Published: July 5, 2022
Review and Photos by Rick Russack
WELLS, MAINE – On June 26, Goosefare Promotions ran its annual antiques show on the grounds of the Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm with more than 75 exhibitors. It’s a beautiful show with diverse merchandise in a beautiful setting, and the weather was perfect. Dealers and attendees look forward to this one.
What might you have found? Offerings spanned more than 350 years. Brian Cullity had a circa 1700 Westerwald pitcher, and John Prunier had a good piece of Marlis Schratter studio pottery dating to the 1950s or 1960s. There may very well have been other items, earlier or later. Whichever time period would be of interest, there would have been things to look at. Goosefare does not publicize attendance numbers, but images of the crowd waiting to get in and the more than full parking lot convey the message. Attendees started spending money almost immediately, and most dealers commented that they had both bought and sold well during the setup.
Dealers brought a full range of country items: painted cupboards and early furniture, redware, stoneware, quilts, folk art, decoys, Inuit and Native American objects, marine artifacts and paintings, early glass, painted woodenware, and there was Arts and Crafts furniture, English furniture, English and Continental porcelains and more. More than one booth had jewelry and midcentury furniture, and accessories were in several booths. Some dealers deliberately mix periods and styles.
Mario Pollo, Holliston, Mass., is one of the dealers whose booth mixed older and more recent items with American and Continental items. He started his career selling traditional American antiques, but a few years ago understood that his marketplace was changing. “I started mixing in a variety of furniture, lighting, artwork and accessories of different countries and time periods. What I noticed was that the age of my customers dropped by decades. I had a lot more younger customers than I had before. These people are furnishing homes and want things that look good together. They’re not as concerned about where it came from, although we discuss that, and they’re not as concerned about when it was made. They’re buying things that look good together. They understand that English, French and Italian furniture can go well with Russian or German paintings and that lighting fixtures of different eras can be mixed with their other items. They understand that a painting hanging over an antique table or chest can be 200 years younger and still look good together. This is great – as long they’re not buying Ikea-type furniture, it’s good for our business; they appreciate the good design and quality of the older stuff.”
An example of “decades younger” might have been Cordelia Fasoldt, Beverly, Mass., who had just made a purchase from Bethany Kelly and was examining some of the European furniture in the booth. She is planning to open an antiques shop in September. It will be a first-time venture, and she’s planning on mixing older English furniture with midcentury modern and accessories that will look good with both. That’s the way she has furnished her home. She grew up in Belgium, and her family furnished their home with antiques. Her husband, an attorney, also grew up with antiques and is supportive of the new venture.
Appropriately, dealers brought a lot of outdoor furniture and garden accessories. There were wire plant stands, chairs and settees in a number of booths, along with cast iron garden accessories. Wenham Cross Antiques, Topsfield, Mass., had a white-painted wire bench priced at $275. Bob Foley, Gray, Maine, had a nine-piece rattan set from the 1950s or ’60s, that would have been enough for most sun-porches, and he also had a large wire settee and two large fanback wire chairs priced at $950.
Several dealers brought early furniture and accessories. Hilary Nolan, Falmouth, Mass., had a glazed cupboard in old blue paint dating from the Nineteenth Century. It was priced $2,200, and he had a set of six birdcage Windsors in old black paint set up around a large trestle table. Sandy Doig, Enfield, Conn., had an early Windsor bench priced at $850. Whether or not the green paint was as old as the bench was a good question. Ray and Lin Cushing, Trenton and Rockland, Maine, had what may have been the best grain-painted blanket chest on the field. Derik Polito, Kensington, Conn., had two early banister-back chairs and an exceptional Hudson Valley wrought iron door latch priced at $550. Early furniture was offered in a number of other booths; Benting-Jarvis, Barrington, N.H., Ian McKelvey, Stonington, Conn., and others. Greg Hamilton, Stone Block Antiques, Vergennes, Vt., brought Arts and Crafts furniture. John Marshall, Florence, Mass., and others offered midcentury furniture and decorative arts. Bethany Kelly and others offered English furniture. There truly was furniture for every interest.
You would also have had a wide choice in folk art. There was a fine calligraphy drawing of a horse brought by Jan Newcomer; Dennis Raleigh and Phyllis Somers had a Clark Voorhess whale and an unusual Adirondack-style stove plate; Stephen-Douglas Antiques and Jewett-Berdan Antiques each had a selection. Bird in Hand Antiques, specializes in Grenfell weavings and decoys and had some of both. Ravens Way had several decoys. Folky watercolor portraits were in several booths, as were folky marine paintings. The list could go on.
Selections of early glass were offered by Brian Cullity, Benting-Jarvis and others. A wide selection of hand painted Bavarian and other Continental porcelains were offered by Dark Flowers Antiques.
The day after the show, John DeSimone said that everything went smoothly and “everything fell into place. We had the largest crowd we’ve ever had. Sales began as soon as buyers hit the field and continued to be steady all day. Liz and I were delighted and tired.”
People have wondered if live shows have a solid future or if the internet will put them out of business. From the size of the crowds that have been appearing since Covid restrictions have been lifted, the future of live shows is strong. And show managers are aggressively looking to expand their business. DeSimone said that as of next year, Goosefare will take over management of the Tolland, Conn., show and there’s also a possibility of a December show at the Shriner’s Auditorium in Wilmington, Mass., the previous home and time-slot of Marvin Getman’s annual Wilmington show. DeSimone said, “We’ve asked our dealers if they want a December show in Wilmington. If they do, then we’ll go ahead and do it. It’s up to the dealers.”
For information, 800-641-6908, www.goosefareantiques.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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