Published: November 5, 2019
Review and Photos by Tom O’Hara
MILFORD, N.H. – Jack Donigian began the 43rd year for his Milford Antiques Show on Sunday October 20 with a full house of exhibitors and the largest crowd he can recall. He said this was a record-breaking number of shoppers for his Sunday morning show at Hampshire Hills Athletic Club who perused the merchandise of more than 80 exhibitors. Beginning in October 1977 at St Stan’s Church Hall nearby and moving to this current location about ten years ago, this show has been conducted each year from late October until early spring. Just a short event, it opens for early buying at 6:30 am, transitioning to regular admission at 8:30, and finally at 9:30 am with free admission. The show closes at noon.
“We have been doing this every Sunday, and some of the exhibitors have been here for all the years, although not every show, and the customers, too, are in many cases regulars for many years,” Donigian said.
One of his regular exhibitors, Mike Coffey from nearby Pepperell, Mass., remarked that he has been at the show for all the years, but due to health issues, this would be his last time to exhibit. He came with a wonderful tiger maple dressing table from about the second quarter of the Nineteenth Century along with antique textiles and vintage photographs.
Another frequent exhibitor is Greg Hamilton, owner of Stone Block Antiques, Vergennes, Vt. His inventory for the show always includes several tables filled with silver for the home, including flatware and hollowware. This Sunday he said was very pleased with his total in sales, a profitable day’s work but his inventory is so large he had trouble remembering exactly what sold. He said, “I had a very good day, and I brought no furniture.”
In the short time allowed between setting up and the close of the show, Bud Hughes, trading as Bud Hughes Americana, Stratham, N.H., said he was pleased with the effort. Among his sales was a large wallpaper-covered hat box, with the newspaper on the inside dated in the 1840s; also, a pair of husband and wife silhouettes, circa 1825, and several small items.
Another dealer that made his day with silver was Kevin Timme. He and his father, Dick, have been partners in the business for many years doing shows. For this weekend he made a good day of it with unusual small silver pieces.
Virginia and Pat Renschen from Middletown, Conn., were exhibiting as well. Virginia finds all kinds of small objects, which this weekend included a set of four old Sheffield plate candlesticks, George III period, pattern glass flower vases in amber, several paintings and more.
There was a 100-year-old calliope offered by Robert DeLuca. This Ipswich dealer also had a variety of Nineteenth Century music boxes and music disc players.
Wells, Maine, exhibitor John Lord specializes in Victorian-era store fixtures and early advertising. In addition to that, this Sunday he was offering some skaters’ lamps with cobalt and sapphire blue glass globes.
A team from Cumberland, R.I., included Bill and Wendy Wolstenholme and their friend Kevin French. Their collection was an assortment of small antiques, including several samplers, a metal relief of a child, several paintings, along with small boxes and a miniature chest.
David McLean, North Monmouth, Maine, did the show with a large collection of early advertising materials.
Seagull Antiques, Acton, Mass., was selling silver, a popular category at the show, and also Nineteenth Century glass and porcelain.
A table filled with working duck decoys was Jack Tullish’s most prominent inventory grouping.
Lancaster, Mass., exhibitor Jason Hietala had a booth filled with Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Century furniture. Four large chests and a linen press were the backdrop with a Sheraton sofa, a sack back Windsor chair and an assortment of small tables and stands in the foreground.
Several tables filled to overflowing were Joe Martin’s inventory for the day. The articles included small iron still banks, about a dozen lanterns with globes in several colors, pewter and tin ware.
Jeff Andrews, Salisbury, Vt., began his day selling some silver, including a set of mint julip sippers. Among his most noticed items, however, was a large clipper ship model in a glass case.
Donigian said he was very pleased with this show’s season opener. The event will continue every Sunday starting with the 6:30 am entry until noon at Hampshire Hill Athletic Club, 50 Emerson Road, about eight miles from the Nashua exit 8 off Route 3. For additional information, www.milfordantiqueshow.com or 781-329-1192.
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