Published: August 14, 2015
Review and Photos by R. Scudder Smith
DEERFIELD, N.H. — There is always a chance for rain on the date of an antiques show that is conducted outside, or part outside and part inside, but the show must go on. Such was the case on the morning of Tuesday, August 4, in New Hampshire, and to be more exact, in Deerfield, N.H. Just at 8 am, the opening time for early buyers to enter the fairgrounds and shop the many booths set up in four buildings and under tents scattered about the grounds, the rain started, but you would not have thought so. People continued to rush about as if the sun were shining, which it did do after a bit and then continued for the better part of the day. However, at about 2:30 pm, when the rain got more serious, management closed the show.
“In spite of the rain, all went well and many of the dealers reported good sales and the gate showed an increase over last year,” show manager Nan Gurley said. And while Nan is rarely one to boast about her shows, this year her exhibitors really gave her something to boast about. The show looked good, interesting things filled many of the booths, and more people spent a longer time at the show than in the past. As one dealer put it, “We had a bunch of people who were glad to be here, and they stayed longer.”
Nan Gurley and Peter Mavris, Cornish, Maine, were again just inside the door of the first building, the spot they have had for many years in order to both manage the show and participate. This year a German beer table, 8 feet long, stretched across the front of the booth, with a large penny run on top, along with a blue painted birdcage, small foot stool and red gathering basket. A pie safe in apple green paint, one large screened door, was in the corner of the booth, and a dry sink, Maine origin, displayed a nice coat of original green paint.
Trade signs and cast iron toys and banks dominated the tables and walls at Don and Betty Jo Heim, Jersey Shore, Penn., with a large sign for “S.M. Ward — Vulcanizing” dominating the side wall. A “Keys Made” sign, in the form of a large key, hung near a large ox yoke, and when wall space ran out, a few signs were leaning against the table, one reading “Danger — Men Working.”
Sand pail collectors had a pick from a selection of about a dozen at American Jazz, Ossining, N.Y., ranging in size from the largest with pictures of children playing in the sand to the smallest one, red, white and blue, reading “Sea Side.” Also shown was a grouping of Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls of varied vintage.
Laura A. McCarthy of Rockland, Maine, hung two hooked rugs on the back wall of her booth, each with the same dog, in an oval setting, but with different surroundings and one a bit larger than the other. An oval trencher of large size was on a table at the front of the booth, loaded with a selection of stone fruit.
Once used in a one-room schoolhouse in upstate New York, and dating from the Nineteenth Century, was a double school desk in the original paint in the booth of Dave and Bonnie Ferriss of Lake Luzerne, N.Y. A selection of picture frames was scattered about the booth, and a colorful dart board tested one’s skills with a baseball-themed game.
Country Seat Antiques, Litchfield, Conn., had a couple of interesting weathervanes, one a large white-painted wood rooster and the other a sheet metal fish in the original blue painted surface. A Nineteenth Century dough box retained the original sage green paint.
A standout in the booth of John Bourne of Pittsford, Vt., was a dapple papier mache riding horse, about 36 inches tall, outfitted with a red, green and blue saddle, standing next to an elaborate Christmas tree stand in the form of a wooden house, with interior lights, and surrounded by a white picket fence. Apparently the tree was positioned to be held upright by the chimney.
Orange, Conn., exhibitor Sasha’s Antiques offered a 1740–1760 hearts and crown side chair from the Parmale family of Guilford, Conn., and an early Nineteenth Century flip top desk in pine, New England origin, with the original surface.
Barbara Rotondo, Methuen, Mass., had a Nineteenth Century hutch table with two-board rectangular top, square nail construction, half-moon cutout ends, and on it was a blue painted wood carved bowl, 17 inches in diameter, from a Massachusetts homestead. An early bottle doll, black with the original clothes, was shown by Low House of Doylestown, Penn. A collection of country smalls included a number of early baskets, several foot stools and a selection of treen pieces.
Three hanging lamps, joined together and painted to look like copper, which might have once been over a pool table or a large kitchen range, were shown in the booth of David Ramsay of Cape Porpoise, Maine, alongside a pair of circa 1930 Art Deco handmade bent-hairpin chairs in excellent and comfortable condition. A train weathervane was shown on a pedestal, and a black ventriloquist puppet, 40 inches tall, had on a red vest, just part of the original clothing he wore.
Linda Grier Antiques, Langhorne, Penn., displayed three large tin molds, graduated in size, and at the front of the booth was an Eighteenth Century settle table with cut corners, natural surface. A hide-covered horse pull-toy retained most of its leather saddle. Thymes Remembered of Alstead, N.H., had a case filled with old cameras, plus some lenses, and on an opposite table was a selection of carved and painted duck decoys.
