“I could see the front of the Furniture World Building from my hotel window and people were starting to line up for the Manchester Pickers Market Antiques Show at 6:30 am,” Frank Gaglio, manager of the show said. By the time early buying came around at 9 am on August 9, the line went the length of the building and down the side. A rough estimate came up with just over 500 people waiting to get into this 93-exhibitor show, now in its 15th year.
General admission to the show, from 11 am to 4 pm, brought in more people throughout the day. According to Frank, “The end result for the dealers was about what we are experiencing in other shows today, with about one-third doing very well, the next third just do okay, and the last third not doing as well. The dealers who go out and seek fresh material generally fare better than others.”
Since people come from all parts of the country for Antiques Week in New Hampshire, an onsite shipper is available. The café provides a hot and cold menu, free parking is available and the building is fully air-conditioned.
Pickers started out as the show that ended Antiques Week, but it now is the opening event following Northeast Auctions’ three-day sale. “Pickers has come a long way since its start,” Frank Gaglio said, “and is now heavy with popular and well-established antiques dealers.” Presentations are sharp, often very colorful, and this show receives the attention it deserves.
Dennis Raleigh Antiques & Folk Art, Wiscasset, Maine, with a booth just to the right of the building’s entrance, had a large selection of painted objects and bird carvings, among them an oversized carved and painted eider decoy from Kennebunkport, a metal barber pole from a shop in Iowa, circa 1930, and a pair of carved and painted duck heads that were found in a camp in Belfast, Maine, circa 1941, both signed DBS.
Another Maine dealer, Colleen Kinloch from Bristol, brought some country furniture, including a Nineteenth Century tavern table with one-board top with breadboard ends and measuring 23½ by 20¾ inches, a Hepplewhite drop leaf table with teal blue painted surface and two large folky parrots on branches, surrounded by trefoil leaves border.
A large hooked rug dating from the early Twentieth Century, depicting two dogs, one standing the other lying down on a mat against a blue ground, hung in the booth of Patricia Stauble Antiques, Wiscasset, Maine. An unusual two-seated bench in tiger maple, with rounded armrests, dated from the mid-1800s.
John Rogers of the Chinese Antique Furniture Shop, Elkins, N.H., brought a selection of furniture, including a Northern elm small Ming-style table, probably Shanxi, mid-Nineteenth Century, and displayed on the back wall of his booth was a camphor sign from the Dao Guany Emperor period with large letters that translated to “Spring brings good protection to this house.”
A sampler from Harlaem (early spelling), N.Y., by Margaret Wood, aged 9, with a friendship poem centered in a floral border with a vase of flowers at the bottom, was among the pieces of needlework in the booth of The Fassnachts, Canandaigua, N.Y. Against the right wall, seated on a bench, was a black figure holding a piece of watermelon, wood carved and painted with real clothes and hat. Attached to the same mounting was a standing log with large bird, poised to watch the young boy and his food.
Dating from the Eighteenth Century was a drop leaf table, pine and chestnut, shown by V.L. Marcos/Whimsy, Centerbrook, Conn., along with a sorting tray/bucket bench from Maine, Nineteenth Century, with old red surface. An “Apples For Sale” hand painted sign hung over it.
A three-panel Japanese painting, oil on canvas, Nineteenth Century and probably intended for a screen, took up lots of wall space in the booth of Bob & Ellie Vermillion, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. And a good portion of the floor space was taken by a large Pennsylvania, half-spindle settee with original freehand bronze stenciled decoration, circa 1840. A cobbler’s bench with leather seat, dating from the mid-Nineteenth Century, was outfitted with a lidded storage box and compartmented working surface. It was quite low to the ground and retained most of its original blue painted surface.
One of the first booths set up on Sunday, and neat as a pin, belonged to David M. Evans of Cincinnati, Ohio. He offered a nice New Hampshire tiger maple Windsor candlestand with oval top, 21½ by 16 inches, painted slate blue. The stand had a simple pedestal with plinth and three raked legs. A carved wood and painted eagle with shield and arrows, 43 inches wide, early Twentieth Century, was by the Artistic Carving Co. of Boston.
Ten fireplace bellows, some with the original surface and the rest painted, hung in the booth of The Painted Bird Antiques, Warren, Conn., as did a spice chest with old dark varnish surface, 20 drawers, each with porcelain knob.
Hooked rugs filled a good portion of the walls in the booth of Nutting House Antiques, New Paltz, N.Y., one showing a large standing horse while the one below it pictured the James Crawford Farm, Macomb County, Mich., measuring 31 by 48 inches. A reclining dog filled the center of another one, while the last rug was floral-themed with a stalk of flowers. Several sculptural pieces were shown by Nettlecreek Antiques, Clarence, N.Y., such as a brightly painted carousel goat and a barbershop trade sign in the form of a large, wood carved and painted straight razor for “Thomas Barry” Barber.
Signage and advertising came in many forms in the booth of Collins & MacLennan, Middletown, Conn., offering a baseball bat measuring about 5 feet long, a tennis racquet 3 feet long, and a golf club 6 feet long, all promotional things for different sporting goods firms. Signs hung all over the walls promoting “Home of Savings,” “Drugs,” “Soda water”‘ “Candies,” “Soda and Ice Cream” and a large, metal sign in the shape of a Coke bottle.
Wayne and Phyllis Hilt of Haddam Neck, Conn., brought a stack of coverlets to the show, five of which were displayed on a tall rack, including an example from Montgomery County, dated 1838, in red, blue, green and white. Pewter filled several racks and a selection of 14 pewter porringers was arranged on one wall with the largest example by Thomas D. & Sherman Boardman, Hartford, Conn., circa 1804‱835, placed in the center.
A large ship diorama, 47 by 36 inches, hung in the booth of Claude and Sharon Baker, Hamilton, Ohio, depicting the full-rigged American sailing vessel, the Harry B ., complete with flags on the top of each mast and crew members on deck. Other ships were shown on the painted background. Dating from the Nineteenth Century was a double-sided apothecary sign, originally from Spooner, Wis.
Variety, as usual, set the tone for the Village Braider, Plymouth, Mass., with a set of four white painted metal garden armchairs, a fine pair of cast iron finials, a cast iron wall sundial, a rack for pool cues and a series of eight signs for “Chemicals,” “Antiseptics,” ” Vitamin Products” etc, and a very large pine cone Christmas ornament that once was used for decoration at Macy’s.
A classical chest of drawers with tiger maple draw fronts, upstate New York origin, circa 1800‱840, was offered by Millcreek Antiques of Rochester, N.Y. Paintings included a large oil on canvas portrait in the original yellow painted frame, possibly of Mrs Miller of the William Seward family, Auburn, N.Y. Doug Ramsay, doing business as DBR Antiques, Hadley, Mass., had lots of attention given to his large beehive wooden bowl, Eighteenth Century, yellow and ochre painted surface, approximately 17 inches in diameter. A painted tall case clock, signed R. Cole, had a R. Whiting, Winchester dial, and dating circa 1920 was a large carved and painted Keystone cop whirligig from Pennsylvania.
Jane Wargo of Wallingford, Conn., a former Mid*Week in Manchester exhibitor, showed an early Nineteenth Century country Windsor-style tavern table with one-board top, medial stretchers, original red surface, probably New Hampshire origin, and an American ash lathe-turned bowl filled with composition and glass fruit and dating from the Nineteenth Century. Three attractive green painted shutters decorated the back wall. “The show was fine, we did okay,” husband Phil said the following Wednesday as the couple shopped Mid*Week.
“Vulcanizing Tubework †A Specialty,” was advertised on a half-round sign, black lettering on white background, hanging in the booth of Don and Betty Jo Heim, Jersey Shore, Penn. Other advertising included an Ever-Ready clock, an anvil-shaped sign for Ornamental Iron Work, and Bicycles For Rent with a note of caution to “Ride At Your Own Risk.”
A carved and painted fish weathervane, gray and white with red gills, was found in northern New Jersey and made its way into the booth of Don and Pat Clegg of East Berlin, Penn. It dated circa 1910 and was among a collection of decoys that included a widgeon drake carving by Joseph Whiting Lincoln (1859‱938) of Accord, Mass. The bird dated circa 1910, cedar, and with an old repaint.
