Published: October 22, 2019
Review and Photos by Greg Smith
LUDLOW, Vt. – It was a nice surprise to walk into Antiques in Vermont, formerly known as the Vermont Picker’s Market and the last show to open during Vermont Antiques Week. The one-day October 6 show was set up at the Okemo lodge, the same venue and booth layout that housed the Okemo Antique Show two days prior.
Visitors were presented with a special country show here, a genre that was included in the week’s offerings in dealer booths throughout other shows but never a focus. Here it was.
We asked show manager Steve Sherhag, who also sets up at this show as a dealer, how this country show came to be. His reply was simple: these are the dealers he knows and this is what the show is known for. Indeed the roster of dealers from the Midwest increased for this show, with a handful from Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Other dealers in the Northeast specializing in the country aesthetic were well-represented.
“This show has always had a real heavy country flair to it,” Sherhag said. “A lot of it, almost 80 percent of the dealers were ex-Riley Rink dealers. The change of pace for that show is good. I had a lot of people come Sunday and say that this was their favorite show.”
The show also changed its name this year, and we asked Sherhag about that. “I think the whole concept, when people hear ‘picker’s market,’ it puts people in the mind of pulling up in a parking lot and throwing things out of the back of their van. I thought the name change was an important thing.”
A walled and papered show awaited buyers to this event and they responded with commerce.
Salem, N.H., dealer Brett Cabral was showing off a mix of country accessories including a hand broom and carved wood dippers, pantry boxes and more. Among sales, Cabral wrote up a well-executed portrait of a toddler; a European sampler, circa 1826; and a miniature painted firkin. Also among his sales was a pair of two children’s chairs with old surface. The chairs had been used by the family as walkers for their children, wearing down the height of the front legs in the process, which proved an endearing quality.
A 2-foot-high triangular painted candle stand or pedestal was on offer from Neufeglise & Spiegel, Lyons, N.Y. With its original painted fans throughout among levels of moulding, the dealer called it one of the most unique and best examples of “Folky Victorian.” A quick sale on the back wall of the dealer’s booth was a diminutive wall-hanging three-over-three-over-two-drawer apothecary chest in all original paint and stenciling.
Smalls were the word in the booth of Pantry Box Antiques, Stafford Springs, Conn. These included small mohair animals in cows, lambs, ducks and frogs; Halloween decorations; butter stamps and churns; treen; stone fruit; and American stoneware.
A quick sale for Steve Sherhag, Canfield, Ohio, came in the form of a matched set of four Nineteenth Century pierced tin parade lanterns. Two of the four had original handles. “Finding a matched set of four is unheard of,” Sherhag said. The lanterns, which were claimed within the first half hour of the show, featured dripping tulip decorations to their faces with a single candle holder on the inside.
Bill Kelly Antiques, Limington, Maine, featured a Queen Anne child’s blanket chest of drawers with original surface. The previous Rochester, N.H., owner had it since the 1970s and Kelly said it dated to the Eighteenth Century. The hinged top sat over two false drawers over two drawers. Kelly had done the Okemo Antiques Show days prior in a different booth but exhibited a whole new set of inventory for this show. Also among them was a miniature paint-decorated chest, a lidded compartment over one drawer, from the mid-Nineteenth Century. It had come out of Limerick, Maine, which is the town directly west from Kelly’s hometown.
Among Randi Ona’s offerings was an early small white pine box that was bought at a Vermont farm auction four decades ago. The piece has a pierced quatrefoil at top, a pierced heart at front with a circular porthole on each side and paint decoration throughout. Each pierce has a make-do piece of glass and mirror behind. The Wayne, N.J., dealer believed it was circa 1790-1810 and was likely a love token or a special gift.
Shaker furniture, boxes and accessories were sold by Frank Wood, Alfred, Maine. Wood said that some of these items had been deaccessioned from a Shaker museum. Of note was an Enfield tilted armchair from the 1850s. Wood said that it was an early example that was made for use within the community.
Wooden birds were on tap from Pittsford, Vt., dealer John Bourne. Those included a pair of Prince Edward Island geese, a Lake Champlain black duck and an ice decoy by Ben Coughlin. In weathervanes, Bourne featured a hand carved and painted full-bodied goose as well as a carved wooden fish weathervane with original paint.
An attractive booth design was put together by Randolph, Maine, dealer Farrins Antiques, who featured old painted signs including “Slow,” “Rooms,” and an altitude sign for Newburgh, which puts it at 171.5 meters above sea level.
When asked about his favorite thing in his booth, Wadsworth, Ohio, dealer Matt Ehresman pointed out a basket that had come from a Kentucky collection. The cat-eye basket was painted red and had a nicely carved swing handle.
American stoneware by Branch Green was available from Brookfield, Mass., dealer Walker Homestead. The dealers had three pieces by Green, a Troy, N.Y. native who potted in Philadelphia and New Jersey. These pieces, two jugs and a jar, all featured a cobalt band around the top. According to the dealer, the decoration on the jar could have been a sturgeon, as it was symbolic of the area at that time, with additional decoration of fish eggs or berries.
“I’m trying to actively move [the Antiques in Vermont] show,” Sherhag told us. “The evening set-up is hard and I’ve lost dealers over it. I have a place in mind and I’d like to get that show back up to 50 dealers. I think it’s going to make a considerable difference. If you have a 50-dealer show to anchor the week, people will stick around.”
For additional information, www.vermontantiquesweek.com.
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