Published: November 27, 2015
Review and Photos By Tom O’Hara
MILFORD, N.H. — Jack Donigian began his 40th season filling the Hampshire Hills Athletic Club’s tennis courts with exhibitors and their wares every Sunday morning in October.
After a short setup time, hundreds of shoppers came to pick over the offerings. It is one of the more popular events in New England, which, weather permitting, has been a strong venue for both sellers and buyers. Owing to the nature of the short time-frame of the show, smalls dominate the offerings.
The October 25 edition saw several hundred anxious shoppers waiting at the front of the room for the 9:30 am opening, all craning their necks, looking at whatever they could to see who brought what to the show. Bud Hughes, Stratham, N.H., was showing furniture and several tables filled with small antiques. The front of his booth featured a Nineteenth Century church bench in the remains of its first coat of green paint, and otherwise very good condition. While it attracted attention, it did not sell that morning. Just behind it was a farm table of similar age, also in green paint, but with many coats of it, and a set of four chairs believed to have been from Paris Mfg Co., South Paris, Maine, circa 1875.
Not too far away was Jay McCamis, Littleton, Mass., who deals primarily in silver flatware from the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Jay likes to specialize in small pieces that are not seen every day, rather than pattern matching. Here, he was selling sterling tea strainers, lemon picks, pie and cake servers and unusual pieces.
Ken Arthur brought his favorite waitress from home in Brownsville, Vt. At least that was the joke for the day; she was a life-size cutout, used to advertise a restaurant or diner in the middle of the last century.
More diversity in the collections included Tom Hoopes, Alton, N.H., who was there with several groups of flat lead soldiers from Nuremburg, circa 1885, and a Nineteenth Century drum.
From Dunstable, Mass., Bud Tully is a second generation dealer who specializes in small home decor accessories. This recent weekend he was showing elegant table lamps, including a lovely pair in alabaster, while Pat Stickney, Wakefield, Mass., featured a newly found collection of Nineteenth Century water bottles.
In one corner, Bassett Antiques brought a large grouping of stoneware from its Kennebunk, Maine, shop. Sharing the double booth with them was the dealer’s daughter, Sarah Wajda of New England Gallery in Lee, N.H., with small antiques and silver.
Clocks are the favorite for Bob Markowitz, Groveland, Mass. He had about a dozen examples of Nineteenth Century Connecticut shelf clocks available that he said were all in good working order.
From right here in Milford, Candlewick Antiques was on hand as usual with small furniture and fine American decorative accessories, all pre-1850. John Anderson has been trading in antiques since he was a boy, following in his parents’ footsteps.
The show runs every Sunday until mid-April unless there is a severe winter storm. Open from 8:30 to noon, admission is $5 from 8:30 to 9:30 am, free afterwards. Hampshire Hill Athletic Club is at 50 Emerson Road. For more information, www.milfordantiqueshow.com or 781-329-1192.
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