Published: August 31, 2004
Every year during the first part of August we hear the same question: “What is it about the New Hampshire Dealers Antiques Show that makes it so popular? Why do people lineup for it six to eight hours in advance, why do they come from all over the country to attend, and why do they rush into the show as if they are trying to out run the bulls?” Dubbed “New England’s Premier Summer Antiques Show,” this event continues to breed excrdf_Descriptionent and maintains its place as the original foundation of Antiques Week in New Hampshire.
The line for this year’s show began forming at 3:30 am on Thursday, August 12, six and one half hours before the show opened. Some people spent the hours of waiting reading, others snoozed, most were in conversation with those close by, and all had time to answer a few questions.
One lady from California comes to the show every year, but only to this show, none of the others in Antiques Week. One person comes because he “meets all of my friends here and always some new interesting collectors.” Another likes the dealer show because “these dealers save lots of their best things to bring here, and I like that.” One seasoned collector mentioned, “I generally do not find anything to add to my collection, but when I do it is usually well worth the wait to get in.” And then a young lady said, “There is that certain excrdf_Descriptionent about this show,” again not pinning down that popularity question.
The fact remains they do come, from near and far, drawn by The New Hampshire Antiques Show, but at the same time taking in most of the other attractions of Antiques Week, beginning with the three-day Northeast Auction in the same hotel.
Sixty-four exhibitors filled the exhibition space at the Radisson Hotel Manchester, formerly the Center of New Hampshire Holiday Inn, with furniture, pottery, folk art, paintings and fabrics. “People came here to buy,” one dealer said, and an immediate flurry of red sold tags proved her point.
A set of four mustard-painted fanback Windsor side chairs, circa 1790-1800, Massachusetts, was shown in the front of the booth of Ed Weissman of Portsmouth, N.H., while against the back wall a bonnet-top tall chest, Hartford or Wethersfield, Conn., circa 1760-80, was placed. This piece, with ogee feet, measures 81 inches tall, 351/2 inches wide in the upper portion, 38 inches in the lower.
A New England hutch table, round top 48 inches in diameter, pine and old Spanish brown painted surface, was offered from the booth of Priscilla Hutchinson, Wiscasset, Maine. Against the back wall was an early Nineteenth Century cupboard, Pennsylvania origin, pine with red over yellow surface. It measures 84 inches tall, 49 inches wide and 21 inches deep and was configured with two paneled doors on the top, over three short drawers, over two paneled doors in the lower section.
“We are very pleased with the show,” Phil and Jane Workman of New Boston, N.H., agreed, citing sales that included a set of six thumb back painted arrow back side chairs, a blue-painted dry sink, a cow weathervane and a gamecock weathervane, a one-drawer stand in tiger maple, a watercolor silhouette and lots of smalls including a shooting gallery duck. “That was the first things we sold; it broke the ice for us,” Phil said.
“It’s only been open a short time but it is excellent, very strong for us,” Russ Goldberger said over his shoulder as he lowered a cast-iron eagle from the top of a step back cupboard to show to Michael and Marilyn Gould, eagle collectors. This bird, retaining most of its original gilt surface, circa 1890, went back onto the cupboard with a sold sign attached. Red dots were already placed on a set of four fancy decorated tole canisters, red painted with gold lettering on black indicating the contents – Allspice, Cinnamon, Cloves and Mustard. A barber pole was also red-tagged, as was a pair of decorated sleds from Deposit, N.Y.
“We wanted a great painted object in our booth,” Karen Goldberger said, pointing out a blanket box, New York State, original condition, with a picture of the person for whom it was made, Charlotte Lincoln, age 8, 1844, pasted on the inside lid. This Rye, N.H., couple took the box out of their own collection for the show. Other sales included two rooster weathervanes, Crowell miniatures and a hanging cupboard, but still for sale was a Hepplewhite chair table with cut corners, New Hampshire, circa 1800, pine and chestnut, with unpainted surface and on the original casters.
Kate Alex & Co, Warner, N.H., had room for about a dozen people to sit in her booth, a few on the pair of cast stone benches, a couple more on a Sheraton period garden seat of English origin, wrought iron, circa 1830-40, and several could easily fit on a curvilinear-form Sheraton period garden seat, wrought iron, English, circa 1820. Only one could occupy a circa 1890 seagrass porch chair with rolled arms, the “best form,” Kate said.
Bob and Debbie Withington of York, Maine., showed a Chippendale double pedestal base dining table in mahogany, English, circa 1770, with a long history of being in New England, and a Rochester Ironworks horse weathervane, large size, 40 inches, circa 1880, that came right from a barn in Darham, N.H. “We have pictures of the vane on top of the barn to prove its provenance,” Bob said. On the side wall hung a portrait of a young girl by Horace Bundy, blue dress with lace collar, circa 1835. In total, they made 65 sales during the first two days of the show.
Fred and Maureen Fenton of Teachers’ Antiques, Harpswell, Maine, showed a six-foot-long hand-hooked rug, theorem motif with strawberry cluster, which descended in the Baldwin family of Long Island, N.Y. Also measuring six feet long was a farm table with one leaf, pine top, turned legs, surrounded by four birdcage Windsor side chairs.
James and Judith Milne of New York City were doing the show for the fourth year and “it has been just fabulous,” Judy said, “better than last year.” Lots of their sales were retail, mostly to collectors, who found weathervanes, paintings and some furniture to buy. As usual, the Milnes had a nice selection of weathervanes including a peacock, a rooster, two horses and two cows, one of large size with well sculpted cast-iron head. The back wall of the booth was dominated by two large game boards, one a New England carnival penny toss board dating circa 1880, and the other a New England dartboard baseball game. Of interest was a pair of diminutive cast-iron greyhounds, reclining position, American, circa 1860-70, with traces of old paint.
Betty Willis Antiques of Marlborough, N.H., displayed a carved and painted Empire chest of drawers, 44 inches high, circa 1830, probably Maine, and an American Queen Anne highboy, floral carved decoration on the sides, probably Connecticut, circa 1780, and the brasses appeared to be original.
“It has been a slow time, so it is nice to sell wood again,” Peter Eaton of Newbury, Mass., said. He recorded sales of a labeled Michael Allison four-drawer chest, circa 1810-15, to a New York City collector; a Canadian diamond point cupboard to a dealer from Quebec who heard about it and flew down to the show; a New Hampshire Hepplewhite bow front chest went to a buyer from Virginia; three one-drawer stands, one of them going to Kansas; and two candlestands. As of Friday afternoon, “every piece of furniture was sold out of New England,” Peter said.
Still remaining in his booth, among a number of pieces of furniture, was a Queen Anne two-drawer blanket chest of Connecticut origin, original brass, circa 1750-60; a Chippendale chest-on-chest with fully developed feet, cherry wood, South Shore Massachusetts, circa 1800; and a country Chippendale four-drawer chest with applied molding, graduated drawers, shaped bracket base and old grain painted surface. It is from New England, circa 1800.
John D. Wahl Antiques of Richmond, N.H., was new to the show this year and offered an Elks BPOE 11 o’clock tin sign, electrified, 43 inches wide, along with a colorful stack of document boxes ranging in size from 8 by 161/2 to 41/2 by 9 inches and in shades of blue, red and green. They were priced to sell as a lot. Dating from the Eighteenth Century was a New England Queen Anne one-piece corner cupboard with tombstone upper doors, shaped shelves and plate rails. The interior had been cleaned down to the ori-ginal salmon and it measures 6 feet 7 inches by 43 inches and takes a 24-inch corner.
Also new to the show was Nathan Liverant and Son of Colchester, Conn. Leaning against the outside wall of the booth were three decorated doors, boldly painted and from an Odd Fellow Meeting House. Two of the doors were with landscape design incorporated in grain-painted surface and inscribed on the back was “P. Finney, Painter, F.L.T., John Sever, F.T.L.” and “S.O.O.F.” The doors were from New England and dated from the Nineteenth Century.
A William and Mary pine and maple rectangular-top tavern table with one drawer was of New England origin, circa 1750-80, and a collection of six child’s chairs was mounted on the recessed outside wall. Included were a ladder back side chair, bow back Windsor side chair, Queen Anne banister back side chair, and a decorated arrow back Windsor side chair that was marked with a sold ticket. The chairs were shown over a bamboo turned Windsor bench in mustard paint with floral highlights, New England, circa 1790-1810.
“Since this was our first New Hampshire Show we had nothing to compare it to, but we are very pleased both with our sales and with the people we have met. The visitors showed lots of interest in things, asked good questions and were having a good time,” Arthur Liverant said. Among his sales on opening day were a Chippendale secretary in curly maple, Eastern Connecticut, descended in the Backus family, and an early William and Mary banister back side chair with bold double arch crest, attributed to the North Shore, Mass.
Redware is generally scattered all over the booth of Lewis W. Scranton of Killingworth, Conn., but this time seemed to be overshadowed by painted tole in the forms of dome and flat-top document boxes, cups, a coffee pot and a very rare tin candlestick. “This only the fourth candlestick in have owned in my 36 years in business,” Lew said, and of his toleware in general, “This is the largest collection I have ever put together at one time.” He sold 12 of the 17 pieces offered, and with other sales, he recorded “one of my better shows here and close to the best show I ever had in Manchester four years ago.”
In addition to toleware he offered a pair of Rhode Island portraits, oil on canvas, circa 1840-50, the gentleman related to the first governor of Rhode Island by the name of Carr. A set of four bow back Windsor side chairs surrounded a scrubbed-top table at the front of the booth. “This is still the best show of the year for me,” Lew said, calling The New Hampshire Antiques Show the “wonderful two-hour three-day show going.”
Bob Jessen and Jim Hohn-wald of Fitzwilliam, N.H., showed a New Hampshire two-drawer blanket chest, drawer fronts with simple overlapping edges, olive-green paint. “This chest never had drawer pulls,” Bob said. Also in green paint was an early New England ladder back side chair with rush seat, and a tavern table with tapered legs, single board top with breadboard ends, was in the original mustard surface. The top of this New England piece measures 42 by 271/2 inches and it dates circa 1780-1800.
Pam Boynton was arriving a little late on Thursday morning to join Martha at the show, her excuse being, “I had to stop for gas.” Actually she had driven over to Bedford where she heard gas was selling for $1.75 per gallon and had to take advantage of a bargain. Later she heard of a closer station, right in Manchester, that was $1.74 per gallon. “Isn’t it wonderful,” she said, “when old timers like us find gas at $1.75 per gallon a real bargain.”
In any case, her trip from Groton, Mass., ended up a good show for them, “not as good as last year,” but “what is?” she quipped. Her sales included a two-drawer blanket chest in black and red, South Paris, Maine, a quill weathervane with gilt surface, a cat squeak toy, an Eighteenth Century sampler and a good number of smalls.
Stephen Corrigan of Ste-phen-Douglas, Rockingham, Vt., said, “People seem to be interested in top things and if they like something, they buy it. Price appears to be secondary.” Against the back wall of the booth was a dressing table and washstand from Portsmouth, N.H., in yellow with decoration and curved surface to accept a large bowl. A mocha pitcher, 93/4 inches high, was on a New Hampshire tap table in blue over the original red. “That is the largest pitcher made in mocha,” Stephen said, “and we have saved it for this show.” Among the many sales made from this booth were a Queen Anne mirror, a ratchet candlestand, a child’s chair and a ship’s lantern.
“This show has been incredible; we had 48 sales by the end of opening day,” Gail Piatt of Contoocook, N.H., said. Included in this number were an Eighteenth Century Maine corner cupboard, a hooked rug depicting a standing deer, a Pilgrim Century child’s chair, family register from Maine, two watch hutches, Sheraton mirror, three early splint baskets, portrait of a child holding a pond boat and a ship diorama, “very simple,” but one that filled the entire frame.
Still to be sold on Thursday afternoon were a Pennsylvania hunt board of small size, circa 1820, and a hanging New Hampshire apothecary, nine drawers, old red surface and open shelf across the bottom.
A number of visitors asked Paul and Cheryl Scott of Hillsborough, N.H., “Are you Yankee fans?” reacting to large “NY” gilt letters hanging in their booth. Paul was heard to respond, “A terrible thing to ask a Red Sox fan,” or something similar.
“We had a couple of customers after out squirrel,” Paul said, referring to a large cast-iron doorstop in the original paint by Bradley & Hubbard. Dealer Barbara Pollack of Highland Park, Ill., came away the winner. Two New Hampshire tavern tables were offered from the booth, one with two-board top, breadboard ends, circa 1780 and one drawer, the other was a painted Chippendale example, circa 1800, that came from a house in Tilton.
Furniture sold well from this booth and sales included a six-drawer chest, a two-drawer blanket chest, a painted settee, and two Windsor side chairs. Accessories included a cast-iron dove with folded wings, four weathervanes including a cow, a rooster and two horses, a circa 1920 hooked rug with a collie design and a Hubley cast-iron bulldog doorstop.
“We are down to one show per year now, and we like it that way,” Don Walters of Walters-Benisek, Northampton, Mass., said. From their regular corner booth they offered a set of six New Hampshire Windsor side chairs, circa 1820, red with gold stripping, and a green winged teal was depicted on a circa 1940 hooked rug. “This is the only set of measures we have ever been able to buy,” Don said of a set of four graduated red-painted measures branded “Gage & Co., Henniker, N.H.”
Hanging on the back wall was a large Ohio or Maryland landscape, dated 1871, with a large brick house filling most of the canvas, a building with two front doors and enclosed by a combination cast iron and green painted section, along with a white picket fence. Sales included a miniature piece of Peaseware, a red tole tea canister, a penny rug, a “No Admittance” sign, a chalk ram, a cast-iron dove with traces of white paint, and a rare wooden fish weathervane of small size.
“A Pennsylvania dealer making his second round of the show stopped dead in front of my late Nineteenth Century tricycle with wooden wheels and pedals, metal tire rims and original coach paintings and asked, ‘Why didn’t I see it the first time?'” Tom Longacre of Marlborough, N.H. said. A red sold dot was immediately put on the tag. Tom noted, “The first rush is such that you can’t see everything, and this proves it.”
Furniture included a Connecticut dish-top candlestand in cherry wood and a 36-drawer apothecary dovetailed chest, grain painted, Nineteenth Century. A rare wooden five-masted schooner weathervane, carved and painted, 42 inches long, was found on coastal Maine and exhibited in 1989 at the York Institute Museum.
“I am right on track with last year,” Tom said on Friday, noting, “We sold 20 objects during the first few hours on opening day.” Included were a pawn broker’s sign, game board, half-hull yacht and the apothecary. Tom observed, “Lots of people returned to the show on the second day and seemed to stay longer. That was good for all of us.”
Not much was left out by the artist in a farmscape, oil on canvas, hanging in the booth of Ronald and Penny Dionne of Willington, Conn. The house was yellow with a red barn, an old car was in the yard and a standing girl wore a blue jacket over a white dress. A collection of carved and painted songbirds was shown, along with a large Jewell rooster weathervane, circa 1815, that sold on the first day. A quill weathervane also sold, as did a pair of mirrored sconces, two pieces of redware, several baskets, a mill weight, treen plates, a black-painted candlestand, painting of a little girl, blue painted hutch table and several pantry boxes.
Estelle M. Glavey Antiques of New Ipswich, N.H., showed a six-drawer New England chest in maple with bracket feet, circa 1780, and on the wall hung a stumpwork picture in silk, watercolor and chenille, Nineteenth Century, that descended in a Massachusetts family. It was from the Boston School and was purchased directly from the heirs.
“This is the show I’ve always admired the most and one I always hoped to do,” Butch Berdan of Jewett & Berdan, Newcastle, Maine, said. “And it was great for us; it went way beyond our expectations.”
A pair of vibrant red-painted and decorated dome-top trunks by the same hand, one signed on the back “Archelaus Green,” made a fine impression against the side wall of the booth. The boxes were from New York State, circa 1830-40, and attracted a great deal of interest. They went to a collector within minutes of the show’s opening. “We owned one of the boxes and when the other came along, we bought it. We have priced the boxes separately, but we hope a buyer will keep them together,” Tom Jewett said before the show began.
A Tin Ware Factory sold from the same wall quickly, as did a checkerboard with a war frigate painted on the back. This board was once owned by The Arthurs, dealers of years ago, and it was purchased by them at a flea market. Seems one of the Arthurs was in conversation with Margaret Weld when the board was displayed on the hood of a car and he reached by her to lay claim to it for $10. A small yellow painted bench with fruit stenciling, New England, circa 1840-50, also found a buyer.
Linda S. Fodor of Port Charlotte, Fla., showed a maple drop leaf table in untouched condition, tapered legs, which supported a large cow weathervane with wonderful gilt surface and large horns. A hooked rug featured a cat on a gray center, surrounded by flowers, while a ship diorama from Camden, Maine, circa 1900, had a three-masted boat on the water with a town in the background, two islands in the front, one with a lighthouse and both with figures. A Lancaster County fanback Windsor side chair was in old black, circa 1790.
Jeannine Dobbs Antiques of Merrimack, N.H., was again at the front corner of the show floor offering a Nineteenth Century Shaker side chair, tape seat, blue-green paint, from a Kentucky community, and a two-tier loom hanging basket, Victorian, in old white paint. A penny rug, excellent condition, had strawberries sewn on, New England origin, circa 1900.
Steven Rowe Antiques, Newton, N.H., has a booth positioned near the entrance to the show and in full view of those waiting to get in. Few, if any, of the people in the lobby do not get out of line at one time or another to case his booth from behind the glass doors. Again the booth was colorful, offering a rare form sideboard-server with bootjack ends, lower shelf and old blue surface. A blue, yellow and white game board hung over the server, and against the right wall was a yellow-painted and stenciled decorated dressing table of New England origin. Resting on turned legs, this piece dated circa 1820.
Melinda and Laszlo Zongor of Bedford, Penn., experienced a very good show. “Always good and we hope to be doing this show forever,” Laszlo said. Among the coverlets sold were a New Jersey one by Nathaniel Young and a very rare one by David Haring. Meryl Weiss of American Classics, Canaan, N.H., said, “I had a run on paintings, including some folk art watercolors and marine works.
A dollhouse, the size a large family could easily move into, ran from front to back in the booth of Scott Bassoff-Sandy Jacobs, Rindge, N.H. Sandy said, “I believe this to be an architect’s model, about 1920, as all of the doors and windows work and there is good lighting in each room, including the attic.” She demonstrated, turning the light on one of the back rooms by inserting a small paint brush through the window and flicking the switch.
She indicated it was a very good show for her and some of her sales were a pair of painted doors from upstate New York, a pair of Windsor armchairs, several pieces of mocha and canary, a Civil War proclamation dated Dec. 25, 1851, and Queen Anne mirror, and several hooked rugs.
