Published: October 1, 2019
Review and Photos by Rick Russack
PORTLAND, MAINE – Goosefare Promotion’s large indoor show is now in its third year. The September 14-15 show presented more than 60 dealers; those dealers presented antiques spanning more than 1,000 years from various countries and cultures. The oldest were several pre-Columbian artifacts from different South American cultures, while dealers with selections of mid-Twentieth Century furniture and accessories closed the date range.
Other dealers brought paintings, jewelry, folk art, painted furniture, ship models, weathervanes, Japanese clothing, Asian arts, early ceramics and metal ware, along with some things that don’t quite fit into these ready categories. Goosefare ensures that a wide selection of dealers can do the show and provide a variety of booth types and sizes. The facility is a large, old commercial building that has recently been renovated, is easy to find and has plenty of free parking.
Perhaps the earliest material in the building was a group of pre-Colombian pottery in the booth of Brian Cullity, Sagamore, Mass. Some of the pieces, Cullity said, were from the Chancay culture, dating perhaps back to 1,000 CE in Peru, including a large figural vessel, which was priced at $1,100.
Other pieces, perhaps a few hundred years younger, were priced lower. Some were grave goods, and some had signs of professional restoration. Cullity’s booth also had some good furniture, including an inlaid Queen Anne slant front desk priced at $2,750, which had been illustrated in volume one of American Antiques From The Israel Sack Collection.
While most of the furniture at the show was American, Cullity had an Eighteenth Century Dutch bombe four-drawer chest. It had a shaped top, old finish and was priced $1,450. He said “I’m looking for attractive furniture that will fit in modern homes today. It doesn’t have to be American.” Apparently agreeing with the idea that “it doesn’t have to be American,” Debbie Turi, Roseland, N.J., had a small Biedermeier display case priced at $1,850.
If the pre-Columbian items were the earliest objects in the building, at the other end of the date range might be the midcentury furniture in the booth of Ronald Wells, Wells and Company, Hudson, N.Y. He had a pair of 1960s club chairs by Edward Knowles. The handmade chairs of Brazilian rosewood, with original leather upholstery, were appropriately signed on the underside, and were priced at $12,500 for the pair. A matching sofa, though not at the show, was also available. Knowles was a designer and noted architect, whose work included Boston City hall and numerous other public buildings and homes. The Wells booth displayed earlier furniture, including a circa 1820s Regency pineapple pedestal table, heavily inlaid with brass and two grain-painted blanket chests. Twentieth Century pieces were in other booths as well. Mario Polo, Bearsville, N.Y., had a chromed sculpture of a large alert greyhound standing 31 inches tall that was priced at $1,250.
Early ceramics were available from a number of exhibitors. Ross Levett, Thomaston, Maine, is one of the knowledgeable dealers in the field and usually has a selection of early creamware, Staffordshire and delft. His delft selection at this show included a blue and white English delft plate dating to the 1660s that was priced at $850. He also had a colorful English delft charger priced at $650.
Mike Weinberg, West Pelham Antiques, Pelham, Mass., had a selection of English ceramics, including a portion of a collection of early cup plates. The collection, numbering about 150 pieces, had been assembled beginning in the 1970s and the family of the collector asked for Weinberg’s assistance in marketing the collection. Prices ranged from $125 to $1,250 for an extremely rare example with a sepia transfer of the busts of Washington and Lafayette, undoubtedly produced about 1824, when Lafayette toured the country. The collection included a blue cup plate of Lafayette’s landing in New York and many more, all in fine condition. Weinberg’s booth also included several samplers, including one made in Portsmouth, N.H.
One of the more unusual items in the show was a detailed wooden model of a motorcycle, dating to the 1950s-60s. It belonged to Trifles, Wiscasset, Maine, and they said they had just bought it. It was almost full size, being more than five feet long and, with the exception of the rubber tires, entirely made of wood and sections of tree branches, some of which still had bark. It was thought to be an example of Maine “camp” furnishings, similar to Adirondack camp furnishings, but different. The varieties of wood in it had been carefully chosen and the entire piece was varnished. It was priced at $3,600.
Decoys – some vintage, some contemporary – were offered by several dealers. Raven’s Way, North Kingstown, R.I., had a large loon decoy made in 2018 by Reggie Birch, Chincoteague, Va., for which they were asking $650. They also had an eider decoy priced at $250 and a swan decoy from Nova Scotia. Dennis Raleigh, Searsport, Maine, had a very folky pintail decoy from the Sacramento River basin. It had a long neck, a weathered surface and it was priced at $1,450.
There were plenty of books for book lovers. Richard Mori, Franklin, N.H., had a booth full of children’s’ books, modern first editions, books related to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Americana and more. Bickerstaff Books and Maps, Scarborough, Maine, had a selection of early maps and charts.
Long-time furniture and Americana dealer, Al Benting, Barrington, N.H., had copies of the book he wrote, For Liberty I Live. The book is devoted to the American Revolution and is illustrated with pictures of numerous artifacts from the battles at Concord, Lexington, Bunker Hill, and the siege of Boston. Much is told through the eyes and writings of those who fought those battles and the sacrifices they made to protect their freedoms. The hardcover book was published about two weeks ago, and Benting was selling copies for $50.
Pleased with the show, John DeSimone, a few days later, said, “I think we’re hitting our stride. This was our third year. Some dealers who have done the first one and skipped last year were back and said they’ll be back again next year. Liz and I really appreciate that support. Saturday was strong, people were coming in all day, and we had a good sale late Sunday afternoon: two totally different paintings to a dealer from the South. We also deliberately wanted to include more midcentury things. and Ron Wells, from Hudson, N.Y., brought some nice things. He told me that artwork – paintings, prints and sculpture – did really well, and he’ll bring more next year. Others also said that artwork did well for them. So, all in all, customers and exhibitors told us they’ll be back next year. That’s what we want to hear. Attendance was up from last year. We made more use of Facebook than we have in the past, and that may have been to everyone’s benefit.”
For information, 800-641-6908 or www.goosefareantiques.com.
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