Published: October 8, 2002
MANCHESTER CENTER, VT. — “It was beautiful, the moon and the stars were out when I left home early this morning,” Fitzwilliam, N.H., dealer Bill Lewan said on Saturday morning in Manchester Center, under a completely clouded sky. The heavy rains on Friday, September 27, left behind only clouds, and then some afternoon sun, for Antiques at Hildene.
Linda Turner, manager of the show, said “We were so thankful that the rains did not flood the Hildene Meadowlands,” the site of the outdoor market. As it turned out, the field was in good shape, no one got mired in mud, and visitors did not have to wear high footwear.
This show, with 70 dealers, is a benefit for The Friends of Hildene and this year attracted a “good gate, not a barnstormer,” according to Linda. She noted that “we got a nice flurry of people around noon, those we guessed had already shopped the VADA show in town, and people came in well into the afternoon.”
This show is, for the most part, country, with very little formal polished furniture in sight. Linda did say, however, that one dealer with very formal things called her and wanted to do the show. He asked about walls, lights, etc, all the amenities of an indoor show, and was told that none would be available. In fact, Linda replied, “We plunk a large tent down in the middle of a field and put on a real good flea market.” And that sums it up nicely.
This show pulls together a nice mix of exhibitors, some who are seen at some of the best shows in the country, and other who venture out a few times a year to favorite shows or outdoor markets. In the long run it makes for a nice mix of country furniture, lots of it painted, baskets in all shapes, equipment for the open hearth, always hooked and braided rugs, some pewter, redware and stoneware, banks, and early ceramics. In fact, one never knows what will show up at Hildene, and that’s one of the reasons people keep coming back.
The dates for the next fall Hildene are still up in the air, and there will not be the summer version next year. Instead, Linda Turner will be running her semiannual Dorset flea market, just up the road about eight miles. Her next indoor show will be the Spring Connecticut Antiques Show at the Expo Center, Hartford, on March 22-23.
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