Published: October 19, 2004
Antiques in Vermont, a one-day show conducted on Sunday, October 3, at Riley Rink at Hunter Park, is the grand finale of the five-show weekend extravaganza. Eighty dealers, some who had done the other shows, set up in the spacious, easy-in-and-out single-story rink.
Phyllis Carlson and Tim Stevenson, who manage the show, were bustling to meet the needs of their exhibitors during setup on Saturday. They admitted early buyers from 8 to 10 am on Sunday, and the regular retail crowd from 10 am to 4 pm.
“Our annual Sunday show was a beautiful, sunny fall day,” said Carlson after the show. “We were extremely pleased with an increase in early buyers gate of 22 percent. Some of our dealers commented after the show that they have increased their sales every year, and this year they did better than ever. I received a call on Monday from a man in Canada who attended the show to tell us how impressed he was with the quality of the antiques and the amount of early antiques at the show. He regretted not buying one of those early objects and was tracking down the dealer to buy it if it was still available.”
Carlson said dealers who reported having a good show included longtime participants Mary Elliot and Colleen Nordengren, both from Pepperell, Mass., and Tom Jewett and Butch Berdan, New Castle, Maine, as well as first-time participants Terri Tushingham, Demarest, N.J., and Barry and Nancy Yodis of Quakertown, Penn.
A brief sampling of merchandise included lemon gold frames, quilts and American antique furniture from John and Liz Gould, Yorktown Heights, N.Y.; a rare Nineteenth Century Bennington eagle jug at Thomas Moser Antiques; a set of six bird’s-eye and tiger maple chairs at Steven Rowe Antiques, Blue Hill, Maine; and a signed end-of-the-day stoneware lion at Louise D. Hardie Antiques and Collectibles, York, Maine.
New Hampshire dealer Stan Farmer, who with wife Joan owns Farmer’s Antiques, specializing in British ceramics, mused that one-day shows are hectic and require as much energy and time to set up for as three-day or week shows. “This produces stress, making it seem like a ‘roll of the dice,'” said Farmer. “It all depends upon the gate, in-house dealers and the serendipitous arrival of just the right collectors and dealers for the area of one’s strength. Good weather helps.”
This year’s show was the Farmers’ debut to the Carlson show. “It was a beautiful day, and people, in my opinion, were slow to get started, although I’m told the early buyers gate was up. As noon approached and churches let out, people began to show up in reasonable numbers. It appeared to be an upscale-retail traffic, many stopping quickly en route to their New York/New Jersey manses. Some bought.”
Farmer, who deals in Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century British ceramics, acknowledges that he caters to a limited market.
“Where I have appeared previously, I have a faithful following,” he said. “In this business you cannot survive without a name and reputation. I was encouraged that this is a venue that depends on making the investment in time. I expect to do better each year.”
He said that one of the factors helping to ensure the viability of the show is the excellent preparation promoters Carlson and Stevenson put into it. “The facilities are superb. The special consideration for dealers is unusually thoughtful – snacks, restrooms, periodic encouragement. The lighting is good.”
Farmer said that they did well enough to be encouraged to try the show again.
“I had just purchased a lovely complete soft-paste hand painted child’s tea set, which I decided to put out at the last minute,” he said. “I had 25-30 assorted pieces of English white Ironstone on display, just a sampling of a much larger inventory. There seemed to be more interest than I expected, and people commented on the fact that we displayed so much. I enjoyed a number of buyers who love and understand Staffordshire transfer ware. I find educating and inspiring shoppers to be a collateral benefit to making sales. Hopefully, they will be next year’s knowledgeable buyers.”
For information on the show contact Phyllis Carlson or Tim Stevenson at 802-362-3668.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm