For its 44th annual antique show, the New London Garden Club had a beautiful New England summer day, Saturday, July 24, and a very large audience that visited and showed their appreciation of the collections offered. Sales were reported by most dealers polled as very satisfactory in many areas, including furniture, textiles, household accessories and art.
Held on the New London green in tents by the lakeside in this New Hampshire college town, dealer/manager Nancy Bailey said, “There were 51 exhibitors offering antiques from Asia, England and Europe and, of course, traditional early American antiques.” She added, “The show is produced by the New London Garden Club as a fun event for summer and it also is a modest fundraiser supporting the club’s work on town gardens and other programs.”
There was an hour of early buying, which attracted an appreciative clientele which did a respectable job adding to their collections. Early sales included a good supply of furniture and accessories. At 9 am, regular admission began with a good-sized audience. It was not a rush at the gates, but a long and steady flow of customers who shopped and judiciously took collections home.
American Decorative Arts, Canaan, N.H., was pleased to sell a pair of early Stickley Mission oak armchairs with their original cushions. As well as original cushions, the finish appeared to be original and they were priced below $1,000. Richard Vondal, the proprietor of the business, also sold a variety of small antiques, including a miniature stand and a Taconic basket.
Suzie Burmann, a New London resident, was especially pleased with her sales results. Included in the items from her booth that found new owners were an early painted blanket chest, a bucket bench in its original painted surface, a painted rocking chair †probably native to New England †and a large collection of small antiques.
Offering Nineteenth Century oak furniture and some accessories, Michael Pheffer sold a chest of drawers and some small antiques. Trading as 2 Sides of a River, Pheffer restores all the oak furniture as necessary, so when put into his inventory it is sparkling and fresh. While his regular employment as a shop teacher in an area high school keeps him busy during the school year, he does all the shows he can keep stock for in the summer.
Jody Wells, from the neighboring town of South Sutton, was offering a collection of furniture from mixed periods of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. Included in the collection were early pewter, pond boats and boat models, early earthenware and flatware.
Another exhibitor who lives very close, Steven J. Rowe from Cornish, N.H., was offering several upholstered pieces, including an early Nineteenth Century love seat and a companion side chair, both showing wood with saber legs.
“It was a really great show,” according to Richard Decker of Longmeddowe Antiques from Monson, Mass. Decker, who uses an archaic early spelling for the name of his business, sold furniture and a great number of small antiques.
Selling some furniture made the show for Tom and Kate Pirozzoli, from Goshen, N.H.; the same was true for John Wilson from Grantham. His sales included a server and a bucket bench. His brother Rick was also exhibiting as Sport Hill Antiques, Woodbury, Conn., showing his collection of early American furniture.
Early firearms were a large part of the offerings from S.B. Adams Antiques. Chris Sorrintino, the owner from Marblehead, Mass., said they were all manufactured prior to 1898 and were percussion or muzzle loaders and so exempt from federal firearms controls. In that short one-day event, his sales were very good, including two early handguns and an assortment of smalls.
J.P. Richardson Antiques was offering its collection, which included Schoenhut’s Humpty Dumpty Circus. The collection was assembled by Richardson, a dealer and collector from Chelmsford, Mass., over many years and now includes a Big Top Tent, 32 early large menagerie figures and the original packing box. The figures are all in excellent condition, from before 1918 with unbroken glass eyes.
Tom Copadis of Peter Wood Hill Antiques, Deering, N.H., said his sales “were not bad for the state of the economy.” From Hopkinton, N.H., Shirley Quinn was pleased with her sales, noting, “I was busy writing sales, including a quilt and other smalls in the morning.”
From the collection offered by Easter Hill Antiques, Sharon, Conn., sales included a small pine stand with two drawers in an early Hepplewhite style; a paint decorated fireplace bellows with good leather; an early red milk painted candle box with a piggen-shaped handle; and a pair of early English cut silhouettes.
The show is an annual affair managed by volunteers from the New London Garden Club. For that reason the show manager usually changes every other year; so put it on your calendar for the third Saturday of July for the next decade, and check the calendar in Antiques and The Arts Weekly or call Nancy Bailey, this year’s show manager, 603-763-9112.