Published: September 12, 2017
Review and Photos by Tom O’Hara
BOUCKVILLE, N.Y. – Madison-Bouckville Big Field Antiques Show, the traditional leader of New York’s biggest antiques week, attracted thousands for this third weekend of August event, filling its tents with antiques and shoppers for the three days. Conducted August 18-20, there were about 250 dealers exhibiting primarily Americana.
Steve Allman, promoter and host of this new version of the original show, said he was especially pleased with the reception from both his exhibiting dealers and the public. “This show took a hit after Jock Hengst retired some years ago, but now we are seeing both the dealers and the shoppers returning with the confidence that we have a real antiques show, fine quality antiques, well displayed, room settings of furniture from professionals who come here expecting the good audience we attract.”
The spaces in his tents are so generous that room settings and open displays are the rule.
Cabin on the Hill, from Georgetown, Texas, is Sandra and Jim Sheffield’s hobby-turned-business. They were showing a two-section country kitchen dating to about 1800-25, with possibly the largest stepback cupboard in all of Madison-Bouckville on display. It was used to show an assortment of kitchenware from the same time period, including an assortment of wooden bowls, ceramics, pewter and work tools.
Many exhibitors at the show find that their fun is not just the selling, but that it is a wonderful source for buying as well, allowing them to replenish their stock and personal collections. Steve White, for example, is a dealer from Skaneateles, N.Y., who commented, “I spent nearly all the money I made at the show and I had a good show!” He further related that his sales were so good that on the last morning he went shopping, buying several things he had been admiring for the several prior days of the show, including a Nineteenth Century oil on canvas of a sailing ship, probably American, a Caribbean blanket chest and some smaller antiques. These were items that would give him replacement stock, he said, for the 1880 oil painting of a violinist, a Nineteenth Century map case, some assorted pewter and other small antiques; items that were sold during the three days.
Carrie Eck was selling well all weekend from her assortment of little things. From Lebanon, Conn., she has been at the show for many years and seems to enjoy a regular group of shoppers who appreciate the quality of her yearlong picking for the show. Not much furniture, but Eck has all kinds of interesting little things: a variety of sanders in turned treen, carved whisky or wine bottle stoppers, silver beverage bottle labels and heavy-duty shears were just a few examples of what she had in this year’s collection.
Designs and Dreams, Syracuse, N.Y., went into overload with all the little things they offered. Pat Baty and Neil Maffei are collectors, and they filled about a dozen tables with woodworking tools, kitchen tools and household paraphernalia from the last 200 years.
Lady and the Cowboy, Granbury, Texas, mix Northeast country with a little bit of Southwest accessories for the firm’s exhibit and it works out well as a display. A long Windsor pillow back bench was the centerpiece with several bow back chairs nearby. Also offered was a selection of turned wooden bowls.
Some furniture was making it out the sides of the tents. Jeff Andrews, a Salisbury, Vt., exhibitor sold a tiger maple Sheraton-style stand with fluted legs, original brass casters, cookie corners and original surface. “No excuses, just right,” he said. Salisbury [Conn.] Antiques sold a walnut and walnut veneer George II fall front desk also in excellent original condition with original cotter pin brasses at the show.
Judy and Leo Srodawa, Canandaigua, N.Y., are dealers of antique oriental rugs. Their collection is usually among the best at any show for variety and condition, and they have developed good customer loyalty over the years at this show, Judy said. She added that Friday and Saturday were good days, with an excellent antique Heriz finding a new home in Connecticut, and several smaller pieces selling.
Robins Nest Antiques, Naples, N.Y., was offering a variety of painted Nineteenth Century furniture and accessories. A collection of painted two-color drawers in a cabinet, probably part of a pantry storage unit, was available, as were several stepback cupboards in original paint and a large selection of ironstone serving pieces.
Art is popular at this show, too. Bill Union of Art and Antiques Gallery, Worcester, Mass., has been exhibiting here for more years than he can remember, he said, for it is among his favorite and more successful venues. He brought enough Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century art to fill two booth spaces.
Next to him, Saratoga Fine Art, Peter Bazar’s New York business, was exhibiting with similar results.
Steve and Judy Allman at the conclusion of the show said they were both pleased with this year’s results. There were modest gains in the total attendance and dealer participation, according to Judy. The show next year she hopes will continue the growth trend in attendance and quality offerings.
Look for the show August 17-19. For more information, www.bigfieldantiqueshow.com or 239-877-2830.
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