Published: August 31, 2004
There was still the best part of a hour left before Linda Turner, show manager, lowered the gate for the 5 pm rush on Tuesday, August 10, into The Riverside Antiques Show when a young couple wandered up toward the front of the line of people waiting to enter. When the young man asked, “Where is the end of the line?” about six hands went up, all pointing toward the Best Western Executive Court Inn at the far end of the parking lot.
“We pre-sell tickets while people are in line,” Linda said that day, “and so far we have been through eight rolls, 100 stickers to a roll.” By the time the show opened well over 800 people were in line, some heading for the banquet facility, inside and air-conditioned, and the larger gathering waiting to get into the tent. One thing was markedly different this year. Along the northwest side of the tent there was a row of sand-filled bags, a precaution taken this time due to the storm that flooded the tent last year.
“We had a great opening,” Linda said, “but the second day was better last year.” When questioned, the majority of the visitors indicated they had not made the opening last year, but hit the show on Wednesday. This year they came a day earlier, going to Riverside on Tuesday and then the 9 am opening of Mid*Week on Wednesday. According to the exhibitors, it was a good crowd, people who were interested in the things for sale and lots of good buyers. Many of the dealers experienced “best ever” shows, and a number of those exhibitors have been doing Riverside since it opened 11 years ago.
Halsey Munson Antiques of Decatur, Ill., showed an Eighteenth Century Massachusetts armchair with Spanish feet and rush seat, ram’s horn arm terminals, in cherry wood. This Queen Anne beauty was probably from the Boston area. A New York State Nineteenth Century portrait, attributed to M.W. Hopkins (1789-1844) was listed as being discovered in the Midwest, 1995, by the late Robert Schwarz of Philadelphia. The tag on a two-drawer blanket chest, New England, original dry surface, fishtail strap hinges, circa 1780, red with black blotches, read “one of the best chests I’ve ever owned.”
The booth of Rathbun Gallery, always neat and precise, featured a country Sheraton table with three-board top with breadboard ends. It was American, probably New York State, circa 1820-35, with a 261/2- by 67-inch pine top on 291/4-inch high birch legs. This Wakefield, R.I., firm also showed a matched set of Windsor side chairs, yellow paint with fruit and vine decoration on the back splats, Maine origin and dating circa 1820-30.
Barrett Munson Antiques, formerly of Vermont and now of Willington, Conn., offered a large pair of papier mache parakeets, bright blue surface, shown perched on top of a Vermont painted desk. Sandpaper paintings are often found in this booth and for Riverside Barrett had a nice Hudson River view with many sailboats dotting the water.
Ken and Susan Scott Antiques, Malone, N.Y., filled their booth to capacity and showed a dressing table in old gray paint, a barber pole in red, white and blue, carved ball in each end, 84 inches long, and a graceful pair of curlews from Quebec City, carved by Jean Pierre Guay.
A large circa 1830 harvest table with two leaves, perfect for kitchen or dining, was of walnut with turned birch legs and was shown across the front of the booth of Daniel and Karen Olson of Newburgh, N.Y. The table was surrounded by an assembled set of eight Bergen County, N.J., ladder back side chairs, circa 1800. Additional seating was provided by a circa 1750 American sausage turned banister back armchair with old splint seat.
It took Bette Wolf only seconds to lay her hand on a quart tankard after being asked her favorite thing in the booth. Since husband Melvyn was nowhere in sight, this pewter piece was her first choice, made by Frederick Bassett who worked in New York. The tankard, 1761, had a dome lid and Bette said, “We just got this and pieces by this maker are scarce.” The Flint, Mich., couple offered a virtual wall of pewter including a strap handled mug by Nathaniel Austin, Boston, 1763-1800, in fine condition.
A large pair of Art Deco eagles, wood, circa 1830, in the original paint and from a theater in Pittsburgh, hung against the back wall in the booth of Manchester Antiques, Londonderry, N.H. A papier mache carnival barker in old white paint, Nineteenth Century, was on a pedestal, and ready for placement on a patio of in a garden was a set of signed Salterini “Neva-Rust” table and four chairs in the Magnolia pattern, all original.
The date 1822 was painted on the front of a large blue blanket chest on tall bracket base in the display of Brad Selinger Antiques of East Berlin, Penn. This piece was of yellow pine and was probably from either Virginia of North Carolina. With Orange County, Va., roots was a diminutive one piece step back cupboard in the original black paint, 681/2 inches high and 31 inches wide.
Furniture in the booth of Lillie Antiques, Wiscasset, Maine, included a Connecticut one-drawer blanket chest with snipe hinges, cutout base, circa 1740, and a Hepplewhite table with a one-board leaf, one board top, circa 1790, figured cherry wood, also of Connecticut origin. Nearby, Lynn Weaver of Wenham, Mass., showed a wooden flying goose weathervane from New York State and a still life of a basket of blueberries with grapes and other fruits.
Erik D. Wohl of Pomfret Center, Conn., had something everyone wanted – a ceiling fan cooling down his booth. Among the things enjoying the breeze from the fan were a large pine wood box in old red paint, Nineteenth Century, and an Eighteenth Century New England table with one drawer and one leaf, beaded skirt and breadboard ends on a scrubbed top.
Sharon and Frank Kace of Manchester, N.H., were one of the two couples who started the Riverside show 11 years ago. Since selling it to Linda Turner they have become regular exhibitors and this time experienced a “fabulous opening.” Sharon said, “Our sales totaled about 20 on opening night, and we have done well since.” She listed among her sales Indian andirons, a decorated sign for a beauty parlor, 11 miniature canoes, a small one-drawer table, a tricolored gameboard, a trade sign, painted creel, large carnival figures and two heavy columns “that Frank is delighted not to haul home.”
She noted people came from a distance for Antiques Week in New Hampshire, and proof lay in the checks from California, Connecticut, Texas, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois and New York. “We did not get a single check from New Hampshire,” she said. “It has been better than last year,” she said, relating how “we got here on time, not like last year when we forgot the schedule and arrived late for setup.” This year setup dates were posted in big letters on the front of the frig.
A Connecticut/Rhode Island candlestand with stop-fluted shaft and carved knees, along with a four-drawer chest in birch, old red stain, 38 inches wide, were among the pieces of furniture in the booth of The Hanebergs of East Lyme, Conn. A Waldoboro rug, wool on muslin backing, overall floral design, excellent condition, hung on one of the walls and a pair of China Trade reverse paintings on glass depicted “The Snake Lady” after Reynolds and “The Sleeping Shepherdess.”
Douglas Constance of Orient, Long Island, N.Y., showed a New Hampshire sideboard in mahogany and curly maple, circa 1810, against the back wall, along with a fan carved arched top chest on chest, New London County, Conn., circa 1765, with the original brass. It was listed as being in excellent condition. On the less formal side was a set of four white painted Windsor birdcage side chairs.
A Sheraton double swing leg table in mahogany, circa 1800, one drawer in the base, along with a Nineteenth Century portrait of a lady with gold chain and lace collar, oil on canvas, 281/2 by 351/2 inches, American, were in the display of Devises & Desires of Easton, Md. Dover House Antiques of Louisville, Ky., was one of the first booths in the banquet facility and shown was a nice pair of oil on panel portraits of the Howarths of Marblehead, Mass., circa 1820. Furniture included a federal four-drawer chest in birch with mahogany and satinwood drawer fronts, circa 1810, of New Hampshire origin.
Several mill weights, including a cow and a horse, were shown by Dennis Raleigh of Wiscasset, Maine, along with a life-size hollow body swan decoy, about 50 years old, from the collection of Gus Knapp of Hudson, Ohio. The major section of the left wall was taken by a large hooked rug depicting a reclining lion. This piece came recently from a Massachusetts collection.
Neil and Mary Carden Quinn of Floral park, N.Y., had experienced “a good show, but off from most of the past Riverside Shows.” However, the “sales” list was impressive and included a decorated chest from Manheim, Penn., a geometric hooked rug in multicolors with black border, painted dome-top box, God’s-eye basket, carved folk art dog, signed pantry box, a tin cloves canister in mustard paint, a painted Baltimore firemark and a Hubley setter doorstop.
Jim and Victoria Emele of Dublin, Penn., brought a number of rdf_Descriptions from their home state including a two-door wall cupboard from Montgomery County, original red surface, and a cherry wood corner cupboard with 12-light door over two doors in the lower section, Leigh County, circa 1810. A pleasing color combination was provided by a two-compartment wood chest in old green and a small size mortised bench in chrome yellow.
The booth of Mad River Antiques, North Granby, Conn., faced the entrance to the banquet facility and was well outfitted with a set of six slat back, bolster-top Sheraton fancy side chairs with rush seats, allover stenciling; a Hepplewhite/Chippendale transitional chest of drawers in old blue over the original red, Bergen County, N.J.; and a one-drawer candlestand, Nineteenth Century, cherry wood and maple, old red finish, with 19-inch diameter top. Steve German mentioned that “sales of furniture have been off, so far, but a good number of smalls have been sold.” Among the “sold” rdf_Descriptions were a reverse painting on glass, several baskets including an Indian made example, pearlware drainer and cut-paper picture.
An Eighteenth Century pine and poplar open top cupboard from Pennsylvania was filled with redware, including two “NB” plates, and four Westerwald mugs in the booth of Brian Cullity of Sagamore, Mass. Brian said he had sold a good number of smalls, a Hepplewhite chair, and there was interest in his Rhode Island chest-on-chest in cherry wood, circa 1780-1800, measuring 70 inches tall.
John L. Long of Mineral, Va., one of the regulars at Riverside, had a large booth and it was filled with both furniture and interesting accessories. A walnut pencil post bed dating from the late Eighteenth Century, untouched condition, had recently come out of an Ohio collection, while a Virginia Queen Anne tea table was from an estate in Nelson County. The table dated circa 1785, had a 30-inch diameter top, and was possibly from Albemarle County.
Harrington Cottage Antiques, Harrington, Maine, brought a Sheraton dressing table, circa 1825, yellow paint, from the home state, along with a one-drawer stand, a pair of step down Windsor side chairs in black paint, and a well-turned wooden bowl, 22 inches in diameter, with some traces of the original red surface showing.
“We are very pleased with the show,” Herb Windle of Wilmington, Del., said, and included in his sales a New Hampshire slant front desk and several pieces of iron lighting. Speaking about a 74-inch-long harvest table at the front of the booth, Herb said, “We would really like to move it, but is generally too big for most people as it seats 12.” The table, of cherry wood and pine, dated from the Nineteenth Century and would be perfect for a large kitchen area. A Riley Whiting tall-case clock with wooden works, Chesterfield, Conn., had a signed dial and dated circa 1790-1810.
Hanes and Ruskin of Old Lyme, Conn., brought a formal look to the show with a collection of furniture that included a pair of Queen Anne balloon seat side chairs from the Boston area. The chairs were red over red, circa 1740-60, with leather-covered seats. A circa 1760 graduated six-drawer Queen Anne highboy on frame was of Rhode Island origin.
A Sheraton Windsor bamboo settee in old black over the original red, signed J.C. Hubbard, Boston, was against a sampler covered wall in the booth of The Fassnachts of Canandaigua, N.Y. One of the needlework pictures, chenille and silk, depicted the Irish ruins “SLIGO ABBEY.” This piece was executed by Catherine Cassidy, St Joseph School, Albany, N.Y.
So once again Riverside proved its popularity and importance to Antiques Week in New Hampshire. The dealers save for this show, offering their best, and the people are there to take away any treasures that strike their fancy or enhance their collections. Riverside remains strong and popular, as well it should.
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