Published: August 29, 2000
Antiques Week in New Hampshire
The Riverside Antiques Show
MANCHESTER, N.H. – Tom and Sandy Ammann of Cincinnati certainly did not have the table of choice for luncheon on Wednesday, August 9. In fact, they did not have a table at all, but were sitting on the floor of the New Hampshire State Armory waiting for the 1 pm opening of the Riverside Antiques Show. “We come here every year for the shows,” Tom said between bites of fried chicken and swallows of Coke.
Prior to the start of the show, the couple was joined by several hundred more people who filled the entire stairwell leading to the second floor of the armory. The line went out of the building and made its way toward the parking lot. A few customers remembered that there is also an entrance to the show at the back of the building and a small line formed there.
“We knew we had a record crowd for the opening when the main parking lot filled early and we had to direct people to the off-site lot,” Linda Turner, show manager, said, as she handed out programs to those entering the show. The next day she was still riding high on the success of the show, commenting on the large crowds and the amount of business that had been conducted. “Some of the dealers have reported record sales and experienced the best show ever here,” she noted.
“It has been a very strong show for us,” Richard Costa of Portsmouth, N.H., said, adding that he and his partner David Currier sold a fancy circa 1880 birdhouse complete with six chimneys, a watchface on the front, and a widow’s walk on the highest tower. Pieces of silver, porcelain, a pair of grain painted stepdown Windsor side chairs, and several small works of art were also sold. A collection of twelve tin molds in various shapes was mounted on a board and offered as a single piece. As of the middle of the second day, it had not been sold.
David Weiss of Sheffield, Mass., offered a tall case clock by John Osgood, Haverhill, N.H., circa 1800, with an eight-day brass striking movement, along with a Chippendale side chair, New England, painted surface, circa 1790.
One never knows just what is going to show up in the booth of Praiseworthy Antiques, Guilford, N.Y. This time a large carved wooden horse head, with wings “growing” out of each side, dominated the back wall of the booth. “It was in a collection in California for fifteen years,” Doug Taylor said. “It was made in Islip, Long Island, circa 1870.” A cast iron and tin trade sign in the form of a clock which advertised J.A. Nadeau, Jeweler, sported a red “sold” sign shortly after the show opened, and two plaster busts, Washington and Lincoln, were inscribed “Gift of the Class of 1928.” George proved to be the most popular and left the armory early in the show.
Janet and Tobin Townsend, Callicoon Center, N.Y., offered a nice early specimen cabinet with the New York City maker’s label, and a set of garden chairs, cast iron, late Nineteenth Century, two arm and two sides.
A collection of decoys and several Shaker chairs were available in the booth of Wendle’s Antiques, Wilmington, Del. “At the moment we own twelve Shaker chairs, several of which we just purchased from a longtime private collection,” Herb Wendle said. He was referring to a #3 chair from Mt Lebanon settlement made by Elder Wagan, circa 1860. A second chair, also #3, was from the same settlement and by the same maker. A child’s Shaker rocker was also from the Mt Lebanon settlement and the original fabric chair back was framed and offered with the chair.
A New England iron and tin chandelier, circa 1800, 29 inches tall, with six pointed arms supporting wooden balls, hung over a Queen Anne drop-leaf table in the booth of Dee Wilhelm Antiques of Grand Blanc, Mi. The table was in maple, small size, oval top with the original red and salmon surface, circa 1750, and of New England origin. Four colorful wooden panels, which started life in a Wall Street restaurant dominated one of the walls in the booth of Celia Bowers Antiques of Ithaca, N.Y. The subjects were a young child in a garden, two men in a rose garden, a lady seated on a bench, and a watering can spilling onto a bed of flowers. The pieces were not sold as a lot and the watering can was the first to go.
Probably the most colorful corner of a booth was created by Lynne Weaver of Wenham, Mass., who positioned a green painted hanging cupboard with two doors over a bright crusty yellow painted three drawer chest. The two pieces were pulled together by a very nice gameboard in strong shades of yellow, green, and red. A footed Pennsylvania blanket chest, circa 1840, smoke decorated in mustard and black with red trim, was shown in the booth of Gloria M. Lonergan of Mendham, N.J. A Maine apothecary in mustard paint dated from the Nineteenth Century, and an early New England chair table with olive base and scrubbed top, New England, measured 41 inches in diameter.
Dick Vandell of American Decorative Arts, Canaan, N.H., had “sold” signs all over his booth by the end of the first day. Among the large pieces sold were a store counter from Finneraty’s General Strore, Lexington, Ky., circa 1880-90, and a two-part Shaker cupboard attributed to the Shirley, Mass., Community Store, circa 1840-42. It measures 9 feet 7 inches long and was 83 inches high. A set of six ice cream parlor chairs from Rigley’s Ice Cream Store, Medina, Ohio, was lined up in front of the store counter, and a set of three jockey models, with highly polished boots, held down one end of the counter.
Gene and Jo Sue Coppa of Avon, Conn., offered a Bergen County corner cupboard in blue with eight light doors, and a nice rope bed, also in blue paint, with a low headboard and ball finials on each post. Another bed, quarter canopy in old red, pencil posts, early Nineteenth Century, Connecticut origin, was in the booth of Antiques at Hillwood Farms, Pecatonica, Ill. This booth also showed a North Carolina chest of four drawers in the original paint with wooden knobs.
A tin top hat that once celebrated the tenth anniversary of some lucky couple was shown by Jane Workman of New Boston, N.H. A child’s dry sink in mustard paint was sold early in the show, and an interesting rdf_Description was a swordfish weathervane, circa 1930, which came, complete with directionals, from Perth Amboy, N.J.
A ship portrait of the Trojan, built in 1909 and last sailed between Albany and New York City, was renamed in 1939 to the New Yorker. This oil on academy board, unsigned, measured 15 by 19 inches and was offered by Joy and Palmer Shannon of Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Their furniture included a Classical bird’s eye maple console table, probably Vermont, circa 1820-30, with the original marble top, and a set of six tiger maple Windsor side chairs, signed, circa 1920.
Mary Carden Quinn of Floral park, N.Y., reported, “This is our very best Riverside Show and we have been busy since the minute it opened.” At that time eight hooked rugs decorated the walls of the booth, and by the end of the show seven had been sold. Neal Quinn added to this list a sponge decorated blanket chest, a tripod stand, harness rack, milking stool, sled, and a couple of gameboards. A figure of Charlie Chaplin, papier mache, complete with top hat and cane, stood in the booth of Mark Moody, Shohola, Pa. Among the furniture here was a small pie safe with screens on both the front and sides, in the original blue paint.
A pair of portraits hung in the booth of Hagadone Antiques, Charlottesville, Va., the lady complete with white bonnet and shawl, and the gentleman holding a cane with white top. A hunt board in yellow pine, 4 feet wide, dated circa 1810-20 and had the original cherry stain. A tilt top tea table attributed to Thomas Burling, circa 1790, mahogany and chestnut, New York City or Albany, was in the booth of Fiske and Freeman of Belmont, Vt. An Irish dresser, which had been separated into two parts, circa 1850, was of pine and had been scraped down to the original red.
Colette Donovan of Merrimacport, Mass., can always be counted on to offer early furniture, and for Riverside she had an Eighteenth Century New England bedstead in old green, ball top finials and feet, and a New England demi-lune table in pine, circa 1780-1800. An interesting oil on canvas of a landscape, possibly Bethlehem, Pa., hung in the booth of Darwin, Philadelphia, Pa. It was signed L.A.R. and showed a village with a number of animals in the foreground. A decoupage and grain painted work stand, American, Nineteenth Century, was among the furniture in the booth.
A long carved and painted snake, about ten feet in length, a one-of-a-kind creature from an Indian reserve, hung from the top of the booth of Manchester Antiques, Manchester, N.H. A sign advertising the Lisbon Hotel was on the back wall.
Three people at one time were interested in a large New England country cupboard over desk in the booth of The Rathbun Gallery, Providence, R.I. It had a side door cupboard, old red surface, and was thought by some to be of Shaker origin but was not sold as a Shaker piece.
Michael Regan of Greensboro, N.C., said, “I have owned that Queen Anne high chest of drawers for the past three months and have just found a signature on it.” The piece was signed J.S. and stamped with the same initials a second time. The piece was of walnut, New England, old finish and original brasses, and dated circa 1740. A writing arm Windsor chair, circa 1790-1800, was attributed to Anthony Steel.
“This has been a wonderful show for me,” Doug Bradway of Comfort Fish, Springfield, Mass., said. “I have sold architectural pieces, a stool which people are going to pick up at Rhinebeck this fall, two sandpaper drawings, and lots of smalls.” After four years at Riverside, Barrett Menson of Townshend, Vt., said, “This is the best show I have had here. It was just great.” His sales included a highboy base, sausage turned chair, braided rugs, pastels, trade sign, and more.
Pine Tree Hill Antiques of Wilmington, Vt., occupied one of the front booths, and it was dotted with red “sold” signs within an hour of the show opening. Steve Gerben noted, “This is the fourth best show I have had anywhere and we sold everything from trade signs to architectural pieces, a bird cage to a set of four tall white painted columns, and gameboards to small stands.” Howard Graff, another Vermont dealer from Townshend, was busy selling and reported an excellent show. He went home minus three tables, a bench, a weathervane, several rugs, trade signs, and several cast iron collectibles.
Sharon Kace of The Klassic Kace, Manchester, N.H., was among the last exhibitors to get her booth set up for the opening. However, with husband Frank directing the lights in the right places, she was ready to go and two hours later reported having a stronger show at that time than for the two-day run last year. She is the co-founder of the Riverside Show and served as manager until two years ago when the show was sold to Linda Turner.
The Riverside Show keeps improving with age and each year draws in more and more people. It is firmly entrenched as a part of Antiques Week in New Hampshire.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm