Published: August 26, 2008
Scott Cook is no stranger to being first in line at an antiques show. He did it at Oley, Penn., Deerfield, N.H., and again recently at Marion, Mass. And on Thursday, August 7, he got up at 1 am in order to be first again, this time for the New Hampshire Antiques Show. “I went down the elevator at the Radisson Hotel and checked into line at number six,” he said.
It’s a happening, a yearly routine that even some of the people in line for hours question why they are there. “It doesn’t happen at other shows I go to and here I am waiting in line for six hours for the 10 am opening. I don’t get it,” one early riser who asked to remain nameless said. He then sat back down, leaned against the wall, and closed his eyes.
But there are good reasons why it does happen from year to year. The exhibitor list is a good one, spiked with dealers who are known to carry top-notch objects and some who are specialty dealers. It is a well-known fact that many of the dealers put things away for this show in order to make a fine presentation. And interest in the show grows after seeing the special section, giving a preview to what will be offered by the 66 exhibitors.
“We presold the waiting line, as usual, and it took about 15 minutes for everyone to get into the show. Then there was a steady stream of people who arrived at about 10:20 to buy tickets resulting in an increase over last year,” Mike Sczerzen said. It is interesting to watch visitors come into the show, some going to the right, a larger group going to the left, which at this show takes them quickly to the second level of the show, and a few go down the center aisle. Kathy Schoemer, who moved to the center aisle from the left side, commented, “Doesn’t anyone shop the center aisle first?” Peter Eaton, to the left of the entrance, from year to year watches as people stream by his booth, heading for he knows not where. “They never stop on the first surge, but they do come back,” he said. This year he again did very well, proving his point.
This year, Beverly Longacre and Gail Piatt served as co-chairs, and both agreed that being an exhibitor in the show as well as a co-chair is a real full-time job. Gail is retiring from the position as of this year, and it is reported that she will be replaced by Tommy Thompson, a current exhibitor who is also a past president of the New Hampshire organization.
The New Hampshire Show set a policy last year asking each of its exhibitors to have one secret object, that is, a piece that is kept under wraps until seconds before the show is to open. “By doing that, the public sees pieces that the other dealers in the show have not had time to look over,” Beverly Longacre explained.
Nancy and Craig Cheney Antiques of Newark, Ohio, offered a circa 1830 drop leaf table in tiger maple and a Black Hawk weathervane, Nineteenth Century, with good surface. A hooked rug depicted a house with red roof, fence and path leading to the house and a folky tree, and was dated 1939.
George and Debbie Spiecker of North Hampton, N.H., were among the new dealers to the show and displayed an American Chippendale tall chest in tiger maple, probably Rhode Island, with carved fan and high bracket base. It dated circa 1780 and measured 59¼ inches high, 36 inches wide and 19½ inches deep. An American Queen Anne highboy, circa 1770, two parts, retained the original hardware. It had old mellow surface and cabriole legs ending in pad feet. There are always weathervanes in their booth and among the offerings was a large horse and sulky, sheet metal, American, mounted on an arrow and measuring 52 inches long and 30 inches high.
Jewett-Berdan of Newcastle, Maine, was in a new location this year, occupying the booth held for many years by the late Wayne Pratt of Woodbury, Conn. A theorem on velvet in period block and column frame, circa 1835, showed a blue compote filled with peaches, grapes and pears, and a diminutive pie safe in old blue painted surface, all original, had 12 punched tin panels with heart and tulip design, small turned feet, circa 1845, from Wythe County, Va. A paint decorated tall case clock of Vermont origin, circa 1825, showed a house on the painted dial and was found in Vershire, Vt.
Pam Boynton and Martha Boynton, Groton and Townsend, Mass., offered an interesting whirligig that “came from the Newburyport Yacht Club and we have owned it for about 25 years,” Pam said. It was constructed to turn in the wind with four sail boats at right angles to each other, one small boat and three racers, at full sail and mounted at the ends of crossed pieces of polished wood that measures about 5 feet long. The portrait of a young boy, attributed to Samuel P. Howes, Lowell, Mass., circa 1830, came from the Blood family, and among the furniture in the booth was an oval top tavern table with button feet, circa 1780, ex Randy Root collection.
Jef & Terri Steingrebe of Springfield, N.H., had a pair of whippets in weathered white painted surface, late Nineteenth Century, and perfect for the garden, and a large banner weathervane by Fiske that came from a barn in Hampton, N.H. A Chinese checkers board, of small size but brightly painted, was colorful against the back wall of the booth.
Steven F. Still of Elizabethtown, Penn., offered a wide range of Pennsylvania objects, including a pine one-door cupboard from Lancaster County, circa 1840, red over the original red, measuring 59 inches high, 40 inches wide and 19 inches deep, and a sporting scene, oil on canvas, circa 1870, 33¾ by 42 inches, found in York County. On the reverse was written “William Oniles Garrison’s picture.”
“It took a few years to put together this collection of brushes, some Shaker examples,” Joshua Steenburgh said of the display of 17 brushes, most dating from the Nineteenth Century. With his wife, Mary, these Pike, N.H., dealers were new to the show and offered an early Nineteenth Century grain or divided blanket box, approximately 8 feet long, that was found in Peacham, Vt.
Michael and Sally Whittemore Antiques & Folk Art, Washington, Ill., had a large fish trade sign, black with silver lettering “Tackle,” and a large sulky weathervane with great green surface. Standing out was a 8-foot-tall trade sign, 1 foot wide, advertising “Tire Repairs” in black block lettering on an orange/red ground.
A Georgian carved walnut foot stool, circa 1750, with needlework cushion, was in the booth of Hercules Pappachristos Art & Antiques, Derry, N.H., and artwork included a fall view of Mount Washington, oil on canvas by William Paskell.
Frank and Barbara Pollack American Antiques & Art, Highland Park, Ill., and Sunapee, N.H., was the first booth on the right on the lower level of the show and it was filled with good design and lots of color. Against the back wall hung a circular shirred rug with stylized urn of flowers in the center, and an American two-tier tin chandelier, 16 lights, circa 1800, 27 inches high and 43 inches wide, from a church in New York State, hung from a cross piece at the top of the booth. Ex Garbish collection was a stenciled and watercolor theorem on muslin, probably New England, circa 1830, measuring 25¼ by 19 inches sight, 29¼ by 23¼ inches framed.
“A bit of nostalgia hit me last February and instead of bowing out of the New Hampshire Show after 50 years of exhibiting, I wanted to come back for 51,” Howard Oedel said.
“Since all booth space was taken at the time, we made room for a showcase for Howard and were pleased to have him back,” Kathy Schoemer, president of the New Hampshire Antique Dealers Association said. As it turned out, Ted and Carole Hayward of The Yankee Smuggler were unable to participate due to illness, so Kathy Schoemer moved to the Smuggler booth and Howard Oedel filled Kathy’s spot. “It worked out really well,” Howard said, maintaining his record of being the only antiques dealer to have taken part in every show since the beginning.
A set of six thumb back Windsor side chairs, yellow decorated, branded by the maker, Dover, N.H., was in the booth of Judith & James Milne of New York City. A New England whaling scene showing ships and icebergs, Nineteenth Century, oil on canvas, artist unknown, was hung near a large fish trade sign of wood, Scottish, late Eighteenth Century, that was offered along with a picture of the sign hanging in front of the fish market.
Among the furniture in the booth of Priscilla Hutchinson Antiques, East Dennis, Mass., was a pair of Windsor side chairs, nine spindles, 1790‱810, found in northeast Connecticut, along with a New England Sheraton serving table, yellow grain painted with stenciled backsplash and drawer front, retaining the original brass pulls.
Michael Hingston Antiques, Inc, Etna, N.H., had a case filled with silver pieces and furniture included a Chippendale serpentine bureau in mahogany with ogee feet, Rhode Island, circa 1760, measuring 365/8 inches wide. A coastal landscape by Charles Curtis Allen (American, 1886‱956), an artist known for his landscapes, oil on canvas board, 12 by 16 inches, was signed lower right.
Ed Weissman of Portsmouth, N.H., filled his booth with paintings and furniture, giving customers lots to look at. At the front of the booth was a gate leg table with oval top and vase and ring turned legs, trumpet feet, circa 1730, New Hampshire or Massachusetts origin, and a comb back, brace back Windsor armchair with ram’s horn arm supports, circa 1760‱770, was of Philadelphia origin.
Also new to the show were Michael and Lucinda Seward of Pittsford, Vt., offering an Eighteenth Century trade sign with a Nineteenth Century surface for the Clermont, N.Y., Hotel; a 4 by 6 hooked rug in excellent condition with heart design; and a portrait by Thomas Ware of Woodstock, Vt., of Laura Skinner, oil on board.
There was a blank space on the back wall in the booth of Stephen-Douglas until ten minutes before the show opened. Then, revealing their secret items, the Rockingham, Vt., dealers hung a fireboard from the William Simpson residence, Piermont, N.H., depicting a crouched lion on a red/rust-colored ground with a plain gray background above. It was painted on two boards and dates circa 1825. Furniture included a New England tavern table with dry surface, first half of the Eighteenth Century; a two-drawer blanket chest with the original decoration from the Worcester area of Massachusetts, circa 1810‱825 †”the best of four colors,” Stephen Corrigan said †and a New Hampshire Eighteenth century harvest table from the collection of George Dudley Seymour Hartford that came from the collection given to the Connecticut Historical Society in 1960. It is in the original as-found condition.
Linda S. Fodor Antiques, Port Charles, Fla., showed a one-door painted chimney cupboard, yellow wash on the outside with salmon painted interior, circa 1830‱840, and a folky garden bench with cutout ends, cut corners, yellow base, 6 feet long and of Pennsylvania origin.
The trademark mantel was against the back wall in the booth of Hollis E. Broderick Antiques, Portsmouth, N.H., laden with a selection of early lighting. A rare items was an English delftware punch bowl, circa 1755‱760, with “one bowl more and then” written across the inside bottom. A New Hampshire Dunlap School tilt-top tea table, circa 1790‱810, retained the original red painted surface.
A fireplace wall, circa 1813, from a house in Berwick, Maine, including the mantel, cupboard, two doors and latches, was the backdrop for a selection of antiques in the booth of The Tates Antiques of Sanbornton, N.H.; dating from the early Nineteenth Century was a meetinghouse cupboard with nine cabinets in the top section, and one door in the lower part.
Several carvings by Oscar Peterson, Cadillac, Mich., including a sunfish plaque, circa 1930, 11 by 7½ inches, were offered by Russ & Karen Goldberger of Rye, N.H., and an outstanding patriotic piece was a shield with crossed cannons in pine, mid Nineteenth Century, 20½ inches by 16 inches with 20 carved stars, ex Waddell collection. A Queen Anne tavern table with splayed legs and button feet, pine and maple with two-board scrubbed top with breadboard ends, New Hampshire, circa 1780‱800, was from the collection of Chris Huntington.
A large hooked rug designed with 11 squares running from top to bottom, and eight squares from side to side, was taller than the back of the booth of Suzanne Courcier-Robert Wilkins of Yarmouth Port, Mass. Each square was filled with a popular theme, such as a church, a home, children at play, flowers, birds, a windmill or boats. A Shaker rocker and stand were among the pieces of furniture offered, and the booth was colorful, resulting from a brightly painted game board of checkers, a stack of Shaker storage boxes and ship paintings. A Nantucket hinged lidded basket with oak handle and staves, carved ivory medallions, dated circa 1940, and a Shaker sewing desk was of cherrywood, walnut and tulip, New Lebanon, N.Y., circa 1870, and is “one of only a few known,” Robert Wilkins said.
Gail and Don Piatt, Contoocook, N.H., offered a German rocking horse, late 1800s, operated with a seat sliding back and forth on a platform, paint decorated, and a toy wagon from a Pennsylvania collection had a green seat, decorated, and red wooden wheels. A Native American burl bowl was shown on a one-drawer blanket chest in old red, scalloped front with cutout ends.
“It took several years to do it, but there they are,” Arthur Liverant of Nathan Liverant and Son, Colchester, Conn., said, referring to the collection of 11 wood and clear glass hour glasses, American and English, dating 1765 to 1810. The smallest was 4¼ inches tall, the largest 8½ inches tall. A painted hutch table with tilting circular top, New England or New York State, had a three-board top, and of New London, Conn., origin was a Chippendale secretary in applewood with triple scrolled returns, bracket feet, all original except the brasses.
A tin chandelier with six arms was shown over a round top hutch table in the booth of Lewis Scranton of Killingworth, Conn. A large wooden bowl and a selection of slip decorated redware plates were on the table, and a collection of painted tole included a candlestick, five document boxes and several trays.
A selection of works of art was offered by Brock & Co., a new dealer to the show, including an oil on canvas by George Cochran Lambdin (1830‱896) titled “In The Ear,” showing an elegant lady standing out in a field, holding an ear of corn, with an admirer leaning over a fence toward her. The painting was done in 1865, signed lower right, and measures 22 by 27 inches. An oil on canvas by Charles Alfred Meurer (1865‱955), “Still Life with Money, Pipe & Letters,” was done in 1914, 11 by 14 inches, and is signed lower right.
Furniture dealer Peter Eaton of Newbury, Mass., offered a rare veneered Queen Anne dressing table of small size, original brasses, cabriole legs and pad feet, from Eastern Connecticut, circa 1740. It measures 28¼ inches wide, the top 33¼ inches wide, and it is “one of only four veneered Queen Anne dressing tables I have ever owned,” Peter said. An accounting or schoolmaster’s desk, mid Eighteenth Century, with old dry brown paint over the original blue, came from a home in New Bedford, Mass. Peter noted that “it is only the second one I have seen with ring and vase turnings.” A portrait of a young girl holding her needlework, attributed to Zedekiah Belknap, circa 1835‱838, was in a period frame.
“I had to bring more things this year to fill the booth usually taken by The Yankee Smuggler,” Kathy Schoemer said, including a large New England harvest table with painted surface, circa 1850. Several dolls sat about the booth, a row of seven children’s dresses hung from a Shaker rack across the back of the booth, and a whirligig was in the form of a Cape Cod windmill.
A selection of 11 colorful model airplanes appeared to be circling in search of a landing strip in the corner of the booth of Steven J. Rowe Antiques, Hanover, N.H. Childhood toys included two early lithographed pinball games.
Newsom-Berdan Antiques, Thomasville, Penn., showed a paint decorated tapered leg stand with one drawer, molded top with checkerboard design, in pine and of New England origin. It was with a green and black surface and dated from the early Nineteenth Century. “It is one of the best burl bowls we have ever owned and it has those wonderful handles,” Betty Berdan said of the Native American oval footed base bowl that was found in Michigan and dated from the Eighteenth Century. An exceptional beehive burl bowl, footed base, molded top, retained remnants of red, from a York collection, was also shown.
“It took time for the show to get started, but in the end we were very pleased,” Betty said. In addition to some burl, they sold a Baltimore album quilt and a couple of lesser quilts, an Eighteenth Century ship painting, watercolors and an Eighteenth Century bench table.
A blue compote rug with a central basket of yarn sewn flowers with shirred leaves and vine border, original wool fringe, 36 by 59 inches, was the last thing to be uncovered in the booth of Jan Whitlock, Malvern, Penn., as the show was about to open. A large green painted wooden bowl, 24 inches in diameter, was piled high with velvet fruit and vegetables, including pears, strawberries, pumpkins, gourds, carrots and corn. Fragments from an album quilt from the Backofen sale, once vertical in shape, was made into an attractive crib quilt size. “It is still a fragment, but now it has a pleasing shape and size. All of the blocks are signed and one is dated,” Jan said.
Among the pieces of New Hampshire in the show was a grain painted five-drawer chest in untouched condition, with bracket base and rare two-board back, circa 1790‱800, in the booth of Gary Y. Yeaton of Concord, N.H. New to the show this year, he also offered a Queen Anne high chest of small size, Massachusetts or Rhode Island, with replaced period brasses.
Scott Bassoff-Sandy Jacobs, Marblehead, Mass., displayed a cast iron cemetery gate, with sheep and willow tree, and a large painting was titled “Morning In Millorville,” a colorful work by Joseph Brant showing a portion of town with 100 structures. It dated from the mid Twentieth Century. From coastal New England was a school girl sewing table with the top decorated with a seaside town scene in an oval cartouche, surrounded by roses and bellflowers.
A selection of burl bowls was offered at the show, including one with a 22-inch diameter, 6 inches tall, circa 1800‱820, with red painted exterior, in the booth of Douglas L. Solliday of Columbia, Mo. A red-painted child’s sled of Maine origin had “C.M. Carpenter, 1860” in gold lettering, along with a picture of a hunting dog, on it, and a miniature three-drawer chest of sugar pine, each drawer with a Hudson River scene on it, was in yellow paint.
Samplers of every size and shape, and origin, covered the walls in the booth of M. Finkel & daughter of Philadelphia. One of the Pennsylvania samplers was by Mary Abel, Montgomery County, dated 1820, showing four trees, grass, flowers ands a verse, while a Balch School silk embroidery, Providence, R.I., was by Dolly Warriner, circa 1810. It was a memorial to three members of the Warriner family of Wilbraham, Mass. Of Pennsylvania origin was a large painted rocking chair, circa 1840, with bootjack back.
