Published: February 21, 2012
The prediction of a February snowstorm the day prior to the opening of the 46th Annual Tolland Antiques Show put a scare into many, including Tolland Historical Society member and show promoter Kathy Bach, but it all proved for naught as little more than a few flurries were witnessed throughout the region. The predictions brought back memories of last year’s event when the National Guard was called out the day prior to the show to shovel the record snowfall from the roof of the Tolland Middle School before it could be occupied.
A crowd began forming more than an hour prior to the start of early buying at 8:30 am, Sunday, February 12, despite temperatures hovering in the low 20s. Wrapped in a blanket to fend off the cold, Massachusetts collector Scott Cook was at the front of the line, accompanied by his two large sheepdogs. Those accustomed to seeing Scott and his pals at the front of lines at shows had to do a double take as they approached the front of the school to join the line; there were four sheepdogs huddled together, the other two belonging to Rhode Island collector Gary Moroch, who occupied the second spot in line.
Early buying opened exactly on time, and the large crowd rushed onto the floor of the show. Cast iron, wrought iron, paintings, hanging pantry shelves and paint decorated boxes were among the items that sold right off the bat.
Tolland is a country show †Americana, country furniture, early American pottery and glassware, folk art, weathervanes, baskets and pewter abound. A bluebird day brought out the buyers, and sales were recorded for many dealers at a brisk pace.
Lew Scranton, Killingworth, Conn., featured a nice assortment of early wares ranging from tole and redware to a stellar selection of folky portraits. Early furniture in the booth included a chair-table, a banister back armchair, a splay leg, oval top tavern table with button feet and a drop leaf table in early red paint. A nice paint decorated storage box was a quick seller from his stand.
Willington, Conn., dealers Ron and Penny Dionne filled their booth with likenesses of animals, some in paintings, but most in the form of weathervanes. A nice portrait of a collie was featured in the selection of paintings. A Black Hawk weathervane and an Ethan Allen running horse weathervane were both among the offerings, along with a desirable leaping stag vane in a pleasing old surface. Another vane attracting attention was a sheet metal banner weathervane in mustard paint.
Coming to the show from Lancaster, Penn, was Steve Smoot, and the dealer displayed a good assortment of mocha ranging from a large pitcher in green and burnt orange with seaweed decoration to a small mustard pot with cat’s-eye decoration. The largest piece from the group was a yellowware pitcher with blue and white banded decoration and seaweed in both blue and black. An attractive ship’s portrait hung on the rear wall of the stand, along with a small portrait on panel in the manner of the Prior-Hamblin school, and a sweet checkerboard in yellow and white with red squares.
Wilbraham, Mass., dealer Don Broderick featured a colorful star pattern quilt with red, yellow, blue and orange stars against a green background. A clean slant front desk was positioned on one wall of the booth, under a Chippendale mirror, a paint decorated wall box and a small hanging corner cupboard in red and white paint.
“We discovered this house as it was being dismantled,” stated Edd and Karen Oberg of the Crawford House homestead, circa 1770, in Union, Conn. Doing business as Richmond House Antiques, Ashford, Conn., the dealers stated that they were able to remove some of the architectural elements and they documented the restoration and removal process. Among the items at the show was a complete pantry from the home, featuring an interior paneled door opening to reveal all of the original shelving and backing boards.
Stoneware was abundant at Stuart Magdefrau, Ellington, Conn., including a stately harvest jug with double spouts, a vertical loop handle and blue floral decoration. Several pieces of Bennington filled a hanging wall shelf, while a plant stand located atop a table was filled with a selection of cast iron still banks, some that had come from the collector whose grandfather brought them home from the J&E Stevens factory, where he was employed.
Ellington dealers Paul and Karen Wendhiser were busy making sales throughout the morning, with three large wooden trenchers selling to one of the first customers that came into the booth. Karen was also busy selling jewelry from her cases, noting many sales to gents preparing for Valentine’s Day.
An added feature to the show this year was a series of talks that Bach had aptly named “Hot Topics.” Tolland Historical Society members presented a couple of the talks, one on the Tolland Green, another titled “Tolland Old Timer’s Chat, 20th Century Tales of Tolland.” Dealer chats were also popular, with Stephen Corrigan and Ron Dionne taking on the subject of weathervanes and folk art, and Ron Pittenger of Dark Moon Antiques discussing early firearms and accessories.
For additional information about the show or projects the historical society is undertaking, www.tollandhistorical.org or 860-870-9599.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
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