Published: August 26, 2008
If it’s raining, it has to be Mid*Week in Manchester. Such was the case again this year as people began lining up for the opening of this popular show on Tuesday morning, August 5.
“We celebrated our 15th year and it really worked out very well,” Frank Gaglio, show manager said. And in spite of the rain, which was very heavy at times, “we had no major leaks in the tent and people seemed to take the weather in stride,” he said. This year more people than usual were in line to first visit the convention center as the covered bridge between the center and the Quality Inn provided a much need umbrella for those who forgot one.
Mid*Week has gained the reputation as an important summer destination for collectors, and year after year many of the same faces are there. Two regulars from Houston mentioned, “We look forward to our trip here every August, and we never go home empty-handed.” A collector from the Midwest is never further back in line than about 30 people and has been building his collection at Mid*Week since the first show. “I always find something here and it keeps me coming back,” he said.
“Our vacation is Antiques Week in New Hampshire, and Mid*Week is a highlight,” said one young couple. And with 112 exhibitors, the booths were filled with opportunities.
Just to the left of the entrance to the tent Hillary and Paulette Nolan of Falmouth, Mass., were set up, offering a large apothecary/store cabinet that came from a general store in Massachusetts. Many of the drawers were still lettered, such as Pepper, Indigo, Umber and Rosin, and the open bins once held various grains and other supplies. “We have known about this cabinet for years and finally the store was closing and we were able to buy it,” Hillary said. It sold the first day of the show. At the front of the booth was a three-board scrubbed top tavern table with turned legs, and several ship models and carved birds were on display.
Raccoon Creek at Oley Forge, Oley, Penn., filled a corner booth with many bright and colorful fabrics, pottery and painted furniture. A diminutive cupboard from Bergen County, N.J., retained the original paint decorated surface over the original salmon, circa 1840, with one drawer in the top section and two in the lower portion. A Vermont mule chest, lift top over two drawers, dated circa 1790 and never had any hardware; the vinegar painted second surface dated 1830‱840. A wonderful pair on Indian clubs, decorated with Hudson River landscapes, were probably special ordered at one time.
A country Chippendale table in the original red with scrubbed top, drop leaf, New England, circa 1770‱790, was at the front of the booth of Colette Donovan of Merrimacport, Mass. And in addition to several hooked rug and stacks of early fabrics, for which she is well-known, she offered a pantry or storage cupboard in pine and of New England origin. It retained a dry old apple green surface and was of Eighteenth Century rosehead nail construction.
Charles Wilson Antiques and Folk Art, West Chester, Penn., has an impressive lineup of hitching posts, many part of a large collection he recently acquired. Offered were a number of horses, hands, pointing fingers, swans and dogs. Mill weights included a nice Hummer rooster and a star by Flint and Walling, and a large hackney horse weathervane was displayed at the front of the booth. The horse, with cast head, circa 1890, measured 36 inches long and was attributed to E.G. Washburne, founded in 1853, of New York City and Danvers, Mass.
Several historical firearms of the type carried into the “Western” frontier of the Cumberland Gap, Ky., were displayed by Red Griffin of Georgetown, Conn. A Queen Anne side chair with double ball front run, vase-shaped splat and early rush seat, was from coastal Connecticut, and with the same origin was a banister back side chair in black, with rush seat.
Doorstops filled a major part of a display case in the booth of American Sampler, Boyds, Md. Represented were a lighthouse, Old Salty, rooster, several pots of flowers, many breeds of dogs, a large pheasant and Little Red Riding Hood. Cast iron birds were in the form of a heron, eagle and a wood duck lawn sprinkler.
DebraElizabeth Schaffer of Wiscasset, Maine, had a tall coat tree in the corner of the booth hung with many early splint gathering baskets. A one-door cupboard, 42 inches wide and 6½ feet tall, retained the original green painted surface. Steve Smoot Antiques of Lancaster, Penn., offered a Pennsylvania bamboo Windsor settee with late Victorian decoration, circa 1810, and a hooked rug with an American flag was dated 1898.
Allan Katz Americana of Woodbridge, Conn., showed a large Cushing and White cow weathervane, full bodied, circa 1880, measuring 33 inches long, and an Ever-Ready Safety Razor clock that was an early advertising piece. One wall was fitted with a large tapestry with Egyptian motifs, origin unknown, circa 1910, cotton fabric measuring 115 by 52 inches.
A life-size figure of Gabriel, wood carved and dating from the early Nineteenth Century, stood at the back of the booth of Greg Kramer & Co., Robesonia, Penn. It measured 66½ inches high and was of Continental origin. An interesting collection of about 40 pie crimpers was shown, “Part of a collection of about 775 of them, all Pennsylvania, that I knew about and was just able to buy,” Greg said.
SAJE Americana of Short Hills, N.J., showed a hutch table with red painted base, small size, circa 1850, New York State, and a three-drawer blanket chest, yellow and red painted and decorated, measuring 40 inches wide, 17¾ inches deep and 40½ inches high. A large round tole tray, Anglo/American, dated circa 1860 and showed a selection of fruit painted on a red ground.
“We have been busy this year finishing up our new book that is due out in January or early February,” said folk art expert Clifford A. Wallach of Greenwich, Conn. Six tramp art mirrors hung about the booth reflecting the coming and going of those who came to have a closer look at his tramp art display. Centered at the back of the booth was a large deeply layered frame with heart corners and rounded top with sunburst. Smaller objects included several boxes and a candlestick with heart design.
Lisa McAllister of Clear Spring, MD, offered a walnut tea table with drawer, circa 1790, in as-found condition from Franklin County, Penn. A large redware charger was displayed on top of the table, and in the showcase was a grouping of five Plains Indian carvings, all on horseback with weapons, circa 1920. The Indians were being sold as a collection.
A small mouth bass caught in Lake Pocotopaug, East Hampton, Conn., by John E. Hutchin, a bell caster, was in brass and mounted on a plaque. Apparently a sand casting was made of the fish and then cast and painted by Hutchins, circa 1900‱910. It was displayed in the booth of A Bird in Hand, Florham Park, N.J., along with a selection of carved decoys, including a Canada goose by Sam Forsyth of Bay Head, N.J. It dated 1880‱890 and was of hollow construction and in the original paint.
Attracting attention in the booth of Dan Morphy, Denver, Penn., was a countertop punch in the original paint by Wm. Demuth & Co., Manufacturers, of New York. A red Steelcraft police patrol truck was on a table, placed under a selection of early advertising posters that including several for the tobacco industry, among them Log Cabin Tobacco and Greenback Tobacco.
John Hunt Marshall of Florence, Mass., offered a pair of Windsor cornices from Nebraska and dating from the late Nineteenth Century, and a set of six plank-seat Windsor thumb back, decorated side chairs. Denny Tracy Antiques, Ann Arbor, Mich., had a peacock weathervane, sheet metal, old mustard paint, a pair of sea gull vanes from New England and dating from the early Twentieth Century, and a sign that offered “Free Water for Your Horse.”
Three sandpaper drawings hung in the booth of Steve and Lorraine Marshall American Antiques of Greensboro, N.C., including “Indian Cabin and Nick of the Woods” depicting a landscape with teepee, a Native American log house, figures on the banks of a lake and an Indian in a canoe. An interesting corner shelf with graduated shelves, late Eighteenth Century, retained the original red surface.
Thurston Nichols American Antiques of Breinigsville, Penn., showed a large set of andirons, wrought iron, circa 1920, with figural dog heads and a grate in between. An American whale weathervane of large size dated circa 1950, and a child-size blanket chest retained its original yellow and ochre stippled decoration with a stenciled American eagle. It was of paneled construction, turned feet, dated 1836 and came from Schuylkill County, Penn.
A sailing ship with an American flag, surrounded by a red scrolled border, was the design of a hooked rug offered by Latcham House Antiques of Waterville, Ohio. A painting by Marblehead artist W.T. Bartoll, dated 1848, showed the Port of Hammond Gregory. Joseph Martin of Brownington, Vt., spelled out “CAT” in large gold letters on one wall, and close by hung a nice national Fire of Hartford plaque depicting a lad holding a flag, eagle and stag. Both a large and small rooster weathervane were offered, the larger of the two having a well-worn gilt surface that appeared to be the original.
An African American quilt sewn with countless buttons, circa 1900‱920, came from a family in Jackson, Tenn., and was hung by Harvey Art & Antiques of Evanston, Ill. An oil on canvas, “Fisherman,” circa 1920, was by Adelaide Jaffrey Lawson Gaylor, American, and measured 35 by 29 inches sight. It was in a 22K gold leaf frame. Autumn Pond of Woodbury, Conn., had a five-piece Delft garniture set, Holland, circa 1760, and a Black Hawk weathervane, late Nineteenth Century, in painted sheet metal. A lead garden statue of Pan was from England, circa 1890.
Greensmith’s Derby Dog Biscuits, promoted by a dog jumping through a hoop held by a clown, were advertised on a poster in the booth of John Sideli Art & Antiques, Wiscasset, Maine. Jiggs and Maggie painted doorstops were in excellent condition, and a large glass compote of velvet fruit included a butterfly pen wipe.
