When antiques show promoter Marvin Getman thought about moving the date of his six-year-old Elm Bank antiques show from late July to mid-June this year, dealer response was overwhelming. Dealers and buyers had both expressed great regret about the midsummer date when area buyers were usually off at their summer homes. The change in strategy worked. Despite cool, steady rain for this year’s June 11‱2 event, pleased collectors and dealers braved the elements and made for a strong show for many.
The show is exceptionally pretty: pristine (and water-tight) white tents line the prized specimen gardens of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society headquarters along the Charles River. Dealers and collectors look forward to the Elm Bank show each year; most dealers always do well there, and both groups enjoy the serene setting. A few days after the show, Getman was already making plans for next year’s show. He said he will add a group dealer tent with wall booths, which will better serve exhibitors and buyers next year.
Essex Antiquarians of Essex, Mass., was positioned well to welcome visitors as they entered the show at the top of the hill, hard by the manor house, which is no longer in use for antiques shows and other events. The dealer showed furniture and accessories, including one large assortment of canes and walking sticks.
Antiques at Hingham, operated by Norman and Judy McCullough and aided by Bruce Westcott, had a good show †with sales of ceramics, silver and even a very large hutch that went to area buyers who moved it themselves. Judy McCullough noted that they enjoy doing Getman shows as they are always well organized and publicized.
Palm Beach, Fla., dealer Dennis Easter filled his booth, Made in Russia, with Russian icons and other religious artifacts that were very well received. He reported that while he had only a few buyers, they were focused and educated and his sales were excellent. For Easter, this year’s buyers all came from Wellesley, while in years past, none were from town.
Martin J. Ferrick of Lincoln, Maine, brought along the exact right array of furniture and decorations, and before the show ended, of the ten pieces of furniture he brought, seven were sold (to seven different buyers) and two more were on hold. Ferrick shared a large booth inside the Education Building with Bradford Trust of Harwich Port, Mass., one of whose specialties is the artworks of coastal New England, particularly that of Cape Cod. Roy and Sheila Mennell brought along several works by Cape artist Charles D. Cahoon of Harwich, including “Dory in the Fog” and “Autumn Landscape.” The artist is the subject of the exhibit “Remembering Charles D. Cahoon: A 150th Retrospective,” on view at the Brooks Academy Museum in Harwich through October 8. Bradford Trust is one of the sponsors of the exhibit. The Mennells also showed a John Cuthbert Hare watercolor view of Provincetown, which they paired with another Hare watercolor of Provincetown rooftops that they purchased at the show.
The focal point in the booth of Fair Trade Antiques of Shelburne Falls, Mass., was an Anglo Indian teak settee and two chairs, all with caned seats, that were made in the 1940s or 1950s for French or Dutch expatriates. There was also a small Indian teak table with its four legs carved as fanciful elephant heads with ivory tusks, a campaign chest, a small box on stand, and an entire case filled with toothsome jewelry made in India.
Birds flew out of the booth of Malchione Sporting Antiques of Kennett Square, Penn. John and Veronica Malchione brought duck and fish decoys, rods and reels, creels and baskets. They made several rewarding sales during the show, including decoys and an English reel, and experienced interest from new buyers. One show attendee admired a large carved owl figure, but never got back to the show to close the sale. Veronica Malchione said the Vermont buyer called after the show and made the purchase. She echoed comments by a number of dealers who experienced strong sales, despite the rain. Like other dealers, she also commended show promoter Getman for the quality of the show.
One lucky show visitor was the winner of a $1,000 gift certificate awarded by dealers Landry and Arcari Oriental Rugs and Carpeting of Boston and Salem, a stalwart of the show since the beginning.
East Sandwich, Mass., dealer Edythe & Company displayed some highly appealing garden furnishings, including an elegant French green painted wire wash stand that could also be used in a solarium. There were also French garden chairs, a decorative lawn wheelbarrow and an array of white garden furniture.
Buyers clustered around the booth of Steven Schuyler Bookseller of North Reading, Mass., making selections from the array that included desirable good antique reference books and antiquarian books. This reporter’s favorite was Poultry Husbandry by Morley A. Jull, who wrote extensively on various fowl. In case you want to marry a chicken.
Abington, Mass., dealers Linda and Jeffrey Grossman, who operate as The Chairman and the Tea Lady, had a large supply of sets of colorful vintage drinking glasses, many of which were contained in carrying racks, others of which were accompanied by matching lemonade pitchers. They offered something for every taste.
Boston dealer Peter D. Murphy had a 9-foot framed French and English alphabet print from between 1864 and 1866 that spanned the back wall of his booth. He also showed some engraved hunting scenes by Englishman Henry Thomas Alken. He sold the 1920s block print of a scene in China by English artist Katharine Jowett and a pair of Edwardian mahogany desk cabinets with inlay, among other objects. Murphy reported active interest across the board.
Silver dealer Sandra S. Willson of Churchville, N.Y., said that by noon on Saturday she had already surpassed her best show ever †and that is after 26 years in business. By pack-out on Sunday, she had nearly doubled her previous best show total.
Iron Renaissance Antiques came from Damariscotta, Maine, with a selection of iron furniture dating from the 1880s through the Twentieth Century. Dealers Joni Lima and Joseph Spaider reported that they had a great show, one of the best for the year, so far. They sold a table and chairs, along with a white chaise and club chairs to one set of buyers, who also bought a handsome tea cart that Lima and Spaider delivered on their way back to Maine.
Swampscott, Mass., dealer Edith G. Harris had the right combination of high-quality porcelain and silver smalls to draw a consistently steady and eager crowd to her booth.
The paintings and prints that Gert Wirth of Ingeborg Gallery in Northfield, Mass., delivered found favor with a number of visitors and solid sales were made in both categories.
Steele and Steele Antiques of Middletown, R.I., supplies buyers at Elm Bank with just the right garden furnishings and architectural ornaments they seek. Shoppers were drawn to Jane and David Steele’s attractive booth filled with jardinières and garden urns †one of which was planted with exquisite white roses †country smalls and country furniture, including two good blanket chests. Sales were brisk; one client alone bought a wicker sofa, a set of shelves, a primitive baker’s table and a copper sundial.
Staff of the Boston-based Gentle Giant Moving Company were straight out for two days, hauling furniture and other large purchases to the parking area. The company, a sponsor of the show and a regular fixture at Getman’s shows, is a full-service entity that also offers restoration and conservation services.
For general information, www.neantiqueshows.com or 781-862-4039.