Published: March 20, 2012
Jack Donigian assembled a near-capacity gathering of antiques dealers on March 4 at Hampshire Hills Club for his regular Sunday affair where about 80 exhibit spaces were filled with great early antiques, mostly from New England. A large, appreciative crowd was there waiting for the 8:30 am opening, ready for some serious picking from the assorted collections available.
Bif Martin, Essex, Mass., managed to finish his setup early that morning and within the first half hour of the show’s opening declared that he had good sales with some art and smalls. Amesbury, Mass., exhibitor Bob DeLuca was in the same boat, selling small antiques and more from his collection, which included art and early timepieces.
The show was dominated by New England antiques but not exclusively. Jack Tullish, a Scituate, Mass., dealer found three early religious icons that he believed were from Eastern Europe. Carved from wood with great paint decoration, one was of an angel, which he said dated to the Eighteenth Century, and the other two depicted saints and were from about 100 years later. His price for all three was $1,200.
One of the focal points in the exhibit of Benting and Jarvis, Barrington, N.H., was a flying eagle weathervane in gold leaf or gilt. Jane Benting sold an early veneered and marquetry box, probably for jewelry, as the show was opening.
The diversity of the collections was a part of the success for this quick every-Sunday market from October until April. Gary Forzese, Essex, Mass., was offering an early Mission oak chair that he had just acquired. Walter Norris presented a few pieces from his collection of early guns, along with an assortment of World War I and II military paraphernalia. From Concord, N.H., Norris varies his offerings each time he exhibits, but it is usually with the same category of merchandise.
Jewell Miller came from Beals Island, Maine, with a pristine hooked rug in a somewhat geometric pattern, which she had in service as a table drape with several pieces of furniture and some smalls displayed on top of it. Her side table was covered with a collection of small antique porcelain and earthenware items.
Fishing trophy plaques from Maine were the primary merchandise from Mark Bryant. This Winthrop, Maine, dealer showed a large collection of the trophy catches along with some tackle.
Gail Chamberlain, Andover, Mass., had several tables neatly arranged with early smalls. A couple of early Steiff bears were watching over her collection of late Nineteenth Century art, pantry boxes, an ivory chess set, several early clocks and even an old policeman’s billy club.
From Boston, John Flynn was offering a variety of copper bed warmers and popcorn poppers.
Judy McCulloch, Hingham, Mass., had an early Massachusetts stand with a pie crust top and a set of field duck decoys.
The Milford show runs every Sunday for about six months each year. In all the 36 years that it has been conducted, there was only one cancellation, a Sunday when Donigian’s father, John Donigian, passed away. John had been as much a fixture as Jack himself. The elder Donigian used to police the parking lot before the show back when it was conducted at St Stan’s in Nashua, N.H., for the first 30 years, and collected the gate admissions for all the shows.
Jack Donigian has a plan for several summer shows on the Sundays prior to the Brimfield Antiques Market this year and also the Sunday before New Hampshire Antiques Week. The plan is to be set up at the covered tennis courts of Hampshire Hills Club. For information, www.milfordantiqueshow.com or 781-329-1192.
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