Published: August 14, 2007
Aptly timed to attract summer visitors, the Green Mountain Antiques Show celebrated a special anniversary July 21′2.
The show began ten years ago by eight antiques dealers that wanted a summer show in their home state featuring Vermont style and tradition. The first years took place in a high school a few towns south in Chester, but the venue was hard to find. In 2003, Woodstock finally had its own ice rink, Union Arena, and with no ice in the summer; it offers the ideal location for the show, according to Jim Dunn, one of the eight show managers.
The Vermont-based dealer managers are four married couples that all do some shows. Bob and Mary Fraser have their shop in Taftsville; John and Nancy Stahura, trading as Mill Brook Antiques, are in Reading; Peter and Mary Pill have Grafton Gathering Place Antiques; and Jim and Elizabeth Dunn operate Bittersweet Antiques in Springfield.
The show is also a fundraiser for charities. “Each year as the show’s reputation for great antiques has grown, it has raised more money to be given away,” said Dunn. “None of us takes any compensation for the work. We have a good time, and we as a group enjoy doing this together.”
The show feels more like a reunion of old friends than a commercial enterprise, yet dealers were also pleased with the sales. The Stahuras reported their sales were the best they ever had at any show.
Partridge Hollow Antiques offers small antiques with an emphasis on stoneware and early dishes. From Milton, Vt., its sales included some St Johnsbury, Vt., stoneware, a collection of Limoges, a set of sterling silver flatware and two Wallace Nutting prints. Lyn Chrin said the total results were among their best shows.
Montpelier, Vt., dealer George Johnson of George B. Johnson Antiques “had a great set-up and early sales.” His collection includes early advertising materials, painted and primitive furniture and a variety of hooked rugs.
An early American made tambour desk believed to be from Massachusetts was the best sale for Marilyn Bierylo, Falcon’s Roost Antiques of Grantham, N.H. Her collection was primarily early American hardwood furniture and accessories, circa 1775.
Vermont is, by most definitions, in the country, so it is not unusual to see many exhibitors offering early country furniture and home decorating accessories. George and Sandi Goldring are from Essex Junction, Vt., and among their offerings was a set of hand hooked stair tread rugs, a total of ten with a price of $625. Rita Masso from South Burlington, Vt., was showing a large hand hooked piece on her booth’s wall of a horse priced at $3,500. The Norwood’s Spirit of America, Timonium, Md., literally put out the welcome mat, a hooked piece that they invitingly hung on the wall.
Another form of early American antiques was samplers. Henry Callan from Sandwich, Mass., has a collection of early samplers, which are excellent specimens of the folk art form. One in particular was about 15 inches square, signed Mary Thompson Durant and dated June 30, 1818. The piece was in such good condition for its age, it was clearly readable, with very little fading of the original colors and no deterioration of the fabric. Callan was especially pleased with the images, which included two Georgian style houses and a floral border. The price was $4,875.
Spencer-Julian of Norwich, Vt., sold an early three quarter bed with canopy frame. Candy Tiley is now a resident of Inverness, Fla., but she still comes back to her former Vermont home for some summer shows with an inventory that looks like she still shops in the North. A six-board painted blanket chest was the front piece of her stand, with a painted plant stand type, a Hudson River School painting and a host of smalls.
The first big piece Kenneth Reid sold was a church bench. The dealer from Andover, N.H., also offered a full exhibit area with antiques such as a hooked rug of a horse drawn coach complete with coachman and a gentleman assisting a lady into the seat. He found a chrome yellow desk with high top in good condition and a great many small antiques.
Andy Gardiner was there again this year from Falls Church, Va. Gardiner is a full time reporter for USA Today so this is one of the few shows he does. His collection focuses on primitive painted pieces. Pat Burden lives in Florida in the winter and Arlington, Vt., for the summer. She collects an assortment of small decorative objects such as statues of horses, dogs and cats. She also had many small wooden boxes and firkins, game boards, and even some dolls. Her sister is Susan Hart of Otto and Susan Hart Antiques, also in Arlington. The dealers are very active collectors of early folk art. They were exhibiting several very well made and unusual quilts, a weathervane that had a Native American with a big feather headdress and a Sheraton to Regency transition style chest of drawers in red faux grain paint.
Mad River Antiques from North Granby, Conn., was selling some of its stoneware. Proprietors Steve and Lorraine German have a taste for hard to find early American objects in fine condition.
There were even some exhibits of home furnishings from other countries. Fiske and Freeman showed its collection of early English oak furniture, while John Rogers, Elkins, N.H., has been importing antique furniture and artifacts from China for his inventory. He added that sales have been very good. “Who would have thought I could sell all these Chinese pieces so well in New England, but it is happening for me!”
The show will return next summer, and co-manager John Dunn quickly squelched rumors of changes in the show’s operation and sponsors. “We will continue to run it. It is fun and we seem to have a good formula for the show’s success.” Look for it again next year about the third weekend of July.
For information, 802-484-5942.
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