Published: October 17, 2017
Review and Photos by Rick Russack
WESTON, VT. – September 27-29 was an almost perfect fall weekend, and the Weston Playhouse is an almost perfect setting for an antiques show, the first of five during Antiques Week in Vermont. It was Weston’s 59th annual show, which in itself probably tells you something. The first show in 1958 had 15 dealers and this year’s had about 35. Traditionally, it has been a low turnover show, with just three first-time exhibitors this year and only two new ones last year. Charles and Barbara Adams, South Yarmouth, Mass., were doing the show for the 39th straight year.
It is an all-volunteer effort, benefiting the Weston Playhouse, co-managed by Bob Brandt and Dave Raymond. The room-setting booths are spread out on three levels of the building. The low turnover means that most dealers know what the Weston shoppers are looking for and the merchandise is priced to sell, clean and polished, ready to go right into a home.
Lori Frandino, Walpole, N.H., deals in Oriental rugs and her business card mentions that some of her rugs show “slight to moderate wear” and are “very affordable.” That marketing approach seems to work. This is her fourth year doing the show, and she replaced another rug dealer who had done the show for years