open. At this show their sales were good in Pennsylvania-found furniture, and leaving their tent were a set of six Hitchcock rush-seated chairs in original paint, a scrub top table with painted base, a painted cupboard with white as the last color of several coatings of paint and a paint decorated chest and more.
Also at East Expo, Steve Temple and Linda Davis, Alton, N.H., were offering a collection that “had everything,” according to Steve. To one customer after asking what they were looking for, Steve’s reply before they even answered was, “We’ve got it,” for they really did have a great variety of smalls.
Further down the street, Last Chance Antiques, from Norwich, Conn., was set up in front of a house in what is called Out Front Field. The owner of the business, Wayne La Chance, offered a well-cared-for cobbler’s bench complete with some of the specialized tools. Inside his tent there was a dining room setting with an early fixed top pine table and set of six ladder back chairs, an early corner cupboard with glass lights in the doors on the top and a large collection of Nineteenth Century oil lighting.
Next to La Chance in his own tent at Out Front Field was Pete Skoglund from Unadilla, N.Y. His collection was almost all lighting from about 1700 until the advent of electricity.
Across the street was Matt Foster at Mohawk Arms. From Cooperstown, N.Y., Matt was offering a large collection of early advertising.
Indian Acres was next on the tour, with about 90 exhibiting dealers on the field. Michael Cohen, Brooksville, Ky., showed his collection in a large tent. He had an assortment of Southern furniture. Sales included a Nineteenth Century grandfather clock and a number of furniture pieces.
Next to Cohen was Paul Norton, Plymouth, Conn. His collection was primarily early steamer trunks. His favorite was described as a theatrical trunk, with all sorts of small compartments and in excellent condition.
Ken Hunt, West Eaton, N.Y., was offering only milk bottles for the collectors. Each bottle had the name of some dairy either in the molded glass or painted on it.
Cider House show field is also a shop that is open most of the year. For the week there are many dealers in large, communal tents and some with their own.
In one of the tents Longview Farms Antiques and Collectibles, Warnerville, N.Y., showed a toy collection that included an assortment of early Twentieth Century cars and trucks in painted tin.
Nearby, Jerry Kline brought a collection of early tea boxes and caddies from his home in Kodak, Tenn. Under The Pines Antiques, Sterling, Conn., offered an assorted collection of steampunk lighting.
Buckboard Antiques, Westfield, Mass., trades in early toys and mechanical things. The centerpiece in this exhibit was an early Mack fire truck, about 3 feet long and in excellent condition.
Roycroft Antiques, East Aurora, N.Y., has been exhibiting in the front yard of a house near the Landmark Tavern for more than 30 years. The business offers furniture in a large tent and also has a display of earthenware and glassware collections in the yard. The furniture is from many periods — midcentury back to colonial times. Timepieces were offered, too, with an assortment of clocks, primarily early New England examples.
Madison Bouckville Antiques Show is on the grounds of the original show field, although the event now has a new owner, the Results Group from Syracuse, N.Y. Managed by Tom Tarry this year, there were about 350 exhibitors in tented spaces selling from Friday morning through the weekend.
Chelsea Hill Antiques, Hampton, Conn., is Tom and Dorine Nagy featuring their collection of early furniture, art and smalls. Tom reported sales that included a pair of portraits, oil on canvas, circa 1820, only one cupboard from the assortment he offered and a sufficient quantity of smalls to go home Sunday night with a profit.
An early Pennsylvania corner cupboard was the lead sale for Emele’s Antiques from Dublin, Penn. Victoria Emele said they had a very good show, with additional sales including “the table centered in the exhibit, chairs and a collection of our small antiques.”
From Alliance, Ohio, Rick Feller was offering a collection dominated by the little things. His early sales included several Shaker pantry boxes, small ones, about 1 inch and 2 inches in diameter and priced at $285. He was not carrying many big things, but one piece of furniture was an early dry sink in a blue milk paint that had turned to a soft shade of violet with age.
Waterford crystal is the primary focus for Jerry Stinnett from Lynchburg, Va. He also was selling some English and American furniture and porcelain dishes.
Cabin on the Hill, Georgetown, Texas, offered an American country furniture collection. Jim and Sandy Sheffield collect their inventory in the Northeast as well as in Texas, and exhibit in order to sell and replenish at the same time. Here they were showing a large collection of early woodenware, early earthenware and primitive American furniture in paint and some in natural finishes.
Kay Roffe said she was pleased with her results for the three-day weekend. From Williamson, N.Y., she has been a regular here for many years, so the customers expect her to have a special collection. She sold several Adirondack oil on canvas scenic paintings from the Nineteenth Century; some New York Shaker-made objects, including a wood and tin press, as well as some other smalls and books.
Madison Bouckville Antiques Show and its predecessor have long been known as a source for early American country antiques and also a great supply of Nineteenth Century home furnishings and early collectibles from New York, Pennsylvania and the Midwest. For example, Ron Broughman of Caulkins House Antiques, Metamora, Mich., was selling from his furniture collection, shipping out a table and corner cupboard.
Ken and Jan Silveri, Hamburg, Penn., brought a large collection of painted furniture they found shopping near home. Marc DeSalvo, West Mifflin, Penn., was selling furniture and early home machines, such as coffee grinders. John Provo, Plymouth, Minn., sold Old Hickory furniture exclusively. Clark and Farley, Kansas City, Kan., was offering its collection of 100-year-old toys.
Most fields opened on Monday, with Cider House opening on Tuesday. The principal market, however, Madison Bouckville Antiques Show, opened for general admission Friday at 1 pm and continued Saturday and Sunday. It its third year under the Results Group, the show included about 350 exhibitors in a variety of big top tents and some in their own tented spaces. Show manager Tom Tarry said he was pleased with the turnout. “We had [more people] on the first day and on Saturday than the last two years, so even though Sunday was a little light, we were up overall in attendance,” he said. Tarry’s field is the only one with an admission fee, and so the only one that can count how many attend the week of shows.