Published: October 21, 2008
For the past 50 years, the Weston Antiques Show has been charming its clientele, both the local supporters and those who travel from afar to attend the prestigious event. Traditionally taking place the first weekend of October, the show leads off a series of antique shows, appropriately coined Vermont Antiques Week.
Weston’s golden anniversary celebration was all one could have possibly hoped for; it proved memorable in a plethora of ways. The crisp autumn air was refreshing, the weather was picture perfect, the foliage was almost at its peak, the champagne flowed freely as the doors to the show opened for preview on Thursday evening, October 2, and large crowds moved about the quaint Weston Playhouse taking in a wonderful selection of antiques. Smiles appeared on faces everywhere, accompanied by numerous sold tags posted on everything from the smallest accessories to large-scale brown furniture.
While show manager Patti Prairie provides a “Top Ten” of reasons to come to the show, all but a couple are moot points for the vast majority of those that pass through the doors. Of the Prairie-isms †it is certainly true that Weston is the “anchor show for Vermont Antiques Week” and it is also accurate that there is a “wide variety” of antiques displayed †people flock to Weston because it is a great antiques show that is filled with attractive and attractively priced merchandise.
The show utilizes four exhibition areas: the main level of the playhouse, the stage and seating area, the dining facility and adjacent rooms in the lower level, and the top floor. The entire building becomes a hive of activity with people ascending and descending the staircases, stopping to do business in any one of the variety of booths, or to simply catch up on the times with old friends.
Sandwich, Mass., dealer Henry Callan was busy as the show opened to the public on Friday morning. The eighth year that Callan has taken part in the show, the dealer commented that he enjoys exhibiting in his unusual space occupying the last few rows of the right hand corner of seats near the stage. Despite the pitched floor, Callan displays a variety of porcelains on a series of level platforms and shelves erected on top of the seats. In addition to numerous sales made the previous evening during preview, Callan said the show had been wonderful in the opening moments on Friday morning. “I had collectors from Omaha come in as we opened this morning and they bought three of my samplers,” stated the dealer, who confided that he has a soft spot in his heart for early needlework.
Oriental carpet specialist Peter Papp, Dublin, N.H., reported the sale of an Oriental carpet right off the bat on Friday morning. “A client had seen one of my rugs on my website and they asked that I bring it to the show.” The dealer reported that the client decided not to purchase the rug after all, but instead bought another one. Papp also makes good use of the seating area in the playhouse theater, spreading carpets across the top of the seats.
Judd Gregory, Dorset, Vt., was set up in the foyer of the playhouse and his display included a selection of brown furniture, specifically a highboy and a secretary desk, the latter of which sported a sold tag early on Friday morning.
Old Lyme, Conn., dealers Hanes and Ruskin were forced to redecorate their top-floor booth on Friday prior to opening, although they were doing it with a smile. The dealers had sold a country drop leaf dining table and the set of birdcage Windsor chairs that surrounded it the evening before.
As part of the 50th anniversary celebration, a special loan exhibit was presented by the Vermont Historical Society (VHS) titled “A Vermont Collector’s Story: Harold Rugg’s Legacy” that documented the collector’s experiences and the bequest of his collections to VHS.
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