Published: July 10, 2007
The Mount Hope Garden and Antiques Fair, a new fundraiser for The Mount Hope Farm, attracted 50-some dealers June 15‱7. The inaugural show was managed by Ferguson & D’Arruda.
John Paul Smith, director of marketing for Mount Hope, reported being “very pleased with the results for the weekend.” The show brought new publicity to the museum and inn and “acquainted more people with our facilities and services,” he said.
Mount Hope Farm was established as a nonprofit enterprise in 1999 with private funds and money from the town of Bristol, at which time it was given “a mission of architectural preservation of the buildings, conservation of the couple hundred acres of land and open space and also education of the visiting public,” Smith said.
Promoter Ferguson & D’Arruda was equally pleased. Tom D’Arruda said, “For a first-time show, we had great offerings in both general line antiques and vintage garden inventories. With nearly 2,000 visitors over the three days of the show, the sales were generally good.”
Antiques offered were late in garden styles, with Art Deco furniture and accessories to early Georgian and American Country furniture. The small items included articles from America, Europe and Asia.
Wilmert-Newell from Gray, Maine, was at one of the main entrances to the one massive tent that housed the show. Its offerings for the weekend included an attractive set of wicker furniture, a sofa and two armchairs in Art Deco style and excellent condition, priced at $1,695.
English furniture was the focus of a collection displayed by The Center Chimney Antiques here in its hometown. There was a shawl back William IV upholstered side chair, a late Georgian chest of drawers, a wing back chair in light blue, a mahogany drop leaf dining table and all the accessories for a formal living or dining room.
Americana, or perhaps Colonial period, was the best descriptive for the items of Sport Hill Antiques from Redding, Conn. A centerpiece was a very early New Hampshire-found tap table with stretcher base and turned maple legs. Rick and Candy Pirozzoli have been doing shows for many years. Other offerings included a second tap table, a Hepplewhite chest in maple and cherry woods, with the bow front in very good condition, and a selection of early textiles.
Asian antiques were visible at several stands, but Olde China Trader was virtually all Chinese antiques, both big and small. There was a great bench, approximately 2 feet wide and 6 feet long, in early hardwood with pagoda cutouts on the ends, several stands, an early chair and even a one-wheeled pushcart. The furniture was covered with small objects, such as wooden tea baskets, wicker picnic baskets and a small collection of early pottery and porcelain.
Three continents were represented in the inventory from Holly Lane Antiques of nearby Little Compton, R.I. Owners Marie and Tom Maguire collect and trade in early dishes and glass, so their collection was a large variety of ironstone pitchers from England, Haviland place settings from France, export porcelain and stoneware from China, and blown glass from New England.
Jan and John Maggs were there with early furniture and accessories, including an early William and Mary-style highboy, and a painted church bench with paint decorations stenciled on it. In the mood for gardening, this Conway, Mass., dealer also brought several early English watering cans.
The show was also billed as a garden show with all kinds of decorative articles for planters and items to complement any home garden area. Manchester Antiques, Londonderry, N.H., was offering a very unusual pair of planters at the front of its exhibit. The planters were growing very large leaves, made of tin. Owner-dealer John Dahlfred also had several other large planters, including one that might have even been a birdbath at one time.
There was great variety at this show with Beverly Bernson of Waban, Mass., offering art pottery; Buik Fardin, Fairfield, Conn., offering Oriental rugs; and Diane Kane showing a large variety of linens and textiles. Kane, trading as Linge de Berry of Boston, shops in France and England for most of her collection.
Some of the collections included novelties or unusual pieces that would be attention-getters in someone’s home. Thomas Thompson from New Hampshire but now living in Venice, Fla., had a large highly detailed dollhouse available.
Robert Girvin, Rowfant Antiques of Charlestown, Mass., had a rare fox sculpture from Japan made a few hundred years ago and priced at $1,000. According to Girvin, its use was as a symbol for expectant mothers, and, “When they were ready, they went to the place with the fox outside for help.” From Topsfield, Mass., Irma and Emily Lampert offered a child-sized wicker picnic table and chairs.
The show was fun as well as a good shopping experience.
John Paul Smith and Tom D’Arruda were both pleased with the results for the show and while there is not yet a definite date set for next year, both men said they were looking forward to the next show.
For more information, 401-273-5550 or 401-254-1745.
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