Published: December 12, 2017
Review and Photos by Rick Russack
MARLBORO, MASS. – Peter Mavris’s November 26 show brought together more than 70 dealers. If Americana is your thing, you should have been there. Many people were lining up about a half an hour before the show opened – the line was long for the 10 am opening. The exhibitor list is impressive, with many well-known dealers from the Northeast. The setting is informal, and dealers were writing sales slips within minutes of opening.
Selections included early furniture in several booths, good cloth dolls and Steiff toys in several booths, early English and Dutch ceramics in abundance, plenty of folk art, a variety of paintings, along with ample offerings of trade signs, holiday decorations, country woodenware and more. And there were things that did not quite fit into these categories, such as photographica, quilts, redware, scrimshaw and more.
Perhaps because of the time of year, several dealers had brought early toys. Tommy Thompson, Pembroke, N.H., had a set of Crandall’s Acrobats in the original box, for which he was asking $395, and a boxed set of large alphabet blocks priced at $425. He also had an unusual checkerboard; it was homemade, as were the checkers – made from slices of corn cob and tinted differently to differentiate them. It seemed like a reasonable price at $95 for the board and the checkers. Martha Boynton, Groton, Mass., showed a large set of stacking blocks and doll-sized furniture, and Pantry Box Antiques, Stafford Springs, Conn., displayed dozens of Steiff animals, teddy bears and some marbles. In addition to the cloth dolls that Pat Hatch brought, Jewett-Berdan also had some, including large black dolls.
Those looking for early furniture found plenty from which to choose. Hilary Nolan, Falmouth, Mass., had a set of six Dunlap school cherry and birch chairs, circa 1790-1800, and they were displayed around an early hutch table in old red. Sagamore, Mass., dealer Brian Cullity featured an early blanket chest and an Eighteenth Century corner chair, which he priced at $450. Rich Fuller had a one-drawer pine blanket chest with a date of 1776 and a large, primitive bowl. Easter Hill Antiques, Sharon, Conn., showcased a four-drawer Sheraton chest with inlays on each drawer, and Heller-Washam of Portland, Maine, had a large booth with several early pieces of furniture.
Good trade signs turn up with regularity at this show. Paul DeCoste, Newbury, Mass., had what probably was the earliest one. It was a large, wooden oval sign, priced at $3,000, lettered for the Union Hotel, with a date of 1834. DeCoste said that he did not know for certain, but he thought that it might have come from Union, Conn. Cullity also brought an unusual sign that may have been for a clockmaker’s shop or for a shop that sold clocks. It had a small clock set into a large stenciled sheet metal case. Cullity dated it about 1850-70 and priced it at $600. He said that it appeared that the clock had never been used. Stephen-Douglas, Rockingham, Vt., had an interesting shoemaker’s sign priced at $2,800.
The overall selection of merchandise was broad and there was probably something for everyone. Weathervanes were available in several booths. John Sideli, Westport, Mass., offered a running horse, Doug Ramsey had a grasshopper and a sheet iron pig. Scrimshaw and marine artifacts were offered by Justin Cobb and Paul DeCoste, who also had a set of catalogs from the landmark auction of the Barbara Johnson collection, priced at $330, along with others. Architectural remnants were offered by Dennis Raleigh and Timber River. A large selection of art pottery was offered by Ted Tremblay. Stoneware and redware was also available in several booths, including Pantry Box Antiques, Stephen-Douglas, John Sideli, Derek Pulito and others.
There were surprises in several booths. Don Heller and Kim Washam, who as stated above, brought a selection of good furniture, also showed something unexpected – a 1950s German scale model car used by a driving school to teach young drivers-to-be about a car. It was a model VVR-140 with an operating gear box, ignition, transmission, steering mechanism, etc. They priced it at $5,300. Ross Levett, Thomaston, Maine, known for Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century ceramics and metalware, had a colorful 1930s French travel poster for vacationing in Vietnam. It had been printed in Saigon and was priced at $550. Justin Cobb, Amherst, Mass., who routinely fills a booth with marine paintings and artifacts, had a 1950s carved wooden Iroquois Indian, priced at $525. Richard Kenney, Dover, N.H., who mostly concentrates on early furniture, had two reasonably priced pieces of Scheier pottery, $300 each. Greg Hamilton, Vergennes, Vt., often fills his booth full of ceramics, furniture and decorative objects, and this time displayed a Winnie the Pooh and Piglet made by Agnes Brush for F.A.O. Schwartz in the 1950s. He priced them at $125.
Sales were strong from the beginning. Cobb sold a wooden weathervane with three crows, a 1755 sampler and an unusual folk art wedding or birthday cake. Bob Markowitz sold a miniature portrait on panel, a midcentury painting of a dockside scene, a table top writing desk and more. Mike and Lucinda Seward sold a dry sink, some gold jewelry, a Southern sugar chest and a pair of Eighteenth Century andirons. The Nolans sold an early roasting rack, an Eighteenth Century ladderback side chair and a good hour-glass. Several dealers were writing sales within 15 minutes of opening, including Dennis Berard, Doug Jackman, Bob Markowitz, Tom Jewett, Bev Longacre and others.
Peter Mavris runs ten shows annually, mostly in New Hampshire, and he said that number will increase. His seven monthly shows at the Frank Jones center in Portsmouth, N.H., are smaller versions of this Marlboro show, with a heavy emphasis on Americana, and his Concord, N.H., show is one of the staples of Antiques Week in New Hampshire. After this show, Mavris commented, “This was a good show. I think we had a very good group of exhibitors and the gate was strong. I feel like we’ve turned the corner and 2018 will be a good year for all of us.”
For additional information, www.petermavrisantiqueshows.com or 207-608-3086.
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