Published: October 23, 2007
The second stop for shoppers during Antiques Week in Vermont is the lodge at Okemo Mountain Resort for the popular Okemo Antiques Show, which opened Friday afternoon for a two-day run, October 5‶. Managed by Don and Pat Clegg of Abbott House Associates, this show has become known as the Americana source for shoppers heading north along the heavily traveled show trail.
A polished looking event with a well laid out floor plan of walled booths extending across the middle and around the exterior walls of the lodge, this show was a joy for the eyes. While the coloration of the scenic vistas throughout the region was hindered by a dry fall season that resulted in an unusually bland showing of autumn leaves, one only had to move inside the Okemo Antiques Show to have their senses revitalized by the vibrant and stunning colors of the Americana on display.
Green apothecary chests, vibrant blue blanket chests, bright yellow chairs and tables and the splashy multitude of colors emanating from the selection of quilts and hooked rugs all but overwhelmed the senses.
Don Clegg was on hand, as always, to announce to novice buyers awaiting the show’s opening that things are done in an orderly fashion at Okemo. Reminiscent of a schoolteacher lecturing anxious young boys in regards to not running in the hallways, Clegg clearly announced to the crowd that the tickets they had purchased were numbered on the back according to when each had arrived. That number, he declared, would determine the order that those in line would be let into the show.
With everyone’s full attention, even those in the line who extended outside of the foyer and across the lodge’s patio, the crowd became quiet and orderly. The line began to take shape, with everyone checking their numbers against those in front and behind them.
While the peaceable state remained until the final seconds prior to the 3 pm opening, the crowd reverted to its frenzied state once tickets were collected by Clegg and the “no running in the halls rule” was thrown to the wind.
Buyers hustled from booth to booth and sold tags found their way onto a wide variety of items. Faces lit with enthusiasm, familiar from the morning’s show, hurried by heading in a variety of directions. A bunch of the dealers from Weston were on hand to shop Okemo, at least the ones that were lucky enough to have a partner watching their booth back at the playhouse.
The first booth to come into view as shoppers entered the show was that of Latcham House Antiques, Waterville, Ohio. The dealers’ eye-catching display featured a nice apothecary-style chest with a five-over-six drawer configuration. Painted in a great green color, the chest made a bold statement positioned against the white walled booth, especially when one noticed the fish weathervane with a nice verdigris surface on top of it and a folk hooked rug with a pot of flowers in the center and colorfully arranged diagonal checkerboard pattern in the corners hanging above.
Another Ohio dealer, Gary Promey, Atwater, was next door with a folky shop-keeps desk in mustard and red grained paint. A pie safe with tan overall paint and pierced tin panels painted a turquoise green was at the rear of the booth and hanging on the wall was a striking quilt with blue blocks decorated with large white stars and surrounded by red bands and accents.
Animals filled the booth of American Sampler, Barnesville, Md., with a stylish running horse weathervane centered between an early wooden gate and a sign pointing the way towards “riding stables” making a statement on the rear wall of the booth.
Two unusual metal grates with applied flying ducks hung on the opposite wall, above a carved wooden heron and an assortment of waterfowl decoys. Larger mammals were also displayed in the form of a colorful hooked rug with a large moose standing on a knoll and a smaller moose in the distance amongst green pine trees.
Wallingford, Conn., dealer Jane Wargo presented a colorful display with a bright chrome yellow handled bucket contrasting nicely with a vibrant blue blanket chest. A pile of early baskets made an attractive grouping on top of the blanket chest, and alongside was an oversized Windsor thumb back.
Blues and greens were the prevalent colors in Steve Smoot’s booth. A bright blue hutch table was open against the rear wall of the booth with a selection of firkins in a variety of colors sitting on top of it. In front was a ladder back wagon seat in pleasing green paint, but the highlight of the green items was a rare set of Pennsylvania thumb backs in pristine original green paint, with bold yellow and red floral cornucopia decoration across the back rail and following suit throughout the chair.
New Hampshire dealer Kathy Schoemer heated things up with a nice Sheraton drop leaf table retaining its original bright yellow paint. Surrounded by a set of early yellow chairs with red and green decoration, the display looked grand with a variety of stuffed animals and vegetables adorning the table-top. Cooling things off in the booth was a fanciful “Ice Cream” sign that had been painted to give the illusion that icicles dripped from each of the letters.
Claremont, N.H., dealer Linda Steele was having more fun at the show than anyone, and we caught her in action aboard an early child’s bobsled with what surely must be visions of snow dancing in her head.
Okemo is all about fun; an exciting show chock full of good times, good merchandise and good buying.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm