Published: August 19, 2003
– “As it looks right now, we are going to be here again next year,” Linda Turner said on Thursday, August 7, the last day of her three-day Riverside Antiques Show. “Here” is the Executive Court Banquet Facility on South Willow Street in Manchester where she moved her show after a long run at the armory downtown. To accommodate her dealers, she followed the route taken by Frank Gaglio ten years ago and arranged for a tent in the parking lot.
The banquet facility was air-conditioned and carpeted, the tent fan-cooled and on blacktop. The tent was also on an uneven spot in the parking lot and when one of the local storms broke shortly after the opening on Tuesday evening, water rushed into the exhibition area causing havoc for several of the dealers. S&H Rugs of Fairlawn, N.J., dealer in Oriental rugs, quickly rolled up or folded his inventory and made piles out of harm’s way. Otto Hart said that they were doing very well at the opening of the show, but it all fell apart when water rushed into his booth. On Thursday he noted, “If we do this show again next year, we will bring pond boats.” One of the dealers did not trust the weather and from the first day on placed all of the furniture legs in clay garden pot saucers. Mark Moody planned ahead and luckily had his “legged” pieces up on blocks.
Rain as it did, for the most part it did not dampen the event. People started lining up at both the tent and the banquet facility at 3 pm on Tuesday, two hours before the 5-8 pm opening. And they were there to buy. Mary Carden Quinn of Floral Park, N.Y., was in the banquet facility and reported very good sales.
“It was excellent, a very strong opening, our best ever,” Neil Quinn said as he reeled off a number of sales including a blanket chest, New England penny rug, broadside for a Lancaster shoe store, several hog scrapper candlesticks, heart mat, fire mark, horse doorstop, several hooked rug and a couple of mustard boxes. Still hanging on the wall after the opening was a signed oil on canvas by A.E. Kinney, a homestead said to be the residence of Colonel Elder King of Windham, Conn. A child’s wheelbarrow in bittersweet over red was also shown, along with a covered sugar bucket, iron banding and bail handle, ten inches in diameter at the rim.
Corrine Burke of Ridgefield, Conn., returned to the show after a brief absence and offered a chair table with round top in blue paint, red surface base and a 12-drawer apothecary with wooden knobs, Massachusetts origin, in old blue.
Also returning to the show was The Klassic Kace Antiques of Manchester, N.H. Frank and Sharon Kace were one of the two couples who started the Riverside Antiques Show and later sold it to Linda Turner of Forbes and Turner Shows. After not exhibiting for a couple of years they put their dealer hats back on and “had a great show.”
In fact hats were a major offering in their booth, with straw hats, fire hats, hats molds and hat signs on display. Some of the hat molds were sold, as was one of the fire hats, as well as several trade signs, any number of smalls and a hanging field cradle on a bentwood frame. The cradle was painted old gray with gold decoration and red stripes. A three-slat child’s rocker with delicate finials was from the Eighteenth Century, all original with a home-style cloth repair made to the splint seat, and a portrait of the American Schooner Mary Anne was signed by Pennsylvania folk painter A. Glazier. It was oil on breadboard and measured 20 by 20 inches.
Dee Wilhelm Antiques from Grand Blanc, Wis., was set up in the cafeteria area and offered a one-board tap table from the Hudson River Valley, circa 1810-20, in old red stain with turned legs. “That sure must have been some tree the top came from,” Dee said, pointing out the 32-inch width of the piece. An American chandelier, New England, circa 1790 with the original surface hung in the booth, and a four-drawer William and Mary/Queen Anne chest of drawers was from Connecticut, circa 1730.
Cutout and painted likenesses of Ben and Jerry, looking over the shoulders of two kids eating ice cream, one from a carton the other from a cone, was at the front of the booth of Dennis Raleigh of Wiscasset, Maine. The piece was done about 20 years ago by Harold French of Vermont and “it sure attracted lots of attention,” Dennis said.
Lana Smith of Louisville, Ky., showed a very nice Nineteenth Century Sheraton blanket box with old blue painted surface, paneled front and turned legs. It was shown in front of a log cabin quilt, velvet and silk, in vibrant colors with a ruffle around the edges.
Not only are the products of days gone by, but transportation and places to visit are all brought back to memory through the many posters displayed in the booth of Nancy Steinbock of Chestnut Hill, Mass. One advertised the merits of The James Bicycle, while another promised vegetables from Rice Seeds. The 1942 Dartmouth Winter Carnival looked like a good place to be, and the New York Central Lines encouraged people to travel New England.
A cigar store Indian figure, dating from the Nineteenth Century, started out life in Illinois and came with Nicholas Domenick to New Hampshire via Baden, Penn. Against the side wall of the booth was an eight-leg Windsor settee in the original green paint with floral and urn decoration on the back splat.
A red, white and blue painted figure of Uncle Sam stood in the booth of Lynn Weaver of Wenham, Mass. The figure was well-weathered and its original use was not listed. Furniture included a Vermont sawbuck table with two-board scrubbed top, red painted base, and a New York server in red paint, three drawers over three doors.
Lillie Antiques of Wiscasset, Maine, offered a large tack box that came from C.A. Borney Englenook Farm in Sumner, Maine. It was in blue with red and yellow lettering. Among the pieces of furniture was a one-drawer tap table with breadboard ends, scrubbed top and red base, and a Connecticut River Valley blanket chest on bracket feet, original red surface, circa 1700.
A pair of oversized metal mushrooms, 29 and 25 inches tall, French origin, Nineteenth Century, in the original ivory polychrome paint, was in the booth of Manchester Antiques, Manchester, N.H. An Eighteenth Century cupboard with arched front, original surface and brass hardware was among the furniture shown, and a trio of handmade log calipers from New England made an interesting display on one of the walls. One of the calipers, of maple, was signed by J. Humphrey of Keene, N.H., 1884.
Daniel and Karen Olson of Newburgh, N.Y., were having a “great” show right from the start. “We have sold about eight pieces of furniture and some smalls,” Dan said on Wednesday, with one day still to go. A coastal Virginia Chippendale secretary in birch and yellow pine, circa 1730, was among the furniture sold, along with a Sheraton secretary in mahogany, a ladder back armchair and a set of drawers. Other pieces included a Queen Anne drop leaf table from Rhode Island, circa 1770-1780, surrounded by five fanback Windsor side chairs and one bow back Windsor, and a circa 1810 New England six-drawer chest, 36-inch case, with the original brasses.
“I have had that piece for 47 years, the longest I have ever held on to something,” Richard Vandall of American Decorative Arts said of his Shaker silo air vent. The vent was now serving as a hanging lamp after he added a bulb and it proved to give just the right light for over a table. A pair of swinging doors originally served as the gateway to the Ladies and Gents Café, and the major piece of furniture in the booth was a Enfield Shaker cupboard with two doors over five drawers.
What gave the appearance of a large mouse head, galvanized, peering down the aisle of the tent was, in reality, a rooster or roof-top ventilator from a barn in New Hampshire.
“We had lots of people come up to us and say they liked this location much better than the armory,” Linda Turner said, “and as of the moment we are planning to be back there again next year.” She says the tent might be moved to a different part of the parking lot, where the runoff of water is not toward the tent, but other than that things will stay pretty much the same.
As for the show’s schedule, “That we are looking at and there may be a shift in hours, but nothing more,” she said. When questioned about the value of staying open the third day for only four hours, she replied, “It gives those people who come to New Hampshire only for the dealer show a chance to shop Riverside as well.” She also pointed out that very often last minute sales are made, this time citing John Gould who sold two pieces of furniture during the last 15 minutes of the show.
Linda Turner bills the Riverside Antiques Show as a cornerstone of Antiques Week in New Hampshire and this year strengthened that position with the largest gate ever and some dealers with record sales. That is what it is all about.
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