Madison Historical Society Celebrates 42nd Annual Antiques Show

MADISON, CONN. — The Madison Historical Society celebrated its 42nd annual summer antiques show on the town green August 24 with about 80 exhibitors. Customers came early, late and all the in-between time for the shopping fun, good food and carnival-like atmosphere created for the one-day affair.

As a benefit for the society, the show was managed by its director Pam Allen and events coordinator, Beth Wardwell, getting the dealers in place, tents up, food service ready and all the other marketing activities necessary for such an undertaking.

Early that morning, Scarsdale, N.Y., dealer Joe Moffitt was discussing his early tap table with a couple of prospective customers. The maple table had an oval top when the leaves were open and a stretcher base low to the ground. He said the feet had been ended out but that was more than considered in the pricing for the early Eighteenth Century piece.

 Nearby, Richard Decker, Longmeddowe Antiques of Munson, Mass., was selling from his collection of early lighting. He offered several early pierced tin barn lanterns, fat lamps and a selection of early earthenware.

Rooster River Antiques, Fairfield, Conn., was selling early painted furniture and architectural elements. Its centerpiece was an early, very large, three-piece shutter in the Palladian style, rounded sides leading to a flat top and in good rich blue paint. It sold early, along with another early red shutter, a metal bistro table and chairs set, an early Victorian birdcage and stand and more smalls.

There was a time when every antiques shop had a spinning wheel in the window and so many homes had one in the keeping room for decoration. At this show, Mike McNaughton brought one, a large walking wheel, from his collection in Franklin, Conn. Also offered here were several pond boats, stoneware and a bird cooker in tin.

Jamie Hueschkel was showing a collection of early furniture, most of it in original paint, and a large collection of early cast iron toy trains. The Pleasant Valley, Conn., dealer said the trains were 100 to 150 years old, American made, and their condition was good in original paint.

Lew Scranton, Killingworth, Conn., said, “I have done every one of these shows, all 42, and I am here again. It is fun to do one so close to home, and the selling and buying are both good.” His first sale of the morning was an early Hingham Shaker pantry box, only 3 inches in diameter, with no breaks. He also sold an early stand in the first few minutes and had a good day before the show was over.

Arriving via the New London ferry, Tom and Eunice Thomas of Hands All Around were offering early country furniture and accessories. Their first sale was an early painted wall sconce big enough for a barn light or some lantern. They had in the front of their exhibit an early 1800s maple table with fixed top and turned legs, along with many small items. Their sales this year “were the best ever and this was our 15th year at the show. It is fun and pretty rewarding for us,” Tom said.

Joe Liszka, Agawam, Mass., was showing several Fiske weathervanes. He offered two Ethan Allan running horse hollow copper pieces and several other interesting vanes along with early lightning rods.

Connecticut dealers dominated the day-long exhibition and sale. Sasha’s Antiques, Orange, Conn., was showing early American country furniture. Erica Udoff, Chester, was selling midcentury home furnishings and going back in time to early Nineteenth Century furniture. Vintage Wares and Old House Findings, the partnership of Bob and Joan Benoit from Windsor, was selling architectural elements and household goods, all pre-1900. Albert Joseph & Co. was showing the most recent addition to its Woodbury-based collection of early furniture.

Pam Allen is the director of Madison Historical Society and oversees this show, the society’s most important event. In a postshow interview, she said, “We were very pleased with the results, the show was fantastic. We had about 80 exhibitors and the paid attendance was more than 1,400 for this one-day affair. The weather cooperated so when the shoppers came they had a very pleasant day perusing the antiques collected on the town green.”

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