Published: March 5, 2019
Review and Photos by Tom O’Hara
NASHVILLE, TENN. – Jon Jenkins continued the celebration of the Nashville Show, as it is now known in order to broaden its appeal, including the traditional country style that was its beginning in the late 1980s. It now presents expanded offerings from exhibiting dealers. From February 14 to 16, the show again this year had several thousand visitors during the three days, with the majority of the out-of-towners on that first day. On Friday, the out-of-towners returned along with an influx of local people, with even more locals on Saturday filling the Arts and Crafts Building of the Tennessee State Fairgrounds.
Approximately 120 exhibiting dealers were showing collections dominated by early American styles. Jon’s father, Steve Jenkins, was offering a collection of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century furniture, fine art, folk art and home accessories. His sales were very good, he said, but curiously did not include much of the early furniture offered. The sales were dominated by the paintings, which included an American primitive oil on canvas of a young girl in blue, folio-sized; also a near mural-sized, framed horses to hunt scene, which might have been English. He did sell an American Pembroke table in red wash paint, possibly New England, and a selection of stoneware.
Sandra St Pierre of Maine Attic Antiques, Cape Elizabeth, Maine, was among the most successful dealers over the long weekend. The before and after images of her exhibit are telling, for she came into the show with a booth crammed full of small furniture and household accessories that she spends a great deal of time searching for in her native home state, then brings them here to sell.
Next to her was Hometown Antiques from Glenburn, Maine, which is the business of Mike Gallant. He, too, spends a great deal of time back in Maine shopping for small antiques for the home, and when he brought them here he sold very well.
Further down the aisle was Dorset, Vt., dealer Marie Miller, who has one of the largest selections of early American quilts and coverlets. Her display is focused upon the Nineteenth Century quilts she has been specializing as her primary inventory for many years, considered by many sources as among the best collections of its type. Marie has focused on hand-stitched quilts, especially the Nineteenth Century pieces that she can offer.
Bill and Kay Puchstein, of American Heritage Antiques spend their winters in Florida managing their West Palm Beach antiques shows and live primarily in Washington Court House, Ohio. The Florida time, however, and shows have become a good source for their shopping, as witnessed by their exhibit in this show. Sales were very good, Bill reported, including a stack of eight firkins early in the show; the red and green appliqué quilt, all hand-sewn; four hand-sewn rag dolls from the Nineteenth Century; several pantry boxes; and several dress mannikins.
Robert Conrad and his brother, James, came from Yeagertown, Penn., with a collection of late Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Pennsylvania furniture, folk art and collectibles. Jim did very well selling both mechanical and still banks, many of which were manufactured in Pennsylvania. Robert was offering as his centerpiece an unusual miniature house; he said he wasn’t sure whether it was a dollhouse or perhaps a birdhouse that was never used for that purpose, but it probably dated to the American centennial, he said.
Jacob Dorn Dairy Farm typically brings small antiques to the show, especially objects used by women in their sewing and crafts. But this year, dealer Sherry Spehar found a most charming small desk, one of a kind, which she was able to offer for under $1,000, and it sold quickly. She was also doing well with her traditional sales in the little things she offers, such as primitive Nineteenth Century pincushions, American paintings and home goods, as well as folk art she finds and collects near her Brighton, Mich., home.
From Sharon, Conn., Sharon Green Antiques was selling small silver whimsies over the three days, along with several 100-year-old handmade quilts. This dealer also specializes in Georgian period chandeliers and sold one at the beginning of the show.
In a third building Jenkins added more exhibitors, including J. Hamilton Howard from Beverly, N.J., who came with so much inventory it seemed that he must have had two trucks. His sales, however, during the show created many spaces in the exhibit area, with late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century decorative arts materials leaving with shoppers.
This show, considered by many the hallmark of the Nashville scene, expects to be in a new building at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, joined again next year by the Fiddlers Antiques Show over the weekend of February 13-15, 2020. For information, 317-431-0118 or www.tailgateantiqueshow.com.
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