Published: May 1, 2012
It is not uncommon to see antiques shows falling by the wayside these days, and rarely do we see highly successful start-ups. Well, do not tell that to promoter Nan Gurley or the New Hampshire Antiques Dealers Association (NHADA); they will surely just laugh in your face as they point out the successes enjoyed during their newest venture, a one-day show that premiered on April 15.
A replacement show for an event that Gurley and NHADA had previously conducted in Canterbury during the month of September, the Spring in New Hampshire Antique Show proved an upbeat and exciting event. Gurley and NHADA came up with the concept after struggling with the mission of putting together a second show that would not interfere with the New Hampshire Dealer’s Show in August, the anchor event of Antiques Week in New Hampshire, nor would it come on the heels of the dealer’s show as Canterbury had.
Finding a quality location was not problematic either. Gurley chose the sparkling Whittemore Center Arena, a large, upscale hockey rink in the middle of the University of New Hampshire. Located a mere nine miles from Portsmouth, the location is at the crossroads of Maine and New Hampshire and proved to be easily accessible from both Massachusetts and Vermont.
“It was great,” said Gurley after the show, obviously pleased with virtually every facet of the event. The event, with pipe and drape booths, provided a good look for the show, and the dealers took advantage with attractive displays. “High-end Americana did really well, people that brought kick-ass stuff did great,” said the promoter. The show attracted a good crowd, with a large crowd on hand for the opening. “We attracted a serious crowd, people that were really interested in buying good stuff, advanced collectors and dealers,” said Gurley.
Sold tags began appearing as soon as the crowd hit the floor; a folky cupboard facade was one of many items to leave the booth of Alna, Maine, dealer Bill Quinn; an early allegorical painting displayed at Michael and Lucinda Seward’s stand was a quick sell; a mocha salt at Cheryl Scott’s flew out of the booth’ a pair of patinated copper architectural cornice vents at Ohio dealer Gary Promey’s booth were but a couple of the noted sales.
“I wish we had a place at home to hang it,” commented Susan Hart, Arlington, Vt., in regard to a neat laminated and bentwood porch swing that was offered from her stand. The dealers also displayed a nice graduated stack of painted firkins that ranged in color from vibrant blue to peach, a colorful game wheel and an unusual railroad timetable sign.
Canaan, N.H., dealer American Classics put together an attractive display with eclectic merchandise that ranged from folky paintings to a locomotive weathervane. “Break Three Dishes” proclaimed a red and white painted carnival sign that was being sold with an accompanying box filled with softballs.
A good selection of Americana was offered at Hilary and Paulette Nolan’s stand. The Falmouth, Mass., dealers also displayed a nice Queen Anne drop leaf table with cabriole legs, a captain’s Windsor armchair, cast iron still banks, slipware platters, Nantucket baskets and a neat, vibrantly painted blanket box.
A good selection of stoneware in the booth of James Lowery, Baldwinsville, N.Y., included a Commeraw’s jug with cobalt-filled clamshell decoration. A large hooked rug with a bold gold star and colorful borders was hung on the rear wall, alongside a miniature slant front desk and an early ladder back gentleman’s armchair with mushroom capped arms.
Wiscasset, Maine, dealer Pat Stauble displayed a good looking one-drawer blanket chest with bold paint-decorated faux graining. A large blue pantry box and a small yellow sewing box displayed atop accentuated the colors in the chest. Above it hung a nice primitive portrait from the Prior-Hamblin School.
West Newbury, Mass., dealer Paul DeCoste was on hand with a good assortment of early antiques that ranged from a red painted two-part cupboard with two glazed doors, over three drawers, over two blind paneled doors to Queen Anne yoke back chairs. A Chippendale table and a variety of nautical items filled out the stand. Attracting a great deal of interest was a massive burl bowl with heart cutout handles that the dealer believed was of Iroquois origin.
Cheryl Scott, Hillsboro, N.H., mixed up her assortment of wares, displaying a stately pair of early Nineteenth Century Chinese armchairs alongside a grain-painted chest topped by a large running horse weathervane.
Nan Gurley and partner Peter Mavris not only managed the show, they also displayed a good selection of Americana that ranged from a nice elongated fan window to a child’s chair in the original mustard paint. A colorful splint Indian basket was offered, a carving of a retriever and a “silverware” sign from a Vermont jeweler’s store.
The next show for Nan Gurley will be the Deerfield Show conducted during Antiques Week in New Hampshire on August 7. For information, www.nangurley.com or 207-625-3577.
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