Published: August 29, 2017
Review and Photos by Rick Russack
GOFFSTOWN, N.H. – The Goffstown show, now in its eighth year, was conducted in two large tents on the grounds of the well-regarded From Out of the Woods Antiques Center. It is managed by Donna Welch, who has operated the 62-dealer emporium since 1986 in a restored 1800s barn. The scheduling of the show, opening at noon on August 6, made it easy for buyers to attend after the nearby Milford show, which opened three and a half hours earlier. Welch calls it “Buy & Fly” because it is just a three-hour show, noon to 3 pm. The antiques center opened at 9 am and remained open during the show. About 30 dealers were set up in tents, and the emphasis was definitely country Americana – woodenware, quilts and textiles, folky cloth dolls, stoneware, redware, etc. Exhibitor turnover at this show is very low – nearly all said they had done the show in the past.
Some Eighteenth Century furniture was included in the booth of Elijah Zimmer, a 25-year-old dealer from Cavendish, Vt. Zimmer said his interest in antiques is probably a result of having parents who collect, and being raised in an early house. He said that he is restoring an Eighteenth Century house in Brattleboro, Vt., which has never had electricity nor plumbing installed, with help from his dad, Jim, who has some of the skills necessary for the project. Zimmer said his intention is to do as little as possible to the house, which has all its original features. When asked if he is supporting himself through the antiques business, he answered that he combines buying and selling with working at an antiques center.
There were a couple of really unusual items. Whoever made the rooster in Brian Field’s booth must have had to endure long winters. It was a large piece of plywood, cut in the form of a rooster and painted a reddish brown. What made it exceptional was the fact that detailing, such as the rooster’s crest and wings, had all been carefully done with hundreds of nails and tacks of many different sizes and colors, giving it a wonderful three-dimensional look. The Amherst, N.H., dealer priced it at $240.
Another unusual item was a strap of bells in the booth of Rona Andrews, Wellesley, Mass. Straps of bells are not uncommon, but each of the ten bells on this one was painted a different color and each had varying degrees of wear, giving it a special look. She priced it at $295. Also unusual was a large soapstone pot with carved handles. It was hollowed out from one piece of stone, and Tom Mugford, Discerning Antiques, Manchester, N.H., said he had bought it ten or 12 years ago from Welch, the show manager. At that time she had been selling a collection of unusual soapstone items that had all been made of stone from the nearby quarry in Francestown, N.H. That quarry was one of the few in New Hampshire where quarrying began around 1800 and continued to about 1912. Mugford priced it at $265. And for beekeepers, there were two bee skeps. Often made of rye grass, they are not really that unusual, but one of the two at the show had been coated with peat moss, which had survived intact all these years. It belonged to Ironstone Antiques, Hardwick, Mass.
Shortly after opening, several dealers said they had been selling well. Rona Andrews said she had sold Steiff animals, a potty chair in old red and some other things. Elijah Zimmer said he sold a barn lantern and a “gigging line” (which is used in fishing). Kris Cassuci, Walker Homestead, Brookfield, Mass., had a nice grain painted corner cupboard and said she had a very good show. Rick Fuller sold a four-drawer blanket chest, and Loren Field parted with a $900 sign. Other dealers reported sales of firkins and kitchenware. Several customers were seen carrying packages with their purchases.
A few days after the shows, Welch said, “We were very pleased. I know that we saw some dealers who are doing the other shows and that helped sales. Charlie Guinipero told me he had a ‘phenomenal’ show. That’s what we like to hear.”
For more information, 603-624-8668 or www.fromoutofthewoodsantiques.com.
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