Published: December 16, 2008
Tailgate Antiques Show “is now wagging the dog, with fresh antiques at a big professional show site and all the facilities needed to have an antiques show for about 150 dealers, and thousands of visitors,” according to Steve Jenkins, show manager and founder of the family business. After more than 20 years at Fiddlers Inn, near Opryland USA, the show was moved for the most recent gathering, October 31†November 2, to the Tennessee State Fairgrounds in Nashville’s south side. With several heated and air-conditioned buildings, this facility is “big enough to hold more exhibitors than Tailgate and its companion, Music Valley Antiques Show [see separate review in this issue] had ever had in the past, all on a level playing field, in the exhibit halls,” Jenkins added.
This was a reference to the former locations for both shows, which had been conducted in a combination of hotel guest rooms, small conference rooms, an atrium and tents, big and small, twice each year.
This revamped Tailgate opened the morning after Music Valley with several hundred visitors waiting at the gate to view antiques being offered by more than 125 dealers, with the emphasis on country style. It was entirely appropriate, as the sponsor for the two shows is Country Home magazine, Meredith Publishing Company’s flagship decorating and lifestyle magazine. There were tommie lamps from New Hampshire, saddles from Texas, pottery from New Jersey and the Carolinas, cotton quilts from Georgia and lots more.
Ohio Country Furniture from Jenera, Ohio, was showing a collection of early Nineteenth Century painted furniture, most of which had probably been made by its first user. Retired school teachers Neil and Barbara Finbloom from Kirkwood, Mo., had an assortment of furniture, carved ducks and early useful things in their exhibit.
Jelly Cupboard Antiques, Kingston Springs, Tenn., offered an early hunt board in original blue buttermilk paint. It was believed to have begun its life in South Carolina, but now, priced at $17,500, it could end up anywhere.
Most of the Tailgate dealers have been doing the show for many of the 20-plus years it was in existence. Magoon Bros of South Paris, Maine, is one such a dealer. Jon Magoon and his crew arrived with their collection of moose heads and canoes, furniture and unusual decoys, and just about anything one could imagine from a Maine hunting or logging camp, circa 1850 or earlier.
Working together in one large exhibit space were Christopher English, West Palm Beach, Fla., and James Young from Wilmington, N.C. Their partnership created an interesting display, with a Continental-looking hutch or dresser, a corner cupboard from Central Pennsylvania priced at $5,200 and a collection of paintings, including an oil on canvas likeness of a small boy eating a slice of watermelon larger than him.
While recent economic news has not been encouraging, sales at the show were reported by many dealers as better than they expected. Sandy LeKrone of Decorator On the Go from Mentone, Ind., said she was very pleased with her results. Sales included a blue blanket chest, firkins, a desk and a settle bench, which was priced at $2,800. Debbie and Dan Schrum, Grandville, Ohio, said they were pleased to have sold a store counter as it was very big and heavy; they did not want to carry it home again. Gary and Vickie Davis reported a very good show. This North Tonawanda, N.Y., dealer recorded more than 50 transactions involving small antiques, such as early porcelain dishes and transfer ware, glassware and other dining table paraphernalia.
Latcham House Antiques is from Waterville Ohio, where country style is very popular. Jim Stoma, co-owner with his wife, Toni, divided up the exhibit space with another dealer, Jeff Walton. This was to share the work, expenses and profit. Stoma said their sales were “not bad. We went in not knowing what to expect with all that was new about the show, but we had a lot of sales.” Their combined results included finding new owners for a paint decorated chimney cupboard, a blue table, several hooked rugs, a green-painted blanket chest and a burl bowl.
With their collection of English earthenware, Dennis and Ann Berard of Dennis and Dad Antiques, Fitzwilliam, N.H., had a good show. Sales included some featheredge, transfer ware and even some stoneware.
Baraboo, Wis., is home for Walter Scott and his eclectic collection. There was the kite of a wind-driven water wheel, game boards, a child’s toy of Noah’s Ark and several horses in multiple functions, such as a pull toy, cast iron door stop and a weathervane.
Those horses in Tennessee, they were everywhere. Jan Tillman, Newburg, Ind., had a rocking horse. Chris English had a stuffed head hanging with the complete harness, Dennis and Dad had them in Staffordshire, and Don and Marta Orwig offered them as rockers or weathervanes.
The show will host its winter edition February 20′3 at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. As the fall show concluded, Jenkins had virtually filled the exhibit space for the next show, but with an event this large, there are usually some who have to cancel their plans, so he is expecting to find spaces for additional dealers. Music Valley Antiques Show will share the fairgrounds, opening Thursday, February 19, at 5 pm, and closing also on Sunday. For information, www.jenkinsshows.com or 317-598-0012.
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