Published: August 17, 2012
“Four hundred and eighty-one people were on line for early buying Tuesday at 8 am, and they were here to spend some money,” Nan Gurley, manager of Americana Celebration, said a few days after her show ended on August 7. Coupled with the general admission attendance two hours later, a new record was set for this first show of Antiques Week in New Hampshire.
Not only did the gate grow for the show, but the numbers of exhibitors as well. “People kept calling me wanting to do the show, so we increased a portion of the indoor space and put a few more dealers outside with their own tents,” Nan said. The show opened with 151 exhibitors, up about 20 from last year.
“It’s a great way to start a week of antiques shows, and I have been coming to the Deerfield Fairgrounds for many years now,” one person in the early buying rush said, not pausing long enough to be identified. In general, those attending enjoy the informal feeling of the show and seeing some dealers who do not do many other shows over the course of the year. As one visitor noted, “This is one show where you really have to pick around, for there is no telling what might be buried under another object.”
Mother Nature provided a comfortable morning for the early buyers, and a breeze through the tents and buildings kept things bearable for most of the day. “It was good buying weather and many of the dealers reported active business, but mostly smalls, with little furniture selling,” Nan reported. And, as usual, country things and folk art dominated the booths.
Right up front where she can greet people and keep an eye on her show is Nan Gurley, who with Peter Mavris, offered a booth filled with early furniture and accessories. A set of six arrow back Windsor side chairs in yellow paint, with compote of fruit decoration on the back splat, were surrounding a large worktable, and a pair of New Hampshire birdcage Windsor side chairs, paint decorated, was also offered. Case pieces of furniture included a Chippendale tall chest with paint decoration and a country cupboard, two doors on top and two on the bottom, in the original blue paint.
Pat Hatch and Kyle Hedrick, Harvard, Mass., had a selection of dolls, including a painted face cloth doll in blue dress, an early black doll with ticking body and three bottle dolls, one with her original cape and lace apron.
The portrait of a woman, oil on canvas, with an off-shoulder dress and garnet necklace, hung in the booth of American Vernacular of Lititz, Penn. A homemade wooden horse pull toy retained the original deer hide saddle.
A trade sign for Murray’s Dry Goods and Boots/Shoes measured 12 feet long and took up the entire length of the back wall in the booth of Bill Quinn Antiques, Alna, Maine. It was black with mustard lettering and had the original molding framing the sign. A pair of folky mergansers was among the decoys shown, and a stack of eight wooden bowls varied in size and color, including red, blue and cream painted bottoms.
A large corner booth was filled to capacity by David Ramsay of Cape Porpoise, Maine, with many sculptural pieces, including a tall pair of carved artichoke finials, flat on the back for wall hanging, in old white paint. Taking up their share of the booth was a pair of swans, 31 inches tall, laminated construction, with old white painted surface. The booth was heavy with cast iron objects, such as figural andirons in the form of owls and another pair with Indians, a squaw on one and a chief lighting a fire on the other.
More figural andirons were in the booth of Firehouse Antiques, Galena, Md., including seated dogs and mallard heads. Two large cast iron fence post finials dated from the Eighteenth Century, and a cast iron urn in green paint, on the original base, was signed Fiske.
Gurley Antiques Gallery of Scarborough, Maine, covered the better part of the back wall of the booth with a trade sign for J.J. Lavoie & Co., General Contractors from Lewiston, Maine. It was boldly painted with red and black lettering on yellow ground. An early sled retained the original green painted surface.
Pillars Antiques & Decorative Arts, Freeport, Maine, showed a large pond boat with two masts, a nice wall shelf holding two knockdown cats, and a red basket was filled with decorative fruit. A wire compote held a selection of stone fruit. H&L Antiques of Princeton, N.Y., offered a collection of hearth iron, including a footed skillet, waffle iron, trivets and pipe rack.
William Gittes of Barrington, N.H., was ready for bird lovers with two large martin houses, and a circa 1900 carving showed a cat with a fish in its mouth. A banner weathervane had good surface, and a nice checkerboard was decorated with a star in each corner.
Jay Turomsha & Nancy Cummings Antiques, Swanzey Center, N.H., offered a nice sawbuck table, 6 feet long with a 29½-inch one-board top, and a child’s Windsor settee with decoration on a yellow ground. A chalk cat, painted, measured about 12 inches tall. Merrimack, N.H., dealer Russ Scheider pleased redware and mocha collectors with slip decorated plates and mugs and pitchers. A selection of carved and painted shorebirds was also shown.
“You can tell my booth by the lineup of weathervanes,” Harold Cole of Woodbury, Conn., said, who was set up with Bettina Krainin in a 40-foot-long tent alongside one of the permanent buildings on the fairgrounds. Horses, eagles and roosters, mostly full bodied, were in the show, along with blanket chests, an assortment of game boards and lots of paintings. An interesting hanging shelf in pine, Ohio origin, circa 1820‴0, had well-turned supports between the four shelves and gold and stenciled decoration.
“I have to travel through seven states to get here, but it is well worth it, and I would not miss Nan’s show for anything,” Mary de Buhr of Downers Grove, Ill., said. Every year she has anchored one of the corner booths in the first exhibition building and offered a variety of early country things, including, this year, a wonderful large basket in old white paint, with not a single break. It had two handles, was screwed down to a wooden frame on the bottom and measured 46 inches long and 26 inches wide. “It is about the best basket I have ever owned,” she said, and it was sold immediately.
A pair of country Queen Anne side chairs dated circa 1760‸0, a miniature pine two-door cupboard held a collection of miniature treen pieces, including plates and bowls, New York State origin, and a variety of wooden mixing bowls were painted in red, blue and salmon. Four tombstone panels were mounted on the back wall of the booth, possibly one time used as cupboard doors.
Cheryl Anne Reed, Lecanto, Fla., offered a child’s stepback cupboard, circa 1905, made by David Wells Lander of Kalamazoo, Mich., a worker for the Gibson Guitar Co. A German made miniature sewing machine, circa 1880, was on the original base, and an oil on canvas portrait was of W.L. Heysel, first president of Old National Bank in Chambersburg, Penn., 1858‱863.
Period Antiques of Northport, Maine, filled a booth with country, including a variety of firkins, eight in salmon, green, blue and gray, and six bail-handled pantry boxes, again in many colors. A walnut low-post rope bed is probably from Virginia, dated circa 1750, and a splay leg table with scrubbed hickory top on red painted tapering legs, dated circa 1850, was found in Ohio.
John and Robin Sittig, Shawnee-on-Delaware, Penn., had a circa 1930 airplane weathervane with good green surface, a circa 1880 child’s dry sink with grain painted surface and porcelain knobs and a nice collection of stone fruit. A white painted doll house with green trim, porch surround and second story balcony on the front of the building, two red chimneys, was offered by Wenham Cross Antiques, Topsfield, Mass. The back wall was taken by a large floral design quilt with nine clusters of flowers.
Ron Chambers of Higganum, Conn., was in his usual spot with a collection of pewter and furniture. “The earliest piece I have this year is a tankard by William Eddon, English, 1690,” Ron said, noting that this maker exported a lot of pieces to America. A Connecticut side chair, circa 1760, had four banisters, and a Massachusetts of New Hampshire, circa 1760, banister back armchair had a red painted surface.
Don and Betty Jo Heim of Jersey Shore, Penn., had a collection of six early trade signs, including one for “The Housatonic Inn,” and a railroad passenger car in orange paint with black striping had a lift top and was possibly once used as a toy box.
A basket design quilt was displayed by Paul and Nancy Hahn, Bowie, Md., along with a small ship’s wheel and a red and white barber pole. A selection of old college banners representing Yale, Dartmouth, Army and Princeton were draped from a table top. Rockland, Mass., dealer Laura A. McCarthy showed a Nineteenth Century oval hooked rug, floral design on blue ground, from Hopkinton, N.H., and a pair of step-down Windsor side chairs in the original black paint with shell decoration on the top splat.
The variety of offerings by County Seat Antiques, Litchfield, Conn., ranged from a sign offering “Skates Sharpened” and a star pattern quilt with 16 squares to a Nineteenth Century round fingered Shaker storage box, while Woodview Antiques of Sandwich, Mass., offered a Nineteenth Century cricket table with two-board round top, gray painted tri-leg base, and a stepback cupboard with two shelves and two doors over one long drawer.
Country Huzzah, Burke, Va., came weighted down with an Elgin a-20 rooster millweight, and a rainbow tail rooster weight, along with a selection of early iron molds in various forms, including a rabbit, Santa and a recumbent lamb. More weight was in the form of doorstops, including a heron, lamb, penguin, lighthouse and cat.
Davidian Americana of South Dennis, Mass., showed a toy horse and cart with a Swiss doll on board, a selection of circa 1840 blown bottles and a cast iron Carr, Wilkins carriage, with a lady in a yellow dress, pulled by a black painted horse. A collection of doll’s shoes was in the booth of Ziegler Antiques at Autumn Hill Farm, Epping, N.H., along with a pair of framed star design crib quilts. Denise Scott Antiques of East Greenwich, R.I., had a selection of hog scraper candlesticks, two with the wedding band, and a Federal card table, flame painted birch, circa 1810, of New Hampshire origin.
In addition to the dealer exhibits, the pie lady arrived with close to 40 apple pies and was sold out in less than an hour. “My grandkids also did well with their lemonade stand and were kept busy all day,” Nan said.
The next antiques show under Nan Gurley management will be on September 30, for one day only, at the Frank Jones Center in Portsmouth, N.H.
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