Published: August 26, 2003
– Lilly, Trish McElroy’s constant four-legged companion, showed her appreciation through lots of tail-wagging; George and Beverly McTurk of Pineywood Farm, a bed and breakfast, knew that it was happening, and Frank Fletcher, owner of the Marion Sports Store just down the road from Tabor Academy, said it was a great move and would make a big difference at the show. And, of course, the dealers taking part in the show were thrilled by it. So what was this treat the town was talking about? Air-conditioning.
“After the unbearable heat last year we knew that the show would not survive if we did not do something, so we bit the bullet and ordered-up some air-conditioning,” Trish said, to the approval of everyone. Two large generators hummed outside of the sports center at Tabor Academy and several large-diameter yellow tubes brought cool air in the gymnasium. Setup for the Saturday/Sunday show, with preview on Friday evening, began on Thursday and all exhibitors were to have been moved in on that day. “We did not want to open any of the large doors on Friday, as we hoped to cool down the building that day and be ready for the preview,” Trish said.
If the same system is used again next year, several new ideas will be put forth. Large heat-reflecting material will be installed against some of the large doors facing the afternoon sun, and the same material will be used to cover the large tubes coming into the building as there is some heat loss between the generators and the structure. All of that may not be necessary, however, as there was talk that an “angel” or two had come forward and offered to air-condition the gym for the academy. Such a move would not only benefit the antiques show, but would also provide a more-playable condition for late spring and early fall sports at Tabor.
Charles and Barbara Adams of South Yarmouth, Mass., were exhibitors again this year, sharing a booth with Lewis Scranton of Killingworth, Conn. It was good to hear Barbara’s cheery voice on the phone the Wednesday following the show after learning that she left the show on Sunday in an ambulance because of chest pains. “It was a small hospital I was taken to, but they ran all sorts of tests and I passed them with flying colors,” she said. Fortunately, Charlie Brown of The China Trader and one of the porters at the show were both EMTs, so help was immediate until the ambulance arrived.
“The worst part of it all was spending two-and-a-half days in the hospital when I should have been home working on the results of the Marion Show and preparing for the next one,” Barbara said. She noted they did not sell any Bennington, their specialty, in Marion, but “the show was still very good for us and we made several new contacts.” Several maps of Cape Cod, a Nantucket basket, two decoys, a ship model, an oval tip-top table, pewter and a number of nautical-related rdf_Descriptions accounted for another success.
The still bank market seemed to be cornered by Richard Suydan of Lahaska, Penn., who offered about 25 examples, all bank buildings. Right in keeping with this costal town was a doorstop in the form of Old Salty, in yellow slicker, and an Arts and Crafts sofa, circa 1915, was covered in a white linen.
A two-piece corner cupboard with shaped skirt, 12 light door, 6 feet 8 inches tall, filled a portion of the booth of Kemble’s Americana of Norwich, Ohio. A sheet iron weathervane in the form of a peacock dated from the third quarter of the Eighteenth Century, and other iron pieces included doorstops in the form of turtles, frogs and a dog. Another weathervane, in the shape of a rooster, was of sheet metal and had the original yellow painted surface.
During setup on Thursday and Friday, Howard Graff of Townshend, Vt., was sporting a T-shirt advertising the fast approaching Vermont Dealers Show in Manchester Center on September 27-28. At that event he serves both as an exhibitor and co-manager. As for Marion, “It was a good show for me with about 20 sales and now I have to start shopping again for VADA,” Howard said. At Marion he sold a small desk, a three-drawer country chest, a spider skillet, a butler stand, a floor lamps and a number of paperweights.
A pair of yellowleg decoys of Cape Cod origin, late Nineteenth Century, original paint with some evidence of being shot, looked down from a shelf in the booth of Brian Cullity of Sagamore, Mass. A ribbon back side chair from New England, maple with a flame-stitch covered seat, circa 1790, was among the furniture offered, along with a stoneware keg dated 1827 while another piece of stoneware, a pot with wide mouth and two handles, was from Charlestown with an incised eagle.
Enrique “Ricky” Goytizolo had only a few-minute commute from neighboring Fairhaven to do the show, offering a collection of English furniture including a Nineteenth Century carved walnut center table, circa 1850, probably by W. Smee & Son, 50-inch diameter top; a Window bench of small size with hinged top, circa 1850; and a mahogany writing cabinet, circa 1810, with molded rectangular top and pigeon-hole interior. The show proved to be a good one for Ricky as he sold three pieces of furniture, plus other accessories.
Leatherwood Antiques of Sandwich, Mass., also had a good show selling from a booth jam-packed with Black Forest figures, trade signs, children’s mugs and plates, bronzes, horse-related rdf_Descriptions and some furniture including a carved and painted Bavarian kas, 82 inches tall, with two doors in front and carved figures at the corners. It was found in Berlin, Germany. Several cast-iron urns with great painted surface were ready for the garden, as was a set of four iron folding chairs. A circa 1920 sign, designed for indoor use, showed a large pointing hand with the lettering, “Say Boy, This Is It.”
One corner of the booth of Under Capricorn from Rochester, Mass., was taken by two chests, one on top of the other, cottage pieces with colorful paint decoration attributed to Peter Hunt. Each chest had three drawers, red wooden knobs, floral decoration and dated circa 1939. Ferguson & D’Arruda of Providence, R.I., showed a drop panel Sheraton bow front, four-drawer chest from central Massachusetts, circa 1820. A plant stand, three-sided, was painted white with galvanized liner.
Even as some gardens start to wind down, especially after all of the rain this season, people are still interested in those extra things that tend to make their garden special. Debra Queen of South Dartmouth, Mass., was at the show to fill this need, and with success. Minutes into the preview she sold a large hanging cupboard comprised of three compartments with doors and some open shelves. Also offered was a cast swan planter of substantial weight, a cast-iron garden bench in the rustic twig pattern and a nice wire conservatory table in old white paint.
A Queen Anne tavern table found in Connecticut was shown in the booth of East Dennis Antiques of East Dennis, Mass. It dated circa 1730-80, button feet, two-board top measuring 21 by 34 inches, and shows traces of the original black paint. A four-drawer Hepplewhite chest with inlaid banding, probably New York State, circa 1810, was offered, along with a classical card table, mahogany and mahogany veneer, with the original brass rosettes and casters. It dated circa 1825 and was from coastal New Hampshire or Massachusetts.
Another one of the local shops taking part in the show was The China Trader with a large booth filled with furniture, wall hangings and accessories. “We did spectacular at the last three shows here, and also did well this time, but it was a little slower,” Charlie Brown said. A major piece in the booth was a Shanxi altar table in elm, 130 inches long, early Eighteenth Century, shown with a Tibetan cabinet in pinewood with 11 painted panels in the front, mid-Nineteenth Century. A Nineteenth Century chest with three storage drawers measured 64 by 27 by 37 inches and dated from the Nineteenth Century. “In the past, about 50 percent of our business is done at the preview, but that was not the case this year. Sales were spread out evenly over the three days, including a couple of good ones on Sunday,” he said. Sales at the preview included a large trunk and three Tibetan rugs, followed by a pair of stools, spring benches, more rugs and lots of smalls on the following two day.
In addition to numerous samplers and a selection of Canton for which he is well-known, Henry T. Callan of East Sandwich, Mass., offered three candlestands lined up across the front of his booth. A Sheraton example had one drawer with brass pull, circa 1820, while the one in the middle was an American Hepplewhite stand in mahogany, shelf and drawer, circa 1790. To the left was a Chippendale candlestand that dated circa 1770.
Thomas and Celeste Dynan of Kennebunk, Maine, offered a large selection of furniture including a games table with fancy inlaid top. “It contains a number of games inside and has multi uses,” Celeste said, adding, “it can also be used as a center table when in the closed position.” A carved walnut center table with white marble top, American, circa 1860, was shown, along with a two-part secretary/ bookcase in mahogany with Gothic arched doors in the top over a fold-out writing surface and three drawers. It is American, circa 1825.
A long weather-faded sign for the Olympic Breeze, yellow with traces of blue on one long board, hung against the back wall in the booth of Hillary and Paulette Nolan of Falmouth, Mass. “We don’t live very far from here and are thinking of coming to the show tomorrow by boat,” Hillary said. (He promised to send us a picture if he did it, and to date none has arrived.) A pair of bow back Windsor side chairs of Massachusetts origin was offered, and just right for the collector of nautical rdf_Descriptions was a large hooked rug with crossed anchors and shield in the center and a wheel, propeller and flags in the corners.
One of the latest finds by Bruce Emond of The Village Braider, Plymouth, Mass., was a large marble fountain, more than six feet tall, with a child standing in a large basin on a pedestal. “It is very heavy, but an honest one with lots of age,” Bruce said. In addition, he offered other garden fixtures including a cast birdbath, pair of dogs, turtle fountain and one of the Four Seasons figures standing about three feet high.
A New England Eighteenth Century table with one drawer and one drop leaf, breadboard ends, beaded skirt, old refinish, was in the booth of Eric D. Wohl of Pomfret Center, Conn. A hide-covered horse, probably once a rocking horse, dated from the early Nineteenth Century and was shown on the table top. A blanket box from Eastern Long Island had fishnet decoration, cutout ends, the original pair of snipe hinges and dated from the Eighteenth Century.
Tom Joseph of Limington, Maine, showed a nice yellow painted dressing table and the major part of one of the side walls was taken up by a large painting showing a mill scene, complete with lots of activity including a house, boy and his dog, ducks and mountains in the background.
“After reading the article about Charles Dana Gibson in Antiques and The Arts Weekly, I decided to bring to the show one of the books I have of his illustrations, The Gibson Book, Volume One of two,” Elizabeth Robinson of Acorn Antiques, Westerly, R.I., said. The volume was published by Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York City, in 1906. In pen and ink, Gibson created one of the most popular images during the Gilded Age and was one of the many people who summered in Marion. His work is the subject of an exhibition at the Sippican Historical and Preservation Society.
Many pieces of furniture filled the large booth of Glenbrook Antiques of Hudson, N.Y., including a small bow front English sideboard, circa 1880; a George II inlaid breakfront in mahogany, circa 1790; and a classical library table, also in mahogany, circa 1835.
A small child’s ladder back side chair, yellow paint with rush seat, did not have a price tag attached, but was for sale as part of a chair/painting package offered from the booth of Thomas Moser of Lincolnville, Maine. The painting, oil on canvas, was of Rebecca A. Harris of North Situate, R.I., signed and dated “Wm Steere, 1860,” in the original frame. And there was Rebecca, looking cute and seated in the very same chair that has descended with the portrait. A smoke decorated dressing table had two small drawers and backsplash, and a large and colorful floral design quilt, New England, circa 1840, took up a large portion of the back wall.
One of the highboys on the floor was in the booth of Doug Constant, Orient, N.Y., a Queen Anne example in maple from Coastal Massachusetts, circa 1740. A federal tall chest in birch was from Southern New Hampshire, circa 1790, with rare hardware showing egrets standing among cattails. “That design on drawer pulls is new to me, I have never seen it before,” Doug said.
Clock faces, round breadboards and biscuit tins are the trademark of Rena Goldenberg, Orange, Conn., and she was certainly well supplied in all categories at the Marion Show. Biscuit tins, and in very good to fine condition, took on many shapes including books, houses, lunch pails, tables, globes, binocular case and even a bird’s nest with six eggs.
Randall E. Decoteau of Warren, Mass., showed a slant front desk with quarter columns, ogee feet, Pennsylvania origin, circa 1780-1800, and a Chippendale side chair in mahogany with heart-shaped cutout in the back splat. The chair, with caster holes in the legs, was probably from Pennsylvania, circa 1780. A Salem dressing stand in yellow, with two tiers of drawers on top, floral decoration, was in the booth of New England South of Roswell, Ga. A dish-top Queen Anne candlestand dated from the Eighteenth Century, and a tea table with spade feet, delicate curved legs, cherry wood, was from Long Island and dated from the Eighteenth Century.
Jeff Gladding of Epilogues, Bristol, R.I., got his feet wet at the Marion Show and “had a very good first time out.” In addition to a good number of pieces of iron, including star barn ends and finials, he sold a pair of garden benches and a cast-iron anchor that fell right in with the popularity of nautical things at the show. Probably one of the most unusual things at the show was the elevator booth in his booth. “In the right hands, it could be put to many uses,” Jeff said. Suggestions heard about the floor included a closet, outdoor trellis or shower stall.
A well painted ship model left the show under the arm of a very satisfied previewgoer who had just left Don Heller of Heller-Washam, Portland, Maine, and Woodbury, Conn. Also of nautical interest was a large shadowbox containing a model of the Titanic, complete with lighted portholes, dating from the first quarter of the Nineteenth Century. A Chippendale blocked-end reverse serpentine front chest of drawers in cherry wood, circa 1775, Upper Connecticut Valley, was shown, and standing next to it was a cast lead figure of a greyhound, circa 1880, probably by H. Crowther Ltd.
“We had about 700 tickets sold for the preview, and it did become quite crowded,” Trish McElroy said. She indicated the gate on Saturday “seemed a bit slow, but Sunday was quite active with a good many sales made by the dealers.” This is the 11th year of the show and, “I am working with a great committee out here. They not only work very hard doing all the things necessary to put on a show, but when it is time they support it, buying many things from the dealers.”
The show will probably be a week later next year, previewing on the 20th, as Antiques Week in New Hampshire will be later as well. “I don’t want to make it hard on the dealers, so we will probably follow the New Hampshire shows as usual,” she said. In the meantime, her efforts now turn to Stonington, Conn., where she will again put on her manager’s hat in February.
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