Published: March 13, 2007
One would have had to work at it to come away from the February 24 and 25 Holliston Antiques Show empty handed. For four decades, the show has attracted a loyal following of dealers and collectors and this year’s event was no exception. Dealers and collectors alike expressed pleasure at the results †again and again. Some 125 dealers set up booths in the gym at the Holliston High School and a healthy crowd eagerly awaited the 40th annual opening bell.
The show was a serendipitous combination of diverse dealers and merchandise and a diverse audience. Enthusiasm levels were high on both sides and smiles and sold stickers prevailed.
When we stopped by the Gray Goose booth about 15 minutes into the show, dealer Jamie Buchanan was already packing up a client’s purchases. The Poland, N.Y., dealer arranged an enticing assortment of ironstone and Staffordshire by color †white. Attleborough, Mass., dealer Joyce H. Charbonneau showed a range of cloisonné and some silver plate. The most intriguing objects for one visitor were the toys she had for sale: a tin alphabet game made in 1917 by Foxy Toys of Berea, Ohio, retained the wood letters and a large tin school bus added vibrant color to the display.
JSD Antiques of Durham, N.H., had a cabinet full of desirable ivory figures that attracted a crowd of highly focused shoppers. An array of pre-Columbian figures alongside a Chinese Liang zhu ceremonial ax attracted scholarly buyers. Song dynasty tea bowls were impressive and made for easy packing. Just to throw buyers off, dealer Jim Dolph threw in some blue Wedgwood Jasperware among the Imari and Peking glass. It, too, was of interest. Choice jade snuff bottles were displayed in a fitted case and invited lots of attention.
Ed and Carol Correia, who operate as Under the Pine Antiques of Sterling, Conn., had a couple of Hoosier cabinets with enormous appeal to those in the buying audiences who were furnishing homes.
It was hard to even get near the jewelry dealers. Maria L. Carro, who deals as Cache Maria, hung glittering vintage costume jewelry necklaces across her booth and was rewarded with a full house.
Bob Ventura of Ventura Collections of Middleborough, Mass., had a small Nineteenth Century bible that belonged originally to J. Frank Pope of Milton, Mass. Pope served in the 13th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry and was taken prisoner at Gettysburg and later released. The bible was accompanied by documentation and a pair of daguerreotype portraits of a husband and wife †or a brother and sister, although Ventura and most other observers leaned toward the married couple †with the inset likeness of a young Civil War soldier in a double gutta percha case. Ventura offered other well-documented daguerreotypes that drew clusters of students and scholars alike.
Eight 1950s-style oak chairs were offered by Reflections in Time Antiques of Groton, Mass. Two pretty patchwork quilts folded neatly on them were unfolded and refolded several times by interested buyers.
From Barre, Mass., Village Green Antiques had a set of four grain painted and stenciled chairs with caned seats. They showed stoneware, pine furniture and a set of steps that was home to all manner of antique cast iron skillets.
Bob Carnegie of Upton, Mass., showed highly colored framed antique board games and maps. An evocative World War II poster with an image of a soulful-looking spaniel resting his head on a sailor’s uniform and the caption, “Because somebody talked&” came from a Milford, Mass., collection. The poster, Carnegie explained, incorporated the gold star flag given to families who lost members in the war. It was part of the collection of Mary Comba, whose glamorous 1930s photograph was also for sale. Carnegie also had vintage aerial views by photographer Walter R. Merryman of Haverhill, Mass., that included a 1930s image of Marblehead Harbor, Mass.
John B. White and Warren A. Brown of The Center Chimney in Bristol, R.I., had some fine furniture for sale, ranging from a nice easy chair on claw and ball feet, a bombe chest and an elegant tea table to a dressing mirror, brass and an array of small decorative objects that raced out of the booth to new homes.
Many people of a certain age perfected their reading skills with Dick and Jane, and, of course, Spot. The Scrapbook, Vincent and Barbara Caravella’s antique print and map shop in Essex, Mass., offered two large Dick and Jane prints, one of which included Spot, that stopped many in their tracks. Speaking after the show, Barbara Caravella said she wished she had a dollar for everyone who inquired about Dick and Jane. The Scrapbook also offered some compelling terrestrial and celestial maps. Vincent Caravella provided us with information about the existence of the growing and eminently desirable website for Essex antiques dealers, www.essexada.com.
Wayside Antiques, a group shop in Marlborough, Mass., showed country antiques in the way of mochaware, stoneware, tole work, baskets and furniture. One piece de resistance was the 1907 edition of Ozma of Oz that was printed and distributed as a prize by the Worcester Telegram and Gazette and bears a page attesting to that.
Roger Cooley of Harrisburg, Penn., says he enjoys coming to the Boston area †even in February. He assembled a wide display of uniformed soldiers, warriors, even a Boy Scout, representing centuries.
Three illuminated Victorian hall lamps with glass shades of red, pink and orange festooned a pole in the booth of Greenhouse Antiques of Scituate, Mass., which specializes in lamps and lighting, clocks and watches and Asian objects. Proprietor Irving R. Versoy has traded in lamps and clocks for 40 years and had some nice parlor lamps, glass shades and mantel clocks.
Candleglow Antiques in Holliston did not have too far to travel. The dealer showed prints, a pair of ceramic poodles, Quimper, textiles, small furniture, candle molds and an interesting East Asian water buffalo horn with brass trim.
The booth of Dottie & Cuto’s Antiques had fine ceramics, early glass and lighting and the dealers were busy making sales of a variety of items brought with them from Wentworth, N.H.
Those in search of desirable smalls and ceramics created consistently heavy traffic at the booth of Matt King and Camille Buda from Marshfield and Scituate, Mass. They offered the unusual, like the two dainty Staffordshire inkwells in the form of white dogs with black spots and pinkish muzzles for sale singly or as a pair.
Fry’s Antiques of Elmira, N.Y., did the show for the first time. The array of vintage toys was simply stunning. Homestead House of Madison, N.Y., had something for every holiday: vintage jack-o-lanterns, toy polar bears, Christmas figures and decorations, old-fashioned tree stands and portraits.
Raven’s Way Antiques of North Kingstown, R.I., brought an owl decoy by Frank Finney, as well as bird and duck decoys and highly colored fish decoys. The booth also had a shining selection of brass plumb bobs, turn of the Twentieth Century hammers, planes and wrenches. The booth was supplemented by woodenware and candle molds, and more decoys. A blowfish sculpture by Richard Hatfield commanded a lot of attention. Hatfield, who usually creates kinetic art, said the blowfish was his first fish.
Images of the Past, Abbeville, S.C., deals in paintings, and M.V. Schedlbauer of North New Salem, Mass., sells furniture and decorations. The two dealers occupied booths across from one another, situated in the entrance passageway. Arriving visitors seemed to brush by in their haste to get into the show. But, their location paid off in spades. Buyers leaving the show were much more relaxed, some nearly dragging their feet, not wanting to have missed anything. The two dealers and the nearby Chelsea Hill Antiques from Hampden, Conn., had lots of activity as we exited the show.
Speaking by telephone several days after the show, show manager Stephen Allman said he had more booth commitments for next year’s show than was usual. The show is a fundraiser for the Holliston Scholarship Foundation, which last year awarded about $40,000 to Holliston High School seniors headed to four-year institutions.
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