Published: July 26, 2011
The 11th annual Wells Antiques Show opened on June 26 on the grounds of the historic Laudholm Farm. Jointly sponsored by the Wells Chamber of Commerce & Laudholm Trust, this popular show is managed by Goosefare Antiques & Promotions. Elizabeth and John DiSimone of Saco, Maine, run the show, and they reported that this year’s event went “very well, with about a ten percent increase in attendance” over last year, which itself had experienced its best crowd ever.
“Buying and selling was good, with most dealers indicating good shows and an eagerness to return next year,” the promoters said. “The venue, the Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm, is one of the prettiest in New England and is very easy for the exhibitors to unload.”
Taking advantage of that easy load-in were, among others, Michael and Lucinda Seward, Americana specialists from Pittsford, Vt., who, according to Michael, “just drove right up to the booth space” in a large tent accommodating 20-30 other dealers. “It was a great show,” he said. “We sold mostly smalls.” Those included at least six to eight pieces of silver, a couple of paintings, a small stand, a Grenfell mat and a nice Sandwich whale oil lamp in blue.
The show featured 60 dealers from all of the New England states offering merchandise covering the entire spectrum of antiques. It takes place on the main grounds of Laudholm Farm, a perfect setting for an antiques show. Dealers set up either in a 100-foot tent that Goosefare puts up, or in two stories of a barn †complete with track lighting †that Laudholm uses for classes or in outdoor spaces where dealers set up their own tents.
Sales started at 10 am and continued until the show closed at 4 pm. Greg Hamilton of Stone Block Antiques, Vergennes, Vt., again brought one of the longest country tables seen at approximately 12 feet, besting the one he brought to last year’s show by 3 feet. “It came out of an attic of a house, circa 1850, with old color and a scrubbed top,” he said. And, just like last year, the table was one of the first things the dealer sold as the gate opened to a long line of dealers and collectors waiting eagerly to enter. “This is a great show,” said Hamilton, “one that gets better every year. You can buy stuff and sell stuff, and that’s what counts.”
During the show †and, thankfully, in years when rain is forecast †the barn provides safe haven for many of the glass and china dealers, as well as those selling folk art, Americana and the like. A self-described “coward” when it comes to outdoor antiques shows, silver and china specialist Tom Copadis of Deering, N.H., took refuge down in the basement of the barn, although in terms of the weather this year, it was an unnecessary precaution. Still, customers were able to find him, and of his results he said, “I did alright, I covered myself” with sales of two very nice copper molds, some pieces of glass, an opalescent vase and some of his specialty silver serving pieces. Copadis’ business is named Peter Wood Hill Antiques, after his grandfather whose house Copadis still lives in.
Regular customers as well as new retail buyers are always a welcome sight at this show. Jim Twining, a Rhode Island dealer specializing in waterfowl decoys, tools and decorated stoneware, said he did “reasonably well” at the show, greeting a number of his regular customers who stopped by to say hello or to pick up something for their collection.
“A customer from the previous year came to visit again, all the way from Cape Cod, and purchased another miniature carving from me for her collection. That always helps,” said Twining. “My decoys tend to be the calling card for folks, though I sold a number of country smalls, helping to reduce my inventory. I like to do the Wells show because it’s still early in the season and a goodly number of dealers attend. I’ll do the show again next year.”
Sandy and Karen Doig of Somers, Conn., sold two to three pieces of their specialty, period American furniture, including a chest of drawers, and in two instances delivered them to eye-popping local residences.
It was the third year of doing this show for the couple, who do business as Karen Alexander Antiques. Sandy Doig said he prefers selling from his own pop-up tent and, like other dealers, praised the beautiful setting and ease of packing in and out. “This is one of the best shows we do,” he said. “The crowds are steady all day long, and it’s not just the numbers. These are qualified buyers.”
Next year’s show will be on the same respective weekend, June 24. Among the shows that Goosefare runs are a series of summer shows along the Maine coast and on Cape Cod. The next two are in Camden, Maine, on July 23 and 24, and Boothbay Harbor, Maine, on July 30 and 31.
For additional information, www.goosefareantiques.com or 800-641-6908.
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