Published: August 24, 2010
The weather always seems to be on the hot side for Antiques Week in New Hampshire, and there is no air conditioning at the Deerfield Fairgrounds. But that does not seem to matter to the dealers who return year after year, as well as the new dealers, to take part in Nan Gurley’s Americana Celebration. And it certainly does not matter to the people who attend this one-day yearly event, showing up at the fairgrounds for the early buyers on Tuesday, August 10. This year people started lining up several hours prior to the 8 am opening and at last count close to 500 people were ready for the annual run from the gate to the show buildings and tents.
“I can only say the show was excellent,” Nan Gurley said the following week, and “people were buying.” She said the gate was up about 15 percent from last year, “but it seemed like more than that as people were making purchases and hanging around longer.” The show, with emphasis on country furniture and lots of smalls, is the second event of Antiques Week.
Laid back and comfortable, this show has a real magnetic pull for dealers who are around for other Antiques Week events, as well as the faithful and newcomers who make this time of year a destination in New Hampshire. And it is rare to ask a dealer or visitors if they have found something and get a negative answer. It always seems to be, “Yes, a nice little thing,” “I found a real treasure,” “or “I found something to increase my collection.”
Holding down her regular corner in Building 2 was Mary de Buhr Antiques, Downers Grove, Ill., with a mix of country furniture, treen and fabrics. A country sofa with roped springs, natural finish, was offered, along with a worktable in sage green, one-board top, and an early sorting table in the original red with dovetailed construction and square nails. The top of the table was laden with wooden plates and bowls, pewter spoons and a bee skep.
An Eighteenth Century settle was among the interesting things brought by Dianne Halpern, Townsend, Mass., as was an early doll’s/child’s Windsor bench in green paint with hand decoration.
From Scottsbury, Ind., Period Antiques offered a chair table with red painted surface, New England origin, scrubbed two-board top, surrounded by a set of four thumb back Windsor side chairs, black with decoration, and a fancy sign offering “Umbrella Repairing.”
Pond boats came in threes in the booth of Shirley Quinn, Hopkinton, N.H., a handmade matched set, all with the same paint and original sails, and red stars decorated a crib quilt. A 46-star flag, July 4, 1908, marked the November 16, 1907, date of Oklahoma becoming one of the states.
Pewter expert Ron Chambers of Higganum, Conn., had his usual large selection, including a choice English pot made for export by Joseph Henry, 1760, in mint condition, and a collection of pewter porringers that came from various parts of the country, including Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut. A New England chair table, found in Vermont, circa 1750, had one wide board top.
A pair of oversized wooden garden chairs in green paint, exceptionally wide arms and cutout top, was shown by Wenham Cross Antiques of Topsfield, Mass. A Sheraton four-drawer chest, all original, dated circa 1790, was probably from Salem, Mass. A couple of booths away, Pat Reese / John Rice, Portsmouth, N.H., had a nice set of six white painted wooden finials, about 8 inches tall, and a hooked rug depicting a pot of tulip in the center and one tulip in each corner.
A Nineteenth Century two-board top table, tapered legs and one end drawer, was among the furniture shown by Colleen Ryan of Groton, Mass. A child’s settee chair also dated from the Nineteenth Century, old red surface, and an Eighteenth Century slant lid lap desk retained the original finish.
Nan Gurley and Peter Mavris of Parsonsfield, Maine, not only take care of the ins and outs of the antiques show, but also take part in it, selling from the first booth in building one. A country sofa was shown against the back wall, a Maine country cupboard with two doors was in the original blue painted surface, and a New Hampshire decorated Sheraton four-drawer chest rested on turned feet. An interesting still life sold as the show opened, and a large table, offered from the front of the booth, also sold and was replaced by a set of Hitchcock chairs.
There is always an interesting mix offered from the booth of Firehouse Antiques, Galena, Md., and this year a long carpenter’s workbench anchored the back space. Outdoor pieces included a pair of shell decorated planters, a pair of cast stone lamps with iron hanging fixtures in the shape of finials and an Adirondack armchair in old paint.
A tall apple-picking ladder stood against the back wall of the building in the booth of Malcolm Magruder, Millwood, Va., and a pair of Victorian folding chairs retained their original fabric covering, circa 1845. And without doubt, he offered the largest collection of ceramics in the show, notably a selection of historical pitchers in many sizes and makers.
A pine sawbuck table with two-board top measuring 27½ by 63½ inches, circa 1850, was at the front of the booth of Dark Moon Antiques, Johnsonburg, N.J., holding a large trencher in the original red paint. Dating from the Eighteenth Century was a New England lift top chest, two drawers over two drawers, original red surface with cutout base and rosehead nails. Maxine Craft came from Sarasota, Fla., to do the show with a selection that included an early model of a sailboat with blue painted body and the original sails, and a New England sack back Windsor still retaining traces of the original salmon paint.
Stephen C. Burkhardt Antiques, Felton, Penn., offered a pine dry sink in old cream-colored paint, two doors in the lower portion and a tall back-splash, a Nineteenth Century full-bodied copper cow weathervane with old gilt repaint, possibly Cushing, Nineteenth Century, and a hanging one-door cupboard in mahogany, grain painted. Maria’s Pond Antiques, Pattersonville, N.Y., had a late Eighteenth Century tap table in old red, one-board top with breadboard ends, turned legs and button feet, and a hooked rug depicting a Scottie chasing a ball.
Dolores Delia, Little Compton, R.I., had a nice Eighteenth Century pine blanket chest of New Hampshire origin with red/brown surface, snipe hinges and till. A selection of redware jugs included some hard-to-find sizes in a series that ranged from 1½ inches to 12 inches tall. A pair of grain painted doors, early Nineteenth Century, Connecticut River Valley, stood against the back wall in the booth of West Branch Antiques, Delhi, N.Y., and a Windsor stool from Vermont, with a very large seat, dated from the Eighteenth Century.
Harvester Cigars †5 Cents, were advertised on a long wooden sign that was too large to hang across the booth of MG Art & Antiques, East Kingston, N.H., but there was room for an early gasoline sign and a sheet metal banner weathervane with a star cutout.
“There is a chance that one more building may be available next year for us, and if so, we will move some of the outside exhibitors indoors,” Nan Gurley said. In the meantime, her concentration is on other events she will be managing both in 2010 and 2011, with emphasis on the Canterbury Shaker Village Antiques Show on September 26. This one-day show in Canterbury, N.H., will have about 135 exhibitors and is sponsored by the New Hampshire Antiques Dealers Association.
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