Published: August 10, 2015
Review and Photos By Andrea Valluzzo
ORLEANS, MASS. — Perfect beach weather could not keep the crowds away from the Cape Cod Antique Dealers Association summer antiques show that returned — after a five-year hiatus — to the Nauset Middle School gymnasium July 31–August 1.
Long known as the “hottest show on the Cape,” this indoor show employed large fans in the past but temperatures inside the gym would still spike on 90-degree days, keeping buyers and dealers sweltering. For the last five years, the association instead ran a one-day, outdoor show in June under a tent.
This year’s layout combining walled and pipe-and-drape booths seemed to work well to keep air circulating and the heat at bay despite the lack of air-conditioning in the school.
More than 600 buyers came off the beach or interrupted their island pastimes to shop the show, a pleasing — if not record — crowd, as the show celebrated its 45th year in Orleans encompassing 49 of the association’s dealers.
Association president Charlene Dixon said the show received rave reviews from dealers and patrons alike. “The gate was excellent both days and what was even more noticeable was the significant number of younger people in attendance. Several years ago, the association adopted a policy admitting children and students with ID free. This has allowed young families the opportunity to come without the worry of what to do with the kids,” she said.
An added benefit is that it also educates younger generations in the world of antiques and young people have started taking an interest in the many items for sale. Charlene and Ed Dixon had a 19-year-old college sophomore in their booth convince her mother to buy an antique whale figure for her college dorm.
While buying was slower and more selective, anything nautical did very well. A number of half hulls were bought, as well as whale items, including a whale weathervane and several whale carvings, Dixon noted.
Furniture also went. Jerrilynn Mayhew of Woodsview Antiques, Sandwich, sold a four-drawer red painted bureau, circa 1740–1750, while Bill and Ann Nickerson, Orleans, who specialize in refinished and restored pieces, sold two bureaus, one a five-drawer Hepplewhite piece, along with a table and set of chairs. Chris and Karen Doscher of Witt’s End Antiques, Wallkill, N.Y., wrote up a rare and diminutive Eighteenth Century Queen Anne drop leaf table, as well as a pair of Seventeenth Century candlesticks, two Nineteenth Century tiger maple tea caddies and a dome-topped burl tea caddy.
“It turned out to be a good show, and I also had follow-up sales after the show,” Chris Doscher said.
A veteran of the show since the late 1970s, Susan Bistany, Eastchester Field Antiques, Sudbury, returned this year and her sales included a great, turn-of-the-century Chinese chess set featuring handcarved pieces set on a Chinese puzzle ball, while The Book Lady, South Yarmouth, was pleased with her showing here, selling rare Tasha Tudor magazine illustrations and a book of 24 rose prints.
Brand-new to the show was Nauset Antiques, North Eastham, which has been in the trade for just two years. Though sales were light, dealers Carl and Patricia Goveia had fun and enjoyed chatting with fellow dealers and shoppers, adding, “Charlene Dixon and her team did an excellent job promoting and running the event. It was very well organized. Oh, yes, the several large floor fans in the area saved the day!”
A highlight in their booth that sparked many conversations was a display of a mystery object. “We put out an old primitive, handmade wooden object with the price tag on it asking people to guess what it was. We received many different guesses, however, one person did actually know what it was — a homemade asparagus buncher — because he grew up in western Massachusetts and a neighbor’s farm used them,” the dealers said.
Marie Forjan of Marie’s Memories, Eastham, mostly sold vintage costume jewelry or early-to-midcentury glassware. Most popular seemed to be 1930s–50s gray-cut stems with delicate leaf and floral designs. A couple who saw Marie at another show recently came here and bought a set of cordial glasses that their friends had admired but did not pull the trigger on when they were together at the other show.
Maps and charts sold well, said James W. Claflin of Kenrick A. Claflin & Son, Worcester. His best sale was a wonderful oil on board portrait of Life Saving Service surfman Alonzo Nickerson in original oval frame, circa 1900. Nickerson was born in Harwich in 1869 and joined the Life Saving Service in 1898 as the “new man” at the Pamet River Life-Saving station.
Christine Young Antiques, Yarmouth Port, reported a good show and a fair number of be-backers on Saturday. “It was a constant flow of good customers, I sold across the board, a little bit of everything. Customers asked really good questions, they were very enthusiastic.”
Charles and Barbara Adams, South Yarmouth, also had a good show. “We did very well, we always did well when the show was indoors and we missed it. We ended up selling the pie safe and we could have sold it twice,” Barbara said, noting that after they delivered the pie safe to the buyer’s home, they got a call from someone who was at the show and interested in it. Now, they are on the hunt for another pie safe for that person.
“We sold a lot of things in the nautical line — a good whale vertebrae, an old pair of Old Salt door stops, an early Cape Cod map and several Cape Cod books,” Barbara added.
Orleans dealer Bill Wibel does not do many shows, but as this one was local, he was happy to be here. While crowds were strong, his sales were sporadic. He wrote up a good pair of Crowell decoys, some smalls, a good totem and an interesting watercolor map of Cape Cod.
Paintings specialist Donna Kmetz of Douglas held back some very fine Cape Cod paintings for this show and enjoyed debuting them. At press time, she was working on some follow-up sales.
For additional information, www.cccada.com.
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