Published: October 17, 2017
Review and Photos by Rick Russack
LUDLOW, VT. – This may be one of the friendliest antiques shows around. Its preview party, September 29, began at 7 pm, an hour after the Okemo show- a short distance away – closed. An hour before the preview, however, the show committee put on its traditional sit-down buffet dinner for the exhibitors. It is a regular feature of the show and was highly anticipated by the 31 dealers, providing a pleasant opportunity for them to socialize while eating. The $15 admission fee for the preview included the same buffet dinner for all attendees.
As one might expect, shopping came first and eating came second, but nearly all took advantage of the dinner. It is all home cooking and baking, done by volunteers of the Holy Name of Mary Altar Society, and the entire proceeds of the show benefit the Holy Name of Mary Church. Breakfast was available the morning of the second day, September 30, to exhibitors and attendees, and many look forward to the homemade pies and cookies. The show is managed by Carol Baranowski, a retired elementary school teacher, and she said that the monies raised by the show is distributed by the church group to several other local charities.
There was a long line waiting for the show to open to open on Friday evening, and exhibitors from the other four shows in the area were part of the crowd. Many said they had made “good buys” at this show in previous years, and buying began just moments after opening, with shoppers selecting wallpaper boxes, quilts, stuffed toys, tintypes, rugs, signs, etc. One of the early buyers seemed very pleased with his purchase of two cased tintypes. They showed a well-dressed gentleman, apparently with just one arm, and with several Indian rugs. The buyer speculated that the man was a Civil War veteran, trading with the Indians.
Most of the dealers have done this show for several years and about half of them are from Vermont. Offerings are eclectic. Much is country Americana, but there was a booth with several nice pieces of Amberina and Rose Mandarin porcelains and another booth full of Steiff animals and dolls.
Charlie Landon, Camillus, N.Y., was brought up in the business, helping his mother, Barbara, who dealt in dolls and early toys. He does a show almost every week, specializing in early dolls, Steiff animals, teddy bears, dollhouse miniatures, toys and more. His large double booth at this show included Halloween items, doll clothing and children’s clothing. He made his first sale just moments after the show opened. With him was his associate, Sandy Belko, who he referred to as “the doll lady.”
John Bourne, Pittsford, Vt, a retired teacher, has a variety of items he specializes in – large Twentieth Century wooden carvings, mostly of animals and birds. Bourne calls them “outsider art.” Choices at this show included a large wild turkey priced at $750, a swan priced at $650 and a seated Dalmatian, $795.
Barry and Shirley Nadon, West Brookfield, Mass., had a selection of paper currency in addition to a variety of other objects. Martha Perkins, W. Townsend, Mass., had three different-sized feather trees in good condition, priced from $250.
Several dealers had trade signs and some were among early sales, including one declaring “Roasting Chicken.” There were a number of hooked rugs, baskets, several pieces of stoneware and much woodenware in old paint: firkins, bowls, wall cupboards, etc.
Although there was a lot of country material, the booth of Frank Larned, Port Orange, Fla., included a selection of Oriental porcelains, brass candlesticks, copper molds, several pieces of Amberina and English ceramics. He said that he has been doing this show for several years and has developed a following. He was particularly proud of a pair of Rose Mandarin bough pots and a large punch bowl, which he priced at $5,500, and an Amberina berry set made by Hobbs Brockunier. It had a large bowl and six individual bowls.
Another dealer, Bob Veder, Bolton Landing, N.Y., filled his booth with posters, priced between $200 and $3,000. He said the most popular categories are military recruiting posters, travel posters and firearms advertising. The last mentioned category, Veder said, is very “hot” right now, but quality material is becoming increasingly hard to find.
Afterward, show manager Baranowski said that attendance was up from the previous year. Dealers told her that they did well, and she said that buying seemed to be steady both days. “We ran out of food at lunch on Saturday, so we know that we had a good crowd. I’m pleased with the amount of money we raised for the church.”
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