Published: August 26, 2003
Paul Davis Launches Rockport Show and Continues a 72-Year Tradition in Bar Harbor
Who, what, when, where, why and how — the big six of any news story and the essentials in the opening, but simply putting it out there can be boring to the reader so editors want a creative punch to open the story.
And this story is about two events but the answers are similar in both: Paul Davis/ Antique Shows/Summer/ Maine/for fun, entertainment and the acquisition of especially fine antiques/and drive up there. Quick answers, but there are more details.
Paul Davis, a Maine antiques show promoter best known for his Maine Antiques Festival at Union for the last 20 years, has begun a limited number of upscale indoor shows. The first of two was the Rockport Maine Antiques and Art Show, July 12, with a preview Friday evening, July 11. An assembly of 48 dealers gathered together at the Midcoast Recreation Center’s ice skating rink for elegant room settings.
Heller Washam, Portland, Maine, and Woodbury, Conn., seems to usually have some of the best early furniture in any show. Offered here was a New Hampshire highboy in tiger maple, which is attributed to the famous Eighteenth Century maker Dunlap. Out of Port Haywood, Va., Betsy Henderson had a complete sitting room including early barrel chairs and a tea table all ready to be moved into a home.
Thomas Cheap, trading as Period Antiques, and Rose Reynolds, Hearts and Roses, together from Northport, Maine, could have furnished a small New England home in their booth. There was furniture, textiles (mainly quilts), game boards and more. Rose has had an open shop in Northport called Hearts and Roses for a few years but together with Tom she will now concentrate on shows and sell her Route 1 store.
Bill Kelly is a young man from Limington, Maine, with a great eye for identifying excellent examples of early American-made furniture. At this show he had a charming Hepplewhite candlestand, the legs of which were tapered squares with a slight flair toward the bottom.
On the wall in Garland Antiques booth was an early hooked rug, a scene of a cottage in multicolors. The Jefferson, Maine dealer had it priced at $250.
An unusual half circle, multishelved stand made of maple was the display for various early decoys offered by Miller-Robinson Antiques of Amherst, Mass.
Camden, Maine, dealer Judy Godwin had a booth filled with furnishings for garden and home of various periods. It appeared that many of her antiques were European as well as American, with several freshly reupholstered pieces.
Patricia Stauble and Shirley Chambers, both from Wiscasset, shared a booth and the work. Their collections of early hardwood and painted softwood furniture are very compatible.
Lynne and Tom Woods, Woolrich, Maine, offered a five-piece sterling silver tea service for $7,750. Made in New York by Mauser, it was from 1880. Richard Suydam, Lahaska, offered some of his collection of early cast-iron still banks.
Ashley Dettor, Verona, Va., had a very unusual look to her booth with several large plant stands in front of primitive early American furniture. The plants seemed to welcome visitors.
Paul Davis will repeat this show next year on July 9-10 with most of these same dealers. He felt this year’s event “for a first-time show went very well with a lot of potential for [the] future.” At 48 dealers this year, the show can only grow to about 52 to 54 so he will keep the high quality offered this year.
Less than four weeks later was Bar Harbor Antiques Show at Mt Desert High School. Paul has been producing it since 1989 but the show has been an annual affair since 1931 making it one of the oldest in the country. This year it took place on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 29-30. There were 42 dealers, many from the Rockport show but some others as well.
John Gould from Yorktown Heights, N.Y., offers exceptional pieces of early American-made furniture but he specializes in early frames. Most are gold leaf or gilt and sizes vary. In fact, he can cut frames to match a customer’s needs.
Dynan Fine Art, Kennebunk, Maine, showed its Philadelphia roots in an upscale booth filled with Asian, American and European antiques. Wenham Cross, Topsfield, Mass., on the other hand was all country and painted furniture.
Thomas Moser, like many New Englanders, finds wonderful early pieces. From a private sale near his Lincolnville, Maine, home he brought an early spider base candlestand in its original red milk paint.
Jane and Ed Carr have been at the entry of this show for years offering their mix of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century styles. The Gorham, Maine, couple had a room-size hooked rug as a centerpiece in their booth.
In a post show interview Paul Davis said, “Traffic [for the show was] up a third over last year in spite of the weather.” Dealer sales were generally typical for how the year has been, not the best but adequate for survival.
Next year the date will be August 3-4, as always, Tuesday and Wednesday. For more information on these shows contact Davis at 207-563-1013 or www.pauldavisshows.com.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm