Published: August 20, 2002
By R. Scudder Smith
BEDFORD, N.H. He went on to mention that those with folk and decorative art did better than those with furniture, as seemed to be the general case for most of the events taking places during Antiques Week in New Hampshire.
This is a show that tests the energy of both the show management and the exhibitors. Load-in takes place Thursday evening, generally starting at about 9, after the Mid*Week dealers have left the scene, and lasts until about midnight. Set-up resumes again at 5 am Friday and the early buyers are on the floor by 9 am. It appears to be a tight schedule, but by opening only a handful of the 104 exhibitors are still making final adjustments to their booths.
The Pickers Market, as with Mid*Week, fills both the convention center space and the large tent set-up in the parking lot of the Wayfarer Inn. Booth layout remains the same, only the merchandise and the sellers change. The market brings to Antiques Week in New Hampshire a selection of dealers not often seen, some who travel east just for this show. It is the lure of new faces and stock that puts the spark into this show, and attendance climbed this year by those eager to complete the rooster of the six antiques shows in six days.
A large log cabin quilt hung against the back wall in the booth of The Captain’s Wife, Glen Ellyn, Ill., and a few early signs decorated the space. Signs seemed to be a popular attraction this year at all of the shows and those in this booth advised “Saloons Must Go” and “Vote No License.” More signs were evident in the display of George B. Johnson Antiques, Deer Park, N.Y., including “No Exit – Men’s Room,” “No Exit – Cooler,” and “No Exit – Locker Room.”
The ever-popular Burma Shave sign was offered from the booth of Wayne Howell Fine Art and Antiques, Wantage, N.J., as was a notice that read “Admission – Braves & Squaws, Wampum $6, Papooses under 12, $5 – Under 2 No Charge.” He also showed two hitching posts, one of a horse head and the other a not so common dog’s head.
Mark Keily came in from Dayton, Ohio, to do the show and moved into the convention center, taking over the space occupied by Mr and Mrs Jerome Blum during the Mid*Week Show. Against the back wall of this booth was a large (six by eight feet) painting on wood of Niagara Falls, taken from a tavern wall in the same area. It was signed and dated “Max Andrews 1812.” It brought back many memories after Mark mentioned, “I bought this piece from Gene King at the Winter Antiques Show in 1981; it was pictured in his ad for the show.” Among the rdf_Descriptions sold from this booth were a carved wood and painted elephant, circa 1900, European, that once was part of a carnival ride, a two-drawer New Jersey tavern table with pad feet, three-board top and the original brasses, and a carved panel door from Lancaster County, Penn.
One of the nicest signs in the show was in the form of a fish, advertising Trout Fishing, in the booth of Internest Antiques of New York City. Mary B. Ross of Great Neck, N.Y., displayed a summer quilt with large eagles in each corner, shades of red, orange and brown, and a shelf filled with Halloween rdf_Descriptions including scary cats and pumpkins.
A Union soldier whirligig, with paddles straight up and down, stood at attention in the booth of Steve and Lorraine Marshall American Antiques, Greensboro, N.C., and among the furniture offered was a two-board top tavern table, stamped “Whiton,” with breadboard ends, maple base, turned legs, and dating circa 1770.
“He’s my booth security,” Steh Fallon of Copake Auction, Copake, N.Y., said pointing out a ten-foot long carved wooden alligator that stretched out over half the length of his booth. It was protecting a variety of furniture including a tilt-top candlestand with snake feet, an Adirondack-type armchair, a captain’s chair, a step back cupboard with four paneled doors and a large linen cupboard.
“The album quilt is from Baltimore County and dates circa 1850-61,” Don Mays of Parkton, Md., said of the detailed and colorful example hanging at the back of his booth. In addition he offered a Nineteenth Century sponge-decorated blanket chest with turned feet that found a buyer, and a pie safe with eight punched tin panels in the front, old gray paint. “There has been lots of interest in the pie safe, but no takers so far,” he said two hours into the show.
