Published: August 31, 2004
From the air it would have looked like a colorful dotted line extending from the entrance of the large white tent in the parking lot of The Wayfarer Inn down the driveway to the admission area. A similar line ran from the entrance of the convention center. From the ground it was a string of bright umbrellas sheltering those early buyers lined up for the annual Bedford Pickers Market.
Actually, it was little more than a light drizzle that fell on the morning of Friday, August 13, and those both with and without protection were having a good time chatting with friends, meeting new ones and ignoring the weather. All thoughts were geared toward entering the exhibition areas and searching out treasures at this last show to open during Antiques Week in New Hampshire.
“There is lots of excrdf_Descriptionent here this year, dealers moved in without any serious hitches and we sold the largest number of combination tickets ever,” said Frank Gaglio, show manager and owner of Barn Star Productions. Seven years ago Frank decided it was time to use the tent setup for his Mid*Week in Manchester Antiques Show a second time and created the Pickers Market.
Mid*Week dealers move out of the tent and convention center as quickly as possible after the 5 pm closing on Thursday, a crew mends paper and makes other adjustments, and around 8 pm the next batch of dealers is moving in. All 111 booths are filled with new exhibitors, meaning no one who has already shown in an Antiques Week event is eligible. Setup continues until midnight and resumes at 6 pm Friday. Then it is show time, with early buying at 9 am and general admission at 11 am. The show shuts down at 4 pm and generally at that hour very few shoppers are remaining.
Just inside the main entrance of the large tent Otto and Susan Hart of Arlington, Vt., set up their wares and one of the first people into the show put a sold tickets on a large Uncle Sam top hat in the booth. It was very large, painted red, white and blue sheet metal, with white star decoration, dating circa 1920-30. An early Twentieth Century bird tree, complete with 19 carvings including an owl and colorful songbirds, was found in Massachusetts, and a most interesting collection of carved animals was by Axel Gustafson of Franklinville, N.Y. A pair of eagles and a giraffe attracted to most attention, but the group also included a zebra and stag. “They are priced separately, but we would like to sell them as a collection,” Susan said.
A Pennsylvania three-board top hutch table in red wash, 661/2- by 411/4-inch top, was in the display of Susan Heider Antiques of Yardley, Penn. A Nineteenth Century hanging cupboard in old red, four-light door over one drawer, old red surface, was mounted on the wall of the booth.
Eric Gronning Antiques, Portsmouth, N.H., showed a nice gate leg table in maple, North Shore, circa 1725, along with a Connecticut Queen Anne side chair, maple and ash and grain painted to simulate wood. An interesting view of Anthony’s Nose on The Hudson, copy of Victor De Grailley’s lost painting, oil on canvas, was dated circa 1845.
Kelly and Jenner of Sherman, Conn., was set up in a corner booth in the tent and reported “a very good show.” Furniture included a green corner cupboard, a green painted hanging wall cupboard, a set of four arrow back side chairs, also in green, and other seating included an armchair and a couple of Windsor side chairs. Making for a good show were the sales of a decorated pillow back writing-armchair, five carved scrimshaw figures, a silhouette of a lady in hand painted elaborate dress and a theorem, among other things.
The opposite corner booth in the tent was taken by Bruce Emond, The Village Braider, Plymouth, Mass. “We have done alright,” Bruce said, “including the sale of our four whirligigs.” Sold as a set, these carvings from Indiana included Uncle Sam, a farmer and Mickey Mouse. One of the whirligigs was displayed on top of a country Sheraton secretary in birch, under a coat of paint. A long country dining room table with one drawer held a collection of 11 graduated yellowware bowls.
Neverbird Antiques of Surry, Va., hung a good number of pictures on the walls, including a portrait of a young girl with rattle, green dress, oil on canvas circa 1835. A well-drawn map of the United State, schoolgirl watercolor by Maria Philpot, dated 1817, listed her teacher as Lucinda Cridley, Franklin Academy, Dover, N.H.
