Published: September 19, 2006
For the 35th consecutive year Jock Hengst collected antiques dealers on a field between the two small villages of Madison and Bouckville, about 20 miles south of Utica and the New York Thruway, for three days, August 18–20, selling to crowds numbering in the thousands. Hengst said he “began the show with just 35 dealers in 1972, 55 in ’73 and 72 in ’74 and now we have close to a thousand spaces marked out for the dealers and except for some absentees or late cancels, we were full.”
The attendance Friday was limited to early buyers for a premium fee but he said, “The early buyer crowd was near the record for the opening day.” Saturday and Sunday weather was threatening, which Hengst said probably reduced the visitor traffic somewhat but still he said “dealers seemed to do well.”
Paul Ponzi, a dealer in early hardwood furniture and artwork said, “We did well, very well. My wife and I only do two shows a year, this one and one at Verona, N.Y., in November. Here, we sold some furniture, some pewter and a lot of art work.” Their shop is about an hour west in Trumansburg, N.Y.
The show in Verona that Ponzi talked about is at the Turning Stone Casino and Resort, November 4–5, and managed by another dealer at this show, Jim Lowery. His Verona, N.Y., business, James Lowery Enterprises, was offering fine hardwood furniture from the early Nineteenth Century and some primitive painted pieces. His results were “good furniture sold fairly well and some smalls in iron. I sold a very good early grain painted blanket box first thing Friday.”
The Madison-Bouckville show attracts many dealers from the area including Pat Heisler from Smithville Flats, N.Y. Her collection, set up in a perimeter tent, was selling fast with primitive Colonial era furniture and primitive accessories to go with the furniture. Among her sales was a very early traveling lady’s makeup kit, the kind sometimes described as a theatrical kit. It had a unique mirror stand built into a walnut box, dovetail construction with a drawer below.
Kay and Roy Rolland are local, from Geneva, N.Y., but they plan to move to the Southwest this winter so they were making very good deals with all who were interested in their furniture and small antiques. A blue milk painted drop leaf table from the early 1800s was sold in the first few minutes but Kay was too busy selling two more pieces to have much of a conversation.
Hailing out of East Berlin, Penn., was Brad Selinger with a large collection of fine furniture. Of note was an early Regency period server in mahogany. Selinger said, “It is American and the condition is excellent, all original.” The price was $3,800.
Toys are the specialty of Tina and Pat Farley. The Kansas City, Kan., dealers and collectors had several tables with multitiered shelves filled with the early Hubley, Arcade and Kenton trucks, carriages and carts among their many examples. The retired building contractors began collecting as a hobby but about five years ago, shows became their primary business activity. Madison-Bouckville has been a regular stop for them during their travels; the Houston Antiques Dealers Association show and Fishersville, Va., are among their upcoming stops.
Other dealers who traveled far to be here included Beck and Beck, from Richmond, Va. Heather and Nathan Beck travel to a variety of shows during the summer when they can bring their children. This show has been a regular stop for the last several summers and they brought an early New England chest of drawers for their display. In cherry with reeded columns on the sides, the top drawer was very deep as a blanket chest might have been, with turned Sheraton short legs, typical of the Maine style. During the school year Heather said they stay close to home doing various Virginia shows.
Edgewood Antiques, Greenville, S.C., were happy travelers for as Dave Metcalf said, “We did pretty darn good. I had a killer Empire two-drawer stand with claw feet that I sold right away and then a lot more.” Their sales included a set of four Windsor chairs, another Windsor side chair, a hutch and “a half dozen pieces of yellowware — bowls that is.”
A secretary desk was drawing a great deal of attention in the big top tent display of Rarebird Antiques. From the early Nineteenth Century, dealer Lisa Annenberg found the piece near her Oswego, N.Y., home and it appeared to have been sold in the first hour of the show.
More dealers in the big top tents included Carrie Eck, Lebanon, Conn., with small antiques and several pedestal base candlestands; Grey Goose Antiques, Poland, N.Y., with Edwardian and French Provincial furniture; Ken and Jan Silveri, Hamburg, Penn., selling English transfer ware and country painted furniture; the McElwains, Doug and Diane, from Goldsboro, N.C., were offering sporting antiques and collectables and some unusual early toys.
Toward the back of the field were more dealers in their own tents including Christie’s Antiques of Traverse City, Mich., with Adirondack-style furniture and accessories. Nearby, Semmel Antiques, Naples, N.Y., offered an extensive collection of reasonably priced furniture in styles from Federal and Empire all the way forward to Edwardian mahogany.
The show is so very big there is something for just about any style and taste. Prices also vary widely and these elements are, according to Hengst, “what makes the show a success.” That together with his attitude: “I’m never satisfied, I keep trying harder to improve the show for the customers and the dealers,” is why the show has survived and flourished.
Next year the date will be on the same weekend, August 18–19, with early buying during the setup, Friday, August 17. For information, 315-824-2462 or www.bouckvilleantiqueshows.com.
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