Published: May 11, 2016
Review and Photos by Tom O’Hara
CONCORD, N.H. — On April 24, about 60 old friends gathered at the Everett Arena with their trucks, vans or cars loaded with New England’s finest antiques ready to share the collections for a price in the traditional spirit they shared with the late dealer and show promoter Nan Gurley for four decades. The only difference was that this was the first time Nan was not there with them to share in the fun, but she was remembered by all the exhibitors and shoppers as well, who reported having a good time buying and selling on a beautiful spring day. Now managed by Nan’s husband Peter Mavris, the show was a hit, with the dealers who were selling well from their inventories.
According to Al Benting of Benting & Jarvis from nearby Barrington, N.H., the buyers were there in force. He and his wife Jane came in with one of their larger trucks loaded with early art and furniture, as well as small household items, and they sold an assortment of everything, he said. A pair of Georgian period wing chairs went off to Long Island. Very recently Benting found a large canvas wall mural that was more than 24 feet wide, and this he had mounted on frames for display purposes; it sold in the first hours that day. Additional sales of furniture included a side table from the Eighteenth Century, a French cabinet with wire grate door, a mirror and rack, an assortment of pewter and a forged iron peel dated 1768. He added that Jane had sold an early quilt.
Michael and Lucinda Seward, Pittsford, Vt., were selling well that morning right from the first minutes. Their stock was concentrated in little things, easy to carry in and out for the one-day affair, including a collection of Eighteenth and Nineteenth silver hollowware and flatware, English earthenware and even some Nineteenth Century iron.
Beverly Weir-Longacre, Marlborough, N.H., was showing her Christmas collection, a small sampling of it, that is. Several holiday trees were decorated with late Nineteenth Century blown glass ornaments in red — her theme for the day.
A great many of the exhibiting dealers offered primarily small antiques, limiting their big things to a few pieces due to the difficulty of setup and pack-out for a one-day show. For convenience, some even shared the booth spaces. Melissa Alden, a Portsmouth dealer, and Paul Sullivan from Manchester, N.H., were together in one exhibit, blending their antiques. Together their sales proved interesting. He sold an early Nineteenth Century candle stand, several pieces of American pewter and a couple of wick trimmers. Melissa said she sold “tiny things, ceramics and early books, enough to come out ahead for the day.”
Another such arrangement was Keepers Antiques Shop, Chichester, N.H., a popular stop on “Antiques Alley,” Route 4 in New Hampshire. The shop has four partners — Tommy Thompson, Susan Gault, the Tates and Gail Piatt. Together they were in about three exhibit spaces with a half dozen tables overflowing with early Americana. There were toys from the Victorian era, samplers from 200 years ago, pearlware and creamware dishes and silver hollowware and flatware. A mortar and pestle was drawing attention that morning; several painted pantry boxes and firkins were on display and much more.
Charlie Guinipero, Stafford Springs, Conn., brought many box loads of little things and said that he was pleased that he had. His sales were many and all in the style of early Americana as well, with one of the first items to go a miniature painted blanket chest in original condition. He also sold a firkin in original paint and an early Nineteenth Century nutmeg grater with decoration on it. Charlie has been doing this show for several years and has a tradition of bringing early spring plants, selling out his supply.
Also from Stafford Springs, Blue Dog Antiques, Judy and Cy Stallmach had a good day of sales. Their first was a valuable nine-drawer apothecary cabinet in original pewter blue paint. Next were two of Judy’s best cloth dolls, also quite valuable, from the Nineteenth Century, helping to make the sales total good for their day along with several small antiques.
Long Island dealer Morgan MacWhinnie sold from his collection of Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century furniture. His first sale of the day was an American ladder back chair, as early as Long Island was settled, he believed, then followed with more furniture. His shop in the village of North Sea is known for the kind of American furniture he brought to the show. Crow’s Feet Antiques was at the show for the first time. Coming from Colebrook, N.H., the dealer, Danny Klebe, was showing a cant back hutch in fresh finish, a small hanging cupboard in green paint and an assortment of blown glass and earthenware.
Nancy Cummings, Swanzey Center, N.H., offered her collection of little Eighteenth Century antiques, with a miniature chest of drawers drawing the most attention. Brett Cabral, Salem, N.H., had a collection of portraits and silhouettes for sale on his walls. Mario Pollo brought an interesting tall cupboard in painted decoration to the show.
John Bourne was having fun that morning, too. The Pittsford, Vt., exhibitor sold some of his Nineteenth Century American folk art, including a carved goose taking flight; a plant stand, carved with a bear cub climbing up a tree and replacement glass top on it; and a Wallace Nutting print. Attracting great interest but not sold was a carved barber pole in its original paint, with some touchups and a figurehead top.
Silver flatware sold well from both Peter Wood Hill Antiques, Deering, N.H., and The Renschens of Middletown, Conn.
Peter Mavris said he was pleased with the support he received for the show, a “full house of good dealers with their good antiques,” he said. He is now working on the next show on the calendar, The Americana Celebration at this same facility during New Hampshire Antiques Week, Tuesday, August 9. He said there will also be the full schedule of Portsmouth Sunday shows starting in October and the Marlborough, Mass., event is slated for Sunday, November 27, Thanksgiving Weekend. For information, 207-625-5028.
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