Published: February 21, 2012
Jenkins Management hosted nearly 200 exhibitors and 5,000 visitors during its Tailgate/Music Valley Antiques Show at the new Hendersonville Expo February 2‴. Just ten minutes north of downtown Nashville, the show continued to draw visitors from across the country in search of early American antiques.
Jenkins Management found this site for its now-combined show a few years ago, but it was not ready for use until late 2011. The change was announced last summer to mixed reactions from exhibitors, who were concerned about customers finding the facility. “While there were some visitors and exhibitors who took a few wrong turns with directions from their computerized direction finders, in the end more found the show than had been at the old Tennessee State Fairgrounds for the last few times,” said Steve Jenkins, founder of the company. He also said, “The site was also a more conducive exhibit hall for the dealers to get in and out with their collections, creating a much happier atmosphere for all by the time the show began.”
As the show began Thursday morning at 9, more than 400 were waiting for the early bird admission and at noon another 600 stood in line, with a first-day gate far exceeding show manager Jon Jenkins’ expectations. “Because we had presold hundreds of tickets online and that most admissions were good for free reentry, we were not sure of our attendance but the aisles were full each morning and even the last day, Saturday, we had good crowds until closing.”
Sales were reported to be good throughout the show as dealers sold furniture and smalls combined. Maine Attic Antiques brought a large rental truckload of furniture from its Hartland, Maine, shop. Sales were good from the start, including several chests, tables, chairs and a very interesting cobbler’s bench in old blue paint. Proprietor Sandra St Pierre has been doing shows in the Northeast for more than 20 years but for just three years here. Even so, the inventory she brought showed she has a good feel for this market.
Vermonter Greg Hamilton was there with a large collection for the long weekend trip. From his Vergennes shop, Stone Block Antiques, he offered and sold a very large sawbuck table, nearly 8 feet long, in primitive style and excellent condition. His sales for the show also included a good quantity of smalls collected in his home state.
Smalls were the mainstay for Barbara and Neil Finbloom’s Schoolhouse Antiques of Kirkwood, Mo. Their collection included many household and farming tools, such as baskets, early painted boxes and carved bowls and some furniture. Their preference in furniture is early American painted pieces, reflected here in a drop leaf table, Sheraton style with soft wood top and hardwood legs, a painted jelly cupboard, and several painted blanket boxes.
Mathew Ehresman, Wadsworth, Ohio, exhibited with his typically well-planned booth filled with early primitive and country furniture. His exhibit was a room setting that conjured up images of log cabins and other early settlers and pioneers’ homes, featuring earthy colors and simple furniture. He became ill one evening during the setup, so friends Kyle and Nadine Browne served as his sales staff for two days while he recovered. By late in the show, the dealer noted they had done a commendable job selling many pieces from his collection.
Joe Cardetti of Kracker Barrel Antiques, St James, Mo. was also selling smalls well. In fact, that is all he carried. His collection filled all the walls in his exhibit areas with small portraits, still lifes, silhouettes, samplers and much more. The tables were covered with hog scraper candlesticks, small pieces of early stoneware and pottery, very early glass bottles from America and many small kitchen tools.
Benting and Jarvis, Barrington, N.H., was selling from its collection a pair of Windsor chairs and a single as well. They sent a banister back chair to collectors from Mississippi and also sold a reasonable quantity of smalls.
Jenkins Management had a new feature at the show titled “The Vintage Section,” where there were about 30 dealers offering vintage materials, such as Michelle Piccolo’s Dusty’s Linens, which featured Twentieth Century table linens. Chapel Hill, N.C., dealer Donna Sheridan offered children’s garments made from vintage fabrics and more. Author Sue Whitney, who has written several books on creating style from repurposed objects, was there as an exhibitor and lecturer on her passion of decorating on a budget.
A design section was also featured with home décor not as old as antiques and, in some cases, repurposed objects, too. Ed Sullivan and Holt Isom are North Carolina and Atlanta dealer/partners with a large collection of midcentury design furnishings offered only at the show.
Jenkins Nashville shows are twice each year with the next installment October 25′7 at the Hendersonville Expo. Other shows coming up include the Springfield [Ohio] Antiques Extravaganza on May 18′0 and Harwinton (Conn.) Antiques and Design Weekend, June 9‱0. For more information, 317-598-0012 or www.tailgatemusicvalley.blogspot.com .
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