Published: August 1, 2000
Maine Antiques Dealers Association’s New Venue Means Greater Sales
PORTLAND, ME. – The two-day Maine Antiques Dealers Association Antiques Show opened to a sizeable crowd on Friday, July 21. The show enjoyed a new venue this year at The Racket and Fitness Center, just outside of downtown Portland on Congress Street. Plenty of parking and air conditioning were major improvements for the show, which last year was held at the University of New England in Biddeford.
A basketmaking exhibition on loan from the Hudson Museum at the University of Maine generated visitor interest. “Tree & Tradition: Brown Ash and Maine Native Basketmaking” included examples of button buckets, creels, lunch baskets, openwork baskets and bandboxes, most dating circa 1860-70.
Show chair Dianne Halpern remarked, “We had very good weather. Overall, we were really pleased with the new facility and plan to stay for long time. The gate increased a little over last year, with a total of 1600 people. Dealers were pleased with Saturday’s retail sales.”
When asked about MADA’s application process, Dianne said, “We look for a well-rounded show. We have 70 permanent dealers, and the rest must apply every year.” Early furniture, New England artwork, rare books, porcelain, Adirondack and rustic furniture, jewelry and even barometers could be found at the 73-dealer show. In particular, Windsor chairs and harvest tables seemed to be the common denominator in the booths of many well-known dealers. There can never be too much of a good thing!
The show’s successes over its 71 years of existence can be attributed to the association, which takes care of everything from decorations to hospitality to publicity. This year’s show committee included Dianne Halpern, Bette Zwicker, Pat Center, Pat Fulton, Nancy Wotyna, Michale Scerzen, Jane Carr, Francine O’Donnell, and Sally Van Den Bossche.
Jack and Ray Van Gelder had sold nearly everything in their booth before we could take a picture around noon on Friday. The Conway, Mass. dealers sold all of their furniture, a ship diorama, lots of miniature paintings, a tap table, a step back hutch, child’s Staffordshire, and delft.
Randall Decouteau of Warren, Mass., has exhibited at MADA for eleven years. “Furniture and upholstery was trong for me this year,” he recalled. “I thought gate was very good and the show was very sophisticated. This is my only show in Maine. It is also the best show in the state, which is a function of merchandise.” Early in the show Randall sold a mahogany stand, but was looking forward to selling a seven-foot long green-painted harvest table.
Highlighting the booth of Westhampton, Mass. dealer John Hunt Marshall was a set of six balloon-seat Sheraton grain-painted circa 1830 New England chairs, three with replaced rush seating.
Robert Snyder and Juldy Wilson, of Wiscasset, Me., showed a pair of seven spindle bamboo turned Windsor chairs with central medallions and a one-drawer New England white pine Connecticut Queen Anne blanket chest, circa 1770-80. Also available were six paint-decorated chiars by Walter Gorey, Portland, Me.
Kenneth Tuttle brought a magnificent tiger maple Rhode Island Queen Anne tall chest, circa 1760, but also had a circa 1780 Dunlap chest-on-chest pictured in The Dunlaps and Their Furniture. Other pieces included a circa 1780 mahogany blockfront desk from Boston, and a Rhode Island Queen Anne mahogany tea table, circa 1740.
At Pine Tree Hill Antiques, of Wilmington, Vt., dealer Steve Gerben displayed a late 1800s painted apothecary chest, a late 1800s sled with swan finials, a foreboding ‘coffins and caskets’ sign, and a green painted desk, also late 1800s.
Thomas J. Jewett of Searsport had a circa 1850 Maine vinegar-decorated blanket box, a circa 1890 Canadian cupboard with later red surface, and a set of 1840s Sheraton chairs from Maine, with unusual freehand decoration.
Hillsborough, N.H. dealers Cheryl and Paul Scott brought a New England Sheraton card table, circa 1825, and a pretty oil on canvas by Newburyport, Mass. artist Helen Sorenson.
First-timers Joy and Palmer Shannon, of Cape Elizabeth, Me. reported an acceptable first show. They sold a very nice six-drawer 1780 Chippendale chest, and lots of decorative smalls. Participating in the show would help them develop an new customer base, according to Palmer Shannon, who already enjoys a strong clientele in Connecticut and New York. Highlights in theor exhibit included six circa 1920 tiger maple chairs, a circa 1880 marble-topped French baker’s table, a circa 1810 tiger maple one-drawer stand, a circa 1840 mahogany secretary, and a tilt-top Queen Anne tea table, circa 1810-20.
Priscilla Hutchinson of Wiscasset exhibited a circa 1870 copper eagle weathervane, a circa 1900 model of a two-masted schooner, and an army green chest with 12 drawers in the manner of an apothecary chest, but used for food storage.
All the way from Lahaska, Pa. was Richard Suydam, who brought a circa 1870 Pennsylvania setpback piewell cupboard from a home on Bowman’s Hill, Washington Crossing, Pa. Richard also exhibited a Sheridan walnut four-drawer chest, circa 1810-20 and also from Pennsylvania, and a Federal tiger maple candlestand.
Colette Donovan, of Merrimacport, Mass., displayed a mid Eighteenth Century Queen Anne six-board chest from Haddam, Conn., an early Eighteenth Century single-drawer New England pine blanket chest, and an interesting early Eighteenth Century New England rocker, probably originally made as a wing chair.
Neville Lewis, dealer and restorer of barometers, noted that a round top is a rare find. One particularly notable barometer in his display was a wheel barometer by maker John Corti of London, circa 1810 (worked in London 1809-36). Neville, who lives in Cushing, Me., noted that all English household would have hung a barometer in the front hallway.
Marilyn Bierylo of Falcon’s Roost, Grantham, N.H., had an interesting painted early Nineteenth century Italian dower chest incsribed in Latin “The Die is Cast.” In addition, she was exhibiting a Chippendale five-drawer chest from Vermont, circa 1760-80 and Nineteenth century treen covered urn.
Thomaston, Me. dealer David Morey reported a “wonderful show.” Having exhibited for several years, this now-permanent dealer sold both furniture and smalls. Highlights of his display included a pair of bowback Windsor side chairs, Boston, circa 1800, a circa 1800 tall case clock by S. Hoadley of Augusta, Me., a double-wide circa 1850 Hutch table with two drawers in old red over green paint, and a two-drawer blanket chest with decoration, Maine, circa 1820-30.
Westford, Mass. dealer Shirley Chambers had a very nice Nineteenth Century zinc bull’s head folk art butcher shop sign, a circa 1820 New Hampshire two-drawer blanket chest, and a wonderful large treen bowl with great patina.
William Schwind of Yarmouth, Me., boasted a rare parian porcelain version of a John Rogers sculpture, depicting a Southern matron swearing allegiance to the Union. Furniture included a circa 1830 yellow Sheraton dressing table, and a 1760-90 Northern New England Chippendale slant-front maple desk. Plenty of art also hung on the walls and included “The Old Farm-Late Winter,” an oil on board by James King Bonnar (1885-1961), “Anna and Black Dog,” an oil on canvas by Waldo Peirce (1884-1970), and “Apple Pickers,” by Martha Moore (born 1913).
Marie Plummer and John Philbrick, of North Berwick, Me., featured a Pilgrim Century stool, an Eighteenth Century painted desk box with pigeonhole interior, a cheese ladder with basket, an Eighteenth century Cape Cod mirror with painted gesso frame, and a small four-light hanging wall cupborad in cherry, from Ohio.
Hanes and Ruskin of Westbrook, Conn. featured a circa 1760 Queen Anne breakfast table labeled “Better than Good,” a circa 1795 Tiger maple Chippendale chest, a circa 1780 Rhode Island otiger maple desk with ogee bracket base, and a terra-cotta eagle from the Roman Bronze Works, New York City.
A large tartanware trunk flanked the entrance to Thomas Thompson’s booth. The Northfield, N.H. dealer also showed a red child’s roocker, and a case of jack o’lanterns and other ephemera.
At Blueberry Hill Farm, Rangeley, Me. dealer Stephanie Palmer had an early Indian birch bark canoe, an early 1800s New England drop leaf harvest table, lots of old razors, and a lift top blue blanket chest in original paint.
Henry T. Callan, specialist in Chinese esport porcelain and samplers, brought from East Sandwich, Mass. an array of beautiful rose medallion, rose Mandarin, and rose Canton pieces. He explained, “The rose Mandarin pieces depict court business, and household scenes. The rose medallion pieces combine scenes of people and flowers, while the rose Canton pieces feature not people, but all flowers, birds, and butterflies.” A word of advice from the dealer: “When buying a piece that is in separate parts, all pieces should match in both patterns and specific colors.” Particularly interesting pieces that Callan exhibited included a three-piece covered soap dish, circa 1840, and an unusula rose medallion shrimp dish.
The Vermont harvest table at Ray and Lin Cushing’s booth featured a two-board top with red paint. Also on view in the Rockport, Me. dealer’s booth was a lift-top blanket chest with boot jack cut feet, and original grain-painted bird’s-eye faux paint, and a circa 1840 Maine country server with red and black painted surface.
Windsor chairs, dotted throughout the show, were also at Meadowood Antiques od Cumberland, Me. Dealers Henry and Barbara Milburn were showing a single reeded Windsoe row back side chair as well as a set of birdcage Windsor chairs (four side and one arm), an Eighteenth Century pine blanket chest on bun feet, and a pretty Victorian birdcage in old salmon paint.
Windsor in Woodbury, Conn. dealer Harold Cole’s booth had a different twist with a rare tall New England Windsor stool, circa 1820-40. He aslo exhibited Mulberry & White delft fireplace tiles, a pair of sackback New England armchairs, circa 1790-1810, a mid Eighteenth Century polychrome garniture set from Holland, a Nineteenth Century scrubbed top farm table from Wisconsin, an 1820 whale weathervane, and a New England tall tiger maple chest, dating 1780.
Early on in the show, Patricia Stable sold a period American Windsor becnch, as pictured in Santore’s Windsor book. Also on view was a step back cupboard in original blue paint.
Newsom and Berdan, of Hallowell, Me., brought a set of four circa 1810-20 Maine stepdown Windsor chairs from the home of Emma Vinal and Leah West, Rockport, Me., a Nineteenth Century step back open cupboard, a circa 1760-80 Maine maple tilt-top tea table with stop fluted spiral ball, and elongated paw feet, and a circa 1790-1810 New Hampshire tavern table with one-board top, old red base, molded drawer, and vase-turned feet.
James H. Welch Antiques of Bremen, Me. exhibited a Pennsylvania walnut paint decorated corner cupboard with original bubble glass, a Maine dry sink, and a Nineteenth Century sawbuck table.
Next year’s show will be chaird by this year’s co-chair, Bette Zwicker of Bristol, Me. For information, call MADA president Priscilla Hutchinson at 207/882-4200.
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