Published: August 19, 2011
Magic, if that is what you want to call it, struck again on Thursday, August 11, when the New Hampshire Antiques Show opened its doors to a large crowd, bigger than last year, of shoppers eager to visit the booths of 65 dealers. And indeed, many proved to be eager shoppers, for when the dust settled on Saturday, the last day of the show, “There were lots of smiling faces,” Richard Bojko, president of the New Hampshire Antiques Dealers Association, said.
The New Hampshire Antiques Show, which surpasses summer shows in attendance, energy and record selling, can easily be called magical. It has earned this reputation by maintaining a “mixed bag” of exhibitors, careful not to load the show with only top-end dealers. It is a well-known fact that some of the exhibitors save things for this show, with an emphasis on fresh material, a practice that is not easy to do when the economic world gets tough. And it is well-run, the dealers are a happy bunch, and the facility is comfortable, especially when one stands in line for four to six hours waiting to get in.
“We got great coverage from the trade papers, local television and even AP; our gate was up both Thursday and Friday, selling continued through Saturday, and the buyers seemed secure in the things they were buying,” Richard Bojko said.
This year, the large area outside the main exhibition space filled slowly at first, with probably fewer than 100 people in line before 9 am. But that sure changed quickly, and by the time the doors opened at 10 am, the entire room was filled to capacity and the overflow divided, with part of the line forming outside the building on the sidewalk and more drifting into the main lobby of the Radisson. By 10:30, everyone was on the floor and the latecomers were at the ticket table.
Most people, especially those who have been to the show before, know right where they are going and pick the path to their favorite dealer. Those who go to their right have only one aisle to shop before making their way to the rest of the show. Those off to the left have an aisle and access to the lower part of the show, where 27 dealers set up. Those who go straight ahead then must decide either left or right when the aisle ends. Each year we try to determine the most popular way, but find it much safer to stand aside and forget the counting.
In any case, the visitors to the New Hampshire Antiques Show enjoy themselves, shop heavily and carry their purchases home. And like the rest of Antiques Week in New Hampshire, where the antiques shopping is plentiful, everyone has a good time roaming, mixing their quest for the next treasure with greeting old friends and fellow collectors.
Here is a sampling of what was there, and mention of some of the things sold.
The largest trade sign in the show was found in the booth of Joshua & Mary Steenburgh, Pike, N.H., an advertisement for Anheuser Busch Fine Beers on Tap by Joseph G. Plante & Co. In all original condition, the sign came from a store right there in Manchester. A small pine sawbuck table, dating from the mid-Nineteenth Century, was in blue paint and measured 29 inches high with a 42-by-20-inch top.
Stephen-Douglas, Rockingham, Vt., offered a large oval-top New England pine hutch table, original red painted surface, adequate to seat six people, and a New England pine dresser found in a barn in Acworth, N.H. It had been cleaned of several layers of old paint and dated circa 1785‱810. A sign reading “Refreshment †Fruit” was one of several sold.
Steven F. Still, Elizabethtown, Penn., showed a large model of a paddle wheeler passenger steamer, the Empire State , 53 inches long and all original. It was circa 1880. A Dexter horse and sulky copper full-bodied weathervane, with good surface, was attributed to J.W. Fiske and dated circa 1890.
A large two-masted boat model, a good 7 feet in length, took up the majority of the room at the front of the booth of Jef & Terri Steingrebe, Springfield, N.H. It was a solid craft, complete with life boats, and retained the original paint. A horseshoe rocking chair was also offered, along with a large painting by Anthony Thieme of a scenic portion of the Merrimac River.
Bob & Debbie Withington, York, Maine, showed a large architectural barn star in old white paint, about 4 feet in diameter, and a Maine braided and hooked circles rug, 6 feet in diameter, very colorful, came from a Steep Falls estate. A pair of cast iron figural andirons were in the shape of swans and formed a perfect heart when facing each other, and a good-sized sheet metal rooster weathervane was sold.
