Published: March 9, 2004
The Tolland Antiques Show, a popular one-day antiques show presented by the Tolland Historical Society, opened to a large and enthusiastic crowd on Sunday, February 22.
Tolland, now in its 38th year, is a treasure of a show that every collector of early American antiques that does not already know about it, should know about. The show, reminiscent of an event from days gone by, packs all of the excrdf_Descriptionent of a major country Americana event into a one-day small town New England show.
The show features 70 Americana specialists from eight states and both the dealers and management go all out for this event, insisting on a quality offering displayed within formal fully walled and papered booths.
Weather can be a major factor for this rural show, as many of the dealers will attest. “Surprisingly there was no snow, which is unusual for Tolland,” commented dealer Dale Bland. While there was no snow for the actual day of the show, a combination of ice and snow blanketed the area the night before; however, clear skies and dry roads prevailed for the morning trek to Tolland. Lewis Scranton was also pleased with the clear roads, “This show is predicated on the weather, if it snows,” stated the dealer, “no one comes, if it is clear, the people come out of the woodwork and we do great.”
“It is hard telling someone that they have to leave the show, especially when some dealers are still in the process of writing up sales slips for these customers, but for security reasons we had to do it,” stated Bach.
David and Dale Bland of Horace Porter Antiques, South Windsor, Conn., had a “really good show” moving several large pieces of furniture. Dale Bland commented, “Tolland is a wonderful little show, it is well put together and the society does a great job for the dealers.” The Blands reported a Boston Queen Anne highboy, circa 1770, with shell carved drawer selling early in the show, along with a tavern table, chair, and also a slant front desk that sold in the days after the show to a customer that had admired it on the floor.
The dealer pointed to a full range of merchandise being sold around the floor ranging from iron and decorative smalls to painted and refinished furniture. “We sold a Gonic redware jar, a Windsor armchair in red paint, a landscape painting, a candlestand and a decorated tole box and bread tray” from the more than a dozen sales they recorded.
Don Buckley of Buckley and Buckley Antiques, Salisbury, Conn., was a first-time exhibitor at the show and he stated, “It was wonderful. Tolland has always been one of the nicest country shows that we have ever seen and we wanted to be a part of it.” Buckley explained that they have been shopping the show for years, so when a booth became available they grabbed it.
“We see a lot of old friends there,” stated Buckley, and the amiable dealers surely made many more. The dealer reported eight sales for the day including a Middletown chest with scalloped apron in old red paint. The Buckleys also reported selling numerous smalls including several pieces of pottery and pewter.
Pam and Martha Boynton also “did very well,” with sales recorded on all different levels. “Tolland is one of our favorite shows; not only do we sell well there but we also buy well there. This year we found a bunch of stuff for ourselves.” According to Pam, the dealers “sold spongeware, sconces, braided rugs, a mirror, a hanging wall shelf, two baskets, a two-drawer blanket chest and a Windsor arm chair.”
Dan and Karen Olson, also ten-plus-year veterans of the show, reported numerous sales throughout the day. “In the first hour after early buying we had only sold one pair of watercolors and I began to think that maybe it wasn’t going to happen this year,” stated Karen Olson. “But as the regular crowd came in our sales accelerated to the point that we couldn’t keep up at times.”
The long list of rdf_Descriptions to move from their booth included a set of six bottle green country chairs decorated with strawberries and flowers, a small cupboard, a primitive painting of a young girl in a peach dress, a couple of Windsors, a Hudson River Valley painting, stoneware and pewter.
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