Published: November 14, 2023
Review & Photos by Rick Russack
CONCORD, MASS. — The antiques show at Concord’s Trinitarian Congregationalist church is much anticipated and well attended. On November 1-2, 30 dealers set up on three floors in the 100-year-old church. Many have participated in the show for several years, and some were doing it for the first time. For one dealer, it was the very first show she has ever done. The show is managed by co-chairs Elaine Ayres and Judy Walpole. It’s staffed entirely by members of the church, and all proceeds, including booth rentals, admission fees and café sales (all food is homemade), directly support the various charitable programs the church sponsors. The church was designed by architect Harry Little, a Concord resident, who also designed the National Cathedral in Washington DC.
Date-wise, what might you have found at the show? Beatles LPs to Seventeenth Century furniture. In between, there were paintings, prints, English and Continental ceramics, plenty of Americana, both formal and country furniture, jewelry, cut glass, silver, Christmas ornaments and more.
Dark Flowers Antiques, Haverhill, Mass., does less than a half dozen shows a year and exhibits in only one antiques center. The dealer specializes in colorful, hand-painted ceramics. Dave Weidner explained that in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries, decorating ceramics was a popular hobby with a wide support network. Women bought blank, undecorated china, some made in Europe by major factories, some made in the United States. Inspiration for designs came from nature, one’s imagination, as well as periodicals published for those interested. Design styles include Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Arts and Crafts motifs. Values today are determined by the skill of the artist, many of whom signed their works, and in some cases, the makers of the blanks, with some collectors preferring those made in America. Most pieces are priced under $500. Weidner said, “We’ve been doing this show for about five years now, and one of the things we like about it is that it brings in a crowd that we don’t see at other shows.”
That sentiment was shared by other dealers, who also said that the show is attended by residents of the surrounding towns, and many do not attend other shows in the area.
Apparently, the earliest pieces of furniture at the show were owned by Matt Jackson, Gloucester, Mass. One was a small, pyramid-shaped carved Spanish box with early wrought iron hardware, perhaps dating to the Seventeenth Century. He was asking $875. He also had a Seventeenth Century joined stool priced $695. Jackson, who has been a dealer for more than 50 years, had his first job working at Beauport, the famous Henry Sleeper house in Gloucester, a Historic New England property.
Martin Ferrick, Lincolnville, Maine, had a selection of formal furniture, including a circa 1780 Boston serpentine front four-drawer chest with the original heavy brasses. It was mahogany, with ball and claw feet, and he was asking $2,850. He also had a tiger maple Sheraton Pembroke table with a hidden drawer, priced $1,100. Melissa Alden, Portsmouth, N.H., offered a small, country bittersweet painted settee with a rush seat. She was asking $395.
The selection of paintings was broad. Donna Kmetz, Douglas, Mass., had an impressionistic scene, titled “Umbrellas” by Leal Mack (1892-1962). He was an illustrator for the Saturday Evening Post and had studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and with N.C. Wyeth. She priced the painting $1,250. Kmetz said, “This is really a wonderful show. I’ve been doing it for years.” Peter Murray, Bath, Maine, also had an impressionist mountain landscape, which he said was Continental. It was signed “Jackson” but Murray said that he had not been able to learn anything about the artist. The price was $4,200. There was also a variety of prints to be had. Dave and Jane Thompson, South Dennis, Mass., brought a lithograph depicting a bird’s-eye view of “Boston Harbor Along the Shore To Provincetown Showing All The Steamboat Routes.” Published in Boston, circa 1920, it was priced $95.
This is a show that draws a large crowd, residents of Concord and surrounding towns, such as Carlisle and Bedford. Buyers were waiting for the show to open and sales were being written within just a few minutes. One of the finest collections of early American decorative arts, including Seventeenth Century furniture and the actual lantern Paul Revere carried on his fateful ride, along with other Revolutionary war artifacts are in the Concord Museum. It’s one the oldest museums in the United States, with collections having begun in the 1850s. The show and the town are well worth a visit.
After the show, Elaine Ayres, one of the co-chairs, said that paid attendance exceeded 600 but many people who were there Friday returned on Saturday and did not have to pay a second time. The crowd was large on Friday, the first day of the show, and larger on Saturday. She said there were a number of young couples on Saturday. She mentioned seeing a grandfather with his young grandson, explaining the claw and ball feet on a piece of furniture. She also said that she was aware of several pieces of furniture being sold. In addition to print advertising, the show was promoted on Instagram and the church’s Facebook page.
For information, call 978-369-4837 or visit the church website, https://triconchurch.org/mission-outreach/antiques-show.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm