Published: March 3, 2020
Review and Photos by Tom O’Hara
NASHVILLE, TENN. – Fiddlers Antiques Show completed its first edition at the Fairgrounds-Nashville February 12-15 in the new exhibit center. This new hall, according to show promoter Doug Supinger, was a great boost; allowing for nearly double the number of last year’s total exhibitors and increasing attendance. For the first time, this show was not conducted in an old motel. Instead, it has become the companion and precursor (by one day) to the Nashville Show, which was conducted in a separate wing of the same facility [see separate review elsewhere in this issue].
Supinger reported great sales for the dealers. He said he believed this new facility gave the shoppers an easier experience at getting into his show, and, of course, they were motivated by the nearly double number of exhibits to shop and free parking and good, onsite food service.
Dealers generally echoed the promoter’s comments. Gary and Debbie Oyler from Grove City, Ohio, said they were very pleased, having written up 31 receipts before the show was over – some of their best antiques. On Wednesday, opening day of the show, they seemed to be busy all day writing up sales, which included a small blue blanket box, carved wooden bowls, a trencher from the Eighteenth Century, kitchen tools, including a mortar and pestle. Additional sales over the four days included a folk art shelf with drawers, three wall boxes, a miniature mule chest and, near the end of the show, a large Dutch cupboard. They have rebooked into the show for next year.
Marc Witus, Gladstone, N.J., was showing a combination of furniture and small early American antiques. He reported that sales were good for the four-day weekend, but almost entirely in small things. His collection included American porcelain from the Nineteenth Century and earlier pieces from England; unique woodenware, such as finger-lap-bound pantry boxes; several pairs of Eighteenth Century andirons; and a large collection of American paintings from 100 to 250 years ago.
Nancy Holleny, proprietor of Grantham 1763 House from Denton, Md., and now living in North Myrtle Beach, N.C., was having a good time selling some of the furniture and a great deal of smalls. Her better sales included a Maryland pie safe in original blue with all of its punched tins intact and a painted sawbuck table. In addition, she sold a great deal of small antiques, both folk art and utilitarian objects. The centerpiece of her exhibit was a Maryland Eastern Shore scene in a large hooked rug, which, while it did not sell during the show, was a great focal point and drew a high level of interest.
A spectacular sunburst quilt, all hand worked from about 100 years ago, was the backdrop for Craig and Nancy Chaney, and it sold quickly. The Mansfield, Ohio, dealers were having a good show, with sales including a root beer sign and a great deal more of their American folk art collection.
David and Cheryl Craig, Acton, Ind., brought a large red white and blue shield with American flags as decoration along with more folk art. Sales for them included two Indiana coverlets, one in red white and blue, another in two colors from the Nineteenth Century; a painting of watermelon; a 200-year-old firkin and more art.
American folk art abounded at the show with all kinds of objects. JBS Mercantile, Mount Juliet, Tenn., had an original sign “Donnelley Adv.,” which was the forerunner of Reuben Donnelley Co., the publisher of the phone company directories and Yellow Pages.
There was a great deal more to see at the show. Sebasky & Hildreth Antiques, Staples, Minn., was selling Staffordshire figures dating to about 1800, mochaware and vintage holiday collections. The Gryphon’s Nest, Kalamazoo, Mich., had circus posters for Barnum & Bailey Circus. Cabin on the Hill, the Sheffields from Georgetown, Texas, had a good show as well, selling mostly from their collection of antique textiles and folk art. A collection that included Asian porcelain and cloisonné and art was popular for Edmonds & Co., from Whitehall, Mich.
New to the show this year, Jennifer Sabin served as manager for Supinger, and said management was pleased with the results. “We had doubled the size of this show from the last year’s event in the motel, and while at this location for the first time created a few awkward moments for exhibitors and visitors alike, overall, it went well and we had a great crowd shopping.” She added that they will be in the adjoining hall next year, allowing a larger show and easier access for all. Next year’s date will be February 17-20, 2021.
For additional information, www.fiddlersatthefairgrounds.com or 937-875-0808.
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