Signs have become very popular and offering a few was David E. Helfrich Antiques of Glen Rock, Penn. One read “Lawn Mowers Sharpened and Repaired,” while another directed the way to the “United State Furniture Shops.” A deer head was depicted on a hooked rug, and a set of six plant-seat side chairs, circa 1850, were in green paint with floral decoration of the splats.
“People are interested in clocks, but business has been slow,” according to Paul Phillips of Bryn Mawr, Penn. He offered a nice selection of furniture, including a classic Federal Boston card table, circa 1820, North Shore, maple with turned and reeded legs. Among the clocks, for which he is well-known, was a tall-case example by George Hagey, signed Wilmington, circa 1850, with the original brass dial and rolling moon. George Hagey came from three generations of a clockmaking family.
Jeffery Henkel of Pennington, N.J., sold a hitching post with an ear of corn on the top to one of the first people in the show. The post was complete except for the portion that went into the ground. A cast-iron birdbath with a pedestal in the form of a female figure also sold early in the show, but still waiting to be bought was a wonderful cast-iron lion head, early Nineteenth Century, possibly English.
A sand painted home in Wilmington, N.C., late Nineteenth Century, was centered in a diorama/shadow box in the booth of Charles Bradsher American Antiques, Asheville, N.C. Hanging on the same wall was a portrait of Abigail Browne, oil on poplar panel, mid-Atlantic region, probably Maryland, dating from the early Nineteenth Century. The woman wore a white bonnet and shawl.
Salmon paint covered a shoe foot hutch table in the booth of Claud and Susan Baker of Hamilton, Ohio. This Eighteenth Century example had a top measuring 54 by 42 inches. A dome-top box, mustard with black dots and swirls, dated circa 1830 and was from Vermont, Connecticut River Valley.
It is anyone’s guess about just what Bill Powell of Franklin, Tenn., will bring east to the shows. This time the booth was colorful and filled with things to make one smile. Across the long wall of the booth were three vaudeville dancing skirts, outfits ladies wore when performing in the “good olde days.” A figure of Uncle Sam was waving an American flag and ball-toss game figures, very colorful, had gaping mouths, poised to accept a well-aimed ball.
The most interesting architectural piece in the show was a circa 1750 staircase that came from a home in Plainville, Conn. It was of unusual form, raised several steps and then turned to the left, Nineteenth Century with early if not original blue paint. At the stairwell landing hung a double full-length portrait of a brother and sister, the boy holding a music book and seated on a Windsor stool, the young girl standing and also holding a book. This oil on canvas was sold from the Edith Halpert Gallery in New York City, ending up in Shelburne Museum, Vermont. It was later acquired by the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Conn., deaccessioned to a private collector, and now on the market.
Past presidents were well represented in the booth of Classic Antiques, Osceolo, Ind. Abe Lincoln, carved life-size from one piece of wood, stood at the back of the booth with his hat in his left hard, while the father of our country was pictured in a hand colored lithograph on horseback, mid-Nineteenth Century.
At one time, back in the fifties, people bought printed felt banners to remind them of places they had been and enjoyed. A wall of these colorful reminders was in the booth of Grapevine Antiques of New Paltz, N.Y. New York tourist spots included Lake George, Blue Mountain Lake, Indian Lake, and Lake Placid, among others. Of the same vintage was a highly collectible model of a Chris Craft, that sleek speedboat with red seats and a nautical flag flying from its stern.
First-time exhibitors Jeff and Cathy Amon of Jamestown, Penn., offered a number of trade signs including one for a Michigan firm and one for Keil, Charlestown, N.H., Keys Made. “We were pleased with the show,” Jeff said, naming off two pieces of furniture sold, a step-back open shelf cupboard and a child’s table.
H&L Antiques of Marlton, N.J., showed a Nineteenth Century game table, circa 1870, with a large orange and black checkerboard on top, New York State origin, and a large dry sink in blue/green paint, Nineteenth Century, 541/2 inches long. Small collections filled the booth of Antiques at Olcott Square, Bernardsville, N.J. Ten early wooden and decorated clock faces had been “modernized” and were in time-telling order with battery-driven hands. Nine lighting rod weathervanes formed another collection, represented by a cow, rooster, horses and pigs.
Mark Moody of Shohola, Penn., sold a large banner that once decorated Coney Island. “I really loved that banner, as did a number of people because it has sold three times since it left my booth,” mark said. A number of trade signs, a painted blanket chest, and a table with large turned legs and red top were shown.
“It has been an excellent show, interesting people and strong sales,” Donna East of Worcester, Mass., said a couple of hours after the show opened. She listed her sales to include a 1790 Scottish drop leaf table in mahogany, a cupboard, a small bench high end smalls, and several weathervanes including a banner, rooster and fish. She has been exhibiting at Pickers since its start.
A wooden eagle, white painted surface, 531/2-inch wingspan, looked out over the booth of T.L. Dwyer Antiques, Barto, Penn. Of New Hampshire origin was a child’s chair, yellow and green with decoration on the slats, old rush seat, circa 1820, and the sign from the Red Lion Hotel, West King Street, Lancaster, Penn., 1812, painted by Benjamin West.
Captain’s Quarters of Amherst, Mass., showed a selection of nautical paintings including a China Trade example of the bath built ship George S. Homer. A case held several examples of scrimshaw, and a large Pima bowl was offered.
Robert Gifford Antiques from Laurel Hollow, N.Y., showed a Nineteenth Century hutch table in yellow ochre paint and a pair of fancy Sheraton side chairs, yellow frames with painted rush seats.
“People like paint,” Doug Norwood said, relating he had sold a good number of things with painted surfaces including a nice, well-turned wooden bowl in blue, several painted boxes, a small horse weathervane and small cupboard. Several theorems were also sold. Among the smaller objects shown by The Spirit of America, Timonium, Md., was a child’s potty chair in old salmon paint with a deer stenciled on the back splat, and a painted bench, about 4 feet long, with cutout base.
L. Kirkpatrick of Kirtland, Ohio, brought an Empire plantation desk, two parts in tiger maple and poplar, two dovetailed drawers, circa 1830, original surface, also from Ohio. Maine was represented by a Sheraton harvest table, pine top with maple base, circa 1820.
Sam Herrup moved out of one of the corner booths at Mid*Week with his early furniture, paintings, redware and English porcelain, and Grantham “1763” Antiques moved in with a whole new look. Lots of paint, trade signs, country furniture and a large wooden crab trade sign that once made its home in Baltimore Harbor. People were not able to miss this piece, as its claws were extended from the booth and bordered the aisle.
Nancy Holleny said, “I have done all of the Pickers Markets and am finding this on quite good.” By midday she had sold a yellow grain painted apothecary, a dollhouse, wooden turned bowls in both red and yellow, and a “papering and painting” trade sign from Jenkinstown, Penn. In addition, a candle drying stand, game board, hooked rug, black folk art doll and carved penguin had all been sold.
Joseph Collins from Cobalt, Conn., was at the show for the first time and commented, “The people who have come through know what they are looking for, they are interested in all things, and they know this is the place to be in August.” He was pleased with sales by 11 am, having sold his tall-case clock and arranged for shipment of a continuous arm Windsor chair to Kalamazoo, Mich.
One lady who was leaving the show in the early afternoon, burdened down with several packages, smiled and said, “I love this show.” When asked why, she replied, “Maybe because it seems to be more informal than the others, maybe because I have always bought here, and maybe because it is a happy ending to a great time at Antiques Week in New Hampshire.” And off she went.
She was among those who followed the Pickers’ slogan, “End your week with a great antique.” Following that advice was an easy thing to do as the dealers certainly did put out a very nice spread.
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