Published: April 24, 2007
Promoter Marvin Getman took a risk when he decided to produce a 240-dealer show on a late March weekend, a particularly dismal time of year in Boston. Cooler heads told him, “No! No! No!” Fortunately for him, and for most of the 240 dealers in the show and the buying audience, he did not heed their warnings and turned up a real winner.
The Boston Antiques Weekend proved to be a “three-fer”: a tripartite event that comprised the Boston Antiquarian Book and Ephemera Fair, the Boston Antiques Show and the Boston Antique Textile and Vintage Fashion Show. Getman transformed the Bayside Expo Center alongside Boston Harbor into a warm and welcoming shopping site.
Dealers appreciate the meticulous organization and marketing that typifies a Getman show and the payoff is in gate and sales. Several thousand shoppers were at the ready when the doors opened on Saturday morning. It took four cashiers nearly an hour to process them all.
Sold stickers appeared early; most dealers were pleased and are eager to do the show again. Some others reported slower sales. The range was wide, to say the least.
Antiques dealers numbered 140; antiquarian book and ephemera dealers were 80 and vintage fashion and textile dealers totaled 30.
Sandwich Antiques Center’s Peter and Judy Smith pronounced themselves “show virgins” as this was their first show. They occupied a spacious corner booth by the main entrance and the location †to say nothing of the quality of goods offered †paid off. They said they hope to do the Boston show every year. They brought “bigs and smalls” and sold across the board.
They had such objects of desire as a 1777 portrait by John Durand, a pair of New England portraits, a 1790 Edinburgh sideboard, a circa 1820 convex mirror with an eagle, decoys, a sideboard and a handsome Nineteenth Century pair of ship’s decanters.
Seaver and McLellan of Jaffrey, N.H., had several cases of insects, some of shimmering iridescent green beetles, exquisite dragonflies and other insects collected in Maine from the 1940s into the 1960s. Sales were good; by the time we made a return visit, only two cases were left. Seaver and McLellan also showed a swordfish bill, an ostrich egg and a fine illuminated manuscript. They somehow eclipsed the excellent furniture and accessories for sale.
In the booth at Fair Trade Antiques of Shelburne Falls, Mass., a pair of hall lamps with etched amethyst glass shades was set off beautifully against the purple walls. There were also an enviable pair of signed Holophane shades and other desirable lighting.
The Center Chimney of Bristol, R.I., brought mirrors, some fine blue and white Canton ware, a pair of stands and a nice mulberry platter to delight buyers. An appealing hooked rug depicting a schooner held pride of place in the booth at Village Braider of Plymouth, Mass.
Peter D. Murphy of Boston had a fine array of blue and white Staffordshire pottery that included 30 pieces in the Sheltered Peasants pattern by Ralph Hall. Smith also showed a Kioto slop jar by Anthony Shaw, two handsome wash bowls and pitchers, mirrors and samplers. A late Nineteenth Century Ohio book box was of interest as well.
From Beaufort, S.C., Anna’s Antique Gallery brought fine Federal antiques, including a circa 1770 oxbow serpentine chest and a serpentine sideboard with nice inlay. There were also a good Regency cellaret, a circa 1830 portrait of Samuel Parsons, of a founding family of Cincinnati, and a Wedgwood tureen in the “Mandalay” pattern. A particular star was a circa 1882 landscape view of the Susquehanna River near Milford, N.Y.
Josh and Mary Steenburgh came from Pike, N.H., with furniture, including a pretty Queen Anne maple table, garden urns, bottles and an array of folk art pieces. A range of signs intrigued buyers as did a large shutter on which was painted “Atomic Reactor / DANGER.” Josh Steenburgh, in an e-mail after the sale, echoed what many participants had said: “The show was very well run †the setup was easy and I think that over time this could develop into a strong show.”
A gaudy Barnum & Bailey Circus “Fantastic Fat Lady” was a real magnet into the booth of Witt’s End Antiques from Wallkill, N.Y. Her colorful mien and ample proportions dwarfed the circa 1900 mahogany apothecary cabinet above which she hung. There was also a maple Queen Anne child-size tilt top candlestand with high appeal, game boards, grown-up tables, a blanket chest and treenware.
A stylish horn chair held pride of place in the booth at Dolphin Antiques of Weymouth, Mass. It was surrounded by Weller and other art pottery, stoneware, Royal Doulton majolica, mulberry ware and a selection of Tiffany art glass. When we made a second pass through the show on day two, the sale results were, “Excellent, Great, Awesome!”
Ferguson and D’Arruda of Providence had an impressive Wooten patent desk that had all the bells and whistles. There were also a cast iron dining set in salmon paint and some fine smalls.
James William Lowery of Baldwinville, N.Y., had three Chippendale sidechairs attributed to Eliphalet Chapin of East Windsor, Conn. A Queen Anne painted drop leaf table was of interest as was a rural New York Sheraton tiger maple sideboard and a Federal mahogany cabinet from about 1790‱815 that was either a Boston or New York piece. Among a selection of coverlets, one stood out. It was woven at Auburn Prison in New York State in 1849 in red and white, worked with images of prison life. Others bore the names of their makers and the dates. Also of interest were a fine tiger maple sideboard that sold along with a New Hampshire candlestand and some smalls.
Cape Cod dealers Roy and Sheila Mennell, Bradford Trust Fine Art, showed the work of the Cape Cod artists in which they specialize. The Provincetown street scene by Philadelphia Ten artist Nancy Maybin Ferguson, which she showed in the 1934 Philadelphia Ten art show, drew every eye. It was set off by an early Twentieth Century tiger maple tea cart. The Mennells showed two works by a favorite, Charles D. Cahoon, “Autumn Marsh” and “Reading by the Garden, Cape Cod.” They reported good sales, including a John Whorf picture that went to a New Orleans-based collector of the artist’s work.
Lobster, lobster everywhere at Rockport, Mass., dealer Circa Antiques where choice offering of furniture and accessories was accented by an entire case of lobster: colorful lobster dishes, salts and peppers, plates and other related objects.
An enthusiastic collector bought the entire display of 12 vintage radios that Spotted Horse Antiques had brought along from its West Windsor, Vt., base. He also bought all the ones the dealer had at home, for a total of 31 radios. Spotted Horse showed two attractive watercolors by Ruth Lee of boats at a dock and a Mexican scene and a carved wood tree whose branches were filled with carved and colorfully painted birds.
Avolli Antiques of Scarborough, Maine, presented fine Scandinavian furniture and accessories in a pleasing pastel setting. A Swedish tall case clock with fan, lyre and sunburst caving to the case sported a bright red sold tag early in the show. An early Nineteenth Century Mora tall case clock in white paint drew many admiring looks, as did a circa 1800 Swedish Gustavian sofa, also in white paint, and a set of six rococo dining chairs.
A carved and painted totem pole presided over the honeyed tones of the Gustave Stickley, Stickley Brothers and L. & J.G. Stickley furniture in booth of Syracuse, N.Y., dealer Dalton’s American Decorative Arts.
West Harwich, Mass., dealer Ralph Diamond handles Cape Cod paintings and brought some choice representatives that included a John Whorf nude and a Ralph Cahoon painting of a mermaid on horseback with flowers. He added a China Trade painting, a T.F. Wilson picture and toothsome Provincetown pictures that resulted in brisk business throughout the show.
Robert James Walsh and Co., of Thetford, Vt., had a circa 1810‱825 Vermont bureau on turned feet with reeded cylinder ankles that was a one-of-a-kind. There was also an early Connecticut Hepplewhite bureau, a Vermont washstand, Grand Tour bronzes, pottery, prints and Boston lithographs. A 1986 Inuit carving, “Bear and Seal” in green noble serpentine, held great interest for more than a few buyers.
Russian icons exploded in color right out of the Made in Russia booth. The West Palm Beach, Fla., dealer filled the walls with Russian icons, but added an arresting Peruvian tabernacle for good measure.
MG Art and Antiques had country objects of desire such as a fine dry sink, a selection of patriotic tin horns, a New England “hundred eye” candle shade, a pair of Indian clubs and attractive garden objects.
A and M Raphael of London brought a selection of pictures for the delectation of Bostonians. The range was from Venetian scenes to still lifes, including one stellar example by German artist August von Wille. A pair of Sheffield trays added a sparkling touch.
David Surgan, purveyor of Heintz Art Metal, filled a booth with the arresting creations. They found favor with the Boston audience and sales were good.
KPM Arts and Antiques was having a fine show when we got to the booth of the Kensington, Conn., dealer. The draw was a spellbinding array of glass.
Brookhaven, N.Y., dealer Harry and Ginny’s Antiques had a gorgeous display of enameled kitchenwares, most of which were French in cheerful red and white and blue and white. The range included coffee pots and biggins, drip trays and utensil racks, match boxes, towel racks, pails and canisters.
Wall clocks, mantel clocks, shelf clocks †they were all on offer from Bell Time Clocks of Andover, Mass. Clock dealer and restorer Bob Frishman reported strong sales and the traffic through his booth was active. Frishman presented a seminar on his passion, “Collecting Old Clocks.”
A harvest table in the Nickerson Antiques booth was sporting a sold tag early in the show. An English wheel back Windsor chair attracted more than passing interest in the Cape Cod dealer’s booth.
Sudbury, Mass., dealer Keith Funston trades in the fine esoteric furniture and decorations. Early in the show he sold a pair of tables, a French chair, a painting and some smalls.
Essex Antiquarians, the North Shore Massachusetts dealer, brought an étagère that held some desirable tea caddies, a pair of Nineteenth Century English mahogany marble top stands and pretty paint decorated and brass studded trunks. Showgoers could also feast their eyes and purchasing power on the first-rate blue and white Canton ware, some unusually vibrant Wedgwood luster bowls, walking sticks and canes and knife boxes for sale.
Crones Collectibles of Cape Cod, operated by Meg Chalmers and Judy Young, specialize in art pottery with a particular emphasis on Saturday Evening Girls pottery, which was well represented in the booth. Chalmers and Young presented one of the 21 seminars offered throughout the show, “The Saturday Evening Girls †What a Girls Club Can Really Do: An Artistic and Social Success Story.”
The verdict was based on the amount of M&Ms dispensed in Boston’s Brattle Book Shop booth. Twenty pounds of the little chocolate sweets equated to a very good show for one of the country’s oldest antiquarian booksellers. The booth housed some excellent rare materials and drew knowledgeable collectors and first-timers alike. Proprietor Ken Gloss, who reported a very good show, delivered the seminar, “Treasures in the Attic: Old and Rare Books.”
Dramatis Personae deals in books, ephemera and autographs of theatrical figures of every stripe. The material was first rate and attracted interest.
The aisles of the vintage fashion and textile dealers were crowded with buyers seeking both, with fine linens competing for space with the elegant and raffish.
Antiques of Hingham, the Massachusetts dealer that also operates Broadcove Auctions, showed Queen Anne highboy, barrister bookcases, fine miniature portraits, a study antler chair and Queen Anne chairs.
Captain’s Quarters of Amherst, Mass., showed samplers, circa 1828 portraits of Moses Wanzer and Mary Whittemore by Waldo Jewett, scrimshaw, baskets and Inuit art.
Show manager Marvin Getman said after the show that he looks forward to next spring’s event. His informal poll revealed that 30 percent of the dealers already had or were expecting postshow sales and others reported that the show exceeded expectations. Not bad for the first time out.
For information, 781-862-4039 or www.neantiqueshows.com .
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