A large trade sign of Rhode Island origin, “T.D. Gladding Ornamental Painting,” was lettered over a nautical scene in the booth of Pam Boynton, Groton, Mass., and Martha Boynton Antiques, Townsend, Mass. A model of a four-masted paddle wheeler, all original, was mounted on board, and a “sold” tag was on a silhouette of a man with a yellow waistcoat. Also marked sold were a wooden candle lantern, a colorful game wheel and a small doll.
Thomasville, Penn., dealers Newsom & Berdan had several large pieces of furniture, including a New England shoe-foot chair table, green over the original gray paint, late Eighteenth to early Nineteenth Century, with a three-board top, and a seed cabinet in the original blue paint, Nineteenth Century, English, and featured as the cover illustration on Folk Art by Robert Young. A large sheet metal running horse with rider weathervane came from a Virginia barn.
A Maine dressing table, yellow painted and decorated with a rose motif on all three drawers and the backsplash, circa 1880, had a red “sold” tag hanging off it right after the show opened in the booth of Jewett-Berdan of Newcastle, Maine. Another painted piece, a stenciled decorated box with red houses and trees on a chrome yellow ground, New Hampshire, circa 1830, was shown on the back wall.
“We love anniversary tin objects,” Charles “Butch”‘ Berdan said, and that was clearly evident by the collection that was shown both in a glass case and on wall shelves. A good number of the pieces sold within the first two hours, including a Christmas tree for candles, Ohio origin, circa 1880‱890; a swan boat sleigh, circa 1890; a flower vase, complete with an arrangement of tin flowers; eye glasses and a large hand fan. Other sold items included a circa 1840 primitive horse painting, a carved and painted heart and hand, and a hooked rug depicting a horse.
George & Debbie Spiecker, North Hampton, N.H., had a very nice horse and rider weathervane with the original gold leaf surface, circa 1870, not full bodied, that came off the barn belonging to the DeWolf & Perry family of Princeton, Mass. An American Chippendale tiger maple tall chest with bracket base, circa 1780, was probably of Rhode Island origin, and an American Queen Anne maple tea table, circa 1780, had an oval pinned top, turned legs and pad feet.
Nancy & Craig Cheney Antiques, Newark, Ohio, had a colorful Navajo Germantown sampler using about ten colors, circa 1895 and measuring 88 by 46 inches, on the back wall of the booth. And overlooking the booth was a large bull’s head, a trade sign, Nineteenth Century, American and made of zinc.
Priscilla Hutchinson, East Dennis, Mass., had a nice New Hampshire chair table in the original red, 29 inches high with a 40-by-48-inch top, that was being sold with two New England ladder back side chairs from the same homestead. An Eighteenth Century wall cupboard had raised panel doors, H hinges, maple with green over the original red wash.
Folk art dominated the booth of James and Judith Milne, New York City, including a large pair of eagles perched on balls, taken from a building in Ohio, and a selection of five circa 1900 folky fish molds were each stand-mounted. Taking up the best part of one wall was a handmade metal bird tree, complete with leaves and berries, dark green painted surface, dating circa 1900.
Reverend Gershom Buckley’s slant front desk in cherry, Cromwell, Conn., circa 1780, claw and ball front feet, interior with fan-carved prospect door, measuring 43½ inches high, 42 inches wide and 21 inches deep, was in the booth of Ed Weissman Antiquarian, Portsmouth, N.H. Among other pieces of furniture was a Hepplewhite card table in mahogany, Philadelphia area, circa 1790-‱800, kidney-shaped ends, measuring 30 inches high, 36¼ inches wide and 17½ inches deep.
Hollis Broderick of Portsmouth, N.H., showed six Queen Anne side chairs from the Newbury, Mass., area, circa 1730‱760, and an early portrait of Captain Richard Williams, Chelsea, Mass., circa 1800‱815, was by the Dutch artist Charles Delin, known for his nautical portraits.
A set of four lodge chairs with shaped backs, wide arms, circa 1890, made for comfortable seating in the booth of Cherry Gallery, Damariscotta, Maine. And ready for the water was a large pond boat, painted red, white and gray, large keel, with a carved bird as a figurehead.
Painted furniture in the booth of Gail and Don Piatt Antiques, Contoocook, N.H., included a blue step back cupboard, Maine origin, circa 1830, and a New England curved back settle in the original gray paint, from a home in Chadds Ford, Penn. Contrasting with the blue cupboard were a couple of two-finger graduated storage boxes in old red paint.
Michael & Lucinda Seward Antiques of Pittsford, Vt., hung a large landscape in the center of their booth, an oil on canvas, Nineteenth Century, with a pond, animals and people. A carving of a hunter holding a gun, with his horse and dogs nearby, was focused on a treed bobcat, and a circa 1810 one-drawer tavern table had a red stain surface. “We have had a good show; redone the booth about one-and-one-half times, and someone is due back shortly to pick up the New England portrait of a young man they bought,” Michael said.
Peter H. Eaton of Newbury, Mass., was in his regular spot at the front of the show where “people rush right by me as the show opens, but then make their was back to see what I have,” Peter said. One person who came back liked his American gate leg table enough to buy it, a piece with a ball-turned base, maple and oak frame, original drawer with oak front, blue/green base. From the Massachusetts South Shore, the circa 1670‱690 table has a three-board top, breadboard ends and had been purchased in the 1960s from Roger Bacon, and has been in two collections since that time. Just out of a collection was a burl bowl, 24 inches wide and 8 inches deep, New England, perfect condition, and dating from the early Nineteenth Century. It was found on Nantucket 25 years ago. A Chippendale tall chest on tall bracket base, center top drawer with fan carving, Rhode island, circa 1770‱780, measured 61½ inches high and 35½ inches wide.
Every dealer in the show is instructed to keep one special thing under wraps until the 10 am opening of the show on Thursday. A pair of country Sheraton side chairs with floral painted crests and paint decorated stiles, steamed and bent slatted seats, circa 1815, fresh out of a Midwestern collection, was uncovered on the hour by Peter Eaton. “The sixth couple through the door bought them,” Peter said.
A figured birch desk, probably New Hampshire, circa 1790, original surface and hardware, was shown by Peter Sawyer Antiques, Exeter, N.H. Other furniture included a tall case clock attributed to David Wood, circa 1815, Newburyport, Mass., figured mahogany case and original glass door, and an ox bow blocked-end chest of drawers, circa 1780, Boston or North Shore, 32 inches wide, retained an old surface and the original brasses. Also in one of the front booths at the show, the one thing Peter kept under cover until the show opened was a comb back corner chair with paint decorated surface, Chippendale arms and legs, circa 1790‱800. It did not sell, but, “We had a great show; we saved things all year long for the show, and sales included two tall case clocks, paintings, mirrors and case furniture,” Peter said.
He added that a call after the show resulted in the sale of a pair of chairs, another person was coming to see a tall case clock that was at the show, and a child’s desk is being considered. “Many people are downsizing these days and I am able to buy lots of things privately and, being in the business for 35 years, I am now getting some of my things back,” Peter said.
If you entered the show and turned right, and headed down the outside aisle, it was virtually impossible to miss the bright yellow Federal patriotic shield hanging in the booth of Russ and Karen Goldberger, Rye, N.H. This circa 1880 piece had an eagle holding a banner in its beak and a red, white and blue shield on its chest, oil on poplar, and measuring 20 by 27 inches. It sold early in the show, as did the yellow Hepplewhite one-drawer stand, Maine origin, pine, circa 1820, with brass knob. It was shown right under the shield and both pieces went to the same buyer. “The person loved the shield, bought it, and then thought it went so well with the table, he took that also,” Russ said.
A black rooster with red comb on a variegated field was depicted on a New Hampshire hooked rug, circa 1890, 40 by 31 inches, and a wonderful set of nine graduated Taghkanic splint baskets, New York state, first half of the Nineteenth Century, ranged in size from 6 inches to ¾ of an inch in diameter. “We have had them for years and took them out of our collection for this show,” Russ mentioned. During the first few hours they also sold two checker game boards, a New Hampshire blue painted grain bin, a spice chest and a flying mallard carving.
Ron & Penny Dionne, Willington, Conn., had a wonderful Civil War plaque commemorating the reconciliation of the North and the South, Nineteenth Century, depicting an eagle holding four flags, a pair of hands shaking, and “Liberty” spelled out in a banner across the 30-inch-wide piece of folk art. Weathervanes are always a strong point in the booth, and generally good sellers. During the first rush of the show, Penny sold a stag vane, a rooster vane, and nice wooden swordfish vane with copper fins, and a carved and painted seagull.
It is about time someone gave Tom Longacre a nickname, such as “Red Tag,” based on the fast selling and the measles look his booth takes on as the show opens. It was no different this year for the Marlborough, N.H., dealer, who displayed 17 tags during the first 20 minutes of the show, and in short order there were 22. A good number of pieces of furniture were shown, including a Nineteenth Century one-drawer blanket chest that descended in the Hall family of Keene, N.H., and an academy paint decorated tilt-top tiger maple candlestand, possibly Boston, circa 1810. A large copper arrow weathervane was mounted on the back wall, attributed to J.W. Fiske, with a “sold” ticket on it, and a smaller scroll-work banner vane, circa 1880, was displayed under it.
Among other things sold were a sheet metal pig weathervane with a yellow surface, a cast iron advertising clock, a pair of carved wood crows, a single carved and painted song bird, a wall shelf, a checkerboard and a pair of white painted birds in flight.
“We have had this blanket chest put away for some time, waiting for this show,” Jim Hohnwald, who runs a shop in Fitzwilliam, N.H., with his partner, Bob Jessen, said. This two-drawer example, with a bold scalloped apron, blue surface, circa 1740‱760, was of Connecticut origin. On it was displayed a 12-inch Lafayette redware plate, New Jersey or Connecticut, circa 1800‱840.
“The painting is attributed to Thomas Chambers,” Paul DeCoste of West Newbury, Mass., said of the three-masted ship in rough seas, flying an American flag. This oil on canvas measured 35 by 50 inches. An important whaling log was from the first ship built on the Connecticut River in 1822.
At the front of the booth of John D. Wahl, Richmond, N.H., was a wooden shell-carved bible or dictionary stand, Eighteenth or early Nineteenth Century, in crusty yellow painted surface. It was found in Virginia and measures 17 inches wide and 14½ inches high. A Nineteenth Century child’s Windsor armchair measured 23 inches tall, and dating from the Nineteenth Century was a two-piece paint decorated dovetailed schoolmaster’s or shopkeeper’s standup desk with one drawer. It measures 24 inches wide, 50 inches high, 20 inches deep, and a family history is written under the lid and the drawer. “I have had a good show so far,” John said on Thursday afternoon, listing among his sales an early tricycle, a dry sink in blue paint, a large slip decorated plate and a wooden horse weathervane.
Nathan Liverant and Son of Colchester, Conn., offered a carved wood and galvanized tin triple-masted ship weathervane by Frank Adams, Martha’s Vineyard, circa 1930s, shown on top of a Queen Anne cherry chest on frame with scalloped apron, cabriole legs, from southeastern coastal Massachusetts, possibly Duxbury, circa 1760‱785. Four fire buckets included a pair for J. (Joshua) D. Colony of Keene, N.H., 1820‱840. Colony was a window glass manufacturer and served as the postmaster for many years. “The show has been good, and we still have 2½ days to go,” Arthur Liverant said, mentioning sales that included a tilt-top candlestand with drawer, a banister back arm chair, a rocker, a cast iron sculpture of a fisherman and a folk art clock hutch.
The largest painting offered by Brock & Co., Concord, N.H., measured 48 by 36 inches and was centered on the back wall of the booth. It depicted a boy with his dog, Portland, Maine, 1850, by Charles Octavius Cole (1817‱858), with an Old Dartmouth Historical Society provenance.
Jan Whitlock Textiles, Malvern, Penn., showed an early bed covering on a dark green painted wavy rope bed, Nineteenth Century, Pennsylvania origin, and part of the side wall was taken by a baby Baltimore album quilt fragment, very colorful and signed and dated, 1851, measuring 51 by 50 inches.
Kathy Schoemer of Acworth, N.H., had a hooked rug depicting the cat with the fiddle and the dog looking on, along with a selection of more than a dozen early dolls. One of her favorites was a Queen Anne turned wood doll in “as found” condition, head and chest gesso covered, painted enameled glass eyes, of European origin and dating from the late Seventeenth to early Eighteenth Century. “We put a great deal of work into the booth this year, creating an interesting platform to exhibit the dolls,” Kathy said. She added that “it was well accepted and resulted in the sale of seven of them.” She also sold an early jelly cupboard, putty surface, from New York state.
A life-size cutout and painted image of a Boy Scout was seen walking across the side wall in the booth of Thomas M. Thompson of Pembroke, N.H. Complete with walking stick, the figure also sported a red “sold” tag right after the show opened. A pair of shoe repair-shine trade signs, offering shines for five cents and one featuring an illustration of a male’s shoe, the other a female’s, also had found an early buyer, as did a sign reading “For Discharge of Passengers Only.” An oversized rocker with five slats and a wood bin were also sold.
Centered on the back wall in the booth of M. Finkel & Daughter, Philadelphia, was a sampler by Clarissa Emerson, dated 1822, depicting two children in front of a house with large trees and floral surround, one of many pieces of embroidery offer. Highlighting the furniture was an American settee in old blue paint, circa 1850.
A very large oil on canvas painting of the Union Train Station in Portland, Maine, signed and dated 1928, filled most of the back wall at American Classics, Meryl Weiss, Canaan, N.H. For the record, the station was torn down in 1960. A folk art carved pipe, dating from the early Twentieth Century, showed three faces and a red “sold” tag.
Cheryl A. Scott, Hillsboro, N.H., showed a round tilt-top table with a wooden carrier and two storage boxes on top, green painted and sold, a nice Howard horse weathervane with good surface, and a dog carving on a tiger maple box, also marked sold. A four-drawer chest with bracket base was against one wall, and on the back wall was a tall chest, red and black paint decorated, six drawers with turned feet, from central New Hampshire. “It is sold and going back to where it originally came from,” Cheryl said. And it was great to see Paul at the show, wheeling around with ease and greeting all of his friends. “It’s nice; I am here in a social role,” Paul said.
One of the large booths on the lower level of the convention area, facing the upper level, belongs to Suzanne Courcier and Robert W. Wilkins, Yarmouth Port, Mass., and it is always filled with Shaker objects and hooked rugs. This year a Shaker worktable made in Hancock, Mass., circa 1850, pine, cherry and butternut, two-board breadboard top, measured 65¾ inches long and 36 inches wide. A classic Shaker two-drawer blanket chest in pine, circa 1850, bittersweet painted surface, was made in Mount Lebanon, N.Y. “We have had a good show,” Bob said, listing among the sale a set of six white painted, step down Windsor chairs, hooked rugs, a giant basket, a Nantucket basket, a small ship painting, a giant witch ball and many smalls. “I call the space we use over by the railing, facing the booth, Siberia, and we never seem to sell from there. This year it has been the hot spot for us,” Suzanne said.
Frank & Barbara Pollack, Highland Park, Ill., and Sunapee, N.H., showed a pair of lighthouse doors, 23 inches high, with the original paint, and on the back wall was a raised worktable cover, Maine origin, Nineteenth Century, wool on wool embroidery and appliquéd raised and stuffed work depicting colorful baskets and flowers on a black ground. A rare stoneware jug, probably New York state, with cobalt blue decoration, showed a balloon ascension.
“I redid my booth on Friday, bringing in many of the extra things I had brought, as I had a very strong opening and even on Saturday I sold a Federal card table and a large eagle,” Michael Whittemore of Punta Gorda, Fla., said. Other sales included a Rhode Island tea table with oval top and untouched condition, a checkerboard and a Parcheesi board, a “Tea and Luncheon” early painted sign, several paintings, weathervanes and carvings, among other things “I can’t remember,” Mike said from his cellphone while heading for Atlanta, Ga., to deliver the eagle. Then off to Florida to get a new load, “all fresh stuff,” and back to York, Penn., for another show.
For those who plan ahead and want to reserve a bed for Antiques Week in New Hampshire 2012, it all begins on August 3 with the Northeast Auction, and ends with the New Hampshire Antiques Show, August 9‱1. Be There.
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