A very nice four-masted schooner by Frank Adams, Martha’s Vineyard, was shown by Ron and Penny Dionne of Willington, Conn., along with a number of weathervanes, including a Nineteenth Century cod of good size, weathered surface, and sprinkled with 15 bullet holes. A large carved wooden and polychromed eagle with banner and shield in its talons was mounted on the back wall, and four colorful yellow, blue and red carved song birds were mounted in a thicket of branches.
“We call that first rush of people as the gate opens the assault,” Tom Longacre of Marlborough, N.H., said, “and this year they did not seem to buy as quickly as in the past. However, they came back and we had a very good show.” A 4-foot-long quill weathervane with first gold surface, right out of a New York collection, and a metalsmith’s trade sign of copper showing an anvil, bellows and dated 1857, were among the early pieces sold. “We also sold a dressing table from Fryeburg, Maine, several game boards, a Pennsylvania two-drawer red painted stand, a Windsor chair, a couple of hooked rugs, a whirligig and a trade sign in the form of a large saw,” Beverly Longacre said. Both agreed it was a “real positive experience.”
Bob Jessen/Jim Hohnwald, Fitzwilliam, N.H., offered an Eighteenth Century settle in painted pine, New England, old red surface, measuring 60 inches long, 48 inches high and 14¼ inches deep, and a Chippendale drop leaf table in birch with beaded legs, original black painted surface, New Hampshire, circa 1786.
From Milford, N.H., Candlewick Antiques showed an oval top William and Mary tavern table with single board top, and a very graphic piece of iron measuring 6 feet in diameter that came out of a New Hampshire barn and was once either the top of a gazebo or an arbor. It had an old red surface.
John D. Wahl of Richmond, N.H., had two things in his booth of Vermont origin that he could pin down to an exact location. One was a pine overdoor pediment that measured 6 feet 6 inches wide by 57 inches tall, dentil molding, from a home in Bellows Falls, and a Nineteenth Century pine step back cupboard, 77 inches high and 41¾ inches wide, red crusty surface, from a home in Westminster.
The last thing put in place in the booth of Cheryl and Paul Scott, Hillsborough, N.H., was a rare diminutive birdcage settee with triple-chair base, scrolled arms, signed by Spooner & Fitts, Athol, Mass., circa 1808‱813. Other furniture included a tiger maple chest-on-frame, seven drawers, circa 1800 and of New England origin, and a handsome nautical motif easel, American, circa 1865, designed with crossed oars, a ship’s wheel and a half model on which to rest a work of art or working canvas. It retained the original finish and was in excellent condition.
Peter Sawyer Antiques of Exeter, N.H., had a handsome pair of side chairs attributed to Samuel McIntire, circa 1790‱800, in old surface at the front of his booth, alongside a New England candlestand with one drawer, original surface, circa 1790-1800. A rare Hepplewhite side table of New Hampshire origin, circa 1800, had inlay on the front legs identical to that of labeled card tables by John Dunlap II. It was in original condition and surface.
Five pieces of wrought iron pieces of furniture by John Risley, circa 1950, were in the booth of Meryl Weiss, American Classics, Canaan, N.H. The two chairs and two-seat settee had backs designed as faces, and all were in black paint. A sold tag hung from a mid-Atlantic green-painted plant stand, Nineteenth Century, round and four tapering tiers.
The show started before 10 am on Thursday for Carole Chenevert and Linda Roggow of Mad Anthony Books, who set up in the lobby of the hotel. “Some of those in line want something to read, and there we are, ready to help out,” Carole said. Then there is the time when all the people in line are in the show, but, “We see them again when they come out,” she said. One of the books receiving top billing was Joel Kopp †Sculpture, Paintings, Carvings. “We brought 16 copies and have six left,” Linda said as the show opened. Mad Anthony also sponsored two book signings, one for Mildred Cole Peladeau, author of Rug Hooking in Maine 1838‱940, and the other for Ann Eckert Brown, author of American Painted Floors Before 1840.
There is no doubt about it, the New Hampshire Antiques Show is a destination around which Antiques Week in New Hampshire was born. Over the years the popularity of the show has not dimmed, the gate grows, dealers bring out their best, and visitors go home with treasures. And each year we all wonder about the “magic” of it all, and how much longer will people spend the best part of their night sleeping in the lobby of the Radisson Hotel.
Psst&†don’t look now, but is the line already forming?
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