Published: August 16, 2022
Review & Onsite Photos by Madelia Hickman Ring
ORLEANS, MASS. – The morning of Saturday, August 6, dawned clear and warm for the entirety of Cape Cod, which, like much of the United States, was enjoying a heat wave as it had for much of the summer. In Orleans, 26 dealers crossed their fingers for cooling breezes and set up the 52nd annual Summer Antique Show in Orleans on the front lawn at the Nauset Middle School. It was the second of several annual shows hosted by the Cape Cod Antique Dealers Association (CCADA), including its latest event, a new show at the Inn at Sagamore, on July 7 in Sandwich, Mass. (for coverage of the CCADA Sagamore show, see the July 29 issue of Antiques and The Arts Weekly).
Saturday is the traditional change-over day for Cape Cod vacationers who rent by the week, with sunburnt tourists loading up and making the slow trek towards the bridges that connect the Cape with mainland Massachusetts; they pass an even longer line of traffic coming from the West, inching their hopeful way towards the various beaches that dot the bay or ocean coastlines. The single-day show, open 9 am to 3 pm, is an opportunity for one last excursion for departing visitors, an alternative to beach-going pursuits for those who are staying throughout the summer, or the first of many memories to be made in a summer vacation.
Warm and sunny weather can portend low attendance as the show competes not only against the beach but various other cultural events taking place throughout the region. While the line of people waiting for the show to open just before 9 am was fairly short, show managers reported a steady stream of visitors throughout the day, as well as strong sales and new visitors. The total number of visitors exceeded 500, which is an exceptional turnout.
Two large tents provided shade for the majority of dealers at the table-top show, with a few dealers under smaller individual tents clustered in the shady parts of the field’s perimeter. The occasional breeze provided some respite from the heat which felt oppressive but did nothing to deter show visitors.
“We had one of the largest gates in recent memory,” said Carl Goveia, recently appointed CCADA president who has been dealing for ten years as Nauset Antiques in North Eastham and who was set up in the corner of one of the large tents. “There was a steady stream of customers from 9 am until about 1 pm. That’s saying something given the heat and humidity. Primitives did well along with signs, furniture and decorative items. Also, nautical items sell quickly as usual for a Cape Cod show. There was a broad mix of buyers from young to old and new to experienced. The serious buyers seem to shop early. All and all, it was a great show.”
Within the first half hour of the show, Goveia had marked as sold a green painted iron planter and he was animatedly talking with customers about things in his booth. He plans to retire from a career in the insurance business soon to deal antiques full time. From his description of the rest of his summer, he is taking that step to heart, with plans to do the Mid Cape Antiques Show in South Yarmouth on August 13, the Falmouth Antiques Show on August 20, followed by the Academy Antiques Show in the Founders Gym at the Cape Cod Academy in Osterville on August 27.
“What a fantastic show; we are thrilled with the different booths,” enthused Charlene Dixon, who heads CCADA’s membership committee. She and her husband, Ed reported they had had an “excellent show selling primarily nautical items,” including among many sales a yellow half-hull yacht, a smaller hull mounted on a center board, a large 1930 Colton Waugh Cape Cod map as well as three early statues of Gloucester fishermen. Dixon
Past president Charles Adams, and his wife, Barbara, had great things to say about the show as well.
“Fortunately, at our end of the tent we had a good breeze which kept us cool, though we had to move things constantly as the wind would blow things over,” Barbara noted. “However, our sales were very good, and we met many new people as well as regulars. Among our sales were an early oval Shaker box, several early baskets, a blue blanket chest, an A.D. Makepeace cranberry snap scoop, a parrot doorstop, several pieces of nautical china, a ginger jar lamp and some unusual fungus art pieces.”
“It was fabulous, I had a very good day,” said CCADA publicity coordinator Marie Forjan. “I knew it would be because it was extremely busy early on. [The show] has been around for 52 years so it’s a well-established event that people schedule their vacations around.”
Dealing as Marie’s Memories, the Eastham, Mass., dealer noted a good mix of sales, including those of glass, pottery and jewelry, as well as two Art Deco purses and a Victorian purse.
Forjan noted that a few dealers who showed previously had scheduling conflicts that precluded them from participating in this event. Of course, the upside to that is it presents an opportunity for other dealers to participate.
“There are lots of dealers who want to do the show; we never have trouble finding dealers to do it,” she said.
One of the debuting dealers was Carolann Burke, who deals just part-time around her full-time career in the design industry where she manages a showroom at the Boston Design Center, told us that she had joined CCADA a few months earlier, at the urging of Alan Herman. She had great things to say about the show and is considering other shows the CCADA will host later this year.
“I thought it was very well run and it was an excellent crowd, considering the weather, which was infernal. [Shoppers] just kept coming until the end of the day and they were buying. I loved my fellow dealers and thought the show had a really nice vibe. My most successful category was vintage textiles. It was a very well-heeled crowd and a lot of people said they were buying things as gifts. I was very encouraged and will definitely do the show again.”
Burke describes her aesthetic as “haute bohemian,” which offered variety to the rest of the offerings throughout the show, featuring among other things a brass Anglo Indian elephant box, some carved wood architectural griffons, a Japanese woven ikebana basket and several eastern Indian printing blocks.
Burke noted sales spanned several different categories and price points, with her least expensive transaction being $25 for a vintage beaded evening purse but closing the majority of her deals for an average of around $80.
The first-time exhibitor listed sales of vintage barware, a two-tiered rattan shelf, a verdigris frog, a Danish Midcentury Modern teak ice bucket, a vintage miniature cocktail shaker, a hunter’s leather-clad flask from David Linley and what she described as a tiny French impressionistic landscape of a field in oil on board that was purchased by a gentleman from Philadelphia.
“I was not quite sure what to expect,” said Sheila Gediman, Stone Bridge Antiques, who was also participating in the show for the first time. Her three tables, set up in a U-formation, were laden with pottery and glassware, including many dining pieces with a “fish” theme, including a set of eight lobster crackers, fish and oyster plates, a large, covered fish casserole and sets of fish knives and forks. Among the things the Tiverton, R.I., dealer was most proud of was a rare service of Blue Stangl, which she had priced at $450.
The booth of Alan Herman, Whaling Days Antiques, is right next to the front gate, along the field’s perimeter, and he had put a red sold tag on a blue blanket chest early in the show. Occupying price of place in the center of his booth was a green-painted sea captain’s chest that he had discovered in the attic of a New Bedford, Mass., house. Among its noteworthy features were yellow rope and leather beckets and fully dovetailed canted sides and a dovetailed lid. After the show, Herman reported that the sea captain’s chest had sold to a buyer from Connecticut.
Expectations for the Orleans show were high for Herman, who is on the board of the CCADA and had done the Sagamore show in July. When we caught up with him at the start of the show, he dubbed the Sagamore show “the best ever” but in a follow up later in the week, he admitted the Orleans event had been “excellent, actually, a bit better.”
Among other pieces of nautical interest the New Bedford dealer brought were lighthouse and sailing ship doorstops, and a sign for the Edgartown Light and scrimshaw, to name a few. He closed the deal on quite a few things, noting a half-hull model and some signs; most of his buyers were new to him, many of them with second homes on the Cape.
Also along the perimeter fence were Ted Biszko Antiques, which are in Brimfield, Mass., and show at Brimfield Auction Acres during Brimfield. They had a wonderful Renaissance Revival doll’s bed that had an old paper tag marked “Alice S. Merritt Cole.” Biszko said it had come from Somerset, Mass.
Next to Biszko, Hyannis dealer David Lamson had an interesting selection on offer, including books on artists like Norman Rockwell and N.C. Wyeth to books on antiques, cooking and local history.
For shoppers in the market for furniture, William Nickerson Antiques was one of the few dealers who brought a large supply, and his was the obvious booth to visit, with tables, chairs, chests and other forms on offer. Several nautical paintings by his father, Reginald Eugene Nickerson (1915-1999), including a whaling scene, and ship paintings of the Victory and the Republic. Nickerson also brings milk crates of LP records, which he says are always popular and a way to draw in younger buyers.
“I sold a number of pieces of furniture, which is always nice, including a nice four-drawer maple chest for $900 that had been deaccessioned from the Yarmouth Historical Society that I had restored. I also sold a painting to a dealer friend. What I thought was phenomenal about the show was the number of people considering how hot it was.”
Nickerson noted that all of his sales were to people with a Cape address. When asked if he thought buyers preferred furniture with an antique or restored finish, he said that from his perspective, “it’s good if a piece is ready to go into a house.”
“I expected it to be good, but it was better than I hoped,” said Trish Ferrara, Ten-Mile Antiques. “Receipts were definitely above average compared to previous years. I sell mostly jewelry, and that’s what they bought; sales ranged from $5 for an antique guidebook to Paris to $2,000 for an antique Navajo necklace.” The Attleboro, Mass., dealer, who has been doing the show for more than 15 years, said her sales were pretty evenly divided between old and new customers.
Witt’s End Antiques proprietors Chris and Karen Doscher used to do the Orleans show when it was indoors, but it was their first time doing the show out of doors. Wooden boxes, baskets, small furniture and brass lanterns were among their offerings.
Local Orleans dealer Carolyn Thompson, Bayberry Antiques, usually brings chocolate molds to the Orleans show and these were in plentiful supply. Also on offer were painted and cast iron doorstops, decoys, boxed Lionel trains and vintage post cards, which make for fun browsing.
The booth of Rita Hargrave, Yankee’s-Inge-Nuity, Barnstable, Mass., was calming with cooling tones of pale pastels and whites. Hargrave has been doing the show for approximately a dozen years and reported it was “about average… There were a few other years where I did better and a few where I have done worse.” She said nautical items – paintings, a pitcher, a pair of mounted eel spears and gigs – did well, as did antiques with original paint, such as an early painted cupboard, benches and a table. Sales the West Barnstable dealer made were to both new and returning clients, as well as to other dealers at the show.
Kay Inkkila, Kay Inkkila Antiques of Orleans was next door to Hargrave; in the first hour of the show, she had marked as sold a pair of long blue-painted oars.
If one made one’s way around the perimeter in a clockwise direction starting with the booth closest to the gate, the booth of Andrew and Deborah Stidsen, Feathered Star Antiques, was the last along the perimeter and the East Dennis dealers offered a great assortment of decoys, tin molds and implements and small furniture.
The 53rd Annual Summer Antique Show in Orleans will take place on August 5.
The Cape Cod Antique Dealers Association’s upcoming shows include the 34th annual Cape Cod Glass Show in South Yarmouth (September 24-25), the 44th annual Holiday Indoor Antiques Show at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Orleans (November 25-26) and the 13th annual “Winter Magic” Antiques Show at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod in South Yarmouth (January 1).
Proceeds from shows benefits the CCADA’s cultural enrichment fund. For more information, www.ccada.com.
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