Published: July 30, 2002
By R. Scudder Smtih
PORTLAND, ME. – “I manage sixteen shows a year and six of them are one-day events, people like them and dealers find them easy to do,” Nan Gurley said following the close of her single day antiques show in Portland on July 18. This show, timed with the Maine Antiques Dealers Association Antiques Show and located just one mile down the road, drew over 200 people to the 7 am early buying, and another 500-plus came in before the show closed at 5pm.
“People like to buy and they find good affordable things at most of my shows,” she said, noting that most of the dealers did well, several had “fabulous” shows, while there was that percentage that only did fair. “It’s like any other show, some hit and others do not,” Nan said.
A portion of the 82 dealers in the show set up indoors at The Elks Club, while the remainder is under one large tent at the front of the building. A heavy rainstorm hit the area Wednesday night, but no damage resulted.
“The tent is very strong. It takes five hours to put up, and is supported by several posts,” Nan said, adding, “we do not worry about it even when it storms.”
The majority of the exhibitors in the show are from Maine, while others came from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, three each from New York, Rhode Island and Maryland, two from Connecticut and one each from Pennsylvania, Georgia, Minnesota and Virginia.
Not only was there a good mix of states, but the merchandise offered also reflected variety. Eric Gronning Antiques of Shaftsbury, Vt., offered a nice collection of pewter from a one-piece stepback cupboard, while Robinson & Ammarell of Lisbon Falls, Me., had a maple drop-leaf table, turned legs, and a good set of four arrowback Windsor side chairs, yellow paint with leaf decoration on the back.
Nautical rdf_Descriptions are sure to show up in Maine, and Lanny Lumbert of Portland, Me., had a couple of pond boats, nautical paintings, and even a sign offering “Boats for Rent.” A large pond boat was among the offerings of Camp, Cottage & Castle, dealers who have just opened a new shop in Searsport, Maine.
Croton-On-Hudson, N.Y., dealer Patrica Vaillancort was the only exhibitor at the show with a collection of dolls, and examples included rag dolls and many with porcelain heads. Post Road Antiques of York, Me., filled two walls with paintings, many of them depicting rocky shores and sailing ships.
An interesting whirligig, or wind toy, was featured in the booth of Highfield Antiques of St. Albans, Me. The piece, made from discarded bicycle parts, metal and wood, was by an artist who lived in St. Albans and spent much of his life as a dairy farmer. He sold his place in 1975 and moved to Newport, R.I., where he started making pieces of sculpture.
Colorful pots of flowers, surrounded by a vine border, was the motif on a quilt hung in the booth of Aquetuck Antiquities of Ravena, N.Y., while Antiques at Eleven from Fort Defiance, Va., offered a country drysink, a demilune table in old paint, and several trade signs.
There were lots of hooked rugs, baskets varied from a Nantucket to a grouping of those used for fruit, one booth was filled with Christmas ornaments, and early advertising was offered by several of the exhibitors. It was a show worth shopping, as many people found out.
The next Nan Gurley show is set for Tuesday, August 6, during Antiques Week in New Hampshire. Her show, Americana Celebration, will be at Deerfield Fairgrounds, in Deerfield, N.H., with early buying from 8 to 10 am and general admission from 10 am to 4 pm. This show will have 135 exhibitors, some in the fairground buildings and other under tents.
Nan Gurley has also announced a new show for next May at the Sturbridge Host Hotel. “We have a ten-year contract with the hotel and will be running a show for one day only, Thursday afternoon after the opening of May’s show.” She is looking for about 125 dealers for this event, all indoors with air conditioning, “and we have a good number already signed up.”
Hours for the show will be short, opening at 2 pm and closing either at 6 or 7 pm, and “we will have dealers with real antiques, not some of the stuff that is showing up these days,” Nan said.
For those who would like more information concerning this new show, call 207-625-3577.
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