Published: September 23, 2003
– The Farmington polo grounds was the site of one of the largest outdoor antiques shows on its traditional second meeting of the summer, August 30-31.
Produced by Jenkins Management, this event has been held on two weekends – one in June and the other on the Labor Day – for more than 20 years, with about 400 dealers primarily offering American home furnishing and accessories.
Jenkins bought the event prior to the 2001 shows and immediately began to respond to dealers’ comments, instituting small but positive changes. Some created problems when new suppliers or contractors first arrived, but based upon dealer comments at this most recent show, the bugs are getting worked out. The principal food vendor, a Nashville, Tenn.,-based caterer, kept the lines down with good food at fair prices. A new tent company in June did not know how to handle the work there, but had its act together for Labor Day weekend.
At the annual Saturday evening dealer dinner on the grounds this year Steve Jenkins announced a few more changes: in the future, there will be no early buyer’s admission; Saturday’s general admission price will be $10, and Sunday’s, $7, a minor increase; and the opening time on Saturday will be 8 am.
It seems the time had come for an end to early admission for a premium price. Some years ago it was fun to get in while dealers were unpacking, but now early entry has begun to hurt shows in that many patrons feel if they are not paying for early entry all the “best stuff is gone.” Jenkins’s new policy would seem to level the playing field.
These changes are typical of the positive effect the Jenkins family has had on this show. Even with less-than-the-best weather for both the June and Labor Day events, visitors and dealers seemed to be having a good time. Saturday morning rains kept early buyers home, but the Labor Day visitor count was, according to John Jenkins, the highest in the three years of their management of the show.
Bud Hughes, New Market, N.H., has been a full-time antiques dealer for most of the last ten years. His style is early American primitive furniture and accessories. His biggest sale was a fall front desk from Ohio in faux grain paint, made of thick pine planks with cherry insides, small drawers, cubbyholes, etc. Bud also manufacturers tents, well suited for antiques dealers in outdoor shows and flea markets. At Farmington he sold a bunch of tents and replacement parts.
Recently changing life styles from a job in Corporate America to self-employed antiques dealer was David Nelz, Dix Hills, N.Y. Trading as Platypus Antiques (we don’t know why he chose that name) his inventory was a wide variety that included an Eighteenth Century Hepplewhite cricket (foot stool), a dollhouse, a Queen Anne Pembroke table and more. Expect to see him at more shows this fall and winter.
Dealers bring all kinds of antiques to this show. Robert & Janet Sherwood, Ballston Spa, N.Y., had a sleigh with a fixed dashboard and a device that resembled a prayer bench. The bench was for a very heavy blanket, often made of animal hide, set slightly removed from the seat so a small lantern could be set inside the blanket for warmth of the sleigh’s passengers. It had curly iron runners, red paint and good carpentry, all for only $950.
Peter Moses, North Syracuse, N.Y., finds all kinds of small antiques, including art, game boards and painted furniture. David Metcalf, Greenville, S.C., had a hanging cupboard filled with Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century pewter pitchers and tankards. An early maple workbench complete with working vises was offered by Red Barn Antiques, Cheshire, Conn.
Numerous dealers had early porcelain and pottery including Pat and Bill Klein of Berlin, Conn., and Jane McClafferty, New Canaan, Conn. Partners Irene Finch and Linda LaBonte brought a large collection of yellowware pottery from their Harrison, Maine, home.
The Storb’s of Rowayton, Conn., specializes in antique weathervanes; they had over a dozen in their tent. Nineteenth Century furniture, much of it oak, was offered by Lisa and Steve Fisch of Wappinger Falls, N.Y. Doug Schmitt of Lake Ariel, Penn., had an oak pedestal dining table for $4,450 and pressed back oak chairs, $335 each, to go with it.
Barry Ezrin came down from Milton, Ontario, with early Canadian furniture. One piece was a two over three-drawer chest Hepplewhite period in excellent condition. He finds his antiques mostly in Canada and brings them to “the states” for the 12 to 15 shows he does annually.
One Ranger Antiques, Hollywood, Fla., shops in Europe, Central and Eastern, for furniture. They had a large corner cupboard with a concave shaped top in blue milk paint for $4,900.
There were fine early American pieces at the show as well as country. Birch Knoll Antiques, Waterville, N.Y., had an early Nineteenth Century sideboard in excellent condition priced at $6,800. John Gould sold a blue milk painted tall cupboard at the show which he felt came from his Hudson Valley New York area. Easter Hill Antiques, Sharon, Conn., sold a Hepplewhite-style dining table and chairs, and found an early Hepplewhite armchair at the show.
Veronica and John Malchione were at the show. As usual they had an outstanding collection of early fishing gear and sporting goods. John has sold fishing creels or baskets worth thousands of dollars but they also have more affordable early gear at their booth and in their Kennett Square, Penn., shop.
The point of this specific review is to explain the broad spectrum of antiques offerings at this event. There were most all varieties of antiques there and it is a fund time.
Even the Newtown, Conn., Lions Club participated. For each of the past several years the club has offered at a raffle an old restored fun car. This year it is a 1964 Mustang convertible which will be awarded at the drawing October 18.
Next year Farmington will be on the weekends of June 12-13 and September 4-5. Information is available at 317-598-0012 or Farmington-antiques.com or www.Jenkins shows.com. The Jenkinses also produce the Springfield (Ohio) Antiques Market each month, and Tailgate Antiques Show at Fiddlers Inn and Music Valley Antique Market, both in Nashville, Tenn., the week of October 20. Catch them when you can.
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