Published: May 2, 2017
Review and Photos by Andrea Valluzzo
TOLLAND, CONN. – The 51st annual Tolland Antiques Show is every Americana collector’s or picker’s fantasy: a compact show that is easy to navigate and loaded with country primitive and Americana from quilts to paint decorated furniture to wood in original surface. All ripe for the picking.
Deceptively small as it takes place in just two rooms at the Tolland Middle School, the show surprisingly packs in 60 dealers into the space without booths or the rooms feeling crowded.
The show’s most recent edition, April 23, is the Tolland Historical Society’s second outing in the spring in what formerly was a winter show. The society’s decision last year to trade snowstorms for spring showers has worked out well and the show attracted a good crowd. New show director Mary-Pat Soucy was making the rounds that morning before the show opened, filling and refilling coffee carafes and checking that the volunteers staffing the entrance were up to speed and that dealers had what they needed.
Soucy, who took over as show director this year after longtime director Kathy Bach retired last year, though Bach is still president of the Tolland Historical Society, had her hands full the morning of the show. Reached for a comment a few days afterward however, she was satisfied with how things went and was talking to dealers about plans for next year’s edition.
“I thought the show was pretty successful, dealers seemed to be happy. They put on an extraordinary display,” she said. “It was a fantastic day; it all seemed to run smooth. We had a good crowd coming, a good rush in the morning. Every booth had people in it, which I just love to see. I was really pleased with the turnout.”
Among the noteworthy and fun items seen at the show were a pond boat model at Hollis Brodrick, Portsmouth, N.H.; two nice tilt-top tea tables at Martin J. Ferrick Antiques, Lincolnville, Maine; and a dormitory directory from a college or girls’ school circa 1930s-40s, possibly from Smith College or Mount Holyoke College, in the booth of West Pelham Antiques, Pelham, Mass.
DBR Antiques, Hadley, Mass., offered a visually striking booth with a nice checkerboard having a twisty S-shaped border and a shield-shaped sign painted like an American flag, while an eye-grabber in the booth of Derik Pulito, Kensington, Conn., was a large wooden demilune window frame.
Traditional furniture was seen in many booths. Quiet Corner Antiques showed a fine Eighteenth Century bench of 6-foot length with distressed surface, scalloped skirt, bootjack ends and rosehead nail construction. Stiles House, Woodbury, Conn., offered up an Eighteenth Century tavern table with scalloped edge, breadboard ends and a single drop leaf on turned legs with pad feet, New England, circa 1760. An early pine New England settle, circa 1840, was in offer at Paula Patterson, Westfield, Mass.
Being an Americana show, painted furniture and objects were of course plentiful here. Colette Donovan, Merrimacport, Mass., centered her booth with a long bench in blue paint along her back wall, while New England Home Antiques, Wethersfield, Conn., had a nice door in olive-greenish paint propped against a booth corner.
Bill Kelly, Limington, Maine, featured a large oval trade sign in blue, reading “J. Barker / 1848,” while W.S Korzick Antiques, New Haven, Conn., featured a gorgeous blanket chest in green paint with two tombstone panels on front and the lid with decoration of tulips in urns and various pinwheel floral decoration all over.
Tommy Thompson, Pembroke, N.H., was perhaps thinking ahead to planting season when he hung up two small but charming “Apples” and “Peaches” signs on his wall. Barbara Ardizone, Salisbury, Conn., had a folky hooked rug depicting a cow standing on a board with wheels like a pull-toy.
The show will return here next April. For more information, www.tollandhistorical.org or 860-870-9599.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm