Published: December 9, 2003
Music Valley Antiques Market is the middle show of Nashville’s Heart of County week. Its history is long, as its original incarnation was in the hotel then known as the Ramada, the name then applied to the show. In the early 1990s, Jenkins Show Management took over for Ann Jennings, who retired. Managed by Kay Puchstein and Jon Jenkins, it was moved to a tent for a few years, then back to the renovated and newly named Radisson Hotel at Opryland in 2002.
More than 150 dealers display their collected antiques inventories in a large center atrium, the ballroom, several conference rooms and even in the guest rooms. For this year’s edition, the show opened Thursday, October 23, promptly at 8 am, to large crowds who had waited for the starting bell.
At one entry (there are three) Don Schweikert had an oversize booth to accommodate the furniture, prints and antique accessories he brought. His centerpiece was among the most notable antiques at the show, an Eighteenth Century highboy from New Hampshire. Reasonably priced, Don sold it to a Virginia dealer on the first day.
The hotel is constructed as an open center square building in which the three floors of rooms have open balconies overlooking the atrium. This atrium has hanging plants, potted trees and the swimming pool, but also provides a large open space that is the center of the show. About 20 dealers display their merchandise in room settings or small shoplike arrangements. Neal Blodgett, Higganum, Conn., had his not little shop filled with small antiques at the entrance to this area.
Down the aisle, Period Antiques had a large room setting that was a combination country kitchen and study filled with Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century furniture. Tom Cheap and Rose Reynolds, the proprietors of Period Antiques, recently moved from Northport, Maine, to a home they have purchased together in Scotsburg, Ind., carrying a bit of New England with them.
New Hampshire native John Melby has been shopping in Canada for many years, especially in the maritime provinces. This gives his booth a somewhat different look, yet early or primitive styles dominate – peeling paint on a small wall shelf filled with early small baskets and flasks, early English and American pewter on a red milk-painted cupboard and a large collection of linens.
Bill Puchstein, husband to show co-manager Kay, had an oversize booth in the corner of the atrium for all his furniture. His focus is often early faux grain painted furniture made of pine or lesser hardwoods (beech, birch, etc). At this most recent show, he had no fewer than four cupboards in grain painted style plus much more.
Near Puchstein were Judi and Cy Stelmach, Blue Dog Antiques, now residing in Stafford Springs, Conn. They used to live in Minnesota but moved in the last year and their decorating style looks like they have been “East” forever. Their booth has the look of New England country with early painted primitives, including a tall cupboard, pewter and porcelain. They also had a sleeping room set up as a display where the furniture included a hired man’s bed, full breast wall and fireplace mantel and more. When seen at York, Penn., a few days later, their only complaint was that they “didn’t have enough left [after the show] for York…”
Guest rooms of the hotel are reorganized, pushing the standard hotel furniture out of the way to make room for the displays. In so doing the dealers have a room setting immediately complete with a display window when they choose to use it.
Burleigh and Jean Wellington, Reading, Mass., have been at this show for many years with a room on the ground floor and keep the drapes open to encourage customers to stop in for a visit. Trading under the name Zyzaar Antiques, they are especially fond of early metal and miniature furniture. Three toleware coffee pots in cute paint decoration and a Federal mahogany chest, only about 12 inches tall, were among their collection.
Vi’s Antiques, Bowling Green, Ky., offered an oil on canvas of a woman, circa 1820, and a well-detailed sampler. Dad’s Follies, Gibsonville, N.C., specializing in chocolate molds, has just been taken over by his adult children, son Butch Hanes and daughter Cherie Baughman. Cabin in the Woods, Bellevue, Mich., had so much stuff – early Nineteenth Century kitchen oriented – a day could have been spent examining all of it. One case was devoted to miniature animals from Germany, often used as decoration under small Christmas trees. Donna Finegan, Palatine, Ill., had vintage clothing, including ladies dresses from the 1800s.
Music Valley Antiques Market will repeat in February on its usual pattern, with a Thursday, February 5, opening running through Saturday, February 7, but the fall dates are altered. Due to conflicts at the hotels, Music Valley’s fall edition will be conducted from Wednesday, October 27, through Saturday, October 30.
For information, 317-598-0012, 813-988-9009 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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