Published: August 20, 2002
By R. Scudder Smith
MANCHESTER, N.H. — “We were pleased with the show,” John and Tina Bruno agreed, after completing their first outing during Antiques Week in New Hampshire. The new owners of The indicated that they felt the quality of the show had gone up, but “our one failure was we did not have enough exhibitors,” Tina said.
The Brunos have indicated that the goal for next year is to have at least 60 exhibitors with high quality and variety in the goods offered. Tina indicated that about one-third of the dealers said they would be returning in 2003, “but we expect to hear from many more of them.”
Management was pleased with the numbers the first day, and noted that the second day was not all that bad and that people did return for the lectures that were presented. “We are going to keep the country look that people expect in New Hampshire, and if anything we may tighten up on the hours next year,” Tina said. She added that “country folks do not know us, but we are going to travel to many shows seeking new faces for Manchester.” They have also dropped a few hints about the possibility of another antiques show in New Hampshire, this one an outdoor event.
Alice Hoffman, executive director of The American Antiques Show, was among the first in the door on Wednesday, August 6, and commented, “From what we expected, it is much better.” Those sentiments were echoed by a good number of people who felt that while the number of dealers was off, the quality had improved.
A southern hunt board of cypress, ten feet long, from Douglas, Ga., was against the back wall in the booth of Mount Vernon Antiques of Rockport, Mass. Exhibitor Elizabeth Enfield pointed out a large phonograph record advertising the 1981 recording of “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen. “Half the sale price will go Tom Charity,” she said.
Country Treasures of Preston, Md., had a booth filled with painted furniture including a York County, Penn., corner cupboard, two pieces, Nineteenth Century, 72 inches tall, painted yellow with bittersweet trim, and an Eighteenth Century New Hampshire Chippendale chest, white over pewter gray, by Peter Barlett of the Dunlap School. Red sold tags were scattered about in an open cupboard filled with lidded painted boxes, some with handles, in red, green, blue, rust, salmon and white.
Don and Marta Orwig of Corunna, N.H., had two booths opposite each other and filled to capacity. Attracting attention was a circa 1940 advertising cow from a Chicago dairy that moved its head back and forth, causing some surprise from those who did not notice what was happening at first. A homemade train engine of large pipe and wood, painted black, measured 30 inches long, and advertising signs, lithographs on tin, carried messages for Old Taylor Whiskey and Liebig Company’s Beef Tea. A shooting gallery cast-iron deer and a tramp art wall box decorated one of the walls.
American Heritage Antiques, operated by Bill and Kay Puchstein of Tampa, Fla., former owners of the Start of Manchester Show, returned as exhibitors and offered a three-quarter rope bed in old red, circa 1850; an Eighteenth Century three-board top tavern table in old red, Connecticut origin; and a potting table, 48 inches long, in old white paint. It was very colorfully filled with wooden bowls with red and blue painted bottoms.
Marc Witus of Gladstone, N.J., showed a trio of chests against the back wall of his booth including a four-drawer Sheraton example in tiger maple, Somerset County, Penn., and a four-drawer Hepplewhite chest in cherrywood with complete family provenance. The third chest was also of Pennsylvania origin, four-drawers and in figured maple.
A hired man’s bed in old blue, Virginia origin, was shown by Auditorium Antiques of Ohio, along with a nice Pennsylvania chair table, circa 1800. Jim Yeager Antique Toys of Lees Summit, Mo., showed a collection of cast-iron and tin toys, a selection of doorstops, and a large collection of still banks including a rare lighthouse bank in the original paint. “One of the best examples I have ever seen,” commented Yeager.
“We were two days on the road, 1,500 miles, to get here,” Vera Gradiner of Liberty Tree Antiques, Collierville, Tenn., said, and a good number of pieces of furniture came along. Among the pieces were a step back cupboard, blue over salmon, circa 1860; a New England kitchen cupboard with spice drawers built into the top portion, and a six-panel pie safe in pumpkin and green paint. A Mt Lebanon seed box with perfect label intact was filled with a selection of seeds.
One of the first rdf_Descriptions to be sold from the booth of Gaines & Associates was a red and black checkerboard decorated with a large painted fish at either end. Buddy Gaines, who with his wife Laurie operated from Placida, Fla., in the winter and Lanark, Ill., in the summer, pointed out one of his latest purchases, a sawbuck table in green with red base that came “right out of a house in Damascotta, Maine.” “We like primitive country,” he said, a choice backed up by a large stack of painted firkins and a late Eighteenth Century New Hampshire miniature blanket chest in salmon and black paint.
Anne Hall Antique Prints, Sturbridge, Mass., showed a framed US Coastal Survey of the Northeast, and a collection of four copperplate engravings on handmade paper, Bloch Fishworks.
Jagg Antiques of Holyoke, Mass., always seemed to have people milling about the booth, drawn in by the fanciful and fun things offered. Carnival games, such as a penny-pitch board and wheels, along with a collection of knock-down cats, brought smiles to those who, at one time or another, lost money at these games of chance. Referring to the cats, Judy Jagg noted, “You need a cannon to knock most of them down.”
North Granby, Conn., exhibitor Mad River Antiques showed a country transitional four-drawer chest, Chippendale/Hepplewhite, early Nineteenth Century, old blue over red, and an Eighteenth Century lift-top blanket chest with bracket base and traces of old paint. A Chippendale slant lid desk in tiger maple and maple, New England, late Eighteenth Century, measured only 38 inches wide.
A pulpit armchair, split turned banister back with old splint seat, once used in the Calvin Baptist Church in Northwood, N.H., circa 1750, was shown in the booth of Pear Tree Antiques of New London, N.H. Case pieces of furniture included a Maine example, an Empire tiger maple four-drawer chest surmounted by a one-drawer case, circa 1840.
Without question visitors and dealers alike found some things of interest at this show. The future of The , however, rests firmly in the hand of Jim and Tina Bruno, Flamingo Promotions. The foundation is there. Now the building begins.
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