Another Ohio dealer, Gary Promey of Atwater, brought a selection of furniture including a paint-decorated blanket chest, circa 1820-30, from Somerset Co., Penn. It was in blue-green paint, bracket base, with two short drawers across the bottom. A two-piece corner cupboard in cherrywood, cleaned down to the original red, had a single 12-light door in the top section, and a cherrywood inlaid chest of drawers, circa 1820, had a Kentucky provenance. This chest had two short drawers over four long drawers, bracket base, with vibe inlay on the columns.
One of the nicest wooden weathervanes in the show was a large white and black painted fish on the original pole. It was shown in the booth of The Wood Witch, East Chatham, N.Y., and was sold quickly to Boston dealer Stephen Score. A large painting, titled “The Trophy” by Sidney Lee Courtney, showed two men hunting from a canoe with their sights on a large elk at the edge of the lake. This oil on board was signed and titled and measured 26 by 29 inches.
Patriot House Antiques of West Chicago, Ill., reflected its name in a patriotic panel with crossed flags, eagle and drum, and in a summer quilt decorated with bright blue stars. One corner of the booth was filled by a cupboard, Ohio, early Nineteenth century, with two doors showing signs of old blue paint.
Mary Elliott of Pepperell, Mass., was busy during the early hours of the show selling most of her collection of covered and handled pantry boxes, including the rack in which the boxes were shown. Only the green and blue painted ones did not sport a red dot. Mad Parade of Chicago came in with his collection of interesting and unusual things, including a large fish in a wooden case that came right out of a tavern, and a large collection of black toaster mammies mounted as bottle dolls.
A provenance that included the Newport estate of Cornelius C. Moore was attached to a Queen Anne American highboy in the booth of Portland Antiques, Portland, Maine. This piece, circa 1740, was sold in 1971 from the galleries of Parke Bernet. A Newport card table, circa 1810-1815, was from the same estate.
Although the name of the sitter is unknown, the artist was R. Street who painted the oil on canvas portrait in 1850 that hung in the booth of The Holdens of Sherman, Conn. It measures 24 by 24 sight. An interesting sign, 44 inches in diameter, advertised Registered Texas Longhorns and came from a ranch in Central Texas. Colleen Kinloch Antiques of Laurel, Md., showed a step back cupboard in white paint, Maine origin, that started life as one piece and was later cut in two, and a Nineteenth Century blanket chest, Massachusetts origin, lift top with one drawer, circa 1860, and worn blue painted surface.
While it was a slow time for furniture sales, for the most part, Robert Perry of Hanburg, Penn., sold a few pieces including a two-door linen press in red stain and a miniature cupboard with porcelain knobs, two doors and an old red finish. He also showed a nice portrait of a woman, New England, artist unknown, oil on canvas, in grained frame and dating circa 1830.
The old painted surfaces that everyone looks for were nowhere in sight in the booth of American Arts of Franklin, Tenn. Bill Powell, the force behind this booth, is a believer in bright colors and special objects that are certain to please and bring out a smile. He proved this by offering a large ice cream cone, about 42 inches long, a figure of Uncle Sam that sold in a flash, and a couple of trade signs offering Fishing Tackle. Looking out from a corner of this booth was a close to life-size figure of a baseball player, crouched and ready to field a ball.
“The ball player is Dick Groat of St Louis, who played in the mid-60s and this figure was used in a parade on the Anhauser-Busch float,” Bill said. A veteran of 32 years in the antiques business, he has spent most of the time close to home and doing relatively few shows. “My son was a ball player and I never wanted to miss a game. Now he is in college and I am starting to move about to do shows again,” Bill said. Pickers was his first show in New England.
Among the things at the show one might classify as “different, but where would I display it,” was an American flag painted on a large Venetian blind. This striking symbol of patriotism took up the entire side was in the booth of Gregory Carraher of Ann Arbor, Mich.
But be it this large flag, or a small oval redware jug that this reporter purchased to slip neatly into a collection of graduated jugs, there was a lot to hold one’s attention at Pickers. Boston dealer Steven Score, who seemed to be every place one happened to look, drove away from the show with an ear to ear smile. His parting shot, “This is my favorite event during Antiques Week in New Hampshire. I bought 22 very nice things.”
The Pickers Market, the last addition to the week’s calendar, has made a solid home in New Hampshire.
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