Published: January 11, 2022
Review and Photos by Greg Smith
STURBRIDGE, MASS. – On the morning of January 1, a cloud lingered just above the ground over much of Massachusetts and Connecticut, causing a fog that didn’t clear until this writer’s entrance to the Antique Collectibles Show at the Sturbridge Host Hotel. The annual New Year’s Day show was put on hold last year, though its return in 2022 was fully masked and energetic as more than 100 attendees waited at the opening gate to greet the 47 dealers in attendance.
Maxine Carter-Lome sat at the front entrance and well-wished the area’s buyers with a zeal worthy of the new year. The publisher of the Journal of Antiques & Collectibles, which organized the show, Carter-Lome walked into her event space and saw a full roster.
“We’re maxed out on dealers,” she said. “With a waiting list of 14.”
Though the latest omicron variant of the coronavirus caused the postponement of some shows at the start of the new year, Carter-Lome experienced nothing but verve from her sellers. Only one exhibitor dropped out and their spot was filled with one call. Thirteen others never got the chance.
Carter-Lome was up early that morning, finding herself unable to sleep and driving into the Sturbridge Host Hotel before the lodge had started brewing its coffee. This antiques show is a sprint – open just one day for six hours (10 am to 4 pm) – and dealers were arriving to the show not long after her to put the finishing touches on their booths. The 47 dealers squeezed into 68 booths and offered everything from books and manuscripts, Americana, country, primitives, ceramics, holiday material, jewelry, early photography, minerals and more.
Dealing in country primitives was the Nathan Hale Antiques Center of Coventry, Conn. The dealer had a fine uncut “NOT” sign in original paint, likely part of a vertical phrase, that may have been the inspiration for Sasha Baron Cohen in Borat – NOT! The dealer also had old dolls, antique clothing and woven coverlets from the 1860s.
Splendor Solis of Easthampton, Mass., was dealing in books. Among those on offer was Surgical Anatomy by Joseph Macline, an 1851 anatomical atlas with 68 plates. “The book is OK but the plates are where it’s at,” dealer Kevin Germain said, thumbing through the different images of cadavers in poses that allowed one to scrutinize specific dissections. An Irish surgeon, Joseph Maclise had a penchant for art, born with the same genes as his brother, Royal Academy artist Daniel Maclise. The surgeon did all of the illustrations for his book and the engravings are much sought-after today.
With Monson, Mass., dealer Mickey Novak was an expansive hand carved and painted farm estate that was from the Midwest, circa 1915. The individual components included the farmhouse, a large stable, a dog house, a shed and even the outhouse. It was filled with teams of horses, wagons and other farm tools. The whole scene had been electrified at one point. Novak said he was only willing to sell it whole, refusing an earlier offer for just the outhouse.
With Walker Homestead, Brookfield, Mass., was a number of utilitarian redware pieces. Kris Casucci said the forms were largely from New England – they included lard pots and milk pans. In the middle of the booth was a nicely carved Jacobean refectory table alongside an Eighteenth Century William and Mary high chest.
Charlie Guinipero of Pantry Box Antiques, Stafford Springs, Conn., always does well with holiday material at this show and he had it piled high and on every branch of the feather trees that sat on his table. He also brought some nice stoneware, including a salt-glazed jug from Charlestown and other jugs by Connecticut makers, including Stedman & Seymour of New Haven, Daniel Goodale of Hartford and Goodwin and Webster, also of Hartford.
The America packet ship was sailing with Middlebury, Conn., dealer Joe Collins. The circa 1840-50 model with three masts measured 4 to 5 feet long and featured its rigging and life boats. Collins had a wide variety of Americana on offer, including a number of folk art portraits.
From Beth Ringo of Silk City Antiques and Décor, Manchester, Conn., was a Shaker peach basket. Ringo said she bought it out of the broom making room on the second floor of the Cowles Estate in Windsor, Conn., where it had descended for generations.
“From what I hear, everyone made sales, everyone felt really positive about the show,” concluded Carter-Lome. “Certainly, Covid affected the overall numbers, but the people who came were enthusiastic and came to shop. It wasn’t the sheer numbers, it was the enthusiasm of the people who showed up.
“We’re so appreciative because we know it’s such a difficult time. We have heard of so many shows that were cancelled in January and February, we were keeping our fingers crossed to get in under the wire. Back in July, we couldn’t have imagined that we would have been in this position.”
Carter-Lome says she may expand into an adjoining space at the Sturbridge Host Hotel next year when the show returns on New Year’s Day 2023.
For additional information, http://theantiquecollectiblesshow.com.
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