Published: August 28, 2012
The Hampshire Hills Sports and Fitness Club was the site for Jack Donigian’s third summer show, just days before the popular Antiques Week nearby. Since 1977, Jack has held a well-known weekly antiques market early Sunday morning, first at St Stan’s in Nashua and then for the last half dozen years in Milford from October through March. This year, he decided to try his hand on the Sundays prior to Brimfield and also this most recent date, August 5, just before New Hampshire’s famous Antiques Week.
The results were good sales with the tennis courts filled to capacity, about 100 dealers exhibiting and several hundred waiting for the opening bell at 10 that morning.
The morning began as a pleasant summer New England Sunday to most, but the dealers were hustling about getting their collections into the building, all through one door, and into their individual spaces. Fancy it is not, but still it was all quite visible, with small inexpensive antique objects all the way up to weathervanes worth thousands. Most of the exhibiting dealers priced their pieces with a feeling that another dealer could buy for resale, giving the show its reputation as a great place for bargains.
Susan Page, Lincoln, Mass., used her inventory to decorate the tables in her exhibit. Her collection included quilts and large table drapes but also a great many smalls that she was selling in the early morning hours.
Tom Pirozzoli and his wife, Kate Phelan, brought a large collection of early New England furniture from their Goshen, N.H., home and shop. An early blanket box on turned feet with original blue milk painted surface was front and center with a backdrop, including a very early American tall chest, two drawers over four graduated drawers in mixed native woods with period brasses; and a tall schoolmaster’s desk in original surface. Tom does his searching at houses and auctions in northern New England, while also playing as a musician many weekends.
Arriving for an extended stay, Greg Hamilton was exhibiting first at Milford and the following day at a Deerfield [N.H.] show. His shop, Stone Block Antiques in Vergennes, Vt., usually open only Fridays, was stripped of its inventory for the two shows with mostly the smaller things for Milford and furniture, too. Included in the offerings at Milford was an early New England tilt top tea table in mahogany.
Bruce Miller drove in from nearby Raymond, N.H., in his small truck filled to overflowing with interesting early antiques from houses and barns in New England. With a story for each of his many antiques, Bruce was selling well that morning with early stoneware and pottery leading the way. He also offered small tools and a stack of pantry boxes, some he said were Shaker.
Russ Scheider and partner Kareen Dunn from Merrimack, N.H., have been exhibiting at the winter shows for many years, so the only thing different for them was the temperature that Sunday which ended in the 80s. Their offerings were New England small antiques with an emphasis on stoneware and some antique Persian rugs. While during-show sales were slow, there was an after-show call from a former customer who saw a piece during the show and bought it later.
Sales of smalls were the standard for the day, according to many dealers, including Karen Vincent. From nearby Peterborough, N.H., she sold a number of objects. One piece available was a miniature Adirondack chair, about the scale for a Barbie doll, but several generations older, perhaps Barbie’s grandmother had it.
A Bellamy carved eagle in gilt and gold leaf was available from Tom Clark, of Francestown, N.H. He believed it to be dating to the turn of the century and with original surface. He also had an early running horse weathervane with a reasonable amount of its gold leaf surface still visible.
Longmeddowe Antiques, Monson, Mass., showed a collection of early New England furniture, including a pair of Hitchcock chairs and an early stand in maple. Nancy Craig, Dover, N.H., offered early textiles and ladies’ garments. Steve Evans offered several powder horns, some Bennington doorknobs, miniature paintings and more.
There was a well-detailed Federal period house from Baltimore, complete with one of those famous front stoops, that had been moved to the site of this indoor show, but it was an easy move as it was only about 3 feet tall and wide. Obviously a large-scale dollhouse, it was offered by Salisbury, Vt., dealer Jeff Andrews.
Pewter and brass were the primary offerings from Pat and David Ferrante of Lunenburg, Mass. A mixed collection, including Rose Mandarin, Canton, stoneware and even some Imari were the day’s inventory from Jeff Waddell, Kittery, Maine.
Donigian has one more summer show on Sunday, September 2, at this same location and time, 10 to 1 pm. Admission is $5 until 11 am and free afterwards. His winter show resumes here at Hampshire Hill Sports Club October 21. For information, www.milfordantiquesshow.com or 781-329-1192.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
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