Published: August 29, 2006
More than 50 antiques dealers were both surprised and pleased with results for the weekend of July 29–30 at the Union Arena ice rink in this historic town. With Saturday’s total of more than 1,000 visitors, the show was busy all day, and Sunday had more of the same, with many of the prior day’s guests returning. They were there to spend time and money, creating great joy for the exhibiting dealers.
Visitors were buying from diverse collections, not just the early American and country styles normally shown and sold here. John Rogers of Elkins, N.H., was there with an atypical collection of early Asian antiques, including furniture and accessories. In a postshow interview, Rogers told of selling a pair of valuable plant stands, an altar that could be a bar or stand in today’s homes, some decoratively carved doors and stools, with a total of sales making his ride home joyful.
Six whirligigs were sold by the Sherwoods, and while they might not be antiques, they were folk art. These sales alone were sufficient for a good show, but the Cambridge, N.Y., dealers were also offering one of the most complicated and ornate whirligigs. While it did not sell during the show, Janet Sherwood said they were pleased with the reactions from the customers.
Since they live there for half the year, Sue and Jock Lilly shop for some of their antiques in London, as well as near their Bridgewater, Vt., home. Their collection for the show had a large quantity of art and folk art objects, as well as furniture. Their shop, Red Horse Antiques, just a few miles away in Bridgewater, is also open by chance for more early furniture.
Many of the exhibiting dealers were offering a mixture of styles and periods. Even the past function was in many cases changed from an object useful in some way to a decorative piece for the Twenty-First Century. American Decorative Arts, Canaan, N.H., was offering a push cart for a display object. Dover House Antiques from Lexington, Ky., had several interesting wall hangings. There was a shelf filled with finials and eagles that had been architectural ornaments and another area had numerous tole ware trays that were now decorator objects.
More folk art and fine art was the theme for Bev and Doug Norwood’s Spirit of America, Timonium, Md. The walls of their exhibit were filled with framed paintings, most of which were by American primitive artists and the floor space had early utilitarian objects that today are collectibles, including firkins and pantry boxes. The Norwoods were also offering a pair of candlestands made in the twig style, from the branches of saplings, twisted and tied together to make them into tables.
Kenneth E. Reid Antiques was offering a variety of more traditional antiques, and he said after the show, “It was my best show ever. Anywhere.” Reid said he sold something from every category of objects he offered — furniture, accessories, dining table antiques and more. This New Hampshire dealer has been doing a variety of shows in northern New England for several years and clearly he was pleased with the customer reactions for this short weekend event.
One dealer, Barbara Johnson, has her primary residence in Cave Creek, Ariz., and a summer place in Enfield, N.H. These two venues allow her to collect in both areas, but the look is mostly early New England with a collection of painted furniture and some art work. This week her sales included a dry sink and several oil paintings.
The show is managed by four Vermont couples who are show dealers themselves. In fact, three of the couples have shops attached to their homes. The Frasers live in Taftsville, Vt., and they brought as their focal point a large corner cupboard in its original blue milk paint.
Mill Brook Antiques, Reading, Vt., is the Stahuras’ business, and they offered a large selection of early primitive furniture. From nearby Chester, Vt., Peter and Mary Pill, Grafton Gathering Place, were offering their collection of American hardwood furniture. Each of these three have shops open with regular hours, but a call first is recommended. Jim and Elizabeth Dunn are the couple without a shop, primarily because until recently they each had “day jobs.” Jim recently retired and now works on this show and two others, Bromley in the fall and Cabin Fever in February, as well as exhibiting at shows with an extensive collection of early Staffordshire figurines.
Andy Gardiner, Falls Church, Va., is a sports reporter for USA Today, but he has a summer home in his native Burlington, Vt., and a passion for antiques. The newspaper keeps him too busy to do too many shows, but he has made this one for several years with a collection of primitive furniture and architectural elements as accessories. Candy Tilley used to live in Vermont, but now is a resident of Inverness, Fla. One of the most prominent pieces in her collection was a painted panel of a woman, about 3 feet tall, from a carnival carousel and priced at $850.
Native Vermonters and business partners Annette Coletti, Stowe and Richard Fuller, Randolph, Vt., call their business Hand Picked and do their picking through the center of the Green Mountain state and at some shows. At this ice rink turned showplace, their centerpiece was an early drop leaf table in worn blue milk paint with Hepplewhite design. Accessories to it included a collection of yellowware bowls and some early kitchen utensils.
From East Sandwich, Mass., Henry Callan brought a selection of early porcelain and a large collection of handmade samplers from the Colonial and Federal periods. Newburgh, N.Y., dealers Karen and Dan Olson offered Hudson Valley furniture and Partridge Hollow Antiques, Milton, Vt., showed a collection of stoneware.
There was even a variety of early English furniture. Marilyn Bierylo of Falcon’s Roost Antiques in Grantham, N.H., was there with a collection of Georgian furniture and some early American pieces, while Fiske and Freeman, Belmont, Vt., chose from their collection of Jacobean furnishings.
Green Mountain Antiques Show, in its ninth year, has become a fixture for Vermont summer antiquing. Look for it to continue. The pattern has been on a late July weekend, but the date for 2007 is not yet set. Call the Stahuras at 802-484-5942 or the Frasers at 802-457-3437 for information.
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