Published: July 8, 2011
This little village †sort of out-of-the-way from most places but only about an hour’s ride from Boston or Providence †continued its 20-year-plus tradition: the July 4th weekend Antiques Show at Tiverton Four Corners. Although not on the exact date of the holiday †this year it was on Saturday, July 2 †the sponsors have found it is often best on the weekend when the holiday falls on a Monday or Friday. Managed by Ferguson & D’Arruda, there were about 40 exhibitors, according to Tom D’Arruda.
James Weir, the founder of the Tiverton Four Corners Merchants Association and owner of the show site, began the show to promote more activity for antiques dealers and merchants in the neighborhood. This year, with attendance exceeding 600, he felt it was continuing to accomplish this goal.
The show has a very casual air about it, according to several of the dealers, including Sagamore Beach, Mass., dealer Bruce Rodenhizer, who said, “There was no surge early in the morning; the customers were coming all day and they kept buying.” He sold an interesting variety of antiques and collectibles throughout the one-day show, including a set of iron chairs early in the morning, some Boy Scout collectibles, Chinese woodblock prints and some Asian brass canisters as the day progressed.
Camille Buda from Sandwich, Mass., and Matt King from nearby Marshfield often setup side-by-side or even in the same booth at various shows. Here, they spread out in an oversized area with several tables and showcases all filled or covered with their collections of wonderful small things. King found a tiny firkin, so small that if it was a dry measure, it was probably only about two or three ounces, marked as made in Hingham, Mass. Also offered were a pair of Old Sheffield plate candlesticks, George III period, and a strong box was believed to have been from the William and Mary period. Camille was showing a countertop case filled with small vinaigrettes in several colors, silver and early lighting.
There was a well-traveled clock being offered by John and Nicole Delano of Plymouth, Mass. A tall case piece with wooden works from a Connecticut maker, the circa 1800 clock was signed Twiss Brothers of Canada, and was charming in its simplicity.
Some of the merchandise on offer was less dramatic than the clock, but there were great values. Straw Hat Antiques and Collectibles, Weymouth, Mass., was offering a collection of things with no one style as dominant. The owner, Roselyn McKenna, offers what appeals to her and articles she thinks are going to be good bargains for her customers. One such piece was an early rug: it was in very bright red with a polychrome geometric floral design repeated inside several borders. The rug was probably Pakistani. From about 1930, it was in good condition, and was priced at only $125.
Putnam, Conn., dealer Rhonda Tirone and her able-bodied assistant, husband Michael, were offering a ring toss or knock down game from Savin Rock Amusement Park, which used to be near West Haven, Conn., years ago. Consisting of large wooden circles, nearly a foot in diameter with numbers one through four and fairly stout stands, Michael said they were to be knocked over, perhaps in order to win the prize. For just $395, someone else can now create their own rules for the game.
Early New England furniture was offered by many of the exhibitors. Dave Proctor, Brookfield, N.H., was showing a set of four, rod back chairs he found in Vermont. Nearby, Robin Jenkins, Bristol, R.I., was offering a mixed collection of furniture, including a Connecticut candlestand in cherry, square top, turned pedestal, refinished. Chester Cwilichoski, Ansonia, Conn., sold a Duncan Phyfe Pembroke table for $425. Miller-Robinson, Wakefield, R.I., sold a small work table and several smalls to one customer early in the morning for under $500.
While these transactions were not earthshaking, in a discussion among several exhibitors it was agreed that it was good to see furniture sales happening again as a regular part of the trade.
Brian Ferguson and Tom D’Arruda are dealers and show managers with a shop in Providence. They participate as exhibitors in many shows throughout the year, as well as managing shows in New England and on Long Island, N.Y. From Tiverton they went directly to East Hampton, N.Y., for the next show, and from there, Tom said, “It’s off to Little Compton, R.I. August 5‶.” In fact he was interviewed for this postshow report while boarding the Connecticut to Orient Point ferry on July 4th.
For more information, 401-273-5550 or www.ferguson-darruda.com .
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