Published: October 19, 2004
The 11th Annual Okemo Antiques Show at the Okemo Mountain ski area followed the Weston event in the weekend’s show chronology. Down the road in the town of Ludlow at the Black River High School gymnasium, another show took place on the same day, but the two shows’ opening times were conveniently staggered so that shoppers could attend both shows.
Pat and Don Clegg, who do business as Abbott House Associates, manage the Okemo show and have done so for eight years. “High” American country is the show’s calling card, but collectors can find great examples in many other categories.
Contacted after the show, Pat Clegg reported, “The show was a great success from our standpoint. Attendance at the preview was very strong. We could barely contain the throng for the last few minutes before opening. By our count, we had exactly the same number of preview attendees as last year, which was a record. On Saturday, attendance was down slightly from last year. The good news is that they seemed to be buying. We were pleased to see a great deal of merchandise being carried out. This was also reflected in the dealer comments. Most reported strong sales and were pleased with the show.”
For example, Gary and Judy Promey, Atwater, Ohio, who were doing the show for the second year, had good results, selling good painted smalls and “feel good” antiques. A server from New York state in original untouched paint exhibited original knobs and a nice Shaker-like form. The Promeys also brought an indigo and white New York State Washington coverlet. Gary Promey said, “Strong customer interest and selling was up from last year,” he said, adding that Okemo was a “pleasure to do; good management, great merchandise, easy in and out, knowledgeable buyers, low key atmosphere. Buyers showed enthusiasm, looked things over, asked questions and generally came to buy.”
For Michael and Lucinda Seward, Pittsford, Vt., Okemo “feels like being with friends in their living room or having a tailgate party on the lawn – lots of great folks and friends and beautiful objects to admire.” Lucinda Seward said that she believes that the Cleggs have resurrected this show, “which is no easy task, and one of the biggest blessings that is bestowed on everyone is that there is much cooperation among the promoters so everyone can have their turn to provide shoppers with some of the best country and formal antiques presented in New England at a great time of year up here.”
The Sewards sold their usual mix of folk art and early American objects. “One of the most fun things I sold,” said Lucinda Seward, “was a papier mache dress form that just came from a farmhouse auction a short ways from here that put you in mind of an exhausted Venus de Milo.”
Doorstops, hitching posts and hooked rugs were leaving the booth at American Sampler, Barnesville, Md., where Nancy and John Smith were getting a good response at their first show appearance. A hooked rug with a star and geometric design, 31 by 39 inches, and another depicting a kitten playing with a ball of string, 20 by 30 inches, were on display, and the Smiths had brought lots of smalls, including a child’s bookholder from the 1880s, a pair of teddy bears, croquet balls, early fish decoys and decorative cast iron door knockers.
Linda and David Steele, Taftsville, Vt., were having a very positive show, writing a lot of slips and displaying a quantity of Americana and New England textiles, such as quilts from Maine, as well as baskets. They also had brought six Pennsylvania chairs, circa 1840-50, with a nice mix of original paint, and a Sheraton-style cherry Hepplewhite table with one drawer. A late Eighteenth Century six-board blanket chest had bootjack legs and snipe hinges, and was priced at $995.
There were many interesting finds in the booth of Jill Wojtaszek, Port Jervis, N.Y., the most unusual of which may have been a Ngata sarcophagus, a very rare rdf_Description from a small tribe along the Zaire, Ruki Iki Remba Rivers and Lake Tumba. Also on display were three old hickory hoop back chairs from the 1930s, a rustic bench purchased from a convent in North Carolina and a pair old Cree snowshoes made by Agnes Smallboy, Attawapiskat, Northern Ontario. The snowshoes had been found in an attic where they had been stored for 50 years.
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