Published: August 26, 2008
Start of Manchester Antiques Show, smallest of New Hampshire’s Antique Week shows, had the highest attendance in its 11-year history for a full house of exhibiting dealers. Coming from throughout the Northeast and as far west as Iowa and Indiana and south from South Carolina, the sellers offered collections of antiques. Flamingo Eventz LLC produced the August 5 and 6 show in the air-conditioned banquet hall of C.R. Sparks, just off Routes 101 and I-293, for about 50 dealers.
Start of Manchester opened 11 years ago on a Monday as the first show of the week. The name has stuck, even though it now opens on Tuesday and others open Monday and earlier on Tuesday morning. Customers arrived ready for the annual visit to this weeklong source of antiques, with shows opening from Monday through Thursday, and not closing until the weekend. There was also Northeast Auction’s sale on August 2 and 3 at Center of New Hampshire in Manchester.
Special antiques are saved for this show by the exhibitors. Brad Selinger, East Berlin, Penn., brought a Connecticut linen press in its original surface, with most of its brass work original. Dating from 1780‱790, according to Selinger, it was priced at $35,000.
Several cupboards found new homes from the Richmond House Antiques collection. Owners Karen and Edd Oberg of Ashford, Conn., who specialize in early painted furniture for the country home, endeavor to have their offerings in original surfaces. In addition to the cupboards, their sales included an antique wooden wall from an old house. The sale of the wall included installation by Edd, who noted that he had sold several such walls already this year.
Best known for their extensive collection of early English earthenware, William and Teresa Kurau also trade in antique prints. At “Start,” their showcases were filled with the fine English dishes, but the walls were covered with the prints, most in period frames, ready to hang.
There was an early corner cupboard in the exhibit of Chris Evans Antiques from Myersville, Md. Evans believed the piece to be a Maryland original, possibly Eastern Shore, made from a mixture of native American woods. He has been doing shows in the Northeast this summer, offering early furniture and an assortment of early dishes, including a large collection of ironstone.
Nutmeg Treasures is from Glastonbury in the Nutmeg State, where much of its inventory is found. The collection included several early primitives, from dolls to furniture, samplers and a chest of drawers.
A hooked rug with an African theme †a lion meandering out of the jungle †was the biggest piece in the West Branch Antiques exhibit. Martin Webster and his partner, Jered Egan, of Delhi, N.Y., were selling hooked rugs along with a collection of other early Americana. Their home is both shop and a bed and breakfast in the central New York town not far from Cooperstown. Diana Higgins, Hampton, Conn., was offering a hooked mat, also with the African lion, but her lions seemed more relaxed.
Working together for the show were Steve Cirillo with his Paisley Pineapple Antiques and his friend from Middlebury, Vt., Fred O’Brien. Their collections are very compatible, showing large Eighteenth Century American furniture, including such pieces as a tall pantry cupboard in original red milk painted surface, a blue milk painted hutch and an early William and Mary table in black paint. Together, according to O’Brien, their sales were “very good. We sold a couple hanging cupboards, a weathervane and several other cupboards, including the red one. It was a good show for us.”
From the same part of Connecticut, Blue Dog Antiques, Stafford Springs, was exhibiting with Marion Atten of Hillwood Farm in Pecontica, Ill., showing more early primitive furniture. Blue Dog is Cy and Jude Stellmach, who often become partners in pieces, including the rope framed day beds and chaises, which they upholster and sell as primitive sofas.
Showing a collection of early firearms and other weapons along with his early paper collection was Scott Condello of North Wales, Penn. Late additions to the show, Louise Jesse, Lively, Va., and Janet Fanto, Easton, Md., were sharing space to show their collections of early dishes, small antique accessories and furniture. Tom Degnan and Ann Frink, the owners of Antiques at Pompey Hollow, Ashford Conn., were offering an assortment of fine early furniture and accessories.
The overall opinion of dealers, visitors and the show promoters was that the week and this show were as strong as ever. Sales were again good for the special items customers wanted to add to their homes, collections or inventories. For example, one Connecticut dealer sold several rugs to a shop keeper in Manchester and another to a homeowner from Texas, while fine early porcelain and earthenware was finding new homes in many places.
Flamingo Eventz, LLC announced that C.R. Sparks, the banquet hall and restaurant site for the show these last five years, has been sold to a car dealer. The restaurant management has assured Tina Bruno of Flamingo that its new location will be ready for next year’s show, and will be at least as big as the current venue. For information and updates on next year’s show, www.flamongoeventz.com or 603-509-2639.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm