Published: October 16, 2018
Review and Photos by Rick Russack
LUDLOW, VT. – The emphasis is Americana at the show at the Okemo Mountain Resort. The 30-dealer room-setting show occupies two floors. It opened with a preview party at 2 pm on Friday, September 28, and continued on Saturday. Show managers Steve Sherag and Kris Johnson also run two other shows in Ludlow during Vermont Antiques Week; one just a mile or so away, and the other in the same facility on Sunday. You might think it a challenge to do all that in a three-day period, but they do it, and their dealers all have good things to say about the management team. Walls of booths are covered with white paper, helping to give the show both a standard look and a brightly lit appearance. There were dealers from about 12 different states, including some from as far away as Arizona, Wisconsin, Missouri, Ohio and Kentucky.
Some of the best folk art and country furniture of the five shows that comprise Vermont Antiques Week was to be found at this show. Colette Donovan, Merrimacport, Mass., had an exceptionally early country table that might be referred to as “pre-Nakashima.” It had a two-board, riven top, with tool marks clearly visible on the top and the edges. Donovan said the table top dated to the Seventeenth Century, and the primitive base, made of tree limbs, probably dated to the early Nineteenth Century. It really had a great look. She also had a folky rocking horse with a tail and mane of straw. Warwick, N.Y., dealer Chuck White had a large cast iron German shepherd that was priced at $5,500. White also had a bonnet top tall case clock, in old red surface, made in Maine by Frederick Wingate, a prolific clockmaker who settled in Augusta, Maine, in 1803. He had priced it at $14,000. Directly across the aisle, Bill Kelly, Limington, Maine, also had a Maine bonnet top tall case clock, priced at $3,900. He dated the clock to about 1790-1800. An unusual carved wood trade sign in the form of an alligator was in the booth of Country Cupboard Antiques, Princeton, Wis. Lettered “Gator Tail” and probably made for a tavern or restaurant, it was believed to have originated in Florida or Louisiana. It was estimated to date from around the 1950s and was priced at $1,875.
There were numerous quilts and hooked rugs. Jewett-Berdan Antiques, Newcastle, Maine, had one of the larger hooked rugs at the show. It was 94 by 40 inches, circa 1890, and it depicted two dogs surrounded by brightly colored flowers. It was priced at $2,250. Mike and Lucinda Seward, Pittsford, Vt., had a colorful floral rug that could be hung with any side up. Under the rug was a one-drawer tiger maple stand that sold shortly after the show opened. Mike Seward said it was one of five good tiger maple pieces that he sold at the show. Pewter and Wood, with seasonal shops in Enfield, N.H., and Cave Creek, Ariz., had a matched pair of hooked rugs with dogs, while Richard Axtell, who is better known as “Smitty,” also had a colorful hooked rug of a horse that was priced at $3,800. Wilhide’s Antiques, Shippensburg, Penn., had a very colorful star quilt, which they priced at $495. Baker and Company Antiques, Delmar, N.Y., had a red and white bear claw pattern quilt priced at $750. Numerous wood carvings were available. MG Art and Antiques, Merrimac, Mass., had a circa 1930-40 carved and painted group of lumbermen at work, priced at $895.
A unusual trade stimulator was in the booth of Harold Cole and Bettina Krainin Antiques, Woodbury, Conn. It was a late Nineteenth Century counter top polychrome cast zinc cigar dispenser in the form of a black gambler or top-hatted dandy. It had a coin slot in one shoulder to accept nickels and a mechanism, now inoperative, to release a cigar when activated. Cole was asking $12,000 for it. It had first come to the market at a 1989 Skinner sale.
Several dealers had Halloween and Christmas items. Thomas “Tommy” Thompson, Pembroke, N.H., had a number of composition pumpkins and turkeys. Beverly Weir-Longacre, Marlborough, N.H., who is known for Christmas collectibles, had a wide range of Christmas ornaments, ranging in price from $28 to $425. There were at least two floral arrangements by the late Doris Staubel, who had been an antiques dealer in Wiscasset, Maine, who also created one-of-a-kind floral arrangements, utilizing Victorian millinery fruit and flower embellishments. Staubel used these bits and pieces in unique arrangements, often using baskets or spongeware bowls, sometimes less than perfect, and often with holiday themes. No two were alike, and they have become quite collectible today. Colette Donovan had a Christmas-themed arrangement priced at $950, and there was another in the booth of Sheila Robbins, Framingham, Mass.
Interested buyers had several folk paintings to choose from. Derik Pulito, Kensington, Conn., had a large portrait of a young girl and her dog, priced at $6,500. It had been part of the Plumer estate of Newbury, Mass., recently sold by John McInnis. Daniel and Karen Olson, Newburgh, N.Y., also had an exceptional portrait of a girl and her oversized dog, priced at $14,000. It was reportedly sold during the show, one of the more expensive items to sell. Dennis and Valerie Bakoledis, Rhinebeck, N.Y., had a pair of 1810-20 portraits of Dutchess County residents priced at $3,800. If you needed period frames for paintings, Barrett Menson, Perkins/Menson Antiques, Ashby, Mass., had a large selection priced from $50 to $350.
Sales began as soon as the doors opened. Tommy Thompson sold stone fruit, a sign and some baskets. Bill Kelly had a sold tag on a slant front desk, Tom Longacre sold a sign, Mike Seward sold small furniture, Axtell Antiques sold wooden whimsies, Lana Smith sold a plant stand, Erik Wohl sold a table and a painted box, and Dennis and Valerie Bakoledis sold a large rooster weathervane. This list just includes items sold in the first 30 minutes of the show. Undoubtedly, it is an incomplete list, as sales continued throughout the day and the next day as well.
A few days after the shows, Kris Johnson discussed the shows and their plans for next year. “Our attendance was off a bit from last year, and we all agree that it was due to the fact that we moved our schedule up a week, and it hurt all of us. I’ve spoken to Bob Brandt at Weston and he agrees, so next year we’ll go back. I think the “leaf peeper” crowds were missing and that probably translates into well over a hundred or more retail buyers that we didn’t see this year. Sales were strong at each of the shows, so dealers were happy, and several said they had done well pre-show. Vail Resorts from Colorado has just bought the Okemo ski area. I don’t expect any disruption of our activities, and we have signed contracts for the facilities for the next two years.”
For information, 610-207-9505 or www.okemoantiqueshow.com.
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