Published: August 20, 2002
Americana Celebration at Deerfield
By R. Scudder Smith
DEERFIELD, N.H. — What appears to be the start of a 10K road race happens every year at 8 am when the Americana Celebration Antiques Show is at the Deerfield Fairgrounds. And that was the case on Tuesday, August 6, when a record number of early-birds rushed toward the four buildings and the outdoor dealer tents in search of something special.
“We had a very good show, a good gate and lots of interest,” Nan Gurley, show manager said. In what seemed to be constant with shows during the rest of the week, however, furniture was not a strong seller. “We have been selling lots of smalls and decorative objects” was the response from one dealer after another.
The Americana Celebration, which draws a large portion of the audience that shows up annually for the happenings in near-by Manchester and Bedford, is always fun and, after the initial rush, relaxed. Once shoppers have made a tear through the buildings and skirted the edges of the tents, people then wander the area looking again for what might have been missed. And the smell of a hotdog or hamburger is often enough to slow down the search for that special antique.
Nan Gurley and Peter Mavris, from a booth just inside one of the fairground buildings, are able to keep a manager’s eye on the show and at the same time move a few antiques. One of the first rdf_Descriptions sold was a large hooked rug with three flower pots across the bottom, the center pot holding a large red rose that dominated to scene. A tavern table with original surface and a six-drawer New Hampshire chest of drawers were among the furniture in the booth.
Charles Muenchinger of central Falls, R.I., offered one of the most interesting objects in the show, a yellow painted and decorated rocking chair that had been cut down and converted into a made-do wheel chair. The swivel wheel in the back was held by a curly maple bracket and this piece came out of a yard sale in Rhode Island. “It went through two dealers and an auction before I got it,” Charles said.
Greg Smart of Ellsworth, Maine, offered several hooked rugs and a few signs, including one for a Doctor Brassard, Chiropodist-Podiatrist. A small banner weathervane with a perfect surface was quick to find a new home on Tuesday morning. Sport & Spool Antiques of Goldsboro, N.C., carried an interesting selection of sports-related rdf_Descriptions, ranging from old wooden skies to a complete fencing outfit. There was also a collection of fishing poles and a number of golf clubs, including some for the leftie.
Woodbury, Conn., dealer Linda Johnson came prepared to outfit a kitchen with painted tole, several baskets, painted pantry boxes with covers, and wooden bowls. And the welcomed cool Tuesday morning made some people stop to check out the many quilts offered by Jean Cook of Lititz, Penn. A colorful album quilt decorated in the center section with buildings, trees, and birds, hung against the back wall of the booth.
Painted and needlework flags decorated the booth of Shirley Quinn, Contoocook, N.H., while a larger than life-size Mickey and Minnie peered out of the display of Bob and Tina Mortimer, Falmouth, Mass. The guide boat tipped up in the booth of Greg Hamilton of Vergennes, Vt., was in perfect condition and came complete with a small outboard motor and the original set of oars. Near-by exhibitor John Robinson of Williamstown, Mass., showed interest in the boat; he did not buy it, however, as he seemed hung up on “does the motor work?”
Just ten feet away in the booth of John Roth of Milan, Ohio, a paper mache over canvas trade sign pig from New England was displayed. “That pig was used in a butcher shop and should be shown the other way up, his feet in the air,” he said. “That is the way it would have been in the shop, but it looks better with its feet down,” he added.
A portion of a room end of paneling was offered by Michael Malloy Antiques of Dunbarton, N.H., including a door and fireplace surround. It was in old blue paint and “came right out of a house in my home town,” Michael said.
A large seed cabinet was shown under the tent of Chicken Coop Antiques, Effingham, N.H., a piece purchased directly from the firm of Cadwell & Jones, Inc, Hartford, Conn. Packets of seeds from the same company filled several baskets and some of the seed labels were glued to the sides of the drawers in this cabinet. A section of small drawers was stepped back over the bottom part with larger drawers and it retained the original finish. Malcolm Magruder of Millwood, Va., had an early pie safe with punched tin panels, a set of green painted Windsor side chairs from South Carolina, and a one-drawer tavern table in old red, in addition to the countless other rdf_Descriptions he brings to a show.
“I always enjoy this show and generally go home with a few things,” said New York City dealer Blanch Greenstein, who was seen leaving the grounds with Nan Gurley’s hooked floral rug.
Nan said, “We were very pleased with the show, all went fine, and people seemed to have a good time.” Set-up was a very hot day, but “we thank Mother Nature for the nice cool morning we had on Tuesday,” she said. Some early buyers were even seen wearing sweatshirts.
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