Published: October 7, 2008
Nan Gurley’s Sturbridge Antiques Show on September 4 presented its usual outstanding selections of Americana. From furniture to early signage, from whimsical folk art to touch-me textiles, there were attractive things to look at †and buy †in every direction one ventured.
Just down the road from the crowded fields during Brimfield Week, nearly 50 dealers were comfortably ensconced in a conference room at the Sturbridge Host Hotel.
Booths were well designed and stylish, with offerings often pared down to a dozen or so of the finest antiques. A popular show, the event attracted a good-sized line of buyers waiting for entry well in advance of the opening time.
For the shared booth of Shirley Chambers, Westford, Mass., and Pat Stauble, Wiscasset, Maine, the show was good, even better than they hoped. The dealers primarily brought smalls, and most of their sales went to the trade. Retail sales included a wall box in old paint and an early miniature watercolor silhouette attributed to Gillespie.
MacKay and Field, Chaplin, Conn., had a solid show, writing up tickets for a fine banister back armchair in black paint that had been in the dealer’s own collection as well as the hanging candle dryer that had once been in the collection of Colonial Williamsburg.
Repeat customers made the weekend for Firehouse Antiques, Galena, Md., which saw merchandise find new homes all over the country. An apple green dough box went to Maryland, while a folky black painted stand with a lollipop gallery sold to a designer from Mississippi with a client in tow. A folky white painted hanging cupboard with handmade tin hardware and attached mirror went to New York and a walnut apple dryer went to Iowa.
David Proctor, Brookfield, N.H., sold a Maine six-board blanket chest, circa 1830, in its original painted finish, that went to Ohio and an early Nineteenth Century painted swing-leg table from Vermont that is now in a Maine home.
Gurley’s dealers are a loyal group, many of whom have been doing this and her other shows for years, including Jewett-Berdan Antiques, Newcastle, Maine, which sold an 1835 theorem, two early trade signs, a rare double cat pull toy, a quilt and several good smalls.
Also making good sales were Martin Webster, West Branch Antiques, Delhi, N.Y., with an early Nineteenth Century Berkshire County dressing table to a woman furnishing a Boston apartment, and Susan Wirth, Union, Conn., who wrote up a bucket bench that three customers vied for. Shirley D. Quinn, Hopkinton, N.H., sold a graphic house hooked rug with wonderful muted colors and is already looking forward to Gurley’s next show.
Perhaps taking a nod from the Textile Museum’s “Blue” exhibition that was on view during the antiques show, Kay Puchstein’s American Heritage, El Jobean, Fla., showcased a fine grouping of blue textiles accented with blue antiques and accessories. It made for a pleasing vignette.
Ron Chambers Antiques, Higganum, Conn., offered a New England table, circa 1750, with an exceptional wide board top, while a fetching portrait of an attractive young lady in a classic frame drew passersby into the booth of Michael and Lucinda Seward, Pittsford, Vt.
Leonard Stokowski, North Grafton, Mass., showed an interesting modern work, circa 1950s, that appeared to be a tile mosaic of a rooster, but was actually paint on plaster to resemble individual tiles.
Some dealers specialize in smalls, but Betty Ann Lavallee, Hampton, N.H., goes one better. Her case of miniatures at the show was eye-catching with miniature versions of a pair of eyeglasses, red and green striped socks about 2 inches high, a pair of gloves and various animals. “I like little things,” she said.
Susan Gault, Thetford Center, Vt., offered a colorful rag rug, a fine Prickett torchiere in a lovely patina and a pair of gate weights in the form of tassels.
Gurley’s next show is November 30 in Marlborough, Mass. This show will return in May.
For information, 207-625-3577 or www.nangurley.com .
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