Published: May 8, 2018
Review and Photos by Rick Russack
CONCORD, N.H. – Peter Mavris’s Spring in New Hampshire show, April 22, had a wide variety of merchandise, a varied group of exhibitors and a large, enthusiastic crowd waiting for the show to open. Including the word spring in the name of the show was appropriate. It was bright and sunny and one of the first 60-degree days of the season. You know that there will always be a good selection of Americana at a Mavris show – baskets, firkins, painted woodenware, furniture and so on – but this show also had pre-Columbian artifacts, early delft, early glass, some good European furniture, Oriental rugs, posters, marine items and much more. Business was brisk when the show opened, and several dealers made preshow sales.
Exhibitors brought a number of interesting things. Mario Pollo, Holliston, Mass., had a large, Nineteenth Century carved figure of St Roque (or St Roch), a Roman Catholic pilgrim who ministered to the sick and dying during the Black Death plague in the Fourteenth Century. The carving that Pollo had depicted the saint showing his own scars from the plague, which is the way he is often shown. The carving, of uncertain origin, was priced at $1,650.
Greg Hamilton, Stone Block Antiques, Vergennes, Vt., had a group of Verve magazines. They are relatively scarce, as only 38 issues were published in Paris between 1937 and 1960. The Modernist publication often included lithographs by artists such as Marc Chagall, Miro, Klee, Braque and others. The group included an issue devoted to the ceramics of Pablo Picasso, with several high-quality gravures tipped in. Hamilton priced the group at $1,000. He also had a large, brass butcher’s scale, which he believed had been made in Portugal circa 1900-20; it was priced at $2,200. At first glance, a pair of detailed bird carvings in John Prunier’s booth appeared to be Japanese bronzes. However, they were made of finely carved burl and roots and finished to imitate bronze. He dated them as circa 1890-1920 and priced the pair at $550.
In addition to the stoneware and redware often found at this show, there were some much older ceramics. Matt King, Marshfield, Mass., and Ross Levett, Thomaston, Maine, each had several pieces of Eighteenth Century delft, and Levett had three pieces of Chinese Song dynasty pottery. He estimated that the pieces would date between 900 CE and 1100 CE. He was asking $650 for each. Brian Cullity, Sagamore, Mass., had several pieces of pre-Columbian Aztec and Mayan pottery from Peru, which he dated from 500 CE to 1400 CE. Cullity also had a framed, gilded and painted pressed metal portrait of Abraham Lincoln. It had remnants of a paper label on the back that identified the maker as the William Powell Company of Cincinnati. It was dated 1865 and Cullity priced it at $450.
Mark Longval, Mountain Rugs, Parsonsfield, Maine, displayed a number of Oriental rugs. When asked, he said that his favorite was an Anatolian prayer rug, which he dated to about 1920. He said that it really was a mountain rug, which he liked because of his company name, and that its construction proved its origin. He said it was made entirely of wool, without any cotton. Mountain weavers did not have access to cotton, as did urban weavers, utilizing wool sheared and dyed from their own herds of sheep and goats. The rug was priced at $1,200.
Bob Foley, Gray, Maine, had a large, ceramic mortar and pestle that apparently had been a display piece in a pharmacy. It was made by the Gilman Brothers, Boston, and Foley priced it at $1,250. He said that it had come from the estate of a woman who had worked for the auctioneer Jim Cyr and who was an avid yard sale shopper. Not a surprise, there were several nice hooked rugs. Stephen-Douglas, Rockingham, Vt., had a large red rug with a large figure of a dog priced at $375. Barbara Rotundo, Methuen, Mass., had one with a large red and black bird, for which she was asking $425. Bob Snyder and Judy Wilson, Lititz, Penn., had a brightly colored rug with the word “Welcome,” and it was priced at $975. Benting and Jarvis, Barrington, N.H., displayed an unusual group of about a dozen large fabric vegetables, including a pumpkin, carrots, a head of lettuce or cabbage, an apple and more. Velvet vegetables turn up with some frequency, but these were not velvet and the group was priced at $375.
Most dealers and show shoppers know Justin Cobb, Amherst, Mass., who specializes in marine artifacts and American paintings. Perhaps not all know his age. He was celebrating his 91st birthday. If you are wondering just how an antiques dealer celebrates a 91st birthday, Cobb explained, “Yesterday I was at Skinner’s. I bought several good marine navigation instruments and some very interesting cheese maker’s woodenware. And today I’m set up here. My son said he has some cupcakes for everyone.” Cobb said, “I’ll retire when I get old.” Cobb’s booth included paintings of winter scenes. One by Aldo Hibbard was priced at $800, a New Hampshire scene by Jay Connaway was priced at $1,500 and one by Thomas Curtin of snow covered Mount Mansfield, the highest mountain in Vermont, had at $3,000 price tag. Cobb commented, “They’re all winter scenes. I had to wait until spring to put them out. Who would want more snow after the winter we just had.”
In the first half hour of the show, business was brisk. John Sideli sold a good broadside, Brian Cullity sold a large, classic-form merganser decoy, Mike Seward sold a two-drawer spool cabinet and other items, Bob Markowitz sold an unusual small fan that retracted into a very realistic looking cigar, Stephen-Douglas was wrapping purchases, as were others.
Peter Mavris said that this is the fifth year that he has been running this show. Exhibitors included several that are often seen at New England shows, and there were a number of dealers from beyond New England. Dealers who exhibit at Mavris’s Portsmouth show commented that this Concord show attracts customers that they don’t see in Portsmouth. Mavris commented “I’m pleased with the way the show looks – there’s a lot of fresh merchandise. The exhibitors know what sells here. And it’s always good to see a line of people waiting to get in like we had this time.” Mavris’s next show will be back in Concord at the start of Antiques Week in New Hampshire.
For additional information, www.petermavrisantiqueshows.com or 207-625-5028.
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