Published: August 29, 2000
Antiques Week in New Hampshire
The Americana Celebration Antiques Show
DEERFIELD, N.H. – When the dust from the sale of the Cave collection, as well as the regular Sunday sale conducted by Ron Bourgeault and Northeast Auctions, had settled, it was stirred up again, both literally and figuratively, as people raced through the Deerfield Fairgrounds to shop the Americana Celebration Antiques Show.
This show just completed its fifth year under the management of Nan Gurley, who said the event was “great, and we had the largest gate ever with the main increase showing in the early buyers.” She noted that the people started lining up for the 8 am opening at 5:30.
The show was advertised as having 125 exhibitors but, “dealers kept calling me looking for space and we ended up with 145,” Nan said. Twelve of the 35 additional dealers set up outside under tents, while the remainder moved into an additional building. As for next year, if the dealer count is to increase, space will be available only outside as all of the building booths are taken.
This was the first year that it rained during the setup of the show and it did not just shower, but poured. Dealer Pat Fulton said that the noise from the rain falling on the metal roof of the building made it impossible to carry on a conversation with anyone. The front part of one of the buildings flooded, but little if any damage was done to the merchandise. On opening day the sun was out, the morning temperature pleasant, but it turned very hot before the show closed at 4 pm.
There seemed to be more furniture at the show this year, including a small slant-front desk and a Queen Anne side chair, painted black with gold decoration, in the booth of Charles Muenchiner of Central Fall, R.I.
Willimantic, Conn., dealer Brian Bartizek showed an early two-drawer blanket chest in the original old red finish; a pine chest of drawers which started out life as a blanket chest, circa 1727-30, Southern New England; and a bannisterback side chair, green over the original Spanish brown and old rush seat. An unusual fishing creel with a built-in container for worms was in the booth of Red Wheel Antiques, Lake George, N.Y., along with a small blue painted dry sink and a sled, paint decorated, from Paris, Maine.
Shirley Quinn of Contoocook, N.H., offered a nice youth’s bed with acorn finials and against the back wall of the booth hung a star quilt, blue on white. A colorful quilt with twelve red schoolhouses on a yellow field was shown by Betty Anne Lavallee of Hampton, N.H., while Jean Cook of Lititz, Pa., showed a large selection of quilts and a yellow grained blanket chest with turned legs.
Ron Chambers of Higganum, Conn., said, “Chairs are my thing,” and proved it with a display of eight of them with a spare or two still in the van. Four bannisterbacks were in the selection, along with four slat-back examples, one from Massachusetts, old surface, circa 1710-20, and another from Portsmouth, N.H., circa 1760, with four slats and splint seat.
In addition to managing the show, Nan Gurley filled a booth with furniture and country rdf_Descriptions including a two-drawer blanket chest in the original red, no pulls, a yellow dressing table and a cobbler’s bench in old blue paint. Davidian Americana from Holden, Mass., had a large kitchen table with two leaves, old blue paint and on casters, a park bench in crusty red paint, and a fancy birdhouse in the form of a church. The largest sign in the show read “Joseph Pope,” blue painted with black and red letters, which hung on the back wall in the booth of Thomas Jewett of Searsport, Maine, and Ray Cushing, Rockport, Maine. This large corner booth in one of the front buildings accommodated a good supply of furniture including two sets of chairs, six each, one in maple with caned seats and the other painted and decorated with plank seats. A tea table with scrubbed top and red base, tapering legs ending in button feet, was in the center of the booth, and nearby was a grained blanket chest with one drawer. A single gate-post with old green paint, cast iron, sold shortly after the show opened.
A red “sold” tag hung on a small green painted cupboard with two plate racks in the upper section in the booth of John Gallo of Oneonta, N.Y., and a large wooden airplane weathervane with red and white painted prop was shown. The horse took center stage in the booth of Equine Antiques, Rochester, N.H., and was represented in photographs and pictures, on mugs and pieces of jewelry, Dobbs hat boxes and a collection of brasses, and bottle openers and desk accessories. Bridles and saddles were there to fill the needs of those seeking tack. Furniture in the booth of Brad Selinger, Union Bridge, Md., included a smoke grained box on feet, a pine two-drawer chest from New England, a one door cupboard in old dry red, and a circa 1860 dome top box from Maine with an umber and mustard decorated surface.
Five doll houses were shown by Michael Caffarella, Lancaster, Pa., including three with lithograph exteriors, one in bright yellow paint, and a circa 1890 example, large in size, measuring about five feet tall including its original stand. This elaborate structure had a central staircase and inlaid floors, along with some detailed attention to the walls. Each year this Americana Celebration gets better, and Nan Gurley says, “I am constantly on the lookout for new and interesting dealers for the show.”
She brings some dealers to her Antiques Week in New Hampshire event who do not do a great many shows during the year; thus there is generally a good selection of fresh merchandise. It is certainly a good way to start Antiques Week, and if you are there with the early buying crowd, you will find yourself off and running to a very pleasant experience on the Deerfield Fairgrounds.
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