Published: September 30, 2015
Review and Photos by W.A. Demers
GOSHEN, CONN. — On September 22, the last day of summer 2015, dealers from all around New England, the New York metro area and Pennsylvania gathered at the Goshen Fairgrounds for an informal half-day of selling and camaraderie.
Antiques dealers Fritz Rohn from Woodbury, Conn., and Tom Seaver of Jaffrey, N.H., debuted this antiques meet in September 2013, at that time at the Bethlehem fairgrounds. The show is intended to harken back to the days when such events were short, sweet and low rent. The first year the show managers did not even charge admission, although for this latest edition shoppers paid $5 per person to browse from 9 am until 1 pm. A respectable roster of about 70 antiques dealers were set up indoors in two large buildings, while a half dozen or so other dealers braved the brisk weather outside. After a rather wet outing in June, Seaver and Rohn were looking for bright skies for this one. The skies weren’t quite bright, but any threat of rain thankfully held off throughout the day.
With this no-frills show, dealers can count on there being no booth walls, unless they construct them. Lighting is BYO, except for the ceiling’s overheads and natural light coming in from each open end of the buildings. There is a lunch wagon operating during the run of the show, and bathroom amenities are nearby. Folks do not line up for the ambience here, however; it is the eclectic range of merchandise showcased by dealers who informally lay out their collections of fine art, trade signs, architectural salvage, pottery and porcelain, folk art, early toys, paint decorated, country and formal furniture, even Midcentury Modern and more. For a small affair, there is quite an interesting array of fare to catch the collector’s eye.
Contacted the next day, Tom noted that the show went well and that “by the end nearly everyone was quite happy,” especially he himself as he sold about three times more than his usual take. Fritz reported that about 200 people came out to shop. “Not only was it steady all day long, but we had the ‘right kind’ of customers who were ready to buy,” he said. “This kind of show is what the dealers want —a convivial, informal opportunity for a wide range of merchandise and where both buying and selling are important. A lot of merchandise changed hands more than once.”
The concept has so far proven popular enough for Rohn and Seaver to present two shows each season, one in June and one in September — the formula remains one of producing a short, inexpensive weekday event in an easily accessible site with known dealers and fine merchandise. Dates for 2016 have not been established yet, but look for the show to return to the Goshen Fairgrounds in June and September next year. For information, call Fritz Rohn at 203-263-3775 or Tom Seaver at 603-532-8500.
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