Among some fine examples of early Connecticut furniture, including a joint stool and gate leg table, Harold Cole of Woodbury, Conn., showed a grouping of weathervanes, all full bodied, including a rare stork, bull, horse, setter dog, Liberty, rooster and horse with rider. Jane Wargo, another Connecticut exhibitor from Wallingford, had a teller’s desk, American white pine, circa 1830, in blue with a tall spindle surround, and an early Nineteenth Century New England hanging cupboard, 44 inches high and 36 inches wide, scraped down to the original red painted surface.
“We had the best Mid*Week show ever, selling seven pieces of furniture,” Karen Wendhiser of Ellington, Conn., said. Together with husband Paul, sales accounted for a set of chairs, three candlestands, a bucket bench and two six-board chests, in addition to a pair of andirons, zinc finial, needlework sewing purse, Native American items and several baskets.
Other furniture included an early Nineteenth Century step back cupboard, blue-green paint, 78 inches high, 45 inches wide and 20 inches deep, right out of a Connecticut collection, and a tavern table, dating from the Eighteenth Century, with a drawer and two-board top with breadboard ends. An oil on academy board showed a young woman with braids, attributed to William Matthew Prior, circa 1840, in grained frame.
An Indian princess trade figure, Nineteenth Century, American, pine with the original polychrome decoration and iron hardware, 65 inches tall with base, stood in the booth of Olde Hope Antiques of New Hope, Penn. A watchmaker’s table with gallery top and divided drawers retained the original salmon finish, circa 1820‱840, in poplar, pine and walnut, was found in Ohio.
A sold tag hung from a 6-foot-long canoe model from the Midwest in the booth of Cherry Gallery, Damariscotta, Maine, while a selection of furniture included a birch bark and peeled pole cupboard, circa 1920. A birch bark paneled wood box was by Orion Savage of Saranac Lake, circa 1910.
Thomas Schwenke of Woodbury, Conn., was one of the few dealers in the show with more formal brown furniture, including a Federal carved mahogany serpentine top candlestand, shaft with ring turned urn, circa 1780‱790, from Newburyport. A Chippendale transitional carved mahogany four-drawer chest with applied molded top, bold ogee bracket platformed feet, was from Philadelphia, circa 1780. It retained its original rare round ring pull brasses.
“We bring our entire inventory to Mid*Week on the couch of our camper and we set up in less than an hour,” Stephen Huber of Old Saybrook, Conn., said. With wife Carol, the sampler dealers offered a range of needlework, including a canvas work fire screen, probably England, mid-Eighteenth Century, silk and wool on linen, and a memorial to Frances Florence of Providence, circa 1815, by Mary Ann Brown, silk and watercolor on silk.
Holden Antiques of Naples, Fla., and Sherman, Conn., offered an early Nineteenth Century game table in birch, circa 1810‱820, probably New Hampshire or Vermont, and a graduated collection of 16 chestnut bottles, ranging from a few inches to just over one foot. “We have had a decent show and one lady came in and bought a few things, including two ship dioramas,” Ed Holden said. One of the dioramas had a carved ship in the foreground, with another painted into the background. The other had a large four-masted schooner, complete with carved wooden sails.
A long grain chest with multiple layers of old paint, New England, 1790‱820, was sold from the front of the booth of Marie Plummer and John Philbrick of North Berwick, Maine. Other furniture included a pair of Queen Anne fiddle back side chairs by Nathaniel Doning of East Hampton, L.I., in dark stain, circa 1790‱820.
There were a number of hutch tables in the show, including one on the booth of Susie Burmann of New London, N.H. This example dated from the early Nineteenth Century, two-board round top measuring 53½ inches in diameter, and from the estate of Lillian Baker Carlisle, who once worked at Shelburne. Colorful on one wall was a quilt with four large eagles with arrows in their talons, eight five-pointed stars surround, appliquéd cotton, signed JAS and dated 1878. It measured 78 by 83 inches. Sold tickets in the booth of Dennis and Valerie Bakoledis of Rhinebeck, N.Y., hung from a carved and painted wooden horse that was once on rockers, and an early sign for a jeweler.
The booth of MacKay and Field, Chaplin, Conn., was filled with early furniture, including a mushroom handhold banister back armchair with splint seat and a pair of portraits of Daniel Griswold and daughter Louisa Griswold Field, oil on panel, 33 by 26¼ inches, that were executed by Asahel Lynde Powers.
Elliott and Grace Snyder of South Egremont, Mass., somehow managed to have their booth in good order during the one-day setup on Tuesday, offering a paint decorated tall case clock with wooden works and an inscribed dial, “L. Watson, Cincinnati, Ohio.” A large cabinetmaker’s tool chest, circa 1860, was at the front of the booth, an interesting six-board example in pine with hearts and tools all relief carved on the front panel, and hearts carved on the other three sides. “Seeing all those hearts, this guy must have really liked his trade and his tools,” Elliott commented.
Examples of New York furniture in the booth of Jenkinstown Antiques of New Paltz, N.Y., included a breakfast table in mahogany with reeded urn pedestal, dye stamped sheaf of wheat pulls, circa 1810, and a Classical card table, Duncan Phyfe , 1816, with clustered columns with suppressed balls and reeded drums. A Hudson valley farmstead with view of the Catskills was by J.A. MacDonough, oil on canvas, measuring 36 by 50 inches. A colorful and bright booth by Gloria Lonergan, Mendham, N.J., featured a New England bucket bench in green paint, 48 inches long, and a blue painted step back cupboard from New York State, Nineteenth Century, measuring 76 inches high, 44½ inches wide and 16 inches deep.
“This show has been great for us so far, and it isn’t noon yet,” Barbara Adams of South Yarmouth, Mass., said on the opening day of Mid*Week. She said that several of her clients had come to the show, one from California, and collectively had left with 22 pieces of Bennington. A number of items also were sold from the cases, “keeping Charlie busy wrapping and packing things,” she said.
One of the special items in the show, and certainly a “one of a kind,” was the large buttock basket in the booth of Joan Brownstein of Newbury, Mass. “It has to have been a trade sign for a basket shop and it was found in Ohio,” Joan said. It measured 4 by 4 by 5 feet and dated from the late Nineteenth Century. Among the portraits she was offering, depicted was a young couple, him at a writing table and her holding a book, each under a red swag, circa 1835‱837. The portraits were attributed to Milton Hopkins.
American Spirit Antiques of Shawnee Mission, Kan., had a bird’s-eye maple, drop leaf table, circa 1820‱830, in old mellow finish, and a nice American sailboat weathervane by Cushing, full bodied copper, single mast sloop, 36 inches high and 36 inches long.
James and Nancy Glazer of Bailey’s Island, Maine, hung a hooked rug with a four hearts design, 52 by 32, wool on burlap and possibly from Pennsylvania, and a parade fire hat, Moyamensing Hose Company, with a Masonic eye on top, red painted, and dated 1837.
“We just came up with several pieces of interesting decorated stoneware,” Steve German of Mad River Antiques, North Granby, Conn., said, pointing out a five-gallon jug, West Troy, Nineteenth Century, with a cobalt dog on the front. A chicken spreading its wings was in cobalt on a three-gallon crock, J&E Norton the maker.
Shaker was well represented at the show by John Keith Russell of South Salem, N.Y., including a pantry cupboard on pine, old brown painted surface, from Sabbathday Lake, Maine. It dated circa 1860 and measures 79 inches tall, 37¼ inches wide and 17½ inches deep. A blanket chest of wooden peg construction, molded top, snipe hinges, probably Connecticut, was circa 1820 and rested on a dovetailed bracket base.
Two interests were offered by Pottles and Pannikins of Windsor, Conn., one their regular look of early lighting and hearth objects, and this time out a nautical theme ran through the left side of the booth. A sea chest had a ship painted on the underside of the lid and a large eagle on the front panel, several lanterns were available, and a nice pond boat was displayed on a stand.
“I have had the best show ever,” James Grievo of Stockton, N.J., said as the show closed on Wednesday, leaving him with few things to pack out. Two samplers, three Shaker boxes, a Windsor armchair, a red surface tea table, one door cupboard and a tiger maple highboy were among the things sold.
A carved and painted architectural ceiling medallion was the talk of the booth of Costa and Currier Art & Antiques, Portsmouth, R.I., a piece that “came right out of the Custom’s House in Portsmouth,” David Currier said. He added that they had owned and lived with it for the past 20 years. Also offered was a pair of fancy side chairs with four decorated spindles, circa 1810‱820, from Southern New England or New York State.
“Things went well all around,” Frank Gaglio said when the show closed on Thursday afternoon, “and we found the special 15 percent discount on the second day worked very well for some of the participating dealers.” He added that this program was put in place to celebrate the 15th year of the show.
As for next year, “I am already looking around for another spot because the future plans for the convention center and large parking lot are in limbo at this time,” Frank said. Quality Inn has bought the motel portion of the property and it is going to be taken down to make room for a retail mall operation. “That makes the use of the convention center still uncertain at this point and I do not want to be left in the cold without a spot for the Pickers Market and Mid*Week come next August,” he said. He assured Antiques and The Arts Weekly that the shows will go on, but location is uncertain at this time. “We very well might not have to move next year, but we are planning for all circumstances,” he said.
Next year, Pickers will bow in on Monday, August 3, with Mid*Week in Manchester following on Wednesday and Thursday, August 5 and 6.
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