As usual the booth of Wayne Pratt & Co, Woodbury, Conn., was filled with case pieces of furniture including a Chippendale painted birch reverse serpentine chest of drawers, North Shore, Mass., in mahogany, circa 1770-90, and Queen Anne inlaid walnut dressing table from the Boston area, 1740-50, with cabriole legs and carved feet. A sideboard, signed Thomas Chandler, York, Maine, was dated June 2, 1810, and made of mahogany and flame birch. This Federal period piece measures 693/4 inches. Among the Nantucket baskets for sale was an open, shallow, round one by Ferdinand Sylvaro, circa 1910, 121/2 inches in diameter and 5 inches high.
“This show has been fine for us,” Wayne said, adding, “We sold an overmantel, Stillings Hall, as well as a Guy Wiggins painting, several baskets, chest of drawers, Prior painting, and a pair of chairs with Spanish feet.” He mentioned several pieces of furniture were pending and was hoping for those be-backers.
Suzanne Courcier and Robert Wilkins, Yarmouthport, Mass., were actually ahead of schedule setting up their booth and had a bit of spare time before the show opened at 10 am Thursday morning. “The hard work we put into this show really paid off and we had one of our best years here,” Bob said the next week while visiting the Marion Antiques Show. He listed sales of Shaker furniture including a sewing desk from Mount Lebanon, a hanging cupboard from the same community, a couple of chairs including a no. “0” baby chair, and a settee. Shaker boxes and other accessories were also sold, and “we met a couple of new collectors, which is always nice,” Suzanne mentioned.
“The show seems to be strong for just about everybody and it has been better than last year for me,” Peter Sawyer of Exeter, N.H. said. He mentioned that customers were there from California and down South, noting, “Antiques Week has become a destination.” People seemed to be buying time from his booth as he recorded sales of three tall-case clocks, a banjo clock and a shelf clock. In addition he sold a painting, a small painted table, a six-drawer chest and Vermont dressing table, circa 1820. A high chest in the booth, circa 1780, was attributed to John and/or Samuel Dunlap, Bedford, N.H., in cherry wood and with the original brasses.
A pair of life-size swan decoys, circa 1950, Connecticut origin, faced each other in the booth of Barbara Ardizone Antiques, Salisbury, Conn. A hooked rug showed two young deer and a tree enclosed by a teepee border with stars, and a pair of half-round barber poles, turned ends, in old crusty red, white and blue paint was mounted on the side wall.
Things seemed to be going well down the right side of the center aisle where Ted and Carole Hayward of The Yankee Smuggler, Richmond, N.H., were having “a very good show, far ahead of last year,” and their neighbors, Ken and Robin Pike of Rustic Accents, Nashua, N.H., were pleased with the first two days and hoped for more customers on Saturday. One more booth down, Betty Berdan of Newsom & Berdan Antiques, Hallowell, Maine, commented, “The show is just fine, I would like to do one like this every month.” A boldly decorated Vermont four-drawer chest with turned feet, shaped backsplash, dated circa 1830 and looked great against the side wall of the booth.
Sharon Platt Antiques, Portsmouth, N.H., offered an Eighteenth Century New England press bed in dry salmon paint, wrought iron hardware, 74 by 53 inches, and an Eighteenth Century New England two-drawer blanket chest with channel moldings and dry red surface.
So what’s the word from the chairman of the show? “It all went really well, our gate was up slightly, Michael Sczerzen did his usual fine job as our floor manager and I think most of the dealers were real happy at the end of the show,” said Terri Steingrebe. Terri has just completed her fourth year as show chairman and when asked if she intends to go another year, the question was answered with a long pause, then, “I always give it lots of thought at the end of each show, waver a bit, but then start making plans for next year.”
With her positive comments about the new exhibitors and the good help she has during the year and at the show, we expect to see her at the helm in 2005.
The excrdf_Descriptionent created by The New Hampshire Antiques Show seems to be deeply etched in granite.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm