Published: February 20, 2007
There were good finds to be had at the 41st annual Tolland Antiques Show. This was a good year to be shopping for hooked rugs, samplers, silhouettes, redware, stoneware, banister back chairs, early American portraits, treen, pewter and early iron. Situated in the quiet Connecticut countryside, the one-day show on Sunday, January 28, featured some excellent Americana. Tolland makes for an easy destination, right off I-84, just 20 miles east of Hartford. Both dealers and collectors buy at Tolland, and much of the crowd is from out of town, if not out of state. The show raises funds for the Tolland Historical Society.
From the moment the doors opened, people poured through the doors of the former high school. Sixty-five dealers from 11 states set up in the cafeteria and the gym. Most folks headed straight for the cafeteria, which was the closest room, with a delayed wave of early buying hitting the gym second.
Davidian Americana, Holden, Mass., had a game board of checkers/chess with backgammon on the back. The dealer offered a large needlework emblazoned Home Sweet Home, Steiff animals including a pig and dogs. An Andover Mass., sampler by Sally Osgood with a floral border was priced at $2,800; another sampler sold right at set up.
Hollis Brodrick, Portsmouth, N.H., offered a Connecticut Valley youth’s chair, circa 1770. A gem in this booth was the early document listing 13 states that was signed by John Hancock. It was priced at $9,500 and marked on hold. A bit later the document was no longer on display. A large group of ice-fishing jigs was marked at $275.
Stephen-Douglas Antiques, Rockingham, Vt., had silhouettes, architectural green-painted interior vents with a good look, an $11,000 early table at center, holding up a twice-life-size Canada goose decoy priced at $1,450. A portrait was attributed to Augustus Fold Deerfield, circa 1820, priced at $8,750. A roundabout corner chair was $1,200.
Paula Patterson, Westfield, Mass., displayed a Nineteenth Century country Hepplewhite pegged card table in original red paint with one rear leg hinged, $4,900; a polychrome chalkware doorstop cat, circa 1920, with glass eyes, $175; and a Nineteenth Century cherry hanging cupboard at $1,600.
Bobbie Pries, Westfield Center, Ohio, had a large Nineteenth Century treen charger with about a 24-inch diameter. A Vermont foot warmer with original green paint and hand forged nails was priced at $895.
Vincent Antiques, Farmington, Conn., brought a weighty, Nineteenth Century metal-studded leather dog collar. He displayed a selection of brass fenders and andirons. A huge English turbot cooker in copper with a tin liner was $1,750. A needlepoint sampler dated 1777 with a nice red house was just $1,000.
Denise and Sam Scott, Greenwich, R.I., brought three ovoid stoneware jugs and a large two-handled jar. A beautiful Queen Anne tea table with button feet, circa 1770, was $3,600. Just to prove that it is not sacrilegious, they had a nice floral hooked rug on the floor. A comfy New England country sofa with mahogany legs and reupholstered goose-down cushions measured 67 inches long and 30½ inches high and was priced at $2,400.
David and Susan Ryan, Harwinton, Conn., kept folks in their booth with a good variety of smalls — ivory picks, scissors, hooks, pens, thimbles. Larger items included choppers, ladles and handcuffs. Hung on the wall was a doormat made of metal bands in the pattern of small hearts that had an interesting visual texture to it. There were old wooden knitting needles, rolling pins, a biscuit mold, four biscuit prickers and an appealing painted iron dog doorstop priced at $85.
Martin Ferrick, Addison, Maine, hung a serene oil on canvas signed JMD ’86 of a New England coastal scene for $1,850. A two-drawer Sheraton server in old dark finish was $550.
Karen Alexander had a large maple bowl in old salmon paint at $695 and a beautiful oval-shaped needlework and watercolor combination that came out of a Portland, Maine, household showing a man, woman and ducks on a pond with good color with a black oval surround. It was priced at $1,250. A mahogany snake-foot candlestand from the North Shore of Massachusetts with a diameter of 15 inches was $1,750.
Suzanne Gray Antiques, Woodbury, Conn., had a pair of candle wall sconces in old red paint at $1,050. There were many tin chocolate molds with rabbit forms as well as a turkey and a hen. There was an ovoid bee skep and a Hepplewhite country table in maple with old red paint at $650.
Joseph Martin, Brownington, Vt., had a large cut-iron running horse weathervane for $2,200. He brought a good array of redware and two matching braided rug runners — one with six and the other with seven connected horizontal ovals. Marilyn Martin said, “This has been an excellent show for us. It is a very inexpensive show to do. The show manager [Kathy Bach] is a ball of fire. She was here, there, everywhere, making sure that the dealers had everything they needed.”
Lynne Oppenheimer of Ivy Hill, Longhorne, Penn., had a fabulous hooked rug with white, red-orange, olive green and black picturing a dog lying down with an oak leaf border. The booth had heart shaped trivets, good treenware and several nice firkins in old paint.
Pottles and Pannikins, Windsor, Conn., also had a charming hooked rug of flowers in a vase with teal green, pink, red, black and brown. There was a wonderful bed warmer with tooled brass design and iron handle priced at $950. A stunning red glass National Marine lamp was 16 inches tall and had beautiful form. A elaborate weathervane cut out of sheet copper of a man driving a wagon while smoking a pipe was $2,250.
Jane Domenico, Jamesville, N.Y., displayed schoolgirl Ann Webb’s 1845 embroidered advice on how to pray. A Pennsylvania splayed-leg one-drawer stand with tiger maple drawer was $995. An Ithaca calendar clock was marked all original and in good working order at $1,150.
Ann Williams, Canton, Conn., had animals throughout her booth, situated at the entrance to the show. There was a hooked rug with seagulls for $475, a folky cat hooked rug, a basket of dog and cat dolls, and a framed swath of pattern fabric of “Tabby’s Kittens” doll patterns. An unsigned painting of four kittens practically bounced off the wall in their enthusiastic play.
Robert Thayer, American Antiques, Sheffield, Mass., brought a macabre skull bone dish, hatchets, daggers and old pocket knives.
Beverly Jadus, East Berlin, Penn., had an interesting redware cheese drain on three feet that were turned up. A rare piece, it was priced at $1,295. A two-gallon stoneware pitcher was displayed prominently.
Ron Chambers, Higganum, Conn., filled his booth with pewter. Porringers took the top row, followed by lanterns, tankards, plates and many other forms. A Connecticut snake-foot square-top candlestand, circa 1780, was $750. A very interesting coconut shell cup ladle with a pewter fastener attached to a carved wooden handle with spiral decoration was $250. Chambers also brought a nice red, flip top chair/table.
John Geishen of Chesterfield Antiques, Chesterfield, Mass., sported some period weaponry, including an impressive muzzle-load 1780 militia rifle with the original bayonet and ramrod. It had a nice tiger maple stock and was converted to percussion firing in about 1800. Had it retained its original flintlock mechanism, it would have been priced much higher than $1,850, confided Geishen.
Derik Pulito, Kensington, Conn., offered a substantial array of fine art, including a barnyard scene by Charles Volmer, American, featuring roosters and hens. Dating from the late Nineteenth, early Twentieth Century, it was priced at $1,595. A Nelson Augustus Moore painting dated 1876 was a study of a large rock outcropping in the forest. It was priced at $3,800. The substantial gold leaf frame was well suited to the Hudson River School painting.
Dealers Bob and Sue Kozub of Ester Gilbert Antiques, Southampton, Mass., offered a hooked rug of two calico cats drinking milk from a dish. They had a wall of silhouettes and a wonderful early telescope of polished brass with a leather surround-grip.
Diane Halpern, Townsend, Mass., was pleased to offer a 1620 document box with a paper liner that was added later. It was a very rare piece and offered at $2,600.
Peter Field and Susan Makay of Makay & Field, Chaplin, Conn., offered a large wood-framed candle lantern at $3,500. Their display was bedecked with treenware. A banister back chair with a heart cutout in the back and a reed seat was $6,800.
Philbrick and Plummer, North Berwick, Maine, brought some wonderful things including a large pewter charger. A weathervane was dated 1714 and marked I+B. The banner vane came from the North Shore of Massachusetts and was priced at $3,800. A Nineteenth Century hourglass was priced at $650. “Since the doors have opened it’s been very nice,” said John Philbrick during the show.
Martha Caverly, Portsmouth, N.H., had some antique books including The Natural and Civil History of Vermont by Samuel Williams. It carried a bookplate of the Barnstead Social Library and was priced at $350; part of the book’s foldout map of the state was missing. Caverly also had a charming cast iron bank of a bird’s nest filled with nestlings with a parent bird bending over them. It was priced at $1,400. Debra Elizabeth Schaffer Antiques and Interiors, Wiscasset, Maine, had a sculptural tin bird on an iron stand that was marked $950.
Colleen Nordengren, Pepperell, Mass., had an Eighteenth Century $6,800 banister back armchair with mushroom hand holds, raked turned armrests and tombstone crest. Twelve Eighteenth Century wooden spoons were offered as a set for $1,650.
Mary Elliot, Pepperell, Mass., offered an early portrait of a young man holding a book. She also had handwritten ledgers from New England at $20 each. One dated from the 1850s and came from Deep River.
Joseph Collins, Cobalt, Conn., displayed a pie safe with two drawers over two doors and dark brown wood. A zinc full bodied rooster weathervane by J.L. Mott was $4,250. A circa 1760 chest of cherrywood had four drawers and carried a price of $8,500.
Penny and Ron Dionne, Willington, Conn., displayed two carved wooden ovoid portraits priced at just $750. An unusual geometric design of a large hooked rug was an eye-catcher. It was also $750. A nice copper roster vane was $5,500. Early weather vane directionals were priced at $225. A base was priced at $550.
Jack Phelps, Salisbury, Conn., carted in a 15-inch-diameter cast iron caldron and priced it at $175. A painted cast iron frog was getting lots of handling. Colt Barn Antiques, Townsend, Vt., displayed Indian clubs, early cooking tools and a tri-foot iron lamp with brass oil reserves that was electrified. It had nice form and was priced at $625.
William Bakeman, Wilbraham, Mass., brought a maple banister back chair from the Hartford or Wethersfield, Conn., area that was attributed to the Spencer shops. It had a turned lower side strip and a plain upper side strip that Bakeman said was typical of Wethersfield. Another chair in his booth had drilled back slats for decoration and came from the Hudson River Valley or Mohawk Valley.
Thomas Longacre, Marlborough, N.H., had a very appealing hooked rug with tulips growing inward from two sides, “as if it could be a reflection,” said Longacre. It had yellows, oranges, pinks and greens and was priced at $2,600. Baltimore artist George Geiwitz created a one-of-a-kind bit of American history when he painted the Great Seal of New Hampshire, a large circular seal picturing a tall ship being unloaded of its cargo with a blazing sunset in the background. An enormous wooden mallet or pestle stood in the corner and had sculptural appeal. It was priced at $125. A snake-entwined paint decorated walking stick was $675; a small New England cupboard in its original putty color was $2,100; a portrait of a gentleman by E.F. Finch, Augustus, Maine, was $3,600.
Jan and John Maggs, Conway, Mass., had an English secretary on bracket feet with figured walnut, circa 1770, that was priced at $4,300. It had restoration to three of the feet and replaced brasses and a very good look. An English brass six-light chandelier was not electrified, offering a chance to enjoy the softer light of candles overhead.
“We have done the show for many years,” said John. “It is a show that attracts knowledgeable people who come with a view to buy antiques.” John observed that Tolland captures the excitement of the old Granby, Conn., show that stopped about ten years ago “just about the time Tolland was recognized as a really fine show.” He credits the Tolland Historical Society for raising the caliber of the show an number of years ago and keeping it high. “They keep expenses low. It is a very inexpensive show to do for its quality.”
They sold four pieces of furniture including an English circa 1680 William and Mary side chair in old late Eighteenth Century subtle paint decoration of browns over original black; an early X-base candlestand in chestnut and pine; a wonderful original red painted six-board blanket box; and a late Eighteenth Century American side table in maple and pine. They also sold a number of period smalls, including jewelry.
Erik Wohl, Pomfret Center, Conn., displayed a Federal pole fire screen, circa 1810, from the North Shore of Massachusetts. It was priced at $3,850. A pair of Hepplewhite shield back chairs, circa 1850, was $2,800. A circa 1890 American hooked rug of cats was marked at $2,200. A seldom seen Nineteenth Century pewter colander with two handles was $1,650.
Hanauer & Seidman Antiques, Scotland, Conn., will be opening an antiques shop in Colchester, Conn., in February in an old freight depot. They had several ovoid pieces of stoneware, one of their specialties. “We had a nice kettle tilter and kettle that sold as well as stoneware. Stoneware sold strongly,” said Christine Hanauer. They have been doing the show for nine years. “The crowd was excellent but slow to commit,” she noted. After the show they had several sales pending.
