Published: October 17, 2017
Review and Photos by Rick Russack
BONDVILLE, VT. – Greg Hamilton’s Antiques at Stratton Mountain opened with a breakfast preview at 7:30 am on September 30 and continued the next day. With 45 exhibitors, it was the largest of the five shows during Vermont Antiques Week. For the most part, exhibitors were from the Northeast and offered a wide assortment of material. One booth was entirely devoted to silver, another had a wonderful late Twentieth Century large steel robot, several booths included early formal and country furniture and accessories; signed Peter Hunt decorated furniture was available and selections of Eighteenth Century English ceramics were offered by several dealers. There were numerous trade signs, hooked rugs and a variety of early woodenware.
One of the first things shoppers entering the show would have seen was a large “spaceman” made of polished steel and a variety of small pieces of hardware. About 5 feet tall, it stood in the booth of Justin Cobb, Captain’s Quarters, Amherst, Mass. He was a friendly looking spaceman, with facial features on a head made from an inverted coffee pot. The same booth had a table full of Northwest Coast masks. Cobb said these were “gallery” masks, made for sale to the public and were not masks that been used in tribal ceremonies.
Another booth that immediately attracted shoppers was that of Partridge Hollow Antiques, Milton, Vt. It was a large space full of hundreds of pieces of American and European silver. Owner Dennis Chrin, when asked which piece might be of particular interest, selected an American coin silver mote spoon. It is an oddly shaped spoon with a pierced bowl and a long, pointed handle. Chrin explained that the pierced bowl was used to remove tea leaves that might be floating in a cup and that the handle would have been used to clear clogged spouts of a tea pot. Chrin added that coin silver examples are uncommon and this one had been made by Currier and Trott, Boston silversmiths around 1875 or 1880. He said that although there are about 2,300 patterns of sterling silver, only about 50 are “hot.” Pieces in those patterns sell quickly as collectors seek to add to their sets. He also said that flatware sets in those patterns are often broken up because people want particular pieces but not a whole set.
Bob Markowitz, Groveland, Mass., had two molded child-size perforated plywood chairs. He said that they were made by Gardner Brothers of New Jersey and they represented one of the earliest applications of molded plywood to furniture making. The company, formed in 1863, had several patents for this type of furniture, which was more durable than chairs with caned seats or backs. At least one sold shortly after opening. Markowitz also had a watercolor painting of a steam sloop, identified as the USS Ossipee. It was built at the Portsmouth, N.H., Navy shipyard in 1861 and was part of Admiral David Farragut’s fleet that was successful in the 1864 Battle of Mobile Bay. The watercolor was priced at $1,600.
Selling began quickly, and by the end of the first hour, several dealers reported strong sales. Hilary Nolan, Falmouth, Mass., said he sold a good tavern table, an Eighteenth Century dough box, a linsey-woolsey and a half-hull model. Salvage Yard Antiques, Wakefield, R.I., sold a cast stone eagle and an Eighteenth Century chair. Mill Brook Antiques, Reading, Vt., sold a Betty Hutton movie poster for her film Incendiary Blonde, a theorem, a three-finger Shaker box and other smalls.
Tommy Thompson, Pembroke, N.H., said he sold several smalls, as did Bob Foley, Gray, Maine, and Matt King, Marshfield, Mass. Other dealers also said that business was good and the crowd was engaged. Josh Steenburgh, Pike, N.H., sold a good stoneware jug with blue incised decoration.
There were numerous interesting items. Dennis and Ann Berard, Fitzwilliam, N.H., known for their wide selection of early English ceramics, had three signed Peter Hunt pieces, including a large dollhouse. Norm Gronning, Shaftsbury, Vt., had a circa 1780, inlaid four-drawer chest on bold claw and ball feet. He said it had been made by Boston cabinetmaker Thomas Needham, and he had it priced at $4,500. He also had a brightly painted and initialed dome top box. John Rodgers, Elkins, N.H., had a selection of butter pats with a substantial price spread – $20 to $1,000. Frank Gaglio, Rhinebeck, N.Y., had a fancy, green painted, Victorian washstand, and weathervanes were offered by several dealers.
Afterward, show manager Hamilton said that attendance equaled last year and that several dealers, including John Rodgers, Josh Steenburgh, Home Farm Antiques and others, told him they had done well.
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