Published: August 22, 2000
The New Hampshire Antiques Show
MANCHESTER, N.H. – “Michael [Malce] told me to go to The New Hampshire Antiques Show and ‘buy with your heart.'” Jolie Kelter, a New York City dealer who was exhibiting at the Mid*Week in Manchester Antiques Show, said this as she made her way through the show with the huge opening crowd.
She added, “That was very releasing, and he will now have to come over and pick up a stepback cupboard, a gameboard, a blanket box, and a coverlet.” And the show had been open only a short time.
However, she was right in step with those who rushed through the doors of the convention center and started buying up just about everything in sight.
This was the 43rd year for the show and everyone seemed intent upon making it the best ever to launch the new century. Without question the dealers had been putting things away for this event and lots of fresh rdf_Descriptions were available. Painted furniture, gameboards, accessories, and “smalls” were soon covered with “sold” tags and one dealer was overheard saying, “Just put your name on it and come back to pick it up and pay for it when you get a chance.” Actually what he really meant was, “I am too busy now to write up a slip, so please come back.”
Generally the first couple of hours of the show account for the majority of business, but this year people seemed to be writing checks just as rapidly towards the middle of the afternoon. One longtime exhibitor noted, “Saturday, the last day of the show, has become a very good day for us as people have had a chance to think about what they have seen and there are no new shows to distract them.”
This year a sign appeared around the Center of New Hampshire Hotel asking people who were going to the show not to get in line before 4 am. In the past some customers have been in line over twelve hours before the 10 am opening, and the hotel apparently decided enough was enough. Some show-goers hired members of the hotel staff to “chair sit” for them while they got a good night’s sleep; others asked for room service while in line; and it has been said that one person even asked the hotel if he could have a TV.
Jason Dixon of Tucker Station Antiques, usually the first person in line, was there again this year. “I came down around 2 am and no one seemed to care if I went and sat by the door, so I did,” he said. And again he confirmed that being the first into the show is well worth it, and he plans a repeat performance next year.
While people are waiting for the show to open they drink lots of coffee and generally make their way to the glass doors at the entrance of the show. The booth of Steven Rowe is quite visible from this spot and people get a real preview of what is available. This might explain, in part, why the booth is covered with “sold” signs within minutes of the opening. This year a geometric hooked rug against the back wall, 47 by 70, great colors, sold immediately, as did a white painted garden bench, a set of three architectural fans, a scroll back dressing table, a painted building bank, and a painted chest of drawers. It must be said that the red signs certainly looked good against his bright blue papered walls.
Nearby Jeannine Dobbs of Merrimack, N.H., displayed a dated 1896 friendship album quilt and a good ladderback armchair with black painted surface. Estelle Glavey of New Ipswich, N.H., showed a Federal inlaid card table in mahogany, circa 1790, and two sawbuck tables, one with a two-board scrubbed top, circa 1820, and the other dating from the Eighteenth Century, pine, with blue surface.
A fox weathervane by Cushing & Co. was shown by Ron and Penny Dionne of Wellington, Conn. “We had a few more weathervanes, about seven, when we arrived here, and they sold very rapidly,” Penny said Thursday morning. An interesting advertising clock had a large eye inside the numbers, and a similar eye decorated the pendulum. Gameboards were all over the show and three nice ones, including one in red paint with gold and black border, were offered. Probably dealers were hoping that the gameboard frenzy at the Cave Collection auction several days before would still have some momentum.
Wayne Pratt and Company of Woodbury, Conn., had several large pieces of case furniture, including a bonnet top highboy and a chest on chest, along with a Chippendale reverse serpentine chest of drawers, Massachusetts, circa 1770. The folk painted hutch table from the Cave Collection was in the center of the booth and on top of it was a wonderful weathervane in the form of a codfish, large size and gold patina. “It sold at once,” Wayne mentioned. “I was not going to put it out at first, but was going to save it for East Side.” The left hand corner of the booth was filled with a cupboard, green surface, New York State, poplar, early Nineteenth Century, which measured 85¼ inches tall.
A fine portrait of Angeline Harwood by A. Brooks, Barre, Mass., hung over a slant-front desk in the booth of Pam Boynton, Groton, Mass., and Martha Boynton, Townsend, Mass. The oil on canvas dated 1839 and the sitter was in a red dress holding a white flower. Furniture included a snake foot candlestand with shaped top, black painted, with a six-pointed star on the top with red, green, and yellow points.
Jef and Terri Steingrebe of Bradford, N.H., showed one of the largest weathervanes in the show, a quarter moon with arrows on the original directionals. A large rooster weathervane with cast iron front portion, sheet metal tail, bright surface, sold early in the show, as did a painted step-back cupboard with open top and doors on the bottom. A large carved rooster with fan tail had a “sold” ticket on it. Across the aisle Robert Withington of York, Maine, showed a red painted sled with horse decoration, and a nice green painted wall cabinet with fancy gold letters advertising Lolarine Motor Oil.
John and Deborah Melby of Sunapee, N.H., were new to the show this year and neatly filled a corner booth, formerly occupied by Linda and Michael Whittemore, with a gray painted wall which contained doors and a closet, as well as a set of drawers. A green painted stepback cupboard had an open top with three shelves, and the door for the lower section was missing. A 24-drawer apothecary, dating from the early Nineteenth Century, was of Massachusetts origin.
Chalk and spatter filled one of the cases of Bea Cohen, Easton, Pa., and figures included dogs, sheep, soldiers, cats, doves, and rabbits. A neat collection of early hand tools included planes, drills, and calipers. Attracting attention was a life-size ball toss figure in the form of a mule, shown by Kate Alex of Warner, N.H. This piece, when plugged in, sounded a loud horn when the ball was properly tossed. A Vermont country Empire secretary with fitted interior, grain painted, was also shown.
Linda and Michael Whittemore of Hampton, Conn., are now installed in the booth which was, for a good number of years, the spot for Paul and Margaret Weld. More recently The Yankee Smuggler was there and the Haywards have now moved to the center aisle of the show. With that bit of history out of the way, this booth continues to be a popular place for shopping and it took very little time for sales to deplete a large inventory. A colorful game wheel sold fast, and is now entrenched in a Vermont collection.
Other rdf_Descriptions with red spots included a carved wooden owl, a pair of mirrored sconces, a gamecock weathervane, a New Hampshire harvest table measuring six feet long and of maple and birch, a Maine stepback cupboard in old red, a butcher’s trade sign, a hooked rug with a swan in the center, several band boxes, and a large hanging shelf, circa 1835, with the original red showing through.
Courcier and Wilkins of Austerlitz, N.Y., brought a selection of Shaker furniture including a New Lebanon rocker, circa 1840, with old finish, and a table in birch made at Enfield, N.H., circa 1840 with turned legs, generous overhang, and old finish. It measured 28 inches high, 42 inches wide, and 25 inches deep. They also showed a schoolgirl watercolor on paper dating from the early Nineteenth Century, 20¾ by 27 inches sight, period frame, showing two female figures by a burial tomb with urns, and a pond in the background with a boat. A set of five arrowback Windsor side chairs were in yellow paint with floral decoration on both the back and the spindles.
A tall gray painted packing or advertising crate stood in the front of the booth of Constance Greer of Amherst, N.H. The wording cautioned one to “stand on edge – glass,” as well as mentioning seashells, electric batteries, rare coins, precious stones, and “a prize is given with every dollar sale.” An early toy in the form of a duck on wheels had a red crusty surface, and a wooden jointed snake coiled on the back wall measured about six feet.
A double needlework portrait of the Radcliffe children, English, circa 1830, 34 by 39 inches, was shown in the booth of Ed Weissman of Portsmouth, N.H. Hanging over a Chippendale flame birch bow front New Hampshire chest, circa 1780, was an oil on canvas folk art scene of a homestead with animals by a pond and figures haying, 34 by 46 inches, possibly Ohio or Pennsylvania, circa 1850 and unsigned.
A Pennsylvania cupboard with glazed doors, yellow surface, circa 1830, was shown by Priscilla Hutchinson, Wiscasset, Maine, along with an early Nineteenth Century hutch table with a black painted three-board top, 49 inches in diameter. Teacher’s Antiques of Chichester, N.H., had a set of six thumb-back Windsor side chairs, brown painted with decoration, plank seats, and a large hanging country store lamp with a tin shade.
An Eighteenth century butterfly table was shown by Pine Cone Antiques, Haverhill, N.H., and a hanging cupboard with one paneled door was painted green. Four dome top boxes, two in green and two in red, were stacked against the back wall in the booth of John Piper House, Stratham, N.H. Two sets of decorated Windsor side chairs, one in yellow and the other in green, were in the center of the booth.
Judy and James Milne of New York City were new to the show this year, but not new to Antiques Week in New Hampshire. They were formerly in Mid*Week in Manchester and said, “We are very pleased to have been chosen to take part in the New Hampshire Show.” By the end of the first day, “Things were just great for us,” Judy said. They are known for having a good selection of weathervanes and at this show they sold three roosters, two horses, two arrows, one cow, one ship, and one feather quill.
Bert Savage of Larch Lodge, Center Strafford, N.H., had a bent willow settee, circa 1830, Illinois, which sold during the first part of the show, and a signed and dated North Carolina chest with the original finish had the inscription “mady be George Canipe and Herman Leonard, Toecane, N.C. March 3, 1939.” Among the paintings in the booth were a salmon signed Bickford, circa 1910, Lake Sunapee area, oil on canvas, and a signed oil on canvas by J. Barnes in the original frame with four fish, a rod and a creel, pictured beside a lake. It dated circa 1890.
