Published: June 26, 2012
Each time Marvin Getman runs a show, he gives careful consideration to improving the event for the next time. This year at the Elm Bank Antiques Show, he added walls to seven booths, a very positive enhancement, delineating the edges and providing additional display space. Because it is such a desirable venue, the Elm Bank show is always popular. The gate was up more than 20 percent this year, although last year’s event was plagued by heavy rain. Oddly, sales were much stronger last year in the deluge, perhaps because only committed buyers braved the elements. This year’s event, with 125 dealers, was conducted on two perfect June days †the 9th and 10th.
Getman had 30 dealers this year who were new to the Elm Bank show but have been regulars at his other shows. Dealers who offered garden furniture and accessories were ahead of the game. Elm Bank is the headquarters of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and its gardens are spectacular, putting visitors in mind of their own gardens.
Fionda Antiques of New Ipswich, N.H., showed garden furniture and accessories inside and outside their booth. They had fine seating furniture and a particularly interesting set of four leaf-form garden tables.
Sudbury, Mass., dealer Gary Bardsley had a good show with steady sales of furniture and garden articles and smalls.
Malchione Sporting Antiques came from Kennett Square, Penn., with a booth full of birds, rods and reels and a selection of creels, the gem of which was a museum-quality example that was woven tightly and had an embossed leather handle and trim. It rested on a nicely aged fishing chair.
Rehoboth, Mass., dealer When Pigs Fly was experiencing a good show, and sales included redware, a mammy rocker and a Hudson Valley grain bin. Late on Saturday they still had a grand old shopkeeper’s desk whose slanted lid was etched by some repetitive scoring. Two balance toys in the form of a cowboy and an Indian were for sale along with a drafting table that had belonged to Mattapoisett, Mass., architect Lewis Howard.
At the end of the day on Saturday, Donna and David Kmetz of Douglas, Mass., had a few blank spaces on the walls of their booth. Sales of their American paintings were good, but Donna Kmetz’ favorite sale was some souvenir spoons she sold to a young brother and sister. The children entered her booth early on Sunday with their parents and focused on the spoons she was offering from a table of family estate objects. The children are collectors, already gathering their own spoons. They each chose a favorite and were ready to purchase. Their parents suggested that since their budgets were limited, they look around the show and make sure the spoons were what they wanted. An hour or two later the children returned to purchase their favorites. Donna Kmetz was so impressed that she sold each child two spoons for the price of one.
One of the more eclectic articles of the event was the rock tumbler that Craig McElroy of New York City brought. He showed it with a set of Booth’s English dinnerware in the Luciana pattern, paintings and old chemical containers.
The Scrapbook came from Essex, Mass., and filled the booth with a wide selection of prints †with perennial appeal to show visitors. Business was very good. McDonough Fine Art of Atlanta, Ga., appeared to have a very good show.
Another exhibitor, Iron Renaissance of Damariscotta, Maine, had a bang-up show. A local woman had a new patio and bought a significant group of garden furniture and statuary from Joseph Spaider and Joni Lima. They sold well to other buyers as well.
Green Dolphin Consignment of Hanover, Mass., shared space with Antiques of Hingham, Mass., and the varied selection paid off. Sales included a Baccarat lamp, a four-piece wicker set, a Daum reindeer and other objects of interest. One piece still available at the end of the first day was front and center: the Angel of Prosperity of Nineteenth Century French sculptor Marius Jean Antonin Mercié. It stood on a pedestal added in 1995.
Boston dealer Peter D. Murphy cut a dapper figure in his straw fedora with a plaid band worn to deflect the sun. He had a fine show, having sales of lamps, furniture, silverplate and watercolors. He showed a desirable iron garden table with lyre sides and bronze feet and filled a bookshelf decorated with Low tiles with Japanese basket weave pottery by Hotta Yu Shoten and Co.
Natick, Mass., dealer French Antiques Direct showed just that. A standout was the early Nineteenth Century lady’s mahogany secretaire whose doors and drawers were painted with cherubs and which featured a pink and purple marble top and a bombé front. A Restauration cherry armchair had a rush seat and an early Twentieth Century Louis XV-style country cherry sideboard was carved with flowers and offered good storage.
Jewelry dealer Robin Berg of Swampscott, Mass., told Marvin Getman that she had her best show ever this time.
New York’s Kairos Gallery mixed ceramics with furniture and accessories and was selling right up and into closing. Uniquities of Essex, Mass., also had a good show.
The Bradford Trust of Harwichport, Mass., and Martin J. Ferrick, Lincolnville, Maine, shared space, as they have done in the past, making for a fine blend of good furniture and Massachusetts art. Roy Mennell of the Bradford Trust reported sales of the Cape Cod paintings for which his firm is known. He added, “It was a delight to be there.” He had interest in Charles Cahoon and observed that the attendees were a knowledgeable group.
Essex dealer David Neligan showed at Elm Bank for the first time and was most pleased. He reported first day sales of a settee and a canterbury. He pronounced the event “a good quality show, with good quality clientele.”
Not only did the dealers offer something for everyone, show manager Marvin Getman organized the Antiques are Green Children’s Festival that about 100 young visitors enjoyed. Puppeteer Silly Sally demonstrated with antique objects loaned by some dealers, explaining their function and history. It stimulated interest on the part of the children, allowing their parents to explore the show, and will be an annual event at Elm Bank. Face painting was also available and judging from the colorful young faces, many partook.
Writer Maureen Stanton was on hand to sign copies of the new paperback edition of her book, Killer Stuff and Tons of Money. Chapter 17 is an illuminating piece on Getman’s shows. The book is an excellent read, at once a humorous and informative take on the trade. Stanton sold 30 books this time out.
Leominster, Mass., antiques dealer and auctioneer Paul Royka was available for verbal appraisals Saturday and Sunday and discovered several impressive treasures, including a pair of Maine folk art portraits that he estimated at about $15,000 †a figure that may increase after some research.
For information, www.neantiqueshows.com or 781-862-4039.
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