Published: March 13, 2007
A very cold day, in Northern New England, has become part of the tradition for the one-day Cabin Fever Antiques Show, held most recently February 17, at the Christian School. Managed for the last five of its 28 years by Jim Dunn, the show had 27 dealers exhibiting, with predominantly New England primitive and colonial period antiques for the home, including furniture, kitchen, dining room articles and a large selection of textiles.
The show has a reputation as a gathering place for friends, which, in fact, is true. The exhibiting dealers are mostly good friends, and they use the show as an opportunity to catch up on personal news: the added children or grandchildren, health updates, who is moving, retiring or even who may have passed away since the last time they got together. These are the topics of conversation, until the antiques are unloaded.
Once the first vehicles are pulled up to the door, however, all the chatter stops, as the dealers work together to empty all the trucks, trailers, vans and cars of their inventories for the affair. During the unloading process, exhibiting dealers take a few opportunities to show off their freshest additions so some pieces change ownership right away.
Antiques at 30B is the business name of a shop shared by Bonnie and Dave Ferriss of Lake Luzerne, N.Y., and Bob and Janet Sherwood. Located near the Sherwoods’ home in Cambridge, N.Y., the shop is open weekends, when one of the couples is available; but not on Cabin Fever weekend, as they all go to Quechee to exhibit at the show.
The Sherwoods reported that their sales were good with many small interesting objects, including a basket and some quilts, sold. The Ferriss couple sold some furniture including a two-person school desk made of pine with hardwood legs. It was believed the desk may have been from a one-room school house in Danby, Vt.
Stone Block Antiques was in the show for the first time this year. Proprietor Greg Hamilton said sales were sufficient, with a set of drawers, an early teapot, a stand and some small accessories leaving his collection. He added, “It was also a good buying opportunity,” and he plans to return next year. His Vergennes, Vt., shop was also closed for the weekend.
Another shop in the show was Lyme Creamery Antique of Lyme, N.H. Owner Marcia Armstrong has long hours in the summer, so the winter, when the shop is closed, is the only time she can participate in shows.
Now living in Montpelier, Vt., George B. Johnson recently retired from work and home on Long Island to be able to do antiques shows as his new vocation. His collection is a blend of early primitive furniture and home furnishings, together with some folkie items. Sales from the collection were just as diverse as the collection, including a painted washstand, a cake crock, some baskets and an old doll house; all together, enough to call it a good, one-day outing.
“We sold a tilt top table,” Annette Coletti announced, “so that made it a good show for us.” The partner of Hand Picked was not even at the show, so it was all left to her business partner, Richard Fuller from Randolph, Vt., to do the work and the selling. Coletti added, “Sales included several other transactions and Richard found a few items to add to our stock, so it was a good show overall.”
According to Lynn Chrin, co-owner of Partridge Hollow Antiques, Milton, Vt., “We had a fantastic show. We sold a good deal of Vermont coin silver in several transactions.” She and husband Dennis specialize in small antiques such as porcelain dishes, early cast iron pieces, including doorstops and still banks. Some of their antiques are unusual items, such as a pair of wooden skates, which they sold, Tiffany goblets and more.
Stoneware made the show for Mill Brook Antiques from Reading, Vt. Nancy Stahura said their sales included a Vermont-made Ballard jug and one by Burger of New York, priced at $1,250 and $950, respectively. Her husband John added that they sold an early primitive oil painting of a farm scene.
Jim Dunn manages several other shows, including Bromley, during Vermont Antiques Week in the fall, and, with help from three other dealer couples, The Green Mountain Antiques Show, July 20′1, in Woodstock, Vt.
The other partners, all friends, are John and Nancy Stahura; Bob and Mary Fraser; and Peter and Mary Pill. They had some discussions with Vermont Antiques Dealers Association about the association taking over the Green Mountain show site and dates, but since that did not work out, as Dunn said, “Green Mountain will remain as it is for the foreseeable future.”
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