Published: October 31, 2017
Review and Photos by Rick Russack
PORTLAND, MAINE – There had not been an antiques show in Portland for more than ten years. There is one now, however, and exhibitors brought quality material, creating a good-looking first-year show. John and Liz DeSimone, Goosefare Promotions, got their new show off the ground October 14-15 at Thompson’s Point Event Center. Originally planned for last year, it was delayed as the building was not ready.
The DeSimones promoted the show well, and in the weeks leading up to it, they succeeded in building the buzz one would want for a new show. There were about 60 dealers with a variety of booth configurations in the restored Nineteenth Century brick warehouse. The exhibitors brought a wide variety of merchandise from the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Centuries, and there were numerous buyers waiting to get in as the show opened. Selling started almost immediately.
Since the show was in a major seaport city, it was not a surprise to find a range of marine paintings, ship models and sailor-made items. There were also outstanding folk art and furniture, both formal and country. A wide choice of ceramics was available in several booths, colored glass was on display, as were Asian antiques, toys, dolls, games, woodenware and more, including books and maps.
Justin Cobb, Captain’s Quarters Antiques, Amherst, Mass., varies his booth depending on what he thinks will interest shoppers. Here he had sailor’s valentines, including an unusual one that had been made in a small two-drawer chest instead of the more usual framed presentation. He also offered a selection of rope beckets priced from $450 to $650, sailor-made rolling pins priced from $500 to $900 and a most interesting grouping relating to two paintings, which included a bottle of volcanic ash.
One of the paintings was of the windjammer Brunhilda flying a Canadian flag, and the other was the ship’s commander, Captain Green. Included was Green’s octant and copies of letters relating to the ship’s 1877 voyage, during which it sailed close to an island with an erupting volcano. One of the letters said that volcanic ash had completely covered the ship so Captain Green brought home some of the ash in a bottle for all to see. The ship portrait had been painted by S.F.M. Badger, and the group of four items with letters was priced at $10,500.
Ed and Anita Holden, Sherman, Conn., and Naples, Fla., also had a painting of a ship and its captain. The ship was the Annie Burr depicted passing Gibraltar, and the captain was J.W. Simpson of Camden, Maine. Both had been done in 1877 by Luigi Renault (1845-1910?). This grouping also included several letters relating to the ship and its voyages.
In keeping with the Halloween season, book dealer Richard Mori, Franklin, N.H., had a selection of early books relating to the occult sciences, werewolves, etc. Published between 1784 and 1791, Mori had E. Sibley’s Illustration of the Occult Sciences, which he said was the first book to treat the subject seriously. The four original parts were bound in two volumes, priced at $2,850. He also had an 1876 edition of Lives of The Necromancers by Godwin, priced at $1,100 and The Book of Werewolves, 1865, by Baring-Gould, $3,800.
Portland dealers Don Heller and Kim Washam had several pieces of early furniture, including a paint-decorated dower chest from Pennsylvania, which they priced at $2,400. They also had a tall case clock, Nineteenth Century portraits and weathervanes. A particularly nice, early child-size comb-back Windsor armchair belonged to Hanes and Ruskin, Old Lyme, Conn. Probably from coastal Massachusetts, circa 1770-90, the chair had carved knuckles, a saddle-shaped seat, well-turned legs and an old surface ($4,550). Several other dealers brought examples of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century furniture, including Bill Schwind, Yarmouth, Maine, Holden House Antiques, Sherman, Conn., the Old Barn Annex Antiques, Farmington, Maine.
John Sideli was one of the dealers with a selection of folk art, including a very well-dressed cloth doll with a well-painted face, offered at $1,800. He also had weathervanes and broadsides. James and Judith Milne, Kingston, N.Y., had a brightly colored crocheted rug, $1,820, and a weathered, late Nineteenth Century wooden carved sign with a horse’s head. They said it had come from Saratoga, N.Y., probably from a barn.
Within an hour after opening, several dealers said they had been selling nicely. For example, Bob Foley parted with his Arts and Crafts-style lamp and “a great pair of hanging cabinets,” Sideli sold a ship model, Brian Cullity sold a lacy Sandwich glass lamp and an interesting 1830 yellowware Toby jug he had bought two days earlier at a Northeast auction. A sewing bird, fossils and other smalls in John Rice’s booth found new homes, as did a wingchair, a table desk, a small circa 1815 server from the booth of Mike and Lucinda Seward.
John DeSimone discussed how they went about promoting their new show.”We went to every show in the region, handing out flyers and encouraging dealers to sign up. We kept updating our exhibitor list so that prospective dealers would see who else was doing the show. We wanted a range of dealers so we gave them three options for booth layout: they could have room setting booths, booths with just back walls or booths without walls. That made it affordable for anyone who wanted to do the show, and that worked for us.
“Once we had our dealers on board,” he continued, “we started promoting with ads in the trade papers as well as on Facebook. We bought keyword ads and created a page specifically for this show. We listed the show on about a dozen different ‘calendar’ sites. Looking around the building as the show opened, I saw that Facebook probably helped as there were a number of younger buyers on the floor. We’re still learning how best to use social media and we’ll probably do more as we go along. Several of the dealers told me they had done well during setup, especially with midcentury things.”
A few days after the show, DeSimone said, “I’m pleased with the way it went, especially as it was a new show. The dealers brought great things, and the presentation in each booth was first-rate. Several dealers told me that they had a good show, but I know that not everyone would say that. We advertised extensively, the crowd was good and the comments from shoppers indicated that they liked what they saw. The show is a work in progress. We know our task for next year will be to increase the gate. We’ll do more of the things that worked, like getting cards in to hotels in the area, local advertising, and broadening our reach on social media.”
For information, 800-641-6908 or www.goosefareantiques.com. and $375.
November 22, 2022
November 22, 2022
November 22, 2022
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