Under clear blue August skies with not a cloud in sight and unseasonably mild temperatures, the Maine Antiques Dealers Association’s Coastal Show, a Wednesday affair that took place August 25, opened to an anxious crowd. “We have been awful lucky here,” stated one dealer. “The weather has been just like this every year since the show first started.”
The well-received one-day show features primarily country furniture and accessories displayed by more than 120 dealers. It takes place at Round Top Center for the Arts, an arts colony of sorts, and it offers both indoor and outdoor booths. Some of the booths are housed in the barn and others in the farmhouse that serves as headquarters and gallery for the colony. Others are situated around the grounds under large pavilion-style tents that accommodate up to a dozen dealers, some bring their own “pop-up” tents and there a few holdouts that opt for the plein air look and set up in the wide open.
“This show has attendance that starts strong in the morning and continues throughout the entire day,” stated one dealer. By midday people attending the show had caused quite a traffic jam, something that this small town is unaccustomed to. With a “Woodstockian” look, a never ending stream of buyers were forced to park their cars up to a half a mile away and hike back to the show.
Dealers were kept busy throughout the event. Odd Fellows Art and Antiques got the day off to a brisk start with the sale of a six-board blanket box with bootjack ends that measured roughly six feet in length. They also sold a display with four mounted fish decoys gayly painted in red and white and graduating in size from 14 inches to 6.
Jack and Ray Van Gelder had a big mound of early baskets neatly arranged around the tent pole in their booth. One lady entered the booth shortly after opening and purchased more than half of the nice country examples. Cheryl and Paul Scott reported brisk sales with an unusual three-drawer night stand selling along with an eagle weathervane, a couple carved birds and numerous smalls. “It is interesting to see where the furthest checks are from,” said Cheryl, who had already received one from a Maryland vacationer.
Nautical rdf_Descriptions, which were jokingly referred to as the last remnants of boats once owned, were offered by William Sandberg along with a large assortment of paintings of both nautical and local interest. A watercolor of the battleship Maine sold early and interest was being expressed in an Alfred Fuller watercolor of the local legendary Monhegan Island.
Other rdf_Descriptions seem around the field included a nice pair of large stoneware jars in the booth of Wenham Cross that were marked in bold letters “Bowers Three Thistles Snuff” and an interesting Pennsylvania work table in old blue paint with chamfered legs that folded.
Burton Pearl displayed an impressive selection of country merchandise ranging from a nice stand in black paint to a stunning assortment of Maine redware including a small flared mouth jar in vibrant green by Safford, an ovoid jar with green ground and tan decoration by Kendrick, a small cream colored straight sided jar and a wonderful jug in light green with brown splotches.
A red painted crib that had a removable side and doubled as a day bed or sofa sold quickly from the booth of Costa and Currier, and a nice Maine grain painted Sheraton table with a set of a six thumb backs with nice paint decoration were offered by Country Squire.
The Coastal Maine Antiques show is a neat event that takes place in a neat location. Its return the last week of August in 2005 will surely be highly anticipated.