A nice tavern table with stretcher base, two-board top with breadboard ends, circa 1800 and of New England origin, was in the booth of James Lawrence of Little Compton, R.I. Shown with the table was a J.W. Fiske arrow weathervane measuring 36 inches long. The doorstop market appeared to be cornered by Country Huzzah, Burke, Va., which displayed two parrots, a cat, frog, vases of flowers, Old Salt, sailboat and a boat and anchor in brass. A large collection of silhouettes hung on the back wall, and a couple of cast iron lawn sprinklers were mixed in with the doorstops.
Denise Scott Antiques of East Greenwich, R.I., set a large drop leaf table, three-board top, in pewter with everything except the food. Plates, drinking vessels, chargers, a large coffee pot and porringers made for a very inviting scene, while the rest of the booth was filled with interesting things, such as some nice slip decorated redware and a spice chest that once held hops and nutmeg.
There was a nautical look in a portion of the booth of Firehouse Antiques, Galena, Md., with a couple of shadow boxes hanging on the wall and an early Twentieth Century New England folk art figure of a sea captain, 31 inches high, in white shirt and blue pants. One of the boxes featured a four-masted schooner, while the other had two sailboats flanking a submarine. A sailboat model, or pond boat, was in full sail and nicely mounted.
Pat Hatch and Kyle Hedrick, Harvard, Mass., combined inventory and offered an interesting lot of things, including a 35-inch-tall ventriloquist doll, circa 1880–1890, with 90 percent his original clothes. A round Shaker knit rug hung on the back wall of the booth, lots of dolls and doll clothing was displayed, and a nice grouping of four carnival knock-down figures was in a corner.
Tom and Rose Cheap of Scottsburg, Ind., had a double booth and it was filled with all manner of things, including a church pew against the back wall. The pew, from an African American church in Indianapolis, circa 1950, was decorated with angels on a dark blue/gray ground. Lots of treen pieces were available, including a stack of graduated firkins, bowls and handled and lidded round boxes, and a very stylized eagle weathervane, sheet metal, with white painted surface.
Shirley Quinn of Hopkinton, N.H., hung an American flag with 39 stars that was used on July 4, 1877, and a child’s wool bathing suit was on a doll who was seated in an early ladder back chair in old red surface. A youngster’s dapple rocking horse showed little signs of wear. A selection of lanterns, including some skating ones, several railroad and pierced tin examples, were shown by Brett Cabral of Salem, N.H., along with some decorated stoneware and a half dozen mortar and pestles, some painted.
Susan Heider of Bloomfield, Conn., displayed a Hummer mill weight, small version, white painted, along with a lift top desk with one long drawer in the original grain paint. A Nineteenth Century pie safe in walnut, Midwest origin, had six punched tin panels with star pattern in the front door.
Three black rag dolls in their original clothing stood in the corner of the booth of Wenham Cross Antiques, Topsfield, Mass., and centered in the booth, on a stand, was an elaborate birdhouse, two stories, with many balconies and a wraparound porch, white clapboard with green trim. And in case the occupants need to make a roof repair to the building, and just happen to have a broken wing, there is a ladder hanging on the back of the building.
An early baby tender, Nineteenth Century, was in the booth of Sheila Robbins, Framingham, N.H., with a selection of early blankets and a lift top desk with one long drawer, while Colleen Kinloch of Bristol, Maine, had a circa 1860 ladder back armchair, paint decorated, found in New Hampshire. A Nineteenth Century storage cupboard with bootjack ends, brown painted surface, measured 49 inches high.
The statue of a young boy holding an umbrella, a fountain when in working order, was at the front of the booth of Pillars, Freeport, Maine, along with a decorative cast iron urn on base. An intricate toy was operated by turning a crank, which caused five groups of chickens to start picking the ground in search of grain.
Just inside the door of one of the wooden buildings was the display of Ian McKelvey Antiques, Windham, Conn., with furniture, doorstops and lots of signs. He was kept busy, with sold signs on a stepback cupboard in old red and a blue painted, one-drawer, hanging cupboard, among other pieces in his booth.
A gray painted stepback cupboard, with single door in both the top and bottom sections, and a child’s lift top desk in old blue paint, were among the pieces of furniture shown by West Branch Antiques, Delhi, N.Y. A cubbie, five rows high and ten pockets per row, was in old red paint and was possibly used for the storage of various sized nails or seeds.
As most of her fans know, Nan has experienced some health problems this past year, but she is still loaded with her love for antiques, her friends and her business. Two days after managing her Deerfield Show she was looking forward to the coming Saturday auction and thinking about next year at the fairgrounds. For additional information, 207-625-5028.
By the way, mark your calendar for Tuesday, August 9, 2016. Nan says, “See you there again.”
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