Published: March 20, 2012
March 4 presented early spring-like weather for New England, which probably contributed to a great crowd for the sold-out facility Nan Gurley has for one of her regular gatherings of exhibitors. About 50 dealers booked exhibit space in the Frank Jones Center, a large catering hall and ballroom where the dealers showed their freshest acquisitions to hundreds of shoppers that were waiting for the starting bell at 10 am.
The show is conducted most months in the fall and winter, with some dealers exhibiting every month and others when they are not doing a show farther from home. At this most recent marketplace, Gail White from Wiscasset, Maine, was showing a collection of early New England accessories that could enhance a home’s décor.
In a postshow telephone conversation, Gurley said, “This continues to be a strong, successful little market! It’s where customers and dealers come for real antiques.” For the past ten years at this facility, Gurley has created a following for both exhibitors and customers, adding, “we have many of the same faces †exhibitors and shoppers †each time we have the show. And the sales are good.”
Bruce Miller sold small antiques, which included a set of wooden children’s blocks in various colors, all with factory dovetails, he said, and in good condition.
Mike Gallant of Hometown Antiques, Glenburn, Maine, sold rather well. One of his sales was an unusual 19-foot-long hooked runner that he believed was early.
Candlewick Antiques, Milford, N.H., offered some large furniture, knowing that earlier this winter several tall chests had sold at this show. The dealer’s collection included an early tall chest in maple with original brasses and in very good condition; an early tall blanket chest, lift top with three false drawers over three drawers; a mule chest and a small early tap table. As is typical, the collection included a large supply of small antiques as well.
Kathy Schoemer, Acworth, N.H., collects and trades in early dolls, mostly the kind that were made at home for small children. There were several rag dolls in her collection, along with many accessories that would have been playthings for little girls.
From Thetford Center, Vt., Susan Gault brought a collection of small antiques for the home. One unusual piece was an herb dryer, which at first glance looked like half of a wagon wheel. In fact, each “spoke” comprised three carved pieces of wood, the center piece of which would extend on a pivot, while the whole apparatus was hung on a wall, typically above a fireplace, thus allowing the herbs to dry.
Jewett-Berdan, Newcastle, Maine, showed a charming early hooked rug just right for this early spring show. It pictured a brightly colored chirping bird on a branch with blossoming tulips.
Tommy Thompson and David Proctor, two New Hampshire dealers, shared one exhibit space, mixing their collections for a great welcoming display. Their center was a pair of early New England Queen Anne chairs with a demilune table, also believed to have been New England and very early.
Others at the show brought fine art from the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. Michelle Genereux, East Kingston, N.H., had a Hudson River School folio-sized piece. Paul Sullivan, Manchester, N.H., offered a pair of small oil on canvas sailing scenes. Marlborough, N.H., exhibitor Thomas R. Longacre contributed some examples of early folk art in hooked rugs and painted household objects.
Furniture was available in formal pieces, such as Robert Foley’s server side table, found near his Gray Maine, home. Hepplewhite style, it was made of Cuban mahogany.
Brian Shea, Saugus, Mass., had an early chest in blue milk paint, while nearby, Stephen Renda from Lynn, Mass., was selling a blue painted jelly cupboard with two drawers, two doors and good wear, including a mouse entrance.
Gurley has one more Sunday in Portsmouth on April 1, but there will also be a Short and Sweet event at this same location on Wednesday, April 11, from 8:30 am until noon. She is managing Spring in New Hampshire Antiques Show at the Whittemore Center of the University of New Hampshire, Durham, on April 15 for the state’s antiques dealers association. For information, 207-625-3577, www.nangurley.com or www.nhada.org .
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