A large two-part grained cupboard, French, Nineteenth Century, was shown by Sandy Jacobs of Ringe, N.H., and on the wall hung a hooked rug showing two cats, floral border, dated 1892. Thomas Longacre of Marlborough, N.H., had a wonderful architectural piece from a building in Philadelphia. It was in three sections, poured stone, shell in the center with cornucopia on each side, and was probably a frieze over a doorway. A Windsor chair in canary yellow with decoration was signed F. Brooks, Worcester County, Mass., and among the first things to sell was an optometrist sign for L.V. Mason, colorful and two sided.
Lee Burgess of New London, N.H., showed a Hank Adams ship weathervane with three masts and tin sails which was displayed on top of a New England two-drawer blanket chest with high cutout base, circa 1780, and no brasses. During the early part of the show Lee was assisted by her husband Bob, who celebrated his birthday at the show. This year he marked his 84th year and was still bragging about his golf game in York, Pa., where he shot a hole in one, on the fly. “It was 95 yards from tee to cup and the ball didn’t even make an attempt to bounce out of the hole,” he said.
A gray painted apothecary, drawers with wooden knobs and each with label such as shot, pepper, starch, and spice, a black bird painted on each drawer, was in the booth of Paul DeCoste of West Newbury, Mass. A collection of redware was shown in a large stepback cupboard. In the next booth, another set of drawers was offered by Seaver and McLellan of Dublin, N.H. This set was of the Victorian period and contained twenty drawers. A French center table had a marble top and claw feet, while a large bookcase with glass doors was from Vermont.
One of the important pieces of furniture in the show was a Northshore bow front chest with flame birch inlay, ebony swags, pine carved base, 1780-1810, with the original finish and brasses. A large wood carved Bellamy eagle came from a Masonic Lodge in New Hampshire, and a Canada goose by Elmer Crowell, circa 1915, had the oval brand. Loy Harrell mentioned, “This was his best show ever.” He had just sold a large hooked rug to a person who was taking it to British Columbia.
Louis Scranton of Killingworth, Conn., said, “I sold that hutch table ten years ago and was just able to buy it back.” He was referring to a New Hampshire example, three board top with red painted base. A desk on frame dated from the late Eighteenth Century, Eastern Connecticut or Rhode Island, green painted with tapering legs, was shown in front of a sign which read “The Lanky Yankee.” A man walked into the booth and headed right for the sign, then turned and asked, “Where is the Lanky Yankee?” Lou replied, “Right here,” and got out of his chair. He added, “I saw that sign and just had to have it” among the pieces he sold, noting, “This year was more hectic than last year.” Among his other sales were a dressing table, pieces of slip decorated redware, silhouettes, hat boxes, and a Connecticut Queen Anne painted chair.
Bob Jessen and Jim Hohnwald of Fitzwilliam, N.H., offered an Eighteenth Century chair table which came out of the Ruth Lattimore collection in Southbury, Conn. “We were able to acquire six pieces from this collection,” Bob Jessen said. “Ruth Lattimore was associated with the TV program What’s My Line? The table had a three board top, old red surface, and turned legs. A hanging wall cupboard in the booth had two doors, New England, circa 1830-40.
“Best show ever,” Cheryl Scott said. “Paul and I have been doing this show since 1979 and it was really great this time.” They sold an American drum table in red wash, a yellow painted four drawer chest, two gameboards, pottery, burl bowl, cheese baskets, and nine weathervanes including an eagle, three banners, three Black Hawks, and a game cock. “We were still selling well on Friday, and people came in Saturday to both buy and ask questions about things,” Paul said.
A store display for Humphrey’s remedies, complete with boxes which contained medicine for dropsy, kidney diseases, etc., was shown in the booth of Richard Plush of North Conway, N.H. A tavern table from New Hampshire with a one board top, breadboard ends, 1800-1810, tapered lags, was offered, along with a cast iron garden bench in old white paint.
Douglas Jackman of Stephen-Douglas, Rockingham, Vt., said that this was a “wrap and pack show” and that business was exceptional. Steven Corrigan added, “People bought fast and it did not take them long to make up their minds.” They sold a decorated six board chest, a carved wooden and painted swan, several painted bowls, a “paper and paint” trade sign, and a wonderful two drawer decorated blanket chest, sponge grained in four colors, of New England origin.
Carole and Ted Hayward of The Yankee Smuggler, Richmond, N.H., set up at a new location this year, a couple of booths down the center aisle on the right. “We love our new location,” Carole said. “Our customers did not have any problem finding us and making this show the best one we have ever had anywhere.” Carole has been manager of the show for the past three years and would not say “yes” or “no” when asked if she would take on the same duty next year. Furniture sold included a stepback cupboard, a two-piece corner cupboard, a twelve drawer apothecary in mustard paint, a dough box, a bucket bench, and lots of small painted objects such as a stack of firkins.
“We did not sell our American wax jack, which surprised us,” Ted said after the show. The Haywards once had a show schedule which included 32 events per year. That number is now down to six or seven and they maintain an open shop.
A chest on chest with two carved fans, central New Hampshire origin, original surface, was a quick seller from the booth of Peter Sawyer, Exeter, N.H. Other furniture included a bow front chest, inlaid, Sheraton, Spooner and Fitts, Athol, Mass., and a tall case clock by Ben J. Gilmore, circa 1795, Exeter, N.H.
Russ and Keren Goldberger of Rye, N.H., said, “There was a great surge for the first three hours of the show and we sold both furniture and accessories.” A very colorful corner cupboard in chrome yellow over persimmon, Center County, Pa., circa 1820, was one of the first rdf_Descriptions sold, followed closely by a long harvest table, Hepplewhite, New England, circa 1840, with two leaves and measuring 7 feet 10 inches in length. A couple of weathervanes, gameboards, horse paintings, needlework, and three cork shorebirds by Thomas Hewlett, Long Island, painted surface, were among the first day sales.
Gail and Don Piatt, Contoocook, N.H., sold a set of six bowback Windsor side chairs which had come out of a restaurant in Kennebunk, Maine, a portrait of a woman by Maine artist Hardy, a set of English shelves, a six board blanket chest in old blue paint, chintz wedding quilt, several hooked rugs including one with a cat design, and a slant front desk on frame. “It has been a great show for us and lots of interesting people have come through,” Gail noted.
“People usually come into this show and go right by my booth,” Peter Eaton said. “They come back later because they know that I have only furniture.” He has been saying this for many years now, but had to eat his words this year when he made five sales in the first ten minutes. A mirror, document box, child’s chair, and a couple of pieces of furniture had “sold” tickets attached. A pair of Hepplewhite card tables, Connecticut River Valley, signed Stephen Little on the bottom, circa 1795-1810, cherrywood with tiger maple inlay, were “never out of the family until now,” Peter said. In addition this Newburyport, Mass., dealer offered a William and Mary tavern table with a two board scrubbed top, breadboard ends, old red base, probably New Hampshire, circa 1750-60.
Newsom and Berdan Antiques of Hallowell, Maine, sold a number of pieces of painted furniture including a blue stepback cupboard, a one-drawer stand with oval top and turned legs, a long blue painted blanket chest with scalloped base, approximately eight feet long, and a fanback Windsor side chair, dark green surface, which was pictured in the Charles Santore book on Windsor chairs.
“Last year we had a great show, and this year we were even with it after the first day,” was the report from Walters-Benisek of Northampton, Mass. A large trade sign advertising hardware and stoves, in the shape of an anvil, circa 1880, Pennsylvania, was among the first things sold, followed closely by a small wooden carved eagle with a wonderful yellow painted surface. A hitching post, architectural fan, pair of Spanish foot side chairs, painted and decorated Windsor and hanging cupboard, all had “sold” tickets attached before noon. An interesting pair of portraits were done in oil on poplar panels, circa 1822. The sitters were Thomas and Lora Burroughs by Thomas Ware.
“This is a great experience. Sales are very good, and I love it,” were the comments from first year exhibitor David Morey of Thomaston, Maine. He had sold a Seventeenth Century mirror, a schoolgirl watercolor, pipe tongs, several pieces of redware, and a New England ladderback side chair. His hobby is collecting books and he was making his way through The Voice of the Old Frontier between customers on Friday.
Tommy Thompson of Northfield, N.H., has lost track of the years he has been president of The New Hampshire Antiques Dealers Association. “I think it is about seven or eight, and this really is my last year,” he said. For years he was a member of the board and has been instrumental in the operation of the show. “It is always a great show for me, and this year is one of the very best,” he added. One never knows what Tommy will show up with, and this year he sold rdf_Descriptions ranging from a tartanware trunk to a collection of boxes, and from a set of children’s blocks to a painted sign for garden flowers.
A tall pair of wooden columns, which came from a house in Missouri, towered over the back wall in the booth of Nancy Wells, York, Maine. As of the second day of the show they were not sold, but she was missing a Sarah Ricker painting, a cupboard, several Shaker objects, and a rocking horse.
The excrdf_Descriptionent of a show opening really does not get any better than at The New Hampshire Antiques Show. The dealers bring a lavish spread of antiques to the table, and the customers are there to partake. Antiques Week in New Hampshire, spawned by the New Hampshire Antiques Show, is certainly here to stay, and it is no wonder with this show at the hub.
Other New Hampshire Antiques Week show reviews will appear on our Web site next week.
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