Published: January 27, 2016
Review and Photos by Tom O’Hara
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — Nan Gurley gathered together about 45 of her friends on the first day of January at Frank Jones Center for her traditional start of the new year. Weather cooperated, helping with both dealer participation and attendance, and the sales began promptly that morning.
Pat Reese and John Rice are fixtures at the show since their home is also in Portsmouth. Both have been collectors and traders for most of their adult lives and now they prefer to have small antiques, which allows them to come to the show in a compact car — although there was a little more this time. A continuous arm Windsor bow back chair was a part of their offering, along with smalls, which included several Native American pieces.
Ross Levett, a Thomaston, Maine, exhibitor offered a unique Maine-built tall case clock with wooden works for the first time. The case was in excellent condition showing faux grain paint, imitating mahogany with a crescent dial and face and pillared sides. Levett said the maker was signed on the inside, as from Turner, Maine, and he believed the clock to be in good working order.
Another tall case clock was seen in Bonnie and Dave Ferrisses’ collection, but it had no working movement. The case, according to Bonnie, was by Rufus Cole Mayfield, a noted New York case maker, and the Luzerne, N.Y., dealer said she was proud to have it in her inventory.
John Lord and his son from Wells, Maine, have been changing their offerings in recent years. At this show, the focus was primarily early advertising with signs and posters from the late Nineteenth Century through World War II.
With folk art and other local art works William Gittes builds his storehouse of antiques. This time out at Portsmouth, Bill was showing several pieces that had artwork as a part of their appeal. There was a small side table, probably used by a lady for a dressing stand, with floral paint decoration, a hand painted bucket that could have been the waste basket companion to the stand and several different painted tiles. There were also several paintings in his assortment.
Nan Gurley’s shows bring out lots of fresh antiques from the Northeast. Here Bjorn Borssen, Rochester, N.H., was offering a miniature kitchen cook stove, probably a salesman’s sample or for a store window of 150 years ago.
Bud Hughes Americana and Folk Art, Stratham, N.H., sold an early tripod stand early in the show. Elaine Fleming brought her assortment of pantry boxes from home in Middleboro, Mass.
MG Art & Antiques, Merrimac, Mass., was all smalls in order to accommodate the limited exhibit space and short time to set up. Michelle was showing stoneware, carved birds, Eighteenth Century candle lanterns and several Nineteenth Century hooked rugs. Sharing the space was Barbara Rotondo, Methuen, Mass., who featured a Nineteenth Century carved horse, which was probably a scooter toy for a young child.
Nan Gurley shows are about every winter month at the Frank Jones Center on Route 1, with February 7, March 6 and April 3 as additional dates this season. There will also be the big show at Everett Arena in Concord, N.H., on April 24. For details, 207-625-5028.
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