Antiques at 30B, Cambridge, N.Y., showed a large, colorful painting on wall board that was found behind the wall in the pastoral residence/carriage house of the “Church of the Visitation,” Schuylerville, N.Y. It dated circa 1930s. An early trade sign, circa 1830, came from the Tomilson Oneida Hotel, and a collection of brightly painted cast horseshoes, mounted on an iron ring, carried a tag reading “lots of luck.”
A large apothecary, nine drawers across, four deep, with open shelving over it, was against the back wall in the booth of Hannah Humes Art & Antiques, Westerville, Ohio, and a large hooked rug, dated 1894, depicted several roses in the central panel, with a single rose in each corner.
Justin Cobb of the Captain’s Quarters, Amherst, Mass., once again brought a selection of nautical items, including an oil on canvas, “Homeward Bound,” two ships in a very rough sea by American artist Theodore Victor Carl Valenkamph, dated 1905. It hung alongside an oil on canvas by Charles Sidney Raleigh (1850‱920), portrait of The Western Bell , a three-masted American sailing ship built in Bath, Maine. The picture measured 24 by 35 inches and was signed lower right.
Gene Pratt / Rodney McDonald, Victor, N.Y., showed a large sheet metal weathervane of a horse with decorative bracing, Nineteenth Century, and a charcoal on sandpaper showed a view of Hanover, South Meriden, Conn., by James Gray.
“This is the longest table I have ever seen and it was all made from one board,” Tim Chambers of Missouri Plain Folk, Sikeston, Mo, said of the 16-foot, 8-inch piece that stretched almost the length of his booth. The piece dated to 1840, was 24 inches wide and came from a country store. A 6-foot-long spoon displayed on the top of the table looked small by comparison. A narrow cupboard with two doors was filled with a dozen painted pantry boxes, and game boards added lots of color to the walls. Several games were represented, including checkers, Chinese checkers, Parcheesi and a hand lettered monopoly board.
Robert T. Baranowsky of Rockfall, Conn., filled his booth with all kinds of things, including a child’s Windsor highchair, a child’s sled decorated with the initials B.E.L., a Scottie dog boot scraper and a large metal barn vent that turned in the wind.
“Two of the clock faces were destroyed with the building, I got the third,” Jeffrey Henkel of Pennington, N.J., said while pointing out the copper piece that filled a great portion of his booth. The face, 1865, came from Philadelphia and measures 7 feet in diameter. A cast iron eagle on ball, half round, came off a bank building in Toledo, and a collection of six cast iron lion heads were displayed in a circle on the wall.
It is always interesting to see what Bill Powell of Franklin, Tenn., will show up with and how much color he will have in his booth. This time a poster for Alonzo the Magician, dressed in top hat and tux, lit up the back wall, and a dancer in spangles, bigger than life-size, leaned against the left wall. A 6-foot-tall Uncle Sam had his hands out for a mailbox, and a large carved tooth once advertised a dentist’s office.
“My wife wanted to bring a collection of dog-related items to the show, and she had been gathering them for some time now,” George B. Johnson of Montpelier, Vt. said. And indeed she did, for there were stuffed dogs, cast iron dogs, ceramic dogs, a wall of paintings of dogs, wood dogs and dogs in the form of pull toys, bookends, lamps and jewelry. Dogs also showed up on serving trays and even on drinking glasses.
For years, Pickers was staged partly in a large tent and partly in air-conditioned hotel space. Two years ago the hotel was sold for other purposes; nothing seems to have been done with the property, however, forcing Pickers to look for a new home. The Furniture World Building became available and it has been home to the show for the past two years. Word has been circulating since the close of Pickers on August 9 that the building had been sold.
“That started up last year and dealers have called me about the same rumor again this year,” Frank Gaglio said. “I certainly would have been told if the building had been sold, and I have not heard anything. In fact, there is going to be a big Halloween show in there for a month very soon,” Frank said. The property is still for sale, but so far there are no takers. Pickers hopes to be back there in 2011.