For Rose Gallo, Richmond, Va., this was her first time exhibiting at Tolland. She had a case of cases — Union Case Co. Civil War era photograph cases with ambrotypes and daguerreotypes inside. The cases were molded of the early latex plastic known as gutta percha and were at least as interesting as the photographs inside. A log-cabin pattern split-eye design quilt, circa 1900, was marked $795.
Wenham Cross Antiques, Topsfield, Mass., offered a curvilinear wall shelf for $450, and a great polychrome rocking horse for $895.
Carol Wojtkun, Preston, Conn., had a 1760 banister back chair priced at $1,425 that she identified as probably being from Little Compton, R.I. A Queen Anne corner cupboard with an added top had traces of red and blue paint as was priced at $3,600.
Brian Bartizek, Willimantic, Conn., had American bellows with replaced leather, circa 1840. for $275. A large serving tray, Boston, circa 1890, featured an Triune Ale and Salzburger Beer along with a bright red lobster and a bouquet of red roses. A framed George Washington and family print from Kellog and Bulkely was $48.
New England Home Antiques, Wethersfield, Conn., brought an important nautical document box with its original dark green exterior paint. It belonged to Captain John E. Barstow (1822–1904) of Hanover, Mass. Many of Captain Barstow’s possessions are in the collection of Mystic Seaport, Mystic, Conn. It was priced at $2,500.
Brett Cabral, Derry, N.H., had redware, blue and white spongeware, some nice tape looms, Shaker style buckets, early clothes pins and a nice flask collection.
Jane Wargo, Wallingford, Conn., had a Nineteenth Century candle mold painted in apple green for $225; a plant stand in red paint dated to the early Twentieth Century and was priced at $375. Wargo has an eye for beautiful forms.
The Norwoods’ Spirit of America, Timonium, Md., had a hooked rug of two doves, $1,400. They sold a sampler, two paintings, a theorem and some wallpaper boxes. A needlework of a white tiger and crocodile dated from the second half of the Nineteenth Century and was priced at $2,400.
Buckley and Buckley, Salisbury, Conn., offered a pair of New England or Scandinavian bellows for $550. A Seventeenth Century bed warmer was $1,975.
Stuart E. Magdefrau Antiques, Ellington, Conn., has been coming to the show for years to buy. This was his first time setting up as an exhibitor at Tolland. They sold a nice Shaker rocker from Mount Lebanon on Sunday morning after early buying. Jamy, Stuart’s wife said, “The crowd was really good. We made sales up to the time I was packing up boxes.” They displayed a swan’s head sled with its iron runners and in old red and green paint. $295. A colorful large sampler was dated 1869 and priced at $595 since it was probably Irish not American. They offered Sandwich glass candlesticks in Canary.
“I had a good show, not an excellent show,” said Stuart. “Gate was good. Furniture did not seem to be moving. We sold stoneware, yellowware, Rockingham and a couple of Shaker items.” They had one sale after the show to a dealer who was exhibiting there. This show his cast iron door stops and banks did well. He still has a nice cast-iron Enterprise double wheel coffee grinder in red paint, however; $575. Brimfield in May will be his next show because he’s busy as a CPA for the next couple of months.
Staneika Antiques, Durham, Conn., showcased a four-drawer Queen Anne chest in old unpainted surface with a false document drawer that dealer Kristina Staneika says is likely to have come out of the Lisbon, Conn., area, predating the work of furniture maker John Greer. Circa 1760–1770, the chest was priced at $2,400. Staneika is known for painted surfaces. Also displayed were a Nineteenth Century diminutive octagonal tole tray for $260 and three tole boxes that ranged from $140 to $660. “Early buying went very well,” Staneika said. “People were looking for great examples of very old things.” She sold a gorgeous hand sewn coverlet with a floral pattern in reds and pinks to a dealer at early buying Sunday morning, which opened at a civilized 8:30 am. Pantry boxes in great paint sold well. “The color of the day was mustard,” confided Staneika.
Tolland is one of Kristina Staneika’s favorite shows. “You feel appreciated by the customers and by the historical society. It is very relaxed and comfortable.” One of her patrons was a woman who flew out from Washington state on a buying trip. The Tolland Antiques Show was one of her planned destinations. That kind of dedication is not surprising.
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