Published: March 13, 2017
Review and Photos by Tom O’Hara
HOLLISTON, MASS. – The Boston suburbs sent more than 2,000 avid collectors to Holliston High School February 25-26 for the 50th annual Holliston Antiques Show where 100 exhibitors offered their best selections. Steve Allman, show manager for the last 38 years, said, “This is a show the way they used to be; simple, low cost to the dealers, decent food, free parking for the customers and great shopping for them. We had more than 2,000 in attendance over the two days and that was just spectacular! The visitors came here to buy, and that’s what they did, both little, inexpensive things and big furniture.”
That did seem to be the impression of most of the dealers, too. Robert Perry, Orchard Park, N.Y., said he was pleased with his weekend, so much so that instead of going home after the show he planned to head further into New England to shop for replacements. His sales included an Eighteenth Century chest of drawers in red milk paint, a miniature chest and many smaller antiques.
Across the aisle from him, Sharon [Conn.] Antiques sold a Connecticut blanket chest, which was dated to about 1725, in cherry with faux drawer decoration on the upper front, a single drawer below and great cutouts at the bottom. The dealer also sold a wonderful Indiana quilt made from feed sacks in the 1930s, along with a plethora of smalls.
Such results seemed to be typical of most exhibitors at the show.
David Rose, Upton, Mass., said he was pleased with the show. He came in with a good deal of furniture and many small antiques that he had collected over the last few months. But this show for him is also a buying opportunity, and he said as such, relating that he sold only furniture that he bought on the floor. In addition, he sold a good deal of small antiques from the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries.
Hills Antique Clocks is a Holliston business offering restoration, repair and sales of the various clocks that were made before electricity. The dealer’s exhibit intended to sell some early antiques but also to build business for restoration and repair of antique clocks. Two of the best in this exhibit were tall case clocks, a Scottish piece, circa 1800, with eight-day time and strike movement and an American example attributed to Silas Parsons of Swanzey, N.H., circa 1800.
Jewelry was selling well for Elisabeth Ditomassi, a Boston dealer. Her collection kept customers in front of the showcases all day both days.
Michael Pheffer, owner of Two Sides of the River Antiques, New London, N.H., indicated that he was pleased with his weekend, adding that he sold well on both days. He specializes in the late Nineteenth Century furniture from New York in oak and maple often manufactured or identified as Larkin, although his selection is far more broad than just that maker. On Saturday, he also sold from his collection of stoneware and some furniture. On Sunday, a repeat customer came in and bought three pieces of furniture: a table, a chest of drawers and a stand.
Gina McGrory, East Falmouth, Mass., was offering ironstone and Flow Blue as the most prominent pieces in her inventory.
Dennis and Lynn Chrin, Partridge Hollow Antiques, Milton, Vt., were selling from their assortment of small pieces of silver and other little things. Dennis has a collection of miniature sewing machines – not toys, because they work just like the real ones, just a little slower and smaller. They were made in the late Nineteenth Century through the 1940s.
Alvin Lindo of Somerville, Mass., presents a number of early Twentieth Century collections, but the one receiving the most attention was a selection of glass paperweights.
DocEngine Antiques from Holliston collects all kinds of folk art, Outsider art and interesting items. Jim Luskay, an engineer by background, made a display out of an ironing board, a half-dozen crickets, painted boxes and more. He said sales were good, too.
Two Baltimore dealers were across the aisle from one another. Bill Thomas was showing all kinds of late Nineteenth Century glass, which sold well, he said, while auctioneer and show dealer Glenn Freeman was offering lots of small silver items, sewing notions, inkwells and more with good success. They travel to England once or twice a year shopping the markets for their inventory.
Chelsea Hill Antiques, Hampton, Conn., commanded the very first exhibit space of the show with an inventory ranging from the Jacobean period through the Pilgrim era. The whole Nagy family seemed to be there this weekend helping with setup, sales and pack-out – perhaps just for the companionship of an active family weekend. Their collection was, as always, drawing great compliments for the quality of furniture, accessories and fine art.
Holliston Antiques Show will return next year on the third weekend of February. Steve Allman has more shows this spring and summer, including the recent Greater Syracuse Antiques Expo, and, of course, his big show, Madison Bouckville [N.Y.], The Big Field, August 18-20.
For additional information, www.allmanpromotions.com, 239-877-2830 or 315-686-5789.
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