Published: August 29, 2017
Review and Photos by Rick Russack
CONCORD, N.H. – The Americana Celebration Antiques Show lived up to expectations. The August 8 show with about 65 dealers was the first of the week’s shows that featured room-setting booths. The show, transplanted from Deerfield to Concord two years ago, was conceived and planned by the late Nan Gurley, who ran it with her husband of 25 years, Peter Mavris. Mavris has continued the show without a hitch, along with other shows the couple ran together. As always, the exhibitor lineup is geographically diverse, meaning that collectors in the Northeast get to see offerings from dealers that they may only see once a year. Dealers who set up at the other shows starting later in the week manage to find time to shop this show. Close to 200 early buyers were on line waiting for the show to open. A short walk down just one row in the parking lot indicated what Antiques Week in New Hampshire is all about. There were license plates from ten states – New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Arkansas, Maine and Texas.
Many attendees plan their summer vacations around the shows, and many lasting friendships have been formed. After buyers had made their first trip through the show, friendly conversations were being conducted in the aisles, and many were relaxing at the numerous tables in the food service area. Jeff and Sharon Lipton, visiting from Detroit, said, “We’ve been coming for more than 20 years, and we always plan a ten-day vacation around the shows.”
There was a strong emphasis on country Americana, ceramics and folk art. Also included were nautical items, paintings, trade signs, hooked rugs and samplers. Early country furniture in old paint and with original surfaces was available in several booths. There were also some almost unique items, such as the cast iron figure of a Chinese man in the booth of Richard Kenney, Dover, N.H. The figure was about 4 feet tall and the base was stamped “Mott Iron Works.” The figure held a removable iron fan, which somehow has survived all these years. Kenney said that his research has not located any other examples of this figure.
Justin Cobb, Amherst, Mass., had an outstanding Mohawk or Iroquois burl bowl carved with a large human face. L. Davis Americana Antiques with addresses in Florida and New Hampshire had an impressive grouping of about a dozen Liverpool transfer jugs. The dealer has been collecting the jugs for “quite awhile” and had many more than were on display. It was time to start selling some. One of the nicest of the many nice hooked rugs belonged to Pat Hatch, Harvard, Mass. It was an oblong rug with a black background, a two-story white house in the center flanked by trees, birds and flowers and a dog and a cat as well. Large red hearts were in each corner. Joy Harrington, Yardley, Penn., had about eight good American samplers, including one dated 1778 from Methuen, Mass.
Although the emphasis was definitely Americana, there were other things to be found. For example, Ross Levett, Thomaston, Maine, specializes in early things – ceramics, metals, Asian artifacts, etc. He had an early stoneware jug with the face of a monkey. He said that he was uncertain of the date or place of origin, although he thought it probably came from Cambodia and probably had been made around 1800. He said, “I couldn’t find anything like it in my books, but, as far as I know, it came from someone who had spent a long time in that country.” Also in the not-American category was a wax doll in a glazed case that belonged to Blue Dog Antiques. It was finely dressed, in fine condition and the case included two tiny flower pots.
Within an hour of the show opening, many dealers were saying that they were off to a very good start. There was definitely a theme to what was selling, as there were at the other shows during the week. Color and surface were prime considerations for buyers. Several dealers sold trade signs, and several small pieces of early country furniture were sold. Textiles, including hooked rugs and samplers, did well. Gameboards sold, as did mocha, and several dealers sold paintings.
Levett sold the centerpiece of his booth, a tall case clock, as well as pewter. Pat Hatch, Harvard, Mass., sold a hooked rug, some Shaker smalls and a half-hull ship model. Colleen Kinloch, Bristol, Maine, sold a miniature blanket chest, a child’s chair and more. Rona Andrews, Wellesley, Mass., had sold a wallpaper box, small painted wooden items, stoneware and more. She said. “It’s a great show.”
Akron, Ohio, dealer Chuck Auerbach sold a good whirligig, while Blue Dog Antiques, Stafford Springs, Conn., parted with a miniature portrait, a quilt, early playing cards and lighting. Woodsview Antiques, Sandwich Village, Mass., sold a nicely aged antiques shop sign, an Eighteenth Century cupboard, a trestle table and an early chest in old red paint. She said, “It’s my best show ever. I’m really pleased.”
Bob Markowitz, Groveland, Mass., had several sales and said his biggest problem was that he had to keep rearranging his booth. Sales included a sandpaper drawing, a sampler, a miniature folk painting, a Bufford lithograph of a steam locomotive and more. Chris Considine, Falmouth, Maine, sold painted country woodenware and some silver. Marian Atten, Antiques at Hillwood, DeWitt, Ill., sold an early chest and a Wallace Nutting carved chair.
Commenting on the show, Peter Mavris said, “We had a good turnout, and both the buyers and sellers seem happy. This show is important to me and I’m planning to see that it just gets better and better. The show is now air-conditioned, which can be a real plus, given some of the hot summer weather we often have here.” Mavris works hard to present an informal show, easy to do for his exhibitors. Booth-sharing is permitted and setup is simple in the building. The location is easy for all to find, just off I-93, about a half hour from Manchester, home to three more shows during Antiques in New Hampshire Week.
For additional information, www.petermavrisantiqueshows.com or 207-608-3086.
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