Published: August 28, 2007
Frank Gaglio of Barn Star Promotions rearranged the antiques landscape 14 years ago when he founded Mid*Week in Manchester Antiques Show, the 112-exhibitor fair that brought dozens of prominent specialists to Antiques Week in New Hampshire.
Gaglio shifted the terrain again this year when he switched his Friday show, the Bedford Pickers Market, to Monday, August 6, hoping to close the gap at the beginning of Antiques Week and capture buyers from Northeast Auctions’ August 3‵ weekend sale. The date change was also meant to take pressure off exhibitors, exhausted by the Thursday night pack out and set up at Barn Star’s back-to-back shows.
Speaking from Lake Winnipesaukee, where he was relaxing after Antiques Week’s close, Gaglio said his marketing plan worked “110 percent” for the Pickers Market, but also benefited Mid*Week. Barn Star sold a record number of discounted two-show passes.
“Attendance was the best it has ever been,” said Gaglio, pleased by the number of first-time visitors to Mid*Week.
“We did a ton of retail advertising in resort areas. It is hard to tell where the newcomers came from, but many of them headed right for the tent without even realizing that there were more dealers in the Convention Center. We put up more signs to direct people and I took many of the newcomers over to the Convention Center myself,” said the promoter.
Showers caused Mid*Week to open a few minutes before 9 am on Wednesday, August 8. A huge queue of shoppers pushed forward to the gate, then fanned out toward the two exhibit buildings. Attendance and sales were robust through Wednesday but, without the Pickers Market on Friday, dropped on Thursday as weary Antiques Week shoppers began heading for home.
“Overall, attendance was comparable to last year,” said Gaglio.
Perhaps because so many Antiques Week visitors are vacationers, objects that can be tucked into the trunk of a car or carried onto a plane are bestsellers. Gaglio said that his onsite shipper “took out over $30,000 worth of material,” an indication of strong furniture sales.
“Lighting struck,” said Thurston Nichols, who had one of his best shows ever. The Pennsylvania dealer sold a Soap Hollow step back dresser, along with folk art and a “fantastic hooked table rug.” Across the tent, a Soap Hollow chest of drawers was $55,000 at Greg Kramer, Robesonia, Penn.
“We’re very pleased. We sold a Southern walnut bookcase on stand, a tiger maple Queen Anne armchair, a ladder back side chair, lots of woodenware and other smalls, and lighting, including three pairs of tin sconces, two large lanterns and an iron floor standard lighting device. We made a very large sale of a textile on Thursday,” said Massachusetts dealer Elliott Snyder.
“I have Bennington pottery collectors from all over the country who come every year to see me at Mid*Week,” said Cape Cod dealer Barbara Adams, who also sold “good expensive smalls, paintings, redware, blue spongeware and a few baskets.”
Some exhibitors adapted their presentations with the hope of increasing sales.
“I want collectors to know that they don’t have to live in an Eighteenth Century house,” said Newbury, Mass., dealer Joan Brownstein, whose crisp, tailored display mingled Modernist furniture and primitive painting. For the first time, Brownstein brought Twentieth Century art pottery by Mary and Edwin Schreier. A entire case of the refined, streamlined ceramics sold immediately.
Known for very fine textiles, Pennsylvania dealer Jan Whitlock emphasized furnishing fabrics and needlework under $10,000. “I made four small sales at the beginning of the show,” she said, continuing to sell as the show progressed.
“I’ve sold lots of quilts, shelves, a table, hooked rugs and a sign,” said Massachusetts dealer Susan Stella. Other sales included a primitive portrait of a girl attributed to John Brewster Jr, a pair of theorems on velvet and a portrait attributed to Zedekiah Belknap at Robert Thayer; a large painted banner depicting a camp revival, at Nikki and Tom Dupree; and trade signs at Stephen Score.
Al Katz sold a carved figure of Uncle Sam and game boards; Lisa McAllister parted with a sawbuck harvest table, ceramics, early Christmas ornaments and folk art; a cornucopia of primitives left Latcham House’s stand; Autumn Pond was quick to write up a sailing ship weathervane; and Harold Cole found a new home for a Hudson River Valley kas in gray-blue paint.
Mid*Week in Manchester offered up an abundance of treasures: rare Norwalk, Conn., redware at both Samuel Herrup Antiques and Raccoon Creek, and, its polished mahogany surface gleaming, a Classical card table attributed to Lannuier at Jenkinstown Antiques. “It’s the North Carolina equivalent of Spitler,” David Schorsch said of a small North Carolina dower chest, dated 1790 and illustrated in Monroe H. Fabian’s The Pennsylvania-German Decorated Chest , painted with two pinwheels on a dappled ground.
“No one has ever cleaned this chest,” added Schorsch, who predicts that collectors will eventually be as hands-off with paint as they are now with finished surfaces.
Mid*Week at Manchester is a big show with much to look at. Dating to the Eighteenth Century, an eastern Virginia marble-top slab table, $55,000, starred at Sumpter Priddy III, a Virginia dealer who also offered a pair of Baltimore Fancy painted chairs, $18,500, attributed to John and Hugh Finley.
Susie Burmann positioned an unusual flat-top high chest of drawers in the center of her booth so that customers could inspect the unusual construction of its paneled and braced back.
“We think it’s coastal Atlantic,” the New Hampshire dealer said of the case piece auctioned by Nadeau years ago. Burmann marked the piece $45,000.
George Spiecker was off to a good start, having sold his big horse weathervane, a candlestand and a Windsor chair. A corner cupboard and a bow front chest of drawers were both on hold.
A Lancaster, Penn., cupboard, purpose built to fit an irregular corner, was $20,000 at Mark and Marjorie Allen, Portsmouth, N.H.
Folk art included John Brewster Jr portraits of Charles Coffin, Esq, and Mary Davenport of Buxton, Maine, $58,000, and ram and ewe weathervanes at Julie Lindberg Antiques.
A nest of four Nineteenth Century Taconic baskets was $5,800 at The Kembles.
“It was probably originally painted,” Vermont dealer Judd Gregory said of his majestically large architectural pillars and pediment for a Deerfield Valley, Mass., doorway.
Jim and Nancy Glazer featured a miniature rustic summer house dating to circa 1930. “It was probably a salesman’s sample,” said Nancy Glazer. A large bird house was a charmer at Olde Hope Antiques.
A marked Fiske fountain was a good buy at Kelly Kinzle, New Oxford, Penn., and a pair of lyre-shaped architectural elements from a music supply house in Chicago attracted notice at Giampietro Antiques.
Hilary and Paulette Nolan lined their stand with circa 1810 architectural paneling, including doors and fireplace, from a house in Woods Hole, Mass.
Ballyhack Antiques’ corner booth was perfect for a paint decorated water pump marked Davis Wright & Co., Keene, N.H.
“Being a former dealer, I design my shows with the best interests of my exhibitors in mind,” said Frank Gaglio. “Next year, I will adjust show hours to make it more convenient for my dealers.” Later hours this year failed to draw returning customers in sufficient numbers.
Barn Star’s next event is the Princeton Fall Antiques & Fine Arts Show. It opens with a gala preview on Friday, September 28, continuing through the weekend. For information, 845-876-0616 or www.barnstar.com .
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm