Published: October 14, 2003
– There are two factors that measure the success of an outdoor show. The first one is uncontrollable, the weather. The second is controllable, the level of antiques offered by the exhibitors.
Let’s consider the first as it pertains to Antiques at Hildene, the September 27 outdoor show, or flea market as they were once called back in the days of Russell Carrell, Betty Forbes, Fran Phipps and a host of other managers. Dark clouds threatened during a portion of the day, but for the most part it was sunny day, nice and warm, on the meadowland section of the Hildene estate.
Now the controllable portion, the dealers and their inventories. There were lots of nice things there to buy including period furniture such a set of Queen Anne chairs in cherry wood, a New England tall chest in maple, an early slant front desk and any number of tavern tables. There was an ample amount of stoneware, a selection of doorstops including a rare lighthouse example and glass from many periods.
According to Linda Turner of Forbes and Turner Antiques Shows, most of the dealers did business. “After the show I received about ten emails from exhibitors who wanted to tell me they had good sales at Hildene, and I have never heard from that many before,” Linda said. She called Hildene a “typical outdoor show” and noted the gate was steady all day. The show benefited, of course, from the VADA Show in town the same day and shared part of that audience.
Hildene in the fall has about 60 exhibitors, “but that number is much greater for the Hildene show in the summer,” Linda said. The summer show alternates with the Dorset outdoor market that was staged this year, so 2004 will have two Hildene shows on the calendar.
According to management, Hildene went very well. “You know when we are planning an outdoor show, we always pray for no rain. This time I forgot to include the wind,” Linda said.
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