Published: December 13, 2016
Review and Photos by Tom O’Hara
FRANKLIN, TENN. – Marthia Sides said she was pleased with her first Nashville Big Flea Antiques Market, November 19-20, hosting nearly 300 exhibitors at the Franklin AG Center. “While attendance could have been better, this was good for a first-time show in a new market for us,” she said afterward. Her mother’s company, D’Amore Promotions, has been producing shows for more than 30 years in the Mid-Atlantic Region, so Marthia was encouraged to bring this show to life drawing from her family’s experience.
Dealers also were anxious to join based on their experience with D’Amore. The show was quickly booked with exhibitors offering a wide variety of antiques from early Colonial and Georgian period furniture to Edwardian silver and china and Modern art.
Tom The Picker sold a primitive American corner cupboard in its original surface, a mustard yellow paint, on the first morning of the show. Now living in Rutherfordton, N.C., this former New Englander is a specialist in early Americana with a preference for country home furnishings, as the collection of 100-year-old quilts he was offering would attest. In fact, one of them sold on Sunday morning, a yellow and white appliquéd example, which he said was Hawaiian.
The Box Shop is an Atlanta-based business that specializes in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century tea caddies and other similar boxes, most of which are English. Owner Ray Carter said most of his inventory comes from shopping there, but some stems from connections he and his wife have developed over the many years of their trade.
George Timmons’ business is Antique Prints and Posters, Woodbine, Ga. While the name implies posters and other flat material, Timmons also carries a great deal of folk art and Outsider art from listed artists.
Sides spent a good deal of time ensuring that there was diversity among the exhibitor offerings at this show.
For example, Emerson Manning was there from Statesville, N.C., with his collection of Mission oak furniture and Art Deco pottery. Steve Hammons, Louisville, Ky., offered an assortment of pottery and home accessories from the first half of the Twentieth Century, as well as earlier pieces.
Ray Gardner, Cullman, Ala., had his collection of Nineteenth Century inkwells and also Twentieth Century advertising memorabilia. From St Cloud, Minn., Frank Manlich brought his inventory of Modern art.
Durham, N.H., exhibitor Jim Dolph of JSD Antiques trades and collects Asian jade and European fine earthenware, including Wedgwood and various makers from the Continent. Here he featured some of his white jade figurines.
Pamela Watson-Walker, Rogersville, Tenn., is one of several jewelry dealers who exhibited at the show. Her feature was cameos, with one showcase offering a large variety from the Nineteenth Century.
James Young reported sales from his stock of Eighteenth Century English Old Sheffield plate, Chinese export, English porcelain and more. This dealer from Atlanta has a following with decorators, who came to the show looking for the latest additions from his inventory and seized upon some of them.
Alderman Ford Antiques, Columbia, S.C., had a good show, according to Bob Ford. The firm’s first big sale was a pair of Chaplin lamps made of crystal in the midcentury, which was followed by the sale of an 18K gold, coral and diamond ring, along with some smalls.
Michael Phillips, a Washington, D.C., dealer was picking away at the sales throughout the weekend. He sold steadily from his collection of Nineteenth Century earthenware, crystal and silver.
Several exhibitors were counting on the Christmas shopping to boost their sales totals. Slavic Treasures, Canfield, Ohio, was almost all Christmas tree decorations. Easter Hill Antiques, Sharon, Conn., added antique German and Czech blown glass ornaments and other Christmas items to its merchandise.
Plans for the next Nashville Big Flea are not yet fixed, but D’Amore has a long list of shows it produces. For information, www.thebigflea.com or 757-430-4735.
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