Published: June 29, 2004
On June 12-13, Farmington Antiques Weekend was conducted for the first time on the site owned by the show’s producers, Jenkins Show Management.
It was at the same location as for the last 20 some years, but now the Jenkins family has completed the purchase of the Farmington Polo Grounds, the 59-acre site of this 600-dealer, twice-each-summer event.
Jon Jenkins, son of Steve and Barbara Jenkins, said, “We were really excited to be able to do improvements to the site but couldn’t as it wasn’t ours. Now we have groomed the wild growth around the fence lines, graveled the driveways and generally started to upgrade the site.”
When the dealers arrived on Friday for setup, many commented that for the first time in many years the grass was cut. That was because Steve Jenkins was on the mower himself Thursday afternoon.
Saturday at 8 am the show was opened for all – only one admission, as for the first time, there was no premium entry fee for early buyers. This seemed to give all the visitors a level playing field, and it created more traffic all at once, a real crowd for the start of the show. This show also had numerous other small changes, including more food service vendors that allowed for short lines most of the time and a better variety to the menu.
Of course, the most important aspects of the show were the dealers, their merchandise and how the customers reacted to it. On the topic of dealers, Steve Jenkins said the show’s total was approaching 600, which is the highest number in their tenure. Barbara Jenkins handled the phones for the last four days before the setup and said she filled all the spaces she had on the master chart with late callers, about 60 or 70. “A great weather forecast was a big help,” she added.
The dealers came with a wide variety of antiques and also some collectibles. Peter Moses has been doing the show for many years with a selection of early American furniture and accessories. He brought a Federal secretary desk, which sold on the first day, along with a few stands and a large selection of small antique accessories. Jane and Ed Carr, trading as Country Squire Antiques from Gorham, Maine, have been doing the show since the start. On this weekend they sold some wicker furniture and more.
Gathering their antiques in Florida and Ohio, Bill and Kay Puchstein have been dealers with an American country style. They set up shop at Marburger Farm in Texas; Union, Maine; and in Nashville, Tenn. Kay Puchstein co-manages Music Valley Antiques Market, and they also produce shows in Florida. Here, Bill Puchstein said their sales were good in small antiques. Dennis Jackson seemed to have cornered the market on early wooden pantry boxes and firkins. He is a local fellow from Mystic, Conn.
I-deal Antiques and I-deal Tents are the two businesses for Bud Hughes of Newmarket, N.H. His taste in antiques runs to country from the early Nineteenth Century. The same is true for dealers Laurie and Buddie Gaines, Placida, Fla. Mike Gagnon, Shohola, Penn., used an early dry sink as the display for an extensive collection of pewter dishes and tankards. He said, “Pewter has been very slow [selling]…but furniture was getting better.”
“I had a pretty decent show with a big carved bear, a plant stand, a minichest of drawers and some smalls [small antique accessories],” said Albert Barrows of Highfields Antiques from St Albans, Maine. Peter and Claire Ringel, Pennington, N.J., sold so much crystal they ran out before the show was over.
Jim and Elizabeth Dunn, Bittersweet Antiques of Springfield, Vt., specialize in Staffordshire Bocage figurines from the early Nineteenth Century. For this show they exhibited about 50 of them with values ranging from about $800 to $5,000. Bernice Becker, New York City, offered late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century glass and porcelain.
For the collector or dealer with an educated eye, there were many great finds at this show. One dealer showed a wooden carved statue of Jesus Christ, which he said was Mexican but from the Eighteenth Century. He bought it for little money and said it would sell best at auction where its great form and artistry would be appreciated.
Nancy Fulton, trading as 1807 House, Point Pleasant, Penn., had such a good show she was hesitant to say much about it. Among her sales were an Indian rifle, specifically, a Springfield trap door model 45/70 caliber, a sawbuck table and more furniture. Platypus Antiques, Dix Hills, N.Y., sold a tall cupboard in early blue green milk paint, some accessories and lots of small antiques.
Antiques Emporium is an open shop in Westborough, Mass., owned by Art Gillum. He also does a few shows, including, for the first time, Farmington. While he carries American country style, it is by no means his entire stock and trade. Among the articles he brought to the show was a Regina home model music disc player, the kind that predated today’s compact disc players by about 125 years. Because the condition of this player was so good, it was priced at $3,950. Gillum and his partner Jon Randall will be opening another shop in Marlborough later this summer.
Farmington Antiques Weekend takes place twice each year, the second weekend of June and again on Labor Day weekend, this year, September 4-5. The polo grounds are about 15 miles west of Hartford and 125 miles from New York City.
Those who plan to go to Brimfield, Mass., in September will find this is a great way to start the trip, as the Brimfield show begins on the September 6 and is only 50 miles from Farmington.
For information, 317-598-0012.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm