Published: October 3, 2000
The Adirondack Museum Antiques Show
BLUE MOUNTAIN LAKE, N.Y. – Between rain drops and drizzle, a day’s crowd of 5,000 wrapped themselves around the circa 1900 Idem Water Witch – the retired member of the world’s oldest, one-design centerboard class still racing only in the original boats – to gain entrance to the ninth annual Adirondack Museum Antiques Show. Despite the chilly air, more than 2,600 early admission tickets were sold between 8:30 and 9:30 am. The Water Witch was part of the “Boat and Boating” exhibition in the museum’s brand new visitor center.
The Adirondack Musem show is a popular rustic event conducted at the museum, presented very artfully by Oliver & Gannon from Altamont, N.Y., and sponsored by Country Living magazine. Featured were more than 120 quality dealers from Canada to Minnesota; the show is known as the source for anything rustic and everything Adirondack.
Exhibitors like Dave Mason, of Mason Art & Antiques, West Cornwall, Conn. brought their best and most unusual pieces to the show. Dave featured several oils on canvas with animal subjects and a great assortment of fishing prints. One oil on canvas of a rainbow trout was painted by noted New York City art director Walter Bauer. The colorful painting was available for $3,900. A small taxidermy bear’s head, mounted, was nearby for $375. Many patrons were interested in Mason’s small mounted skunk for $135. He also had an outstanding Austrian stand with a hammered Arts and Crafts-style top and antler bottom for $3,850. Mason enjoyed talking to, and was impressed with, the knowledgeable crowd stopping by his booth.
Tracey Low of Currioddity, up from Norwich, N.Y., had a great corner spot on the end of one of the out buildings. He featured a rare piece of Hoyt pottery made in Utica, N.Y., around 1870 in the shape of a pitcher, with gray and cobalt blue salt glaze. The pitcher had the small face of a bull dog on the sides and was in excellent condition. Its asking price was $395. Currioddity had an 1870 gun signed K. Klinger Carthage, N.Y.; pack baskets; and a New York illustrated bird book, with color plates by Edward Summers (1883), for $150.
Low also had a jar beater in great condition, marked Silvers, Brooklyn, N.Y. The beater featured original etched glass and original beaters. Low was asking $250 for the piece. Along the floor of the booth, he pointed out an old wooden bowling ball he found in Oxford, N.Y.
Jon Magoun, South Paris, Me., offered a booth overflowing with canoes, packbaskets, antlers and head mounts. Among the rdf_Descriptions was a large “Trout Pond” sign in original paint for $795 and a giant moose head for $2,500. A smaller moose mount could be had for $1,400. A fabulous elk was in the booth ready to fill up any camp for $5,000.
Magoun priced pack baskets in the $225 range and a pair of Indian child’s moccasins were a reasonable $55. Magoun Bros. had a good dozen canoes and guide boats with them in the $6/9,000 range plus an old Johnson motor that shifted in a circular fashion to forward and reverse. They also had some nice advertising rdf_Descriptions with outdoor themes under the tent. A small lynx was part of the great smalls on the table.
John and Shirl Stacey with their Lean-2 studio showed rustic chandeliers and lamps in the Adirondack style. Although their product is new, it is created in the rustic style using materials native to the Adirondack Park area. Their five-by-six-foot patented chandelier drew a lot of attention and didn’t last long. Interest in their small chandeliers and twig table lamps was strong, too. Lean-2, although they have a studio, prefers to exhibit at shows.
Jeffrey Cherry from Jeffrey Cherry Antiques, Pine Plains, N.Y., displayed some outstanding pieces with great historical backgrounds. Cherry showed an early Nineteenth Century wood basket or log carrier made of scratched birch with primitive Indian motifs by the Penobscot tribe. The carrier had twig legs and a nice red-brown patina. Jeffrey was asking $3,000 for the piece.
Another fabulous piece under Cherry’s tent was an embroidered Victorian room screen with panels made of moose hair, wood and trade cloth. The piece was made by Heron Indians and can be seen in the book The Art of Native North Americans. Also under the tent was a primitive hooked rug with the words “Boy Scout” for $600, a yellow birch mirror for $2,150 and a set of eight hickory chairs in the rustic style.
Halcyon Meadow Antiques from Bridgewater, Vt., also featured several unique rdf_Descriptions. They showed a 1900s one-bushel wooden oyster pail from Boston with original bill of sale. A rare Joe Pepper minnow lure was in the showcase for $275. Halcyon had creek chub lures, reels and a 1952 Austin Healy manual. They specialize in Black collectibles, fishing tackle, camp and country, as well as medical.
Donna Scheerer and husband David, of Rangeley Lakes Antiques, offered some outstanding pieces of furniture under their tent. They had an 1800s bed redone in the Adirondack style and embellished with a lake scene painted by David. The headboard also had applied whimsical deer figures, twigs and bark. Donna and David decorated the bed with pillows made from old blankets with bear designs for $125 each. The Scheerers had a vintage birch buffet circa 1920 from the Rangeley Lake, Me. area. We liked a handmade oval hall or sofa table with inlaid mahogany and walnut with turned legs for $3,400. Decorative smalls and artwork topped their many pieces of furniture.
This was the 9th year at the show for Jim and Linda Zeitler from Cedar River Antiques, Johnstown, N.Y. Vintage hunting clothes hung in the back of the Zeitlers’ large tent surrounded by pack baskets and wool blankets. Cedar River peppered their booth with antlers, nets and rustic furniture. Their showcase piece was shown in a nearby tree. The 1945 cedar strip Penn Yan car top canoe was filled with snowshoes and was available for a reasonable $800. Cedar River specializes in Adirondack camp furniture and accessories, outdoor rdf_Descriptions and wooden boats, early baskets, quilts and cupboards.
Cowboy Trader Gallery from Birmingham, Mich. had a mixture of rustic and western on their porch location. Robert Ray of the gallery featured Western art and antiques with such rdf_Descriptions as a roulette wheel from Cody, Wyo., $475; a rush salt chair, circa 1900, $375; and a 1920 North West fish basket for $550. Ray also had a lot of old photos, traps and hunting memorabilia. Cowboy Trader stayed nice and dry under their idyllic porch setting.
Country Corner Antiques from Tupper Lake, N.Y., was having an outstanding show Saturday and described Friday the same way. They sold a Steiff bear to a dealer and other child’s rdf_Descriptions on Friday. Saturday’s booth was full of linens, blankets, Fiesta plates and primitive wood rdf_Descriptions like birdhouses and shelves. Country Corner had a few pieces of furniture like a child’s rustic twig rocking chair.
Joe Bushman Antiques from Bronxville, N.Y. had the most picturesque spot of the show. Bushman put his rustic furniture outside the tent with a view of Blue Mountain Lake just behind the pieces. He deals in rustic, camp, country and old paint, and featured Adirondack porch chairs in hickory for $375, a 1909 settee by The Chair Co., and a 1929 settee ($1,200). Bushman showed a twig desk ($425) and some interesting smalls. An exceptional small oil on canvas (six by nine inches) of a Adirondack landscape was available for $1,750. Other paintings were in the $110 range. Many fishing related rdf_Descriptions rounded out the booth.
Forest Murmurs from Vermontville, N.Y. had a striking carved Indian beckoning people into the tent. The piece was in original paint, carved from one piece and made in Connecticut in the late 1800s or early 1900s. Glen Bauer was asking $6,500 for the unusual piece. Bauer’s Forest Murmurs buys, sells, trades in unique Adirondack antiques and furnishings. Around the Indian was a nice eclectic mix of antler lamps, chandeliers, twig furniture, camp signs, an understated raccoon coat and a white bear rug. Business looked brisk at Forest Murmurs.
Alan Pereske Antiques came over from Lake Placid, N.Y. to be in the show. Pereske featured hickory chairs and a nice selection of artwork. He had an unusual trunk that was carved to look like logs. The piece had a $895 price tag. A deer weathervane with nice patina was getting a lot of attention. It was priced at $1,325.
Christibys from Traverse City, Mich. gets the best-looking entrance award of the show. The doorway to their booth was decorated with branches, a Forrestville Lodge sign ($235), piles of pack baskets and rustic furniture. Its inviting appearance led patrons inside to an exceptional group of paintings. An oil on canvas by A.F. Bishop of the ship Monongehela was priced at $6,500. A Branchen oil was nearby for $1,200. Christibys also had some fishing-related rdf_Descriptions to compliment their display.
Fred Betts from Phoenix, N.Y. had some fine Heddon lures and advertising in his area. He had a showcase filled with reels and fishing tackle, an unusual metal bait cage with a funnel top for $95 and a rare Shmoo wooden lure from Utica, N.Y. If you can’t remember the Shmoo from television, it looks like a bowling pin with a face on it. The lure was priced at $300. Betts was thrilled with his sale of a South Bend prototype lure on Friday.
A &B Collectibles from Massena, N.Y. had a mixed booth with a little something for everybody. They had displayed rustic Adirondack chairs for children, snow shoes, furniture and pack baskets. Under the tent was an assortment of the antique glassware from different eras. A&B featured the popular Fireking Jade-ite cups for $12 each. They also showcased some Watt Pottery pitchers for $120 each.
At the base of the museum’s Merwin Hill, Adirondack artist Cate Mandigo was settled into a lean-to. Mandigo hails from Weavertown, N.Y. and is well known in the upstate New York area for her primitive folk art paintings and prints. She had several of her paintings available for sale. Her work is a little reminiscent of Grandma Moses.
Across from Cate, Norm Niggli Antiques from Greene, N.Y. was right on the pond. He featured an impressive array of plates and platters with trout, deer and other animal motifs. Niggli’s 1909 Buffalo Pottery plates with Moose design were $225. A 1906-1914 trout plate was priced at $250. He had a great mail cabinet from a hotel in the booth as well as a nice selection of yellowware and a nice cradle in original stain for $195.
Show veterans like Bert Savage was on hand in booths 17-20. Savage’s Larch Lodge from New Hampshire Lakes region is well known on the rustic/camp scene and is eagerly sought out each year by the crowd. Larch Lodge featured some great artwork to compliment its display of top quality rustic furniture.
The show continues to grow in patronage and attention. Jerry Oliver, show manager, reports that there is a waiting list to get into next year’s show. The show has overflowed from the museum into the village of Blue Mountain Lake in recent years. Local homeowners and businessmen rent out spaces on their lawn to dealers. Booths now line both sides of the highway with some booths all the way back to Indian Lake, ten miles away.
There is a shuttle bus to take patrons from the museum show to the show in the village and to their cars. One dealer wondered if the Blue Mountain Lake show would become another Brimfield. It was a good attendance sign when the caterer at the museum ran out of food. The Blue Mountain Lake Methodist Church came to the rescue and sold 700 barbecue chicken dinners at the museum.
Dates for next year’s show will be: set up and preview on Friday, September 21. The main show is on Saturday, September 22. And, there is no truth to the rumor the show is moving and going to two days. If you are planning to go to next year’s show call now for a room in Blue Mountain Lake. But keep your fingers crossed because lodging is scarce. Most people are repeats from year to year, so you can pray for a cancellation or – wait for somebody to die.
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