Published: August 28, 2007
“My first obligation is to my dealers, then I try to keep my own booth looking good and talk to customers, and at the moment I am also dog sitting for Michael Winslow, who has gone off to bring in another piece of furniture,” Nan Gurley said as her Americana Celebration Show opened on Tuesday morning, August 7. And, as usual, the people came running from the entrance gate to the four exhibition buildings and the exhibitors under tents to check out the antiques for sale this year.
Nan noted, “We had close to 500 people in line for early buying at 8 am and the line to get in started forming about three hours before the starting gun.” The gate remained strong all day, with more than 1,100 visitors, making it the biggest gate in the run of the show. And how about losing the distinction of being the first show to open Antiques Week in New Hampshire?
“It didn’t bother me a bit; in fact, I think Frank Gaglio’s Pickers Market is wonderful and the move from Friday to Monday was a benefit for me,” Nan said. She pointed out that many of the dealers who did the Pickers Market came to her show the next day, which they did not do when the show was at the end of the week.
Those who ran into the first of the Deerfield Fairgrounds buildings came to a booth filled with country smalls and furniture presented by Grantham 1763 Antiques of Denton, Md. Here baskets with blue, yellow and green surfaces were displayed, wooden bowls had painted bottoms, and utility boxes were arranged in a tall stack.
New England South of St Augustine, Fla., was across the aisle with a pair of fancy Sheraton side chairs, gold decoration, and a circa 1870 watch hutch was displayed on a nice tea table with pad feet.
Colleen Nordengren of Pepperell, Mass., showed a Nineteenth Century country sofa against the back wall of the booth with a large herb drying basket on the wall over it. Of interest to treen collectors was a selection of 12 wooden spoons all dating from the Eighteenth Century, to be sold as a lot.
A red house with small barn and lots of trees in the yard was pictured on a hooked rug in the booth of Bette Zwicker of Bristol, Maine. She also showed a nice pair of arrow back side chairs in the original yellow painted surface with red decoration and detailing.
Thirteen wrought iron door latches were displayed in the booth of Brennan’s Antiques, Peterborough, N.H., all with detailed descriptions and dates. One of the outside examples had a Norfolk thumb latch, while the one below it was a Suffolk thumb latch. In addition, a selection of cast iron cookware was shown, including a three-leg skillet and a bowl.
“I have a real flea market find,” Ron Chambers of Higganum, Conn., said of his 10-inch-diameter pewter punch bowl, English, dating from the first quarter of the Eighteenth Century. He noted, “It is only the second one I have ever owned and it was real dirty when I found it, but it cleaned up nicely.” In addition to a couple of early Connecticut chairs, including a banister back arm chair, he showed a tap table in the original finish, one board top with breadboard ends.
“Ralph & Dot’s Coffee Pot” was on an early store sign in the booth of Betty Anne Lavalee, Hampton, N.H., who also showed a rug hooked in the log cabin pattern. Framed quilt squares and framed doll dresses and little shirts and pants filled the back wall in the booth of Sachem Antiques, Kingston, N.H.
New to the show this year were Don and Marta Orwig from Corunna, Ind., who filled to overflow a large tent behind one of the first two buildings. Displayed outside the tent was one of the most unusual items in the show, a Civil War-era dugout canoe in the original blue painted surface. It was 20 feet in length and was once owned by a Henry Wright. One had to weave through the display under the tent, passing by 40 pieces of American furniture in the original paint, trade signs ncluding a RX example in the form of a mortar and pestle †several dollhouses, a number of early rocking horses and a child’s carousel figure in the form of a goat. A larger-than-life Indian stood outside the tent, a circa 1940 example in good paint.
Willimantic, Conn., exhibitor Brian Bartizek had a weathervane in the shape of a wood-carved airplane, a trade sign from a pawn shop with much of the original gilt remaining, and an interesting sign advertising a piano studio with a player seated at a piano.
More early signs were offered from the booth of Hart’s Country Antiques, New Oxford, Penn., including “Dress Making Here” with black lettering on a green ground. A small settle was in old red paint, displayed nicely with a blue blanket box toward the front of the booth. Canterbury Antiques of Canterbury, N.H., offered a tavern table, old red wash and breadboard end top, along with a small apothecary, 23 drawers, with the top row stepped back.
A pine sawbuck table, circa 1820‴0, with two-board top was in the booth of Dark Moon Antiques, Johnsonburg, N.J. Other furniture included a New England rope bed, paint decorated, circa 1820. A child’s sled with horse decoration on top was shown by Jim Woodruff Antiques, Chester, N.J., and a nice cradle had a yellow grain painted surface.
“I went home after the show feeling good because so many of my dealers said they had good to excellent shows,” Nan said. “People rushed in ready to buy, and that’s what’s they did.” She reported many dealers telling her they had their best show ever at Deerfield, and only a handful did not do well.
The weather was perfect for the show, cool in the early morning and warming as the sun burned away the mist. During setup on Monday there were some heavy rain showers, but not enough to dampen the spirits of the exhibitors and the evening was pleasant for the annual chicken barbeque sponsored by the local firefighters.
Nan Gurley, well into her work for the next show on September 6 in Sturbridge, Mass., summed up Deerfield in a word: “Great.”
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