Published: November 14, 2017
Review and Photos by R. Scudder Smith
NEW MILFORD, CONN. – “There was lots of potential for a new antiques show in New Milford, a town easy to reach via major highways, a super-clean gymnasium with room for 30-plus exhibitors, and easy load in and load out for the dealers,” John DeSimone of Goosefare Antiques & Promotions said during set-up of the show on Saturday, October 28. With his wife Elizabeth, the DeSimones manage 15 shows, the next one on November 19 at the Fireside Inn & Suites in West Lebanon, N.H.
For several days prior to the New Milford Show the weather forecasters were warning the coastal area of New England of a severe storm with rain up to four inches in some places. “That was not good for us,” John said, noting that “a couple of the dealers backed out of the show and we had hoped to benefit from the crowd attending the popular Elephant’s Trunk, just a short distance down Route 7, but the Trunk shut down for the day. However, we did have two ladies come to our show, one from Maryland and one from Pennsylvania, who came to visit the Trunk, not aware that it was not operating due to the storm. Really, being an outdoor event, the Trunk had no option but to not open”
About 300 people came out for the New Milford Show, many of them speaking highly of the show and urging a return next year.
Apparently, Thomas Thompson of Pembroke, N.H., looked at his calendar and noted that it was time for a Thanksgiving theme and, presto, he came up with a sign reading “Turkeys” posted over a shelf with six papier mache turkeys strutting about. For those thinking ham, six pig-shaped cutting boards surrounded a colorful ear of corn, while a pair of cast iron figural andirons were in the shape of owls. A green painted wire and tin squirrel cage featured a running wheel with a tall cage, looking like one for birds, attached. “It is easy to figure out,” Tommy said, “the squirrel runs until he gets tired and then goes into the attached rest area for a nap.”
Working around the booth of Susan Heider Antiques, Bloomfield, Conn., starting on the left was an early lift top lap desk in the original yellow grained surface, and against the back wall was shown an early weaver’s chair with scrolled arms in black painted surface; a collection of pewter dominated the table to the right, a grouping of various shapes including coffee and tea pots, various sizes of porringers, cups and mugs.
A black deacon’s bench, 4 feet wide, took up the better part of the back wall in the booth of Windy Hill Antiques, Topsfield, Mass., and a selection of pots and pitchers in stoneware filled a portion of one of the tables. A table on the opposite end of the booth was again filled with pottery, including majolica, a corn pitcher, plates, leaf-shaped platter and a gurgling fish pitcher, tall and in mixed colors.
A number of signs hung in the booth of Docengine of Holliston, Mass., including a message from an ice company, dry goods, menu board and “Golf Cars” with an arrow showing the way. A book rack was painted orange, several game boards lent color to the booth, and a pair of yellow painted hoop back Windsor side chairs were just the right size for toddlers.
It would be quite a scene and reason to call out the game warden if every creature suddenly came to life in the booth of John Borne of Pittsford, Vt. The circa 1930-40 6-foot-long alligator would probably get the most attention, followed by a handsome black and white carving of a prancing horse, 3 feet tall. Probably the handcarved seated dog, white coat with black spots, about 2 feet tall, would cause the least amount of trouble, and the fish breaking water in the large ship diorama would be well contained.
Greg Hamilton of Stone Block Antiques, Vergennes, Vt., filled his large booth with furniture, including a slant front desk, a brace back Windsor side chair, a Queen Anne drop leaf table on cabriole legs, a six-drawer tall chest, a white upholstered wing chair and displayed a card table against the back wall of the booth.
A bowfront chest of drawers by Abiel White of Weymouth, Mass., was shown in the booth of Karen Alexander Antiques of Enfield, Conn. White was known for his vertical inlay, and this circa 1805 piece retained the original cut-corner brasses with eagle and shield. A candlestand with snake feet was at the front of the booth, along with a bowback Windsor side chair, Eighteenth Century, in the original red surface.
A Queen Anne flat top highboy from New London, Conn., was against the back wall in the booth of Brian Bartizek, Willimantic, Conn., dating circa 1750-80 and retaining the original brasses. A dome top trunk was in the original blue painted surface and lined with a newspaper dated 1840, and a pine blanket chest, two drawers retained the original paint, was dated 1800-20.
Yorktown Heights, N.Y., dealer John Gould brought a wide selection of frames, creating a nice look with a couple of collections, including a row of ten graduated brass pots against the back wall, and a stack of 13 graduated round boxes in red and green original paint. “The boxes took seven years to put together and are interesting because they not only are graduated, but alternate in color from top to bottom,” John said.
In addition to managing the show, John and Elizabeth DeSimone hang out their Goosefare Antiques shingle in a large corner booth and fill it with many different interests to please shoppers. A grouping of stone fruit attracted one show visitor, who left the booth with the only stone banana, while another shopper was looking over the collection of pattern glass, including sets of goblets. A Sheraton bowfront chest was against the back wall and a set of four bocce balls with an “AB” monogram were in the original box. Hanging against the back wall was an industrial pulley, 4 feet in diameter and in the original red and black paint. “It weighs in at about 65 to 70 pounds,” John said. The piece was deaccessioned by the Museums on the Green, Falmouth, Mass. John mentioned that they decided to stay over one more night and not drive to their home in Wells, Maine, in stormy conditions. When they arrived home Monday, they were greeted by a 50-foot tree that had fallen during the night, crushing two vehicles. “It was very lucky we did not come home on Sunday as originally planned, as a third vehicle, with our inventory, would have been under that tree,” John said.
A booth that certainly appealed to male visitors was Raven’s Way Antiques of North Kingston, R.I. Tucked in a corner booth there was a small but neat collection of early tools, including levels, planes, squares, hammers and some shining brass plumb bobs, one large one weighing 2 pounds. Sharing the back wall table with a variety of carved decoys was a selection of fishing lures, one a rainbow trout carved and painted by Tony Smith, Macatawa Bait Co., Holland. It dated circa 1990s and was in mint condition with the original box. The star lot of the decoys was an eider drake by Lorenzo “Roy” Wass, Addison/Machias, Maine, and dating from the early Twentieth Century.
Joseph Collins of Middletown, Conn., always seems to have a nautical touch in every booth and this time out he had a large ship portrait and a large diorama with the featured tall ship and three small ships around it. A large banner weathervane retained its yellow surface, and doorstops were in the shapes of three ducks and a dog.
A Nineteenth Century sponge decorated grain bin from Vermont was shown by Crow’s Feet Antiques, Colebrook, N.H., along with a trotting horse weathervane and a pair of cast iron andirons in the form of Hessian soldiers. A blue glass globe weathervane by Dodd & Struthers was mounted on a tin barn cupola dating circa 1900.
Horsefeathers Antiques, Delhi, N.Y., showed an Eighteenth Century child’s shoe-foot chair table and across the back wall of the booth was a long wood carved trade sign in the form of a skeleton key. A sheet metal weathervane carried the date 1869.
Pantry Box Antiques of Stafford Springs, Conn., had three feather trees, about 36 inches tall, all loaded with Christmas ornaments and ready for picking. Halloweenia was represented by papier mache pumpkins and noise makers, and one table was loaded with treen and examples of stoneware and redware.
“It is really too early to know about next year, but we hope to return and give it a shot with better weather,” John DeSimone said. He mentioned that everything had moved smoothly, including easy load in and there was a covered area for load out in the rain, the school was very cooperative and the show was a benefit for the New Milford High School PAC. Members of PAC helped out with porters and walked the floor with refreshments. “We hope the dealers will give it a second chance and not allow the bad weather this year to keep them from giving it a second try,” John said. And really, the show does deserve another chance.
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