Published: October 3, 2006
The sky was filled with large cotton ball clouds floating on a clear pale blue background with a bright sun warming the ground to just the right temperature for comfortable wandering about the lawns of the Round Top Center for the Arts. Wednesday, August 30, nearing the end of the summer, was just the right day with perfect weather for more than 100 dealers to gather for Maine Antiques Dealers Association’s Coastal Maine Antiques Show, a summer tradition. Known as the Maine Outdoor Show, it is the annual opportunity for the members to gather together to trade among themselves, with friends and with the summer visitors.
Volunteer member and show manager Nancy Prince said, “Round Top was very happy with the gate of 1,200 paid attendees and we had a total of 127 exhibiting dealers.”
The dealers were offering antiques with the flavor of Maine, early American furniture and home furnishings with a primitive character, and there were also many dealers from outside the area with some more sophisticated antique merchandise. Saco, Maine, dealer Betty Turney started her day off well with the sale of a late Nineteenth Century gingerbread cutout in the very first minutes of the show. By midmorning she was also selling some furniture and several pieces of her tole ware inventory.
Plenty and Grace, Greene, Maine, was there selling and buying, and finding a customer for its set of American Sheraton chairs; faux grain painted with stenciling and gilt faux inlay paint trim, the set of four sold for just under $100 each.
Primitive Maine tables have been selling well for the Nickersons, Jude and Emery, who keep a shop in Swanville, Maine. Here their painted carved legged work table sold early for an undisclosed price. Just a few weeks earlier they sold an octagonal table in yellow paint, also believed to have been a Maine piece.
There was a chest of drawers that dealer Martin Ferrick said was signed and dated by the maker or first owner with 1820 as the date and Bath, Maine, as its first home. Sheraton in style and with original brasses, the price was $2,100. Jon and Carla Magoun, South Paris, Maine, were offering some of their collection of inland Maine antiques. An early dressing stand with two tiered drawers and fancy cut backsplash was in their tent along with another chest of drawers also faux grain painted.
Vos Antiques carries furniture and a large general collection of early American antiques but also specializes in window decoration hardware. The proprietors, Donald and Marilyn Harford from Falmouth Foreside, Maine, take orders for collectors for such objects as brass foil valances and sandwich glass drapery tie backs. Their exhibit was filled with some of their collection of this specialty and they were selling well in late morning.
As former teachers, Maureen and Fred Fenton named their business Teachers’ Antiques. Coming from Harpswell, Maine, among their first sales was an early school desk in pine.
There was an exceptional hooked rug offered by Patricia Stauble of Wiscasset. About 2 ½ feet by 8 feet in size it was an early one-of-a-kind design, according to Stauble, with “MOM” hooked on the border. Damariscotta dealer Patricia Anne Reed was offering a collection of paintings and also a Hitchcock writing arm chair. Nancy Prince a dealer from Portland was the founder of the show and she was also exhibiting. Her collection was mainly small antiques that she could handle along with her responsibilities in managing the show.
Jo Johnston of Jefferson, Maine, was offering some exotic early textiles in her tent. There were several theorems including two signed by Mavis Blessing and also a hooked mat in the pattern of a Parcheesi game board priced at $650.
Not all the member dealers were from Maine. Hopkinton, N.H., dealer Shirley Quinn was there with her collection of small antiques including textiles in the form of quilts and some children’s toys and ironstone dishes. There was a set of early faux grain painted chairs offered by Karen Wendheiser of Ellington, Conn. Howard Graff, Townshend, Vt., was there with a collection of furniture, iron and folk art.
Some of the out of state dealers were making this show a part of their summer vacation. John and Veronica Malchione were away from their Chadds Ford, Penn, home for several weeks, shopping, doing shows and fishing.
This show has had a pattern for its nine years of being held on the last Wednesday before the Labor Day holiday, so look for it again next summer by going to www.maineantiques.org. But try not to miss it; it is too much fun and the food vendors will sell you a fresh lobster roll sandwich or salad.
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