Published: August 24, 2010
Often heard remarks at antiques shows used to run something like “The great things are really drying up” or “I can’t buy at auction the way I used to” or “What has happened to all the house calls we used to get?” This year, many of the dealer comments went in a new direction at the New Hampshire Antiques Show. “Take a look at that settle, it was in our living room,” one exhibitors said, while another pointed out “those colorful bowls hanging there came right out of our kitchen.” “Do you like that Windsor chair? It has been in my bedroom for years,” was heard, while a very well-known dealer said, “I have owned that candlestand for 30 years, and it sold within minutes of the show opening.”
Those latter comments are a direct result of the former ones, and some dealers are dipping more often into their own collections these days to satisfy the collecting appetites of clients. “We all want to put on a fresh face at this show, so we do what we have to,” one dealer commented, “for it keeps people coming year after year.” And indeed it did this year.
“We showed a substantial increase in the gate this year, and Friday was the largest attendance for that day we have ever had,” Tommy Thompson, show chairman, said.
“It really did do well this year, and you could feel the energy both before the show opened and after it became crowded with people on Thursday morning,” Kathy Schoemer, president of the New Hampshire Antiques Dealers Association, said. Kathy has been president for the past three years and is stepping down, with a new slate of officers to be elected at the annual meeting in November.
Beverly Longacre, co-chairman of the show, said, “It was such a pleasure to see the hard work of the dealers, the volunteers and our faithful crowd that visits the show every year come together and make such a successful antiques show.” She noted that there were many new faces among the regulars and, “With the economy the way it is, we could not ask for anything more.”
As usual, a long line of collectors, dealers and just antiques shoppers was more than ready for the 10 am opening on Thursday, and they came in a rush, heading off either right, left or down the middle aisle, seeking their favorite dealer or just an interesting booth. Due to the number of people, the line is presold, so the exhibition area fills rapidly. This year the gate filled the adjoining lobby to capacity and then went out the side door of the hotel and down the street, past the parking lot the dealers used behind the facility. “It was nice to see an increased number of young people at the show this year,” Kathy said. As a regular policy, people under the age of 30 are admitted free.
Barbara Ardizone of Salisbury, Mass., had an interesting hooked rug, mid-Nineteenth Century, with a child and animals in a farm scene with a large house in the background; a Connecticut River blanket chest, circa 1800, pine with one drawer and old red painted surface; and a candlestand with game board top, eight-sided, spider legs and in old red, as found condition with no restorations..
Judith and James Milne, New York City, were in their usual spot with a booth filled to capacity with many sculptural objects, including a rare copper weathervane, cups and balls, dating from the Nineteenth Century. “This vane is rarely seen, a very different form,” Judy said. A Nineteenth Century zinc recumbent dog, circa 1880, probably by Fiske, New York City, rested near the front of the booth, and a very colorful clown shooting gallery target, mostly in yellow paint, was of cast iron.
The ship Ida and four smaller boats were the subject of a diorama in the booth of Priscilla Hutchinson Antiques, East Dennis, Mass., shown at the Civil War battle at Mobile, 1865. The piece was of good size, measuring 24 by 39 inches. A man and woman, carved figures wearing their original clothing, were of pine, measure 32 inches tall, and dated from the Nineteenth Century.
Gary F. Yeaton, Concord, N.H., had a booth filled with furniture, including a Chippendale oxbow desk in mahogany, slant front, Boston origin, with the original plate brasses. It dated circa 1780‱800 and had a fitted interior of cubbyholes and small drawers. A Hepplewhite secretary-desk in cherry with inlays, circa 1810, was originally from the Connecticut River Valley, and a pair of coastal New Hampshire Federal card tables featured book matched crotch birch inlays.
Nancy and Craig Cheney, Newark, Ohio, had a large tin bust of a gentleman from a haberdashery in Wichita, Kan., with wide brimmed hat, Nineteenth Century, and sharing the front of the booth with it was a life-size carved wooden horse head from a tack shop in Kentucky. A circa 1940 wood carved bear had just caught its dinner, a large fish in its mouth.
George and Debbie Spiecker, North Hampton, N.H., had an attractive display of furniture, including a Chippendale tall chest, American, circa 1790, with five graduated drawers. With molded base and bracket feet, it measured 36 inches wide. A pair of still life fruit paintings, Boston, 1890, signed Eldred W. Bowler, measured 12 by 14 inches, sight, each.
