Published: April 27, 2016
Review And Photos By Andrea Valluzzo
TOLLAND, CONN. — Trading snow showers for spring flowers, the 50th Golden Anniversary edition of the Tolland Antiques Show made its spring debut April 10 at the Tolland Middle School, where it has up until this year been a winter show. It was quite the milestone year as the Tolland Historical Society, which manages the show as a fundraiser to support its work, also celebrated its 50th year.
Longtime showgoers will recall the years that snowstorms affected attendance during its many years as a February show and even the year when the National Guard was called in to clear heavy snows off the school roof for fear of a collapse. Thus the joke among the dealers and the Tolland Historical Society during setup for the show, the day before, was that snow had been in the forecast for this April weekend. Fortunately, there was no snow and though Sunday morning dawned chilly, the skies were sunny for the show and temperatures were quite pleasant by midafternoon.
Buyers came out in droves and show director Kathy Bach, who celebrated her 25th year managing the show, said she saw many sales from her spot near the gate, where she spent most of the day. “We are overall exceptionally pleased. Large pieces of furniture were going out the door, it wasn’t just smalls,” she said.
The show, known for showcasing fine country wares in both grain and painted surface, along with primitives, went against the grain with the furniture sales.
Quiet Corner Antiques, Canterbury, Conn., was among the dealers pleased to be writing up furniture. “The Tolland show was very good for us this year. We sold three pieces of furniture to include a cupboard an Eighteenth Century tavern table and a dish top stand,” said dealer Mike Rouillard. “We also sold numerous smalls.”
Also having a good show selling furniture and many smalls was Melissa Bourque Antiques, Garrison, N.Y. “We sold a tiger maple drop leaf table with 22-inch single board leaves, a Carolina Tulip quilt that was signed ‘Ann M. Sharpe, Evesham, NJ, 1850,’ and a New York State blanket chest,” said Bourque. “We had a good show! I felt that the attendance was strong.”
Ryan Fox and J.R. Cordrey of Stiles House Antiques, Woodbury, Conn., were also pleased with their sales. “We felt there was a good gate and good traffic most of the day. Our booth was busy with most interest in treenware, including firkins and wall boxes as well as pewter. We sold a few primitive hanging wall boxes as well as a mustard firkin, and most notably a small pine cupboard with one drawer with bowed front over a single door revealing an interior with two shelves.”
Bach noted this year’s show was bittersweet for her as she is stepping down from managing the show and turning over the reins to Mary-Pat Soucy, assisted by Sharron Laplante. “It’s time for me to let some younger and energetic people take over. I have enjoyed all the challenges we have faced… and, for the most part, overcome. I will treasure the friendships forever,” she said. Bach will continue on as the society’s director, however. “We are excited to have some new blood and I’m very excited overall for the future of the show.”
Through its members and volunteers, the society runs and maintains the Daniel Benton Homestead, the Old Tolland County Court House and the Old Tolland County Jail & Museum. Volunteers have also been key with the antiques show, helping to set up on Saturday and clean up Sunday night. In the early years, before the installation of a security system in the high school building, volunteers even working in shifts guarded the exhibits throughout Saturday night. “They are the backbone of the show,” Bach says.
For additional information, http://tollandhistorical.org.
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