Published: August 29, 2017
Review and Photos by Rick Russack
MILFORD, N.H. – Antiques Week in New Hampshire got off to an early start at Jack Donigian’s show in Milford August 6 with early buying at 6:30 am. It was the first of the seven shows of what has come to be known as Antiques Week in New Hampshire. With 75 varied dealers, you never know what you may find here.
Donigian has been running weekly Sunday morning shows, fall and winter, for more than 40 years. Most of the material at his shows is fresh to the market, with many of the dealers bringing things they “picked” the previous week. Many of the same dealers, with the same fresh merchandise, exhibited at this show. The shows are informal and booth rent for dealers is quite reasonable. As during the fall and winter season, regular admission, beginning at 9:30, is free. Donigian considers the income from the early buyers fee to be sufficient and allows him not to charge for the regular admission. He said that he considers his show to be “the warm-up” for Antiques Week, and “I’m really proud to be part of it. We’re a good place to start the week, and like all of us in the business, we’re working to attract new buyers. I think that by offering free admission the way we do, that we’re enticing new buyers for all of us.”
Dealers, most who have done Donigian’s shows before, brought a variety of merchandise, including American and European furniture, Asian ceramics, posters, advertising items, trade signs, decoys, Oriental rugs, gold jewelry, dolls and toys. These dealers have come to sell and prices, for the most part, are reasonable. There was a lot of pre-show buying and selling among the exhibitors, a sign of the restored confidence many feel. Within an hour of the show opening, many dealers said they had been selling well, and all said good things about Donigian and their track record at his shows.
A selection of movie posters was offered by Herb Lore of Amherst, Mass. His favorite may have been the one for Rhythm on the Range starring Bing Crosby. His posters ranged in price between $250 and $1,250. Several dealers had a variety of trade signs, including Robert Sherwood from Cambridge, N.Y., who was doing the show for the third time. Mike Coffey, Pepperell, Mass., had a sign for Saunder’s Corner Country Department Store and large wooden advertising crates. He said “I only do Jack’s shows.” Of a different vintage was a large double-sided sign promoting the use of S&H Green Stamps. It was 5 feet tall, and probably dated to the 1950s-60s. It belonged to Wells, Maine, dealers John, Chris and Mike Lord. They had been having a good show and thought the graphics of the sign were reminiscent of the work of Peter Max. Ed Lambert brought an interesting large wooden model of a steamship with several lifeboats and other detailing. It had a good old surface, and he said it dated about 1910-20 and had been found in Connecticut.
Several dealers had dolls, toys and games. Priced at only $29 by Nancy Craig, Dover, N.H., was an A.C. Gilbert chemistry set, probably from the 1950s or early 1960s. Along with most of the chemicals a child could use to make the famous smelly experiments we all remember, this set included instructions for atomic experiments, a separate booklet for those, and it also included a sample of what Gilbert claimed was uranium ore. What more could a child have asked for in those years! For little girls of the past, there were several dolls, including a nicely dressed 32-inch German bisque doll in the booth of Kathy Burkhardt, Somersworth, N.H. There was also a group of nine Lionel trains, including a standard gauge locomotive and tender, in the booth of Jeffrey Andrews, Salisbury, Vt. The trains needed work but were priced at $550 for the lot.
About an hour after opening, several dealers said they had been doing well. Bob Sherwood said he had sold nine items. R.A. DeFillipo, Peabody, Mass., had sold a Chinese foo lion and “other things.” He said, “I usually do well here and it’s a good winter venue. They draw a good crowd, like this one, and they’re easy shows to do.” Ed Lambert, who also said that he does the winter shows, said he had sold signs. Joe Martin, Lydonville, Vt., said that he had sold good gold jewelry, a Windsor chair for $500 and an early stand for $385.
Contacted a few days after the show, Donigian said that the gate was up over the previous year and the number of early buyers had also increased. He also said that there were more than 150 free admissions, and that many of those people might have been new to the antiques world. “One of the things I like about being part of Antiques Week is that it exposes my regular dealers to an expanded group of buyers that they don’t see during the fall and winter shows.”
For additional information, www.milfordantiqueshows.com or 781-329-1192.
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