In no time at all, red sold tags peppered the walls in some of the booths, especially Tom Longacre of Marlborough, N.H., who had 11 of them in the first 43 minutes. One hung on a large wood carved tooth, a dentist’s trade sign, old gold leaf and dating circa 1880‱910. A barber pole in the original red paint, with acanthus leaf decoration, Montgomery County, Penn., sported another, as did an oval architectural panel in old green paint and the two-door straight front cupboard, old green painted surface, shown under it. A rare and large oil on canvas portrait of a recumbent dog on a colorful floor covering, 32 by 22 inches, from Springfield, Vt., was among the few things in the booth that did not sell.
“That first rush was like the old days, aggressive buyers who seemed more than happy with what the dealers had to offer,” Tom said. And in the interest of not getting too wordy, we will not list any more of the close to 50 objects that left his booth in those three days.
A stenciled bed cover, vibrant and pristine, hung on the back wall in the booth of Jewett-Berdan, Newcastle, Maine. It was made by Anna Cooper of Williamsport, Mass., circa 1820, measured 78 by 66 inches, and sold shortly after the show opened. A New England apothecary with 15 drawers, pine, circa 1845, measuring 50 inches high, 28 inches wide and 13 inches deep, was shown near the portrait of a baby by William Matthew Prior, circa 1840. The child was holding a rattle and painted against a draped background.
Pam and Martha Boynton, Groton and Townsend, Mass., had a wonderful trade sign painted by and advertising T.D. Gladding, Ornamental Painter, with a nautical scene on the middle. A New England chair table had a round scrubbed top, and a Bellamy eagle in fine condition held a “Don’t give up the ship” banner. An Eighteenth Century yarn winder, in untouched condition, was pinned together, and a tinder box, also from the Eighteenth Century, had its original contents.
Ed Weissman, Antiquarian, Portsmouth, N.H., offered a Gabriel blowing a trumpet weathervane in sheet metal, 47½ inches long and dating from the early Nineteenth Century. An oil on canvas laid on Masonite, “Anticipating The Race” by E.H. Dewey (1850‱939), showing five horses ready to run with spectators in the background, was signed and dated lower left, July 1892. It measured 32 by 42 inches, framed, and hung over a bowfront chest, Vermont origin, circa 1790‱810, in maple with tiger maple fronts and 10-inch-high feet.
Portraits filled the walls in the booth of Joan Brownstein, Newbury, Mass., including one attributed to Isaac Sheffield of a sea captain, New England, circa 1840‱845, in front of a window with a ship in the background. A double watercolor portrait of a standing man and seated woman, with her hand on a large clay pot with planted tree, measured 16 by 18 inches and was in a green leather frame with an octagonal metal liner, 18½ by 24½ inches. It was recently acquired from a private collection.
Suzanne Courcier / Robert W. Wilkins, Yarmouth Port, Mass., showed a Shaker counter in birch and pine, Enfield, N.H., circa 1830, measuring 33¾ inches high, 8 feet 1½ inches long and 30½ inches deep, with a note that read, “The architecture of the case, especially the open shelving, is unique in our experience.” Measuring 85 by 39 inches, and neatly fitting over the counter, was a hooked rug with a view of John Adams’s Pennsylvania farmstead, mill and “Flour and Feed” building. It was signed and dated, appliquéd, Elizabeth Diffenbauch 1937.
Frank and Barbara Pollack American Antiques and Art, Highland Park, Ill., and Sunapee, N.H., had a decorative pieced and appliquéd wool table rug from Maine, made by Abigail Voter, New Vineyard, Maine, circa 1840, and a large collection of velvet fruit and vegetables, American, displayed in a wire compote, all dating from the Nineteenth Century. A Federal painted pipe box decorated with an urn of flowers, New England or New York State, was in pine, circa 1815, with one drawer at the bottom.
Michael Whittemore Antiques, Punta Gorda, Fla., offered and sold a “Princess” cigar store Indian attributed to Thomas Brooks, New York City, circa 1880, and a nice J. Howard & Company Index horse weathervane with good surface. A rare Queen Anne southeastern Massachusetts drop leaf tea table was in untouched condition. Michael was among the dealers who came with the right things, and sales were numerous.
Mary and Joshua Steenburgh, Pike, N.H., had a chopping block once used on a farm, 32 inches in diameter; a store table with beefy turned legs, 8 feet 10 inches by 29 inch top; and a graphic hooked rug with an urn of colorful flowers on a black ground, diamond shaped, Massachusetts origin and dating from the early Twentieth Century.
A Miss Liberty sheet metal weathervane found in Salem, N.J., was on the back wall in the booth of Steven F. Still Antiques, Elizabethtown, Penn. Dating from the mid to late Nineteenth Century, Liberty held a flag and had hair waving in the wind. It sold opening day, as did a child’s-size chest-on-chest, a couple of candlestands and lots of smalls. A large saw, 8 feet 3 inches long, circa 1830, started life as a trade sign for a hardware store in New York City. This was the sixth year for Steven at the show and he said, “I had a great one, lots of sales, and I love the way that the New Hampshire Show still gets that opening pop.”
Jef & Terri Steingrebe, Springfield, N.H., had a large country store worktable dating from the late Nineteenth Century, with cherry butcher block top and cherry base, that was found in a shed on the west side of Manchester. A small splayed leg, oval top tavern table had a crusty, red painted surface.
Russ and Karen Goldberger, Rye, N.H., had a fine fish market trade sign in the form of a fish in the original silver paint and mounted on the original bracket. It measured 35 inches from the mouth of the fish to the wall and it was found in St Louis. A polka-dot design hooked rug, a real collection of bright colors, was of New England origin, circa 1900, wool and cotton, and measuring 65 by 33 inches. And speaking of color, an attention-getter was a grouping of three matched wooden bowls, New England, mid-Nineteenth Century, in vibrant green, red and yellow, perfectly lighted, and from the Goldbergers’ personal collection.
A Queen Anne highboy in maple, New England, circa 1760, listed in fine condition, stood in the booth of Michael Hingston, Etna, N.H. An attractive piece of sterling silver was the yachting trophy by Gorham, designed for the 1900 Commodore’s Cup.
John D. Wahl Antiques, Richmond, N.H., centered an American flag weathervane, copper with red, white and blue decoration, dated “1898 F.W. Taylor Penn.,” in his booth, and at the front showed an 1880 child’s high-wheel tricycle with steel wheels and the original leather seat. A red painted step back apothecary with 42 paint decorated graduated drawers below open shelves, porcelain knobs, New Hampshire or Maine, was ex-Hayward Collection.
Furniture dominated the booth of Nathan Liverant and Son, Colchester, Conn., with a Queen Anne hard pine blanket chest over a three-drawer base with cyma-scrolled apron, old red wash, shown against the side wall of the booth. It was signed on reverse “Abijah Chapin AD 1766” and came from the Connecticut River Valley. It retained the original brass handles. A Federal mahogany and inlaid lady’s sewing or work table with stamped brass pulls, bowfront façade and cross stretchers was probably from Providence, R.I., and dated circa 1795‱810.
Eleven painted tin decoys in the original surface, complete with box and sticks, circa 1890‱900, were hung of the wall in the display of Cheryl and Paul Scott, Hillsborough, N.H. A J. Howard & Company Index horse weathervane measured 24 inches long, and a wooden shotgun trade sign, circa 1900, originally hung outside the Ivek Johnson Sporting Goods Store in Worcester, Mass.
A large oil on canvas folk art portrait of two girls in a blue landscape, holding hands, aunt and niece, circa 1843, had the prime spot on the back wall in the display of Lucinda and Michael Seward of Pittsford, Vt. “We had lots of interest in the painting and one person was coming to the show just to see it. He appeared to really want to purchase it, but someone else got there first,” Michael said. He added, “The show went very well for us, and we had good sales.” A pair of Eighteenth Century putti, Italian, carved and seated on rocks, was shown in front, while furniture offered included a New Hampshire Eighteenth Century chair table on casters with three-board scrubbed top, 45 inches in diameter, and a Nineteenth Century paint decorated four-drawer chest from Vermont.
A stretcher-base table with breadboard ends and scrubbed top was among the furniture shown by Don and Gail Piatt of Contoocook, N.H., along with a 6-foot-long harvest table, two leaves, green paint, ex-Workman Collection. A horse and buggy pull-toy was in great shape, looking as if it had just come out of the box.
Painting lined the walls in the booth of Brock & Co., Concord, Mass., including a “Still Life with Squirrel,” an 1863 oil on canvas by John J. Eyers, 16¾ by 13¼ inches, signed and dated lower right, J.J. Eyers 1863. It was in the original frame. A 23-by-30-inch oil on canvas depicted a “Woman Reading on a Settee,” William Worcester Churchill (1858‱926), signed lower right Churchill and in a Charles Prendergast-style frame.
Cherry Gallery of Damariscotta, Maine, was among the dealers invited to do the show for the first time this year, and “We were really pleased and happy to be there,” Jeff Cherry said. Several Grenfell hooked mats were offered, one circa 1930 showing a dogsled team, and another with flying mallards, circa 1930, measuring 54 by 30 inches. A mosaic notched twig stand, circa 1900, with checkerboard notched top, was among the rustic and Adirondack furniture in the booth. Cherry Gallery is a major player in the field of Adirondack material and, for the first time, the Adirondack Antiques Show at the museum in Blue Mountain Lake, N.Y., conflicted with the New Hampshire Antiques Show. “I had to leave the show midway through opening day and head up there,” Jeff said, and the booth was left in the capable hands of Kass Hogan, Jeff’s wife.
Many different fabrics, including a hooked rug showing a house and yard scene with buggy, animals and people, were in the booth of Jan Whitlock, Malvern, Penn., as well as a few pieces of furniture, including an oval top hutch table with shoe feet, New York State, circa 1740‱770.
Early furniture and accessories filled the booth of The Yankee Smuggler Antiques, Keene, N.H., including a paint decorated chest/server with the original brasses, New Hampshire, circa 1830, lift top with fancy paint and faux inlay, and a hanging slant lid desk was in the original blue painted surface. A spoon rack, Mohawk Valley, N.Y., was in blue and orange paint with carved pin wheels and measured 12½ by 10 by 18 inches high.
A rare lyre clock, Simon Willard & Sons, Boston, circa 1825, with old finish and in “as found” condition, was hanging in the booth of Peter Sawyer Antiques, Exeter, N.H. His furniture included a Chippendale desk, probably New Hampshire, circa 1780, with extraordinary figured birch and great original brasses, and a high chest of drawers, central New Hampshire, circa 1780, in fine condition with old finish. It was purchased from descendants of the original owner in Dumbarton, N.H. One of the two pieces unveiled just before the show opened was a Boston Chippendale side chair, circa 1780, with excellent carving and finish, and ball and claw feet.
Located at the front of the show, across the aisle from Peter Sawyer, was the booth of Peter Eaton, Newbury, Mass. His “covered” piece of furniture was a Chippendale drop leaf table in mahogany, small scale, cabriole legs and scrolled apron, circa 1750‱770, Massachusetts origin, that sold very shortly after the show opened. A Hepplewhite stand with rounded edge top, hidden drawer, bird’s-eye maple, came from a New Hampshire collector, and a Hepplewhite server with concave front, linen and silverware drawers, in cherry with mahogany veneer drawer fronts, 35¾ inches wide, was of Rhode Island or possibly New York State origin, and came right out of a historic home in Rhode Island.
Amy Finkel, with walls hung with many pieces of needlework, pointed out several really important pieces, including a Vermont family register sampler by Eliza Weed, aged 11, circa 1821, from Rockingham, Vt., and a pair of samplers by sisters from Andover, Mass., Charlotte and Miranda Frye, dated 1811 and 1822. The shop of M. Finkel & Daughter is located in Philadelphia.
Tommy Thompson, Pembroke, N.H., says he is generally slow setting up his booth because “I am also chairman of the show and have other duties at the same time.” When it all fell together, however, it looked inviting, with an inventory that ranged from an extra-large swan decoy to a colorful sign offering “Turkey Dinner †50 cents,” and a set of green painted steps with a container of stone fruit displayed on top. His case was filled with holiday ornaments, a few dolls, ceramics, small wood carvings and toys.
Jeff and Holly Noordsy Antiques, Cornwall, Vt., showed a selection of glass, including a Keene, N.H., G11-7 barrel-shaped decanter, circa 1830; an Eighteenth Century Dutch bottle highly painted with a naval scene, and three different sizes of a looped witch ball and stand, likely blown in southern New Jersey, circa 1850.
Hollis E. Brodrick, The Antiquarium, Portsmouth, N.H., had a brass dog’s collar, circa 1785, with an inscription that began “My name is Range&•, and a nice wall pocket, circa 1840, with the original decoration. A rare Seventeenth Century anvil was possibly made by the Saugus Iron Works. Since 1975 at the Hartford Antiques Show, Hollis has set up his booth centered around a mantel which, over the years, a good number of people have wanted to buy. “I made it from wood I found in the Exeter dump, and today it is starting to fall apart and needs a few extra screws from time to time,” Hollis said. He mentioned that one person offered him $1,200 for it, “But it meant that I would just have to build another, so I refused,” he said. Do people still want it today? he was asked, and he said, “No, they have stopped asking.”
Furniture shown by The Tates Antiques, Sanbornton, N.H., included a circa 1730‱740 splayed leg tavern table that descended in the Coffin family, Webster, N.H., and an Eighteenth Century paneled door cupboard, New Hampshire origin, all original and in dry red painted surface.
Newsome & Berdan, Thomasville, Penn., had a little trouble making a 9-foot, 1½-inch-long sawbuck farm table in pine, circa 1840, fit comfortably in the booth, but it soon was positioned at the front, where its three-board scrubbed top with rounded corners showed to advantage. A stretcher-base dough table, circa 1750‱780, was the stand for a large burl bowl that retained some of the original red paint.
“The show was a success, with just about every exhibitor doing great or well,” Kathy Schoemer said, and probably the show can best be summed up by Stephen Corrigan who said, “We pulled another rabbit out of the hat.” And they sure did!
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