Published: August 19, 2003
– The JFK Coliseum (The Ice Rink) is not air-conditioned, it is certainly not carpeted and it is not the easiest place to find. “That is all going to change next year,” John Bruno of Flamingo Promotions said, “as we are moving the Start of Manchester Antiques Show out of the ice rink to a new spot, the Event Center at R.C. Sparks, in Bedford.” While this new location will be more comfortable and convenient for visitors, the old one did not slow down the show. There was a line that stretched the length of the building waiting to get in at noon on Tuesday, August 5, and people came during the rest of that day and also on Wednesday.
“We had just about the same gate as last year,” Tina Bruno said, “and there really are people we call be-backers.” She noted that many people came back a second time to buy things they had seen on the first trip and after they had taken in some of the other shows during Antiques Week In New Hampshire.
Actually The Start of Manchester Antiques Show is the second event managed by Flamingo in a week’s time, the first taking place in Hopkinton, N.H. There The New England Antiques Festival is staged, a two-day event that will also see a change in venue next time around. “We are going to move the show closer to Manchester next year and will announce the location very soon,” Tina said. Management hopes that being closer to all the other shows will bring in a larger gate and also attract more exhibitors.
Close to 60 dealers from 17 different states took part in The Start of Manchester. Many of them came from a distance and represent a group that does not show frequently in the Northeast. Two exhibitors hailed from Texas, three from Ohio, and two from Florida, Tennessee and Missouri. And for the most part, country rdf_Descriptions prevailed with a good sampling of painted furniture.
A collection of always-popular trade signs was shown by Liberty Tree Antiques of Collierville, Ind. Advertising promoted banks, a snack bar, Real Ice Cream and Samuel J. Greenberg’s store offering “Plain Goods For Plain People.”
In addition to a selection of pewter and a few carved birds of Pennsylvania origin, James Island Antiques of Charleston, S.C., offered a Seventeenth Century ladder back armchair that came from the Bullock’s home in Hingham, Mass. The slats of this chair were of ash while the uprights were of maple. One of the seven exhibitors from Connecticut was Nutmeg Treasures of Glastonbury. This booth offered a cupboard from upstate New York, two doors with a cutout base. It had been scraped down to the original robin’s-egg blue, as had a farm table dating from the Nineteenth Century.
One of the top lots of folk art in the show was a violin case offered by Don Orwig of Corunna, Ind. This wooden case had a large trout carved onto the top, with cattails and a bird carved on the back side. The piece is signed by the maker, H.E. Vick, from Alliance, Ohio, 1899. A greatly oversized pair of Lee jeans stood well above the back wall of the booth, and a number of other advertising pieces was shown.
Robert Skinner Antiques of Southampton, N.Y., experienced a good show and offered an unusual keg wheel barrow in green paint from North Carolina. His furniture included a sawbuck table with scrubbed top and mustard painted base, three boards, 42 by 24 inches and 301/2 inches high. A sailboat rudder in old blue paint was mounted as a piece of sculpture, as was a large clam rake, 34 inches wide, from South bay, Long Island.
Dealers love to group things and show them as a collection. Such was the case for Period Antiques of Northport, Maine, with pail-handled pantry boxes. A stack of nine showed its colors — blue, yellow, white, green and red. A wall shelf was filled with redware, including some nice slip examples.
A man from Ohio was very popular with Sherrick Beckwith Dustin Antiques of York, Maine, after leaving the show with a one-drawer blanket chest in blue paint and a set of four birdcage Windsor side chairs in black paint. Lots of smalls were also sold, but still available in the middle of the first day was a sign advertising York Trailers For Sale.
Miller House Antiques of Carroll, Ohio, offered a chair table with three-board top in old red. The surface of the top showed rings where plates once were placed, indicating a completely untouched condition. Two benches were at the sides of the table, circa 1860, Sheraton style, in mustard painted surface.
A selection of miniature furniture was shown by Cotton’s Pickin’s of Indianapolis, Ind., including a green painted step back cupboard, a table with turned legs, a pie safe with four punched tin panels, an Empire dresser, two chairs and a green rocker with rush seat. American Room Antiques displayed a tall-case clock, Cumberland Valley, Penn., early Nineteenth Century, pine with the original wooden works, and a chest on frame from Chester County, Penn., circa 1750.
A two-piece corner cupboard of Virginia origin, original condition, two doors both top and bottom, was displayed by Gaines & Associates of Lanark, Ill., and among the accessories offered was a set of apothecary bottles with red painted tin tops and the original labels. Parkhouse Antiques of Dallas showed two large clock faces and a number of objects for the outdoors including a garden table with marble top, a pair of iron gate posts of French origin, and a pair of cast-iron urns.
Bill and Kay Puchstein, former owners of The Start of Manchester Antiques Show, returned again as exhibitors and had a booth filled with painted furniture and country things. Now doing business as American Heritage Antiques of Frankfort, Ohio, they offered a Southern two-door cupboard, 70 inches tall, in old green paint; a Vermont screen safe in mulberry paint, bootjack ends, 72 inches high and dating circa 1830; and a Vermont step back cupboard in old green over the original red, circa 1830, with open top and doors over the lower section.
Shoppers of all ages were at the show, possibly the youngest a lad named David, age 12. “I started collecting when I was 5,” he said, and has been quite successful. His specialties are watches (his collection now numbers about 80 examples), fountain pens and inkwells. When last seen, he had his eye on a French porcelain inkwell and was talking shop with the dealer.
“In addition to a shift in location for our Antiques Week in New Hampshire events, we are also adding to the schedule,” John Bruno said. The Start of Manchester Show on Tuesday and Wednesday will be followed by a second show on Thursday and Friday. “The list of exhibitors will be different for each show and we plan to have about 40 exhibitors each time,” he said. The second show will be called The Bedford Antiques Show. Again, country will be the theme of these shows and for the annual visitors to this crowded week, keep your walking shoes tied.
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