Published: August 21, 2018
Review and Photos by Greg Smith
MANCHESTER, N.H. — Attendees lined up along the right-side bleachers that wrapped around the rink at the JFK Memorial Coliseum for the August 8 opening of the two-day Midweek in Manchester Antiques Show. Show manager Frank Gaglio’s exhibition entered its 24th year with 31 dealers filling the floor, offering up a quality selection of Americana, folk art, ephemera, fine art, American furniture, Oriental carpets, primitives and more.
“It went ‘swimmingly’ well, as they say,” Gaglio said when Antiques and The Arts Weekly followed up with him after the show. “Our time slot works very well opening at 1 pm. One of the advantages of Midweek is that there’s only one more show after us. So if you go to the Dealers’ Show and you don’t find anything there, we’re fresh in your mind and you can come back. And a lot of people did.”
Gaglio’s 31 dealers span the price spectrum, offering items priced in the double digits all the way up to $50,000. “I was thrilled with the dealer booths this year,” he said. “People gave us numerous compliments. We have one of the most buyable shows of the week.”
The show brimmed with color and fine finishes, presenting an offering that had variety at its core and a range of pieces that aimed to please collectors of all levels.
There was plenty of satisfaction for objectphiles between Francis Crespo Folk Art and Antiques, Lancaster, Penn., and his booth neighbor Joshua Lowenfels Works of Art, New York City. It is always a worthwhile view to stand in line with the wall between their booths and look from a few steps back before heading in, each dealer with their own tastes but cordially neighbors and friends, setting up at Gaglio’s Rhinebeck show alongside each other as well. Crespo was fresh off a Route 66 cross-country trip where he shopped the whole way through, picking up folky pieces like a dressed figure on stand, which he found in New Mexico. Among other things, Lowenfels was showing off a unique set of folk art fishing lures from Maine, which featured painted women on both sides.
A colorful variety of Oriental carpets could be found in the booth of Soheil Oriental Rugs, New York City. A good 1930s Persian Heriz from Northwest Iran was a stand-out, as well as a Turkman from the last quarter of the Nineteenth Century.
Bill and Joyce Subjack of Neverbird Antiques, Surry, Va., brought with them their collection of historical ephemera. The dealers featured a John Adams naval appointment for the captain of the USS Congress, one of the first six ships commissioned by Congress in 1794 to form the foundation of the United States naval fleet. After launching on her maiden voyage from Rhode Island, it was only six days before the Congress lost all her masts in a storm and had to crawl back to Portsmouth, Va., for repair. She would go on to serve in the Quasi-War with France, the first and second Barbary Wars and the War of 1812 before being broken up in 1834.
Fine furniture was on the shopping list of numerous buyers. Sales were recorded at James Grievo Antiques, Stockton, N.J., which sold a Boston ball-and-claw foot reverse serpentine chest, circa 1770. Grievo also sold a Connecticut or New Jersey candlestand. Willow Springs Perennial Antiques, Rexford, N.Y., found a new home for a N.H., curly maple six-drawer tall chest.
“I thought the show went quite well. A nice thing about Frank’s show is that it isn’t crowded and there’s room for customers to really look around and talk with the dealers,” said Nancy Douglass from Willow Springs Perennial Antiques. “They experience the antiques in a different way than the other shows. And I think the customers were really pleased with that.”
Dennis and Valerie Bakoledis, Rhinebeck, N.Y., featured a Tonawanda figure from the 1880s. The African American organ grinder had lost some limbs, but his face was finely detailed and with good paint. The dealer also featured a grain-painted Queen Anne candlestand from the late 1800s in a deep maroon. “I thought it was mahogany when I first bought it,” Dennis said.
“It’s one of only a few with a Spanish foot on a round leg,” said Harold Cole, on an early carved banister back chair from Philadelphia, circa 1710. Both he and Bettina Krainin were busy in their booths shortly after opening. “Pretty good watch hutch,” Howard mused, as the dealers pulled out an early American carved walnut example with three pinwheels to its face and serrated edging.
Salem, N.H., dealer Brett Cabral exhibited a carved woodblock relief that was used to make promotional posters for the Engle Monumental Clock. Pennsylvania maker Stephen Decatur Engle finished his 11-foot-high clock in 1878 after 20 years of construction, and promptly sold it to two men who brought the clock on tour around the Eastern United States, marketing it as the “Eighth Wonder of the World” and charging admission to see it. The woodblock relief featured the clock with people around it and was darkened from having been inked.
Among other Americana items, dealer Colleen Alpers, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, featured a number of items she had picked out of Minnesota. “There are some great sales there,” she said. Among them was a New England painted two-drawer blanket chest with original snipe hinges. Another, resting across the wall above, was a “Furnaces” trade sign with a deep yellow background behind black lettering.
Next year’s edition will mark the show’s 25th anniversary. Gaglio said, “We’re committed to a very exciting new plan for Midweek that will keep us at the forefront. We’ve got a lot of experience in New Hampshire, and we’re going to bring it to bare in an exciting way. We’ve analyzed our shows and we see where the strong and weak points are, and we’re going to elaborate on the strong points. There will be sweeping and exciting changes. We’re planning on making these announcements shortly.”
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