Published: August 29, 2006
The eighth annual Start of Manchester Antiques Show was held August 8–9, and was a great success for its dealers, the promoter — Flamingo Promotions — and the visitors. The C.R. Sparks facility, a restaurant and event center, was filled to capacity with antiques and antiques dealers offering predominantly early American antiques to several thousand visitors who came from across the country for this, the first of the New Hampshire Antiques Week shows.
Founded in 1999 by Kay and Bill Puchstein, and originally held in the city’s JFK ice rink, the show was moved to the air-conditioned Sparks facility four years ago. Since the move to the new location, which is across the street from two other antiques shows of this renowned New Hampshire Antiques Week, the show has been attracting more dealers, and customers find it and enjoy the comfortable accommodations. It all seems to be working well; dealers generally reported great sales of furniture and home furnishings, art and folk art, and antiques for the dining table.
The Puchsteins from El Jobean, Fla., still exhibit at this show and their centerpiece was an early oil on canvas from the host state, New Hampshire. Painted by G.G. Walker and dated 1845, it was a “Portrait of a Gentleman.” The Puchsteins said their sales were best in furniture, especially their own favorites — early paint — and some small primitive accessories.
Pam Haft was exhibiting at the show for the first time; she came with her neighbor, Easter Hill Antiques of Sharon, Conn. The principle exhibit in Haft’s collection was a pair of oil on canvas portraits by Ammi Phillips, dated 1829, of a husband and wife from Pine Plains, N.Y. Additionally, the exhibit had an early primitive eight-sided table that was believed to have been made for a backwoods Maine lumber camp in the middle of the Nineteenth Century. It sold in the first minutes of the show, much to the dealer’s delight.
Also exhibiting for the first time was John Long of Mineral, Va. Long offered his collection of early American furniture, home furnishings and some early Colonial period accessories. There was an early tap table in the center of his room setting, surrounded by four Eighteenth Century chairs: a bow back Windsor, a Chippendale side chair, a mule eared Windsor and a plank seat side chair. Next to this was a Southern pie safe, one of those cupboards with punched tins, raised about a foot above the floor to keep the mice out. Long also had a very early wood framed candle mold big enough for 18 candles at a single pour.
Hand Picked Antiques, Stowe, Vt., was in the front room of the show with its current inventory of early American country-style antiques. Annette Colletti and Richard Fuller have been business partners for several years; their taste in picking seems to be very compatible as they were showing numerous pieces of early painted furniture. Their room setting display was too full to be someone’s keeping room but all the necessary elements were there. The table was an early sawbuck with what may have been a winnowing tray bottom, several early chairs and an old pantry cupboard in green pitch paint. They even had a few architectural pieces, including an early cupola that was a ventilator for a small barn in older times.
Slocum & Schaffner, West Tisbury, Mass., were offering a large collection of early furniture and small antiques. Sue Slocum Angeley and Bruce Schaffner, formerly owners of a shop near their Martha’s Vineyard home, brought a varied collection. Articles offered at this show included a Federal period sofa, some tables and a sea chest with a sailing ship painting as its decoration.
William Kurau is a specialist in “English ceramics for the American market,” as he said. He and his wife Teresa and son were pleased with the show. The Lampeter, Penn., dealers said they “did pretty good selling something in every category we brought. Some porcelain, some Liverpool and even some of the Currier & Ives we had with us.” The transfer decorated creamware they offer was made especially for the American market from about 1800 to 1825, with decoration including American scenes and themes. As a family business for over 25 years, Kurau said they are “in the car all week looking for more.”
“We sold across the board, something of virtually category we brought,” said Tom Cheap of Period Antiques, Scottsburg, Ind. That included several pieces of furniture, some early advertising pieces such as store signs, and small antique items. Cheap added, “I think the improved quality of the show helped us all to do better because it helped attract more buyers and what they saw were really good antiques.” Cheap and his wife Rose have opportunities to shop in Maine and in the middle states for their inventory so their collection is varied, which he felt helped in their sales.
The Poster Company, Stratham, N.H., was featuring automobile posters. George’s Antiques came to the show from Atlanta with a collection of early samplers and, among other small antiques, a pair of wall sconces from about 1800. Tom Degnan runs on-site auctions in the vicinity of his home in Ashford, Conn., and he buys at shows. His collection reflects this diversity; it included an eclectic mixture of periods and styles. One item in the collection he was showing was an early quilt in excellent condition, white with a four-cornered pattern of flowers in vases.
Other dealers included Marvin Wies from Baltimore, who likes to exhibit early folk art or even outsider art. A hooked mat made from rag scraps, other hooked rugs and a few traditional antique pieces were the principle eye-catchers in his collection. James Island Antiques, Charleston, S.C., was offering fine early porcelain, primarily made in England from about 1750 to 1850, along with some fine early furniture.
Among other newcomers to the show were Schaeffer’s Antiques from Glyndon, Md., and Margaret Suter of Lower Gwynedd, Penn., who both offered fine English dishes and porcelain.
Platypus Antiques, Dix Hills, N.Y., was selling early American country furniture in original surfaces. Also from Long Island were The Quinns, who had a collection of small decorative antique objects. Marc Witus was there too, from Gladstone, N.J., with an extensive collection of very small antiques such as Battersea boxes and pie crimpers.
Missing from the show for the first time since its inception were Don and Marta Orwig from Corunna, Ind. Just a few days before the show Don suffered a heart attack, but in a postshow telephone interview he said, “Recovery is coming along fine, so I expect to be back next year.”
Promoters John and Tina Bruno have been building this show since their purchase about five years ago. John also has been on television with a few shows on cable stations. During this antiques week he was taping a show for Treasure H.D. John was the moderator talking about early pieces, how to find them, what they are and their value. The plan is for the show to be aired this winter.
The Start of Manchester show will be on again next year, August 7–8. For more information, 631-261-4590.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm