Published: August 22, 2000
Hot, Hot, Hot
Sizzling Weather and Buying Reported at the Nantucket Antiques Show Despite Smaller Gate
NANTUCKET, MASS. – Even though the odds were against success, the Nantucket Historical Association’s August Antiques Show, conducted August 3 to 6, drew buying crowds – and “buy” they did! While dealers contended with several major auctions on and off island, record-breaking heat in the gymnasium, and great beach weather for the three days of the show – just after the island suffered two straight weeks of rain – sales throughout the event were strong. From preview on Thursday evening through closing on Sunday, dealers were writing up receipts and buyers were leaving with packages of smalls, as well as with furniture and paintings.
There was wonderful merchandise from which to choose: highboys and card tables to Nantucket rdf_Descriptions; Oriental rugs and country furniture to silver and jewelry; metals and ceramics to paintings and prints. The quality of merchandise was top of the line, as were the exhibitors.
John Formicola Fine Arts of Malvern, Pa. had a very good show. John was pleasantly surprised when he sold two Fernand Leger gouaches. He also sold several large dog paintings. “There’s a strong interest in paintings, and this is one of the best Nantucket shows I’ve had.”
Pat Guthman Antiques of Southport, Conn. had “a really active show. There were lots of familiar faces from around the country. And, even though it was hotter than hell, we sold a lot of fireplace rdf_Descriptions including kettles, lanterns, candlesticks, pots, andirons.” She also sold a portrait of a sea captain, eagle weathervane, French pottery, English creamware, mill weights, copper pots.
Ken Reiss of Catherine Sylvia Reiss (Darien, Conn.) said it was the best show they’ve had on the island in the 20 years that they’ve been exhibiting there. They sold American, decorative and nautical prints. “The show is attended by people who knew what they were coming to see – they weren’t just showing up off the streets. That’s because this show is well-established and there’s good advertising.”
Silver Plus’ Roger Haller said that their show didn’t begin until Sunday, but it was very good. In addition to early finger bowls, the New York City dealers sold a pair of silver serving dishes, an entry dish with the accompanying smalls, and others.
Susan Phillips of Doll Dreams (Milford, Del. and Nantucket) said she had a very good show selling dollhouses, doll furniture, books and Nantucket things.
Jane McClafferty of New Canaan, Conn. sold a lot of things from the wall “which is unusual for us.” They sold a hooked rug with nautical theme, chest of drawers, a lot of Staffordshire. “I like the crowd here – they like things and want to buy. They’re very pleasant. There’s such a wide variety at the show and everything seems to sell – from $10,000 paintings to croquet sets.”
Ray from Loveland, Ohio’s Mongenas Antiques reported a very fine show, “as usual.” He sold books, bookends, furniture, and sporting rdf_Descriptions “to people from across the country. That’s a really nice feature of this show.”
Orville Haberman of Connecticut River Books, Madison, Conn., said sales were 30 percent better than last year’s. They sold children’s books, their entire selection of Nantucket books, early hand-colored map of Nantucket, original artwork, and nautical books. “This is a highly educated group and they know what they are looking for.”
Karen DiSaia of Oriental Rugs, Ltd., Old Lyme, Conn., had a very good show, too. “We sold to people all over the country, not much that we sold is staying on the island. Sales were strong in tribal rugs – Heriz and Turkomen. We also sold pillows as well as have gotten some repair and cleaning work on rugs. There’s really no one on the island to do that work.”
King-Thomasson Antiques of Asheville, N.C. “sold a Welsh dresser, early Eighteenth Century trestle table, Chinese export leather trunk, English Windsor chair, a lot of English jugs – pink lustre and silver resist.”
Tom Schwenke sold a dining table that can seat 10 as well as a pair of stenciled and carved card tables. “The show continues to be fun to do.” As an aside, Tom feels that the show is a good omen for the move of his Woodbury, Conn. shop up the street from his present one to 50 Main Street.
James Labaugh said it was a good show for him, too, though not up to last year. “But last year was the best ever.” They sold English porcelain, Chinese porcelain, English pottery, and Chinese Export. “We always sell a good mix of rdf_Descriptions here. Some shows we can plan what will sell, but here it is always such a good mixture. We really enjoy it.”
George Korn of Forager Collection had their best Nantucket show, ever. “We sold two-thirds of our Marshall Gardiner photo collection of scenes of Nantucket. We also sold a lot of Tony Sarg material and other Nantucket things as well as collegiate memorabilia. In addition, we sold some very significant folk art.”
Vose Galleries of Boston had an “absolutely fantastic show. We sold seven paintings including etchings, oils, watercolors of nautical and Nantucket themes. There have been a lot of interesting people and we’ve seen both old and new clients.”
New to the show this year was GKS Bush. According to Guy, “the show was excellent. We opened our new shop here in July and after two weeks of rain on the island we sold half of what we had. This show has continued with our success here on the island – we’ve sold artwork, furniture and textiles.”
Marty Shapiro and Kaye Gregg of Finnegan Gallery, Chicago, Ill., were also new this year. “Sales were very good. What we’re showing is unlike the other dealers here – period French and English garden furniture and ornament. We sold architectural rdf_Descriptions, a signed Coalbrookdale cast iron plant stand, bronze fountain Putto playing pipes, French Nineteenth Century signed Carras foundry table, pair of wooden gates Nineteenth Century keystone, and more.
Randall Decouteau of Warren, Mass. sold paintings, including a Robert Emmett Owen landscape; art glass; early Nineteenth Century hall lanterns; and furniture, such as a fainting couch and a candlestand.
Nina Hellman said she had good follow-up in her Nantucket shop. She sold scrimshaw – the theme of the show this year – Nantucket-related rdf_Descriptions, Nantucket baskets, a telescope, pictures, prints and paintings. “People said that this is a show where you can spend $50,000 if you want, or find very affordable rdf_Descriptions, too.”
Victor Weinblatt, of South Hadley, Mass., also had the best Nantucket show he’s ever had there. He not only exhibited, but served again as the liaison between the show committee and the managing Antiques Council. “This is a wonderful cooperative between the NHA and the Council, and a perfect marriage of both groups. And, the dealers have all been very pleased with the show this year. The buying public throughout the show has been in a good mood – a very positive feeling all around.” Victor said that folk art sales throughout the show were extremely strong, and he sold major pieces as well as good furniture.
Jean Grimmer, associate director and director of development at the Nantucket Historical Association (NHA) summarized the weekend by relating that the Preview was very strong, though the gates throughout the weekend were just a bit lighter due to the weather, in his opinion. “This show – the dealers and the merchandise – has integrity. It is wonderful how all the aspects work so well, from the decorations to the raffle to the dinners and lectures. This is a wonderful way for people to learn about NHA. There’s a great synergy between NHA and the Antiques Council. This year, too, was the first that we’ve been able to display some of our NHA collection at the show [with] an exhibit of some of our scrimshaw.”
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