Published: December 13, 2011
Nan Gurley gathered together about 80 of her friends, all dealers, on November 27 to exhibit at Royal Plaza Trade Center for her annual Thanksgiving Weekend antiques show.
As is typical for Nan, the show featured New England dealers with great collections of household antiques from the earliest settlements through the middle of the Nineteenth Century. The show prominently featured smalls and early American furniture.
Colt Barn Antiques, Townshend, Vt., was near the front door, and started the day with the sale of a set of Windsor bamboo-style side chairs in maple offered in excellent condition. The only reservation from the buyer was how the buyer was going to get them home, but that was worked out and the chairs went out the door. Dealer Howard Graff rarely misses Nan’s shows and at this show, he sold early household objects and some folk art.
John Anderson and his mother Jesse, doing business as Candlewick Antiques, were showing their collection. The Milford, N.H., dealers came with a mix of furniture, smalls and folk art pieces. One of their first sales was a unique sign advertising “State of Maine Dairy.” Additional sales included an early Sheraton chest of drawers with glove box drawers on the top and many small accessories.
Captain’s Quarters, Amherst, Mass., specializes in early shipping, sailing and whaling artifacts and antiques. Its exhibit featured a large collection of scrimshaw and two swifts. Both were made from whale bone and ivory.
Mary and Joshua Steenburgh, Pike, N.H., were showing a collection of recent acquisitions, including an unusual chopping block. Only about a foot thick, probably to reduce the weight, there were stout legs to bring it up to a comfortable working height.
Mother and daughter team Irma and Emily Lambert, Wenham Cross Antiques, Topsfield, Mass., did well with smalls, and noted, “Our total, while not record breaking, was good, especially considering the current economy.”
Combining their collections and efforts were Richard Fuller and Martin Webster. Fuller from Randolph, Vt., has been a regular fixture at Nan Gurley shows for many years, offering early New England primitive furniture. Webster, through his business, West Branch Antiques, trades in hooked rugs, as well as some early furniture from his shop in Delhi, N.Y.
Newcomers to the show were Rick and Jan Warner of When Pigs Fly, Rehoboth, Mass. Rick Warner reported their sales were “good, especially considering this was our first time doing this show.” They wrote up several pieces of stoneware, an assortment of boxes with early advertising and a large farm table.
Susan Heider, Bloomfield, Conn., was offering a collection of small antiques. Among her sales was a large wooden framed hat box covered in early hand printed wallpaper in a soft shade of blue, which went home with a Maine dealer who was there just to shop for the day.
Nan Gurley and her husband Peter Mavris always have an exhibit in their shows. For this weekend, one of their offerings was an American Sheraton period chest of drawers, likely from Maine, with remarkable faux grain pain decoration. Their sales included an apothecarylike spice cabinet in original white paint and an early wall shelf.
Nan said the sales were good enough for most dealers to leave happy. She shared information of sales by various dealers and buyers. Tom Joseph, Limington, Maine, sold a fine early tap table. An early theorem in excellent condition was purchased from Jewett-Berdan Antiques, Newcastle, Maine, on its first time in public. Swansea, N.H., dealer Jay Turomsha sold an early American tall chest.
Nan said that on balance, the show did what it should for the buyers and the dealers: good sales of quality antiques. She has already booked the Royal Plaza for the same time next Thanksgiving, but there will be a change. She has decided to acquiesce to both dealers and customers and eliminate early buying at 8 am and just open at 10 am for all.
Nan Gurley has many shows throughout the year, including a winter show that runs about once a month in Portsmouth, N.H., on Wednesday morning, called Short and Sweet. There are also several Sunday shows, with January 1 as her next. These are all in the Frank Jones Center, just south of the Portsmouth Circle on Route 1. For details, call Nan at 207-625-3577 or visit www.nangurley.com .
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