Published: September 13, 2011
Some 40 years ago, Jock Hengst started a small antiques show here behind the Landmark Tavern, a country inn and restaurant. He owned the business with a partner, and the antiques show was viewed as a way to improve the business for a summer weekend. There were about 40 dealers that first year. The next year drew about 120 dealers, then the show quickly grew to nearly 1,000 exhibitors in the late 1990s. The show was so popular that neighbors, some of them owners of antiques shops and some who just owned open fields, began their own selling venues with slightly different days, different spaces and most with free entry for the customers, which became known as Madison-Bouckville Antique Week.
Last year, Hengst sold his land to the neighboring farmer, who, in turn, leased it to the Results Group. That firm has replicated Hengst’s show as the Madison-Bouckville Antique Festival (reviewed separately in this issue).
These satellite shows have become as much a part of the entire Madison-Bouckville experience as that original show. Conducted during the week ending with the third weekend of August each year, the event took place most recently from August 15 to 21. Driving into the area on Route 20, visitors could see a sudden increase in front yards filled with vintage and antique furniture spread out in big yard sales. Farther on, the village of Madison appeared to have been overtaken. Continuing west, every hayfield had tents on the roadside, and a large collection of signs implored visitors to park here for $3 or $4 or even $5, and peruse the assembled collections of antiques and collectibles.
With few exceptions, the fields are hard to differentiate one from another as they run together, some with crossover parking. Most have only streetfront tents or one row in back of the street, but some have more, including Quaker Acres West and Expo.
Shoppers arrived this year with the first dealers on Monday and Tuesday to scan the fields and, in many cases, buy to replenish inventories for their own exhibits later in the week at “The Big Show.”
Among the exhibitors, Ponzi’s Antiques, Trumansburg, N.Y., after years at the big show, moved to Expo for the extra days of the sale. The firm’s American ship captain’s desk was circa 1825 in mahogany. Sales included small furniture and fine art from the Nineteenth Century.
Barry Ezrin of Milton, Ontario, Canada, was exhibiting an early Pennsylvania dry sink with a copper lining, refinished. He was at Expo early in the week, then moved to one of the tents at Madison Bouckville Antique Festival for the weekend.
Mike Stanton lives in a house right on Main Street in Bouckville. That allows him to have his own show for the annual week of antiques markets, while for the rest of the year he maintains an antiques business and also provides a seat-weaving service from home.
Annette Coletti, Handpicked Antiques, Stowe, Vt., offered a pair of Nineteenth Century tin wall sconces at Expo, along with small furniture and early antique accessories. She was sharing a tent at Expo with Stephanie Chioppa, Stockton, N.J.
Meissner’s Auctions, New Lebanon, N.Y., was “on the street” with a big tent all week, but the auctioneer also exhibited at the big show for the weekend.
Because dealers tend to move around a lot and share space with others, it is difficult to get an accurate count of exhibiting dealers for the week, but suffice to say there were more than 1,500 in the couple miles of Route 20. There was great variety of antiques and collectibles among the more than 20 fields, yards and shows.
And it only happens once each year. The 2012 event is set for August 13‱9. For information, www.madison-bouckville.com or 315-427-5094.
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