Nan Gurley began the fifth year of her three times a year antiques show at the Sturbridge Host Hotel and Conference Center on May 11. The show, in an exhibition hall at the hotel, was started as an alternative to the week long outdoor markets at nearby Brimfield, Mass., by Gurley in 2002, setting Thursday afternoon as show time. This meant her show was not in direct competition with any of the Brimfield openings and even her dealers were able to shop there before opening at noon.
Weather for the May Brimfield week was not good so Gurley may have benefited somewhat from that for she said “our gate was up more than ten percent over last May. I had also made some special promotions to help build the gate this year and we had a full exhibit hall of dealers, about 60 all told.”
Bud Tully was there with a presentation just inside the front door which included a variety of Nineteenth Century English porcelain and some soft paste dishes. The Blue Willow pattern dishes were most prominent. Hailing from Dunstable, Mass., he said his sales were good including some early furniture.
Irma and Emily Lambert, Wenham Cross Antiques, Topsfield, Mass., were offering a variety of Nineteenth Century art and household items and some furniture. The center piece of their exhibit was a wooden loveseat in early green paint which was made for a casual setting such as on a porch.
Falmouth, Maine, is home for Louise Hardie and Maine is whereshe shops. She had a collection of Black Forest bears but they werenot from Switzerland. Her collection was made in America but to theexacting detail similar to the Swiss carvings.
There was an early Nineteenth Century parade lantern offered by Shirley Chambers. This unique oil burning light, found near her Westford, Mass., home was constructed of tin with ten burners fed by cotton wicks and held on the end of a pole to light the parade route. Her price for the piece was $770.
Beverly Bernson, Waban, Mass., was offering a collection of mercury glass candlestick holders and vases. Because they are delicate, they are in limited supply and are very attractive and popular.
American Heritage Antiques is the business of dealers and show promoters Kay and Bill Puchstein, of El Jobean, Fla. Kay has been looking for early painted furniture and folk art for most of her time in the antiques business.
At this show she was offering some of both with an early child’s hobby horse in very good condition, a painted blanket chest in red milk paint and a blue painted cupboard.
Mackay and Field brought a collection of early American table dishes. Before there was porcelain and soft paste or any of the pottery for plates and bowls, wood was used as the material for table service. This Chaplin, Conn., dealer’s collection was primarily woodenware for the dining table including plates in various sizes, serving pieces and even a wooden tureen.
Jewett and Berdan are partners from Newcastle, Maine, who search hard for early Nineteenth Century and earlier painted furniture. Their favorite piece this week was a dressing table “made in Maine in great original paint with paint decorations in the faux Sheraton style” according to Berdan. It was priced at $1,950.
As a Vermont dealer and member of that state’s antiquesdealers association, Howard Graff manages its show each fall but hestill finds the time to exhibit at many other shows. At NanGurley’s he was offering a collection which included an EighteenthCentury baker’s table and an early New England banister back chair,both from his collection at home in Townshend, Vt.
“We did extremely well, I sold virtually all the smalls I brought,” said Karen Oberg of Richmond House Antiques in Ashford, Conn. She added that furniture was also selling for them that week but at Nan’s their sales were wooden bowls, baskets and other small antiques for household use.
Ashley Antiques of Westfield, Mass., is the Pugliano’s who also did the show with mostly small antiques.
Another Florida dealer was Maxine Craft of Sarasota who came in with a variety of small items including numerous textile pieces. Mary duBuhr traveled from Downers Grove, Ill., for the Brimfield shopping and this show. Her style is early primitives and country home furnishings; there’s a very earth tone look to her collection.
Offerings included a very large form of mortar and pestlealso known as a pounder which was used to grind grains into meal orflour, some primitive furniture and accessories. Her collectionlooked as though it came from the Little House on the Prairie, andcould all still be used for a family’s subsistence.
Firehouse Antiques, Galena, Md., was, on the other hand, very sophisticated in a late Nineteenth Century kind of way. Garden trellises, a cast iron garden bench and Persian style rug along with some primitive furniture were used to achieve an upscale look in their display.
There were more exhibits at the show but visitors had to look fast for it is only on the one afternoon, Thursday, from noon to 5 pm.
Nan Gurley, with the help of her husband Peter Mavris and son Josh, will again have a show on the Thursdays of Brimfield Weeks, July 13 and September 7. For information, 207-625-3577.