– So you had four lousy years, Frank, but you certainly have made up for them in grand style. Actually they were not real lousy years, but Picker-less years, that time span when Mid*Week was your only game in town. For the past six years Barn Star has fielded a double-header that has been building in attendance and dealer sales and it appears that 2003 has set new records.
Mid*Week in Manchester drew its largest gate since its inception, and it sent away a bunch of very happy exhibitors. Footprints from the dealers departing both the convention center and the tent at The Wayfarer Inn were still fresh when the next set of exhibitors moved in Thursday night, August 7, for The Bedford Pickers Market scheduled for the next day.
It is well-known that if you give a dealer four days to set up a booth at an antiques show, that is how long it will actually take. Give them a portion of one evening, and nine hours into the next day, and they will be ready to sell. That is how The Pickers Market takes shape — dealers rushing objects and furniture into their assigned spaces and still having time to scout about to check on the inventory of fellow exhibitors. The dealers are few and far between who do not make the rounds before the show opens to the public.
As with Mid*Week, two lines form well before the announced opening. It appears more people are interested in first shopping the tent, then to visit the convention center. It may be a favorite dealer is in there, or it may be because there are more exhibitors in the tent. In any case, the rush is on at both locations when the 9 am early buying is announced. And the line did not shrink when a mild shower passed by prior to the opening. Umbrellas of every color brightened up the line and the mood of excrdf_Descriptionent did not dampen.
That excrdf_Descriptionent was very much in evidence during the first hour or two, as witnessed by the fast growing crop of sold tags on the floor. One person was overheard asking a dealer, “Did you sell it to a collector or to a dealer? Is there a chance that it will be back on the market?” It was that terrible feeling of being just a step too late.
Christopher Stanley of Walpole, Maine, wasted no time in flagging a green painted apothecary, black trim with 21 drawers and brass knobs, with a sold tag, and Overlook Farm Antiques of Westminster, Mass., had written receipts for a one door wall cupboard in gray paint and a portrait of a father and son against a reddish background. Also sold were a pie safe with six tin panels in the front, one drawer on the bottom, green surface, and a Hudson Valley cupboard with one paneled door, cutout base and old red wash.
Charles Muller Antiques of Groveport, Ohio, came with a load of Shaker material, including a number of chairs. Two rockers from Mt Lebanon, N.Y., sizes 0 and 5, had the same tape seats and backs. A four-door cupboard was of pine, and a footed and dovetailed document box was dated 1862 with the initials BM.
A cotton sateen quilt, green on rust, circa 1920, 68 by 781/2 inches, hung in the booth of Dennis Scott Antiques of East Greenwich, R.I. He also showed a three-drawer blanket chest with molded top, bracket feet, late Eighteenth Century, southern New England, possibly Newtown, Conn.
Quarter Cape Antiques of Rockport, Maine, had a sign announcing the Ye Music Shop, silver lettering on black ground, and a sign for a tin shop. A pair of ornate corbels framed a sheet metal three-masted schooner, and paintings showed a pair of oxen with yoke and a cow and calf in a meadow scene with a stream.
A painting of people in several rowboats enjoying a Fourth of July celebration of fireworks hung in the booth of From here to Antiquity, Bethany, Conn. The scene was on the Claverack River and the artist was Benedikt Franz Hess, circa 1850. Another oil on canvas, “Along The Shore,” was by Emma Lampert Cooper, late Nineteenth Century, depicting a rock-lined shore with sailboats on the water.
A good number of silhouettes hung in the booth of Donna East, Worcester, Mass., and furniture included a pie safe in yellow paint, 7 feet 2 inches tall, with a screen in the top section and two drawers and one door in the lower portion. Deborah Ferguson Antiques, Canterbury, Conn., had sold a banister back armchair in black paint and a candlestand in old paint with a cut-corner top. An interesting collection of treen was also shown in this display.
Among the furniture sold from the display of Out of Hand Antiques and Custom Design, Claymont, Del., were a New England dressing table dating from the Eighteenth Century, and a York County table. The booth also included a salmon and burnt umber sponge-decorated single bed with mushroom turnings from Lancaster County, Penn., and an Empire painted chest from Vermont, circa 1840.
Brandegee Antiques from Pittsburgh was having a good show, helped by the sale of a large carved black figure with a bunch of bananas. It is reported to be a trade sign and was found in western Pennsylvania. It had not been offered for sale for the past 25 years. Cane collector George Meyer, with a fondness for snakes, was seen leaving this booth with a folk art document box covered with carved snakes and leaves. Both the front and the back of the box, as well as the top, had two snakes, while the ends each had one. A carved and painted eagle with a wingspan of 27 inches, New England origin, dated circa 1840-50.
Zollinhofer Antiques of Medina, Ohio, had one of the strongest painted pieces of furniture in the show, a two-drawer blanket chest, circa 1840-50, with paint and vinegar decoration. A ladder back armchair dated circa 1720, a shoe-foot hutch table was in Windsor green paint and a sold tag was attached to a one-door cupboard with old blue painted surface.
The Captain’s Quarters of Amherst, Mass., brought enough nautical paintings to cover three walls. Against the back was a William Stubbs, signed lower left, of The Mertle L. Perry, oil on canvas measuring 22 by 36 inches. Among the China Trade pictures was the USS Wachusett in a Pacific storm, oil on canvas, 18 by 24 inches.
Adding to the Pennsylvania furniture on the floor were Bob and Priscilla Brown of Hope, Ind., with a step back cupboard with two six-light doors and one long drawer in the top, two doors in the lower section. The case was dovetailed and the piece dated circa 1850. An oversized head of a man, papier mache, looked down from a shelf and was once used as a prop for the Lyric Opera in Chicago, according to Bob Brown.
A Chippendale desk from the Connecticut River Valley, circa 1770-90, 371/2-inch case, untouched red surface, came from a home near Brattleboro, Vt., and was offered from the booth of Bill Kelly Antiques of Limington, Maine. From the same area came a decorated blanket chest with the original brasses, circa 1760, with large swirl decoration.
It is hard to imagine that, after attending all of the events during Antiques Week in New Hampshire, that people had any energy or interest by the time The Bedford Pickers Market rolls around. But the energy and interest is definitely there, its contagious, and a great many visitors do, as the ad for Pickers says, “End their week with a great antique.”