A holiday long weekend, spectacular weather and 150-plus dealers resulted in an antiques show that dealers and collectors hope is merely the first of a new generation at the Topsfield Fairgrounds. No livestock nor oversized pumpkins were observed, but antiques for every taste were for sale. Show promoter Marvin Getman has earned the respect of the dealers and buyers who value his shows for their meticulous organization and prolific advertising. A strong crowd rushed through the gates at the 9 am opening and spread out among the tents and booths of more than 150 dealers.
Medfield, Mass., dealer Bert Rosengarten hung his entire booth with colorful primitive paintings signed by Max Swartz. The appealing pictures were well composed and the canvases were prepared expertly, and, based on that, Rosengarten surmised that the artist might have been a professor of art or art history. Show visitors were drawn by the vibrant portraits and scenes of Gloucester and Maine, but when Beverly auctioneer Frank Kaminski came along, it was all over. Kaminski loved all the pictures, a deal was struck and the booth was bare. Only a scribbled note remained. “This booth is sold out. I will be back tomorrow with fresh inventory. Thank you, Bert.” All this before lunch.
Bell Time Clocks of Andover, Mass., had a good show. The offerings included an 1890 calendar clock by the National Calendar Clock Company and a selection of crystal regulators. Bob Frishman made solid sales and lined up some repair work, in which he specializes. Postshow sales were pending.
Early on the first day, Meg Chalmers and Judy Young of Crones Collectibles of Brewster, Mass., had made several sales. They specialize in Saturday Evening Girls Pottery (they wrote the book) and had an early (1909) bowl by Fannie Levine marked “Blanche” in a soft aqua hue that was not used after 1910.
Melrose, Mass., dealer John Maciejowski brought an eclectic array that appealed to a variety of shoppers. His early sales included midcentury German pottery to new collectors and Italian Grand Tour memorabilia to other buyers. The booth was chockablock with European decorative arts, such as a sparkling group of Venetian hand blown glassware, toleware porcelain and a group of gilt brackets. He showed two striking pairs of Quimper bowls (male and female each) in a pretty green that he said were “either rare or real duds.” Outside the tent, a wicker dog with a copper tongue welcomed buyers.
Dolphin Antiques of Weymouth, Mass., had ceramics and glass, including a Royal Bayreuth tea set in the Rose Tapestry pattern. Proprietor Nelson Barry observed on the first morning that the show was “good, so far.”
A set of eight country side chairs with rush seats hung across the back wall of the Miller-Robinson booth. Each was slightly different: five were painted with arrows, three with triple ovals and all retained the original black paint and gold decoration. Ashfield, Mass., dealer Jackie Robinson said they came from the dirt cellar of a Rhode Island house that has been in the same family since the 1730s.
The Noble Peddler of Torrington, Conn., appealed to buyers interested in Quimper, paperweights, Wedgwood, Royal Doulton and Toby jugs, and offered a full booth of fine examples.
Buxton, Maine, dealer Laurel Antiques filled a booth with colorful painted porcelains and pottery in pastels of every tint. Of particular interest were two art pottery pieces: a handsome Grueby lily tile in green, blue and white, and a blue Newcomb pottery vase by Henrietta Bailey. Sales were solid early in the show.
Paul Martinez of Westminster, Mass., filled his booth with choice American and European art pottery. A selection of bright red midcentury ceramic vessels by German potters Wilhelm and Elly Kuch was a real standout. Martinez also specializes in Austro Hungarian empire amphorae dating from 1890 to 1915. In an e-mail after the show, Martinez wrote, “We did most of our business on Sunday; the shoppers were sophisticated and willing to pay for quality. Overall, it was a very good show.”
Glenbrook Antiques came from Walden, N.Y., with a large selection of furniture and fine art. A capacious booth included two dining tables, a highboy, a secretary desk and an entire wall of landscape paintings.
Back by Popular Demand had an array of stoneware juxtaposed with old wagon wheels. The Pepperell, N.H., dealer Chris deSimone demonstrated the results of a recent uncorking of one of several century-old stoneware beer bottles. A vinegary aroma hung on the air. Asked how he had done, DeSimone was effusive; he said he had made quite a few sales and that promoter Marvin Getman had done a marvelous job advertising and organizing the event.
Natick, Mass., dealer Marilyn Porter, who operates as Missing Pieces, offered a tempting assortment of textiles alongside some appealing vintage jewelry. Pierce was also effusive, “I’ve had a great show.”
Newburyport, Mass., dealer Anne B. Russell also reported a good show. She brought desirable country primitives, including a blue blanket box that displayed a sold tag early in the day. A Nineteenth Century red and white overshot coverlet attracted strong interest.
Antique Prints and Papers came from Highland Park, N.J., with intriguing antique prints, both American and European, colorful botanic and fauna prints. The booth drew interested shoppers.
Pat’s Pots of Westport, Mass., showed a remarkable blue Art Nouveau bust by Alphonse Cytere of the Rambervillers (France) pottery. The piece was a copy of a circa 1920s sculpture. An interesting Gouda floor lamp or vase was also for sale.
Serendipity Antiquity of Campton, N.H., was having a very good show. Things got even better when a Baltimore sterling tea and coffee service by Jacobi and Jenkins sold for several thousand dollars. Karen Kampmann also showed a 15-gallon stoneware barrel- form butter churn factory fresh from the Superior Churn and Mfg, Co., that appealed to collectors, as did a carved wood craftsman-made violin or fiddle case.
English dealer Payne’s Stained Glass had a large supply of stained glass windows for sale. They were made and used in England between the 1830s and the 1930s, with a few earlier examples.
Moonstone Antiques of Mansfield, Mass., had some fine diamond jewelry that attracted much attention. The booth also showed fossils and an extensive group of arrowheads. A fiberglass and driftwood figure of a manatee illustrated the dangers to the animal from nets and fishing line.
For information, 781-862-4039 or www.neantiqueshows.com .