Published: September 28, 2004
Labor Day weekend, September 4-5, was the time and the Farmington Polo Grounds the site for one of the summer’s last great outdoor antiques show – Jenkins Show Management’s Farmington Antiques Weekend. Gathered on most of the 60-some acres that the Jenkins family bought this past May were about 400 antiques dealers under bright white tents on freshly cut grass.
The second of this summer’s antiques bazaars at the polo grounds, the show had a new and fresh look and appeal – a buzz, according to many of the dealers – even though for more than 20 years it has been conducted on this site.
The Jenkins family has been recruiting new dealers since they bought the show in 2002, in part to replace some dropouts and to bring the show back to its position as the biggest and most important show in the area and among the most prominent in the country, according to Country Home magazine. From their home in Indianapolis, Ind., and at shows in Nashville, Tenn., and Springfield, Ohio, The Jenkins have been recruiting new dealers with a fresh supply of antiques to bring to the market.
When coupled with a new marketing plan and fresh advertising, the show, which opened at 8 am on Saturday, demonstrated great promise for the dealers, bringing a large crowd of buyers.
Tuck’s Tiques is Yvonne and Jim Tucker, Davidson, N.C., who are better known as the leaders of Antiques and Collectibles Dealers Association. They had been traveling around the country visiting shows and acquainting dealers with the organization and its member benefits, primarily the insurance program, but they decided they missed the fun of exhibiting. At Farmington, they offered a collection of furniture and stoneware along with some novelties and folk art objects. They said sales were quite good, enough to have had a fairly good show, if that was their only motivation. It was, however, an excellent opportunity to meet more dealers.
Eileen Nelz accompanied her husband David for the weekend – from setting up Friday through packing out on Sunday – and in the process helped in the sale of a period Queen Anne tea table during setup. The Nelzes usually have a country style to their antiques collection, and this weekend they also sold some woodenware, a few pieces of creamware and other household accessories.
Bill Fretz, Hex Highway Antiques of Hamburg, Penn., was new to the show, although he is active in a great many other shows in the East. His collection was primarily small antiques and accessories, including brass, stoneware and porcelain. Ironstone dishes and accessories were the mainstay for Jim Kerr. His business, Cavern View Antiques, Howe’s Cave, N.Y., often includes furniture, but here he concentrated on offering the special pieces of ironstone for the avid collector.
Peter Moses had a busy few weeks, with Madison Bouckville, then Farmington followed by Brimfield. His stock is always excellent; here he showed numerous pieces of furniture and a wide variety of early accessories. The Ferrises came in from Lake Luzerne, N.Y., with a collection of outdoor furniture, accessories and architectural pieces, including a gazebo.
Room settings in tents at this outdoor bazaar are frequently seen as a way to visualize the offered antiques. Karen Oberg, Ashford, Conn., presented a collection of Eighteenth Century furniture, which included a three-drawer blanket chest at the center of the “room.” The piece, in red milk paint in excellent condition, was a lift top mule chest, about 4 feet tall. Tom and Mary Jo Riggs, Greensboro, Md., offered Nineteenth Century furniture, including an oak kitchen set with pressed back chairs. Buck and Barb’s Oak Cupboard, Cape May, N.J., set up an oversize tent filled with restored oak furniture from the Nineteenth Century.
Sherman Alden Antiques, Holyoke, Mass., offered a primitive American kitchen with one’s choice of early tables and several collections of chairs, together with the necessary cupboards and accessories. Another primitive kit-chen with a different look was on view at Dawn and Rick Mabrey’s from Raleigh, N.C. Theirs included a green-painted sawbuck table, painted wooden bowls and a tent filled with early kitchenware. Just as early but much more formal was the setting for Claudia and Bob Haneberg. Their tent was an early parlor or tea room with a pair of bow back Windsor arm chairs, a candlestand in original black paint and a pair of oil on canvas portraits among the rdf_Descriptions showcased.
Victorian parlor was the look in the Flo ‘n’ Time tent from Easton, Penn. Proprietor Florence Lynch had completed the look with several upholstered pieces and accessories from the mid-Victorian era. Poverty Hollow Antiques’ room setting was a full study with an unusual slant lid desk and accessories. Dealer Bob Baker from Redding Ridge, Conn., featured export China as well.
Marie Miller Quilts, Dorset, Vt., had as her room setting a bedroom – no surprise there – with walls showcasing her quilts. The beds were four-posters, one in maple with tall posts fit for a canopy.
The Keeping Room, East Berlin, Conn., was filled with early furniture and accessories. There were three Pembroke tables, one each in Queen Anne style, Hepplewhite and Sheraton, an early Chippendale tall chest, American, with turned feet that dealer Gary Jacobs said were original, and in an old red wash.
Country Squire Antiques, Seekonk, Mass., is Bob and Bette Doyle. Their offerings at Farmington were early primitive and painted furniture and accessories. Country Squire Antiques of Gorham, Maine, run by dealers Jane and Ed Carr, was more into the refinished furniture and a large collection of hooked rugs and mats.
Dishes? Try Dennis and Dad, Fitzwilliam, N.H., or Dora Landey, New Canaan, Conn., both of whom carry early English porcelain, as does Jane McClafferty of New Canaan, Conn.
Laurel McKinney of Jenkins Show Management had set up a special tent for vintage textile and linen dealers. Richelle Davis, who owns Town and Country Antiques, Rome, Ga., and Donna Shannon, Chapel Hill, N.C., McKinney there.
Farmington was doing well this year until some rain Saturday afternoon reduced the attendance. Sunday was again a busy day with good attendance.
Steve Jenkins said that for next year there will be some reconfiguration of the field to make walking through the show shorter and to better accommodate the various dealers’ needs. He expects to have the new plan out far enough ahead for regular dealers to advise customers of any changes. Dates for 2005 are June 11-12 and Labor Day weekend, September 3-4.
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