Published: October 23, 2007
The last stop for folks heading home from the weekend’s quintet of shows, Antiques in Vermont conducted at Riley Rink at Hunter Park marked its 23rd year on October 7.
Savvy shoppers know that by this point in the weekend it is important to have exhausted neither energy reserves nor money, because while the show is just a one-day affair, its nearly 80 antiques dealers, adeptly managed by Phyllis Carlson and Tim Stevenson, present a seriously tempting showcase of primarily country antiques and rare specialties.
Carlson and Stevenson are dealers themselves †indeed, the Manchester Center couple set up a welcoming display just inside the show’s entrance stocked with selections from their Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century American folk art watercolors †so they know what it takes to make their dealers happy. That runs the gamut from providing a venue that is easy to move into and pack out of †the rink has ample loading doors †to laying out a hearty breakfast buffet for the gang well before early buyers begin showing up at 8 am.
“We were incredibly happy with the show,” Carlson said afterwards. “There was very good attendance †just a little off from last year †and our dealers sold well, more so than in a very long time.”
Close to the show’s entrance, Raccoon Creek at Oley Forge, Oley, Penn., displayed period Americana reflecting Pennsylvania German taste. Dealers George Allen and Gordon Wyckoff remarked that they were amazed by how the show keeps improving, “not only the dealers but the audience.” Said the dealers, “People came in droves, not only for the fall colors, but, also for the antiques. They were varied as were our sales †a Nineteenth Century settle in original red, a needlework sampler from Mount Vernon and many smalls, including a burl and iron make-do bowl. The show is always fun. We never know what will appear or sell on the floor.”
Sikeston, Mo., dealers Tim and Charline Chambers, known by show patrons as Missouri Plain Folk, presented a French Eighteenth Century table, a “Jim’s Dandy” folding child’s wooden slide from the turn of the century and a fascinating homemade chest that had come out of a Beltville, Ohio, house that had been created using wooden crates and tin for the dovetails.
Dave and Bonnie Ferriss were sharing space with fellow dealers Robert and Janet Sherwood under the aegis of their cooperative shop, “Antiques at 30 “B.” The Cambridge, N.Y., couple offered a colorful lineup of six 1930s-40s racehorses that had been part of a gambling game presented to passengers aboard the SS Lurline. A selection of theoremlike valentines made with heart-shaped cutouts and locks of hair, and a Nineteenth Century copper sink set into a wooden table from the same time period, were other highlights.
An Eighteenth Century Pennsylvania settle bench in original red surface was $10,500 at Harts Country Antiques, New Oxford, Penn. “It was a fabulous show for me, and I always love doing this show,” said dealer Sandy Hart. “I sold a wonderful early apothecary chest in original red paint, a great early country desk in original gray paint and a wonderful piece of treenware with pedestal base, among other things.”
Wilmington, Vt., bookseller Gary Austin set up a mini-library full of rarities, including Volume I, Number I of Verve magazine, published in 1937 in France with prints by Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall and others. In excellent condition, it had been found in a house in Westchester County, according to Austin.
Shirley D. Quinn, who specializes in country quilts and accessories, was able to reconnect with some of her customers from the West Coast this year. The Hopkinton, N.H.., dealer’s 8-inch, early Twentieth Century Santa candy container went home with one of them. “It was nice to see a sizable and buying crowd at the show,” said Quinn. “It’s a show with great dealers and lots of excellent opportunities to find that special item for the collection or for resale.”
Joseph Moffitt was selling some hound-handled pitchers, one attributed to Harker & Taylor, Liverpool, Ohio, and another with an American Pottery Co., Jersey City, N.J., signature. The Scarsdale, N.Y., dealer was showing these pieces and others atop a grain-painted bucket bench signed in pointillistic style “MJR 1867.”
Like the Bromley Mountain show, dealer turnover for Antiques in Vermont is minimal. Still, there were some new faces to the show, such as Cindy Cather and Michael Murphy of Fox House Antiques, Wallingford, Vt. The couple’s inaugural showing was “a real pleasure,” they said, with “good continuous traffic in our booth throughout the day.” Some of the things that they sold were a pair of oil portraits in mid-Nineteenth Century period frames and a pair of Eighteenth Century brass candlesticks.
Show newcomers Joshua and Mary Steenburgh came from Pike, N.H., with a good selection of antique furniture and folk art †and left town much lighter. “We had a great show. We sold about 37 items across the board from furniture to folk art,” they said. Among their sales were multiple gold frames, a game board, an English horse painting, a large tramp art dresser, a New Hampshire two-drawer stand, a large red painted New Hampshire turned bowl, items in old blue paint, including a bowl, a shelf and a door, and lots more. “We had a blast. It was a great crowd †very smart and sure of what they wanted. We made lots of new friends and customers.”
Adirondack furniture and accessories were the focus for Jeff Cherry and Kass Hogan at Cherry Gallery, which was also showing in Manchester for the first time. Said Hogan, “We found the Antiques in Vermont show to be well organized and dealer-friendly. The attendance seemed to be well balanced between dealers and retail shoppers. It was quite successful for us.” The Damariscotta, Maine, dealers sold five pieces of rustic furniture, a weathervane, three rugs and some smalls.
The pair was selling from a double booth (32 feet), and at one point, said Hogan, she was talking to a customer who wanted to buy a settee at one end of the booth, while Cherry was at the other end of the booth talking to clients who had just told him they would take the settee. “It was an awkward moment, but now we have a new potential customer who wants us to contact her when we find a similar settee,” said Hogan “Our most notable sale was a two-seat Old Hickory porch glider with a woven rattan cane seat and spindle back.”
A wonderful hunting scene with great action from the 1930s‴0s, a colorful geese fireboard from Maine, circa 1920s, and a pair of Nineteenth Century crocks, one displaying an endearing kiln collapse sag, were on view at the booth of Judith and James Milne of New York City. “The show went really well for us,” said Judith Milne. “It’s an easy show to do. No hassles as to packing in or out. Phyllis and Tim are dealers first and promoters second, so they understand the needs of the dealers. The crowd to my eye was divided into two camps †the old-time country collectors looking for very primitive, early things like herb drying racks, etc, and second home buyers seeking more decorative objects with intrinsic value, color and interest. That is my customer, and to that end, I sold a good weathervane and some fine painted pieces of folk art.”
In neighboring New Hampshire during an election year, being first is important. In Vermont, during the fall antiques weekend, that is clearly not so. For information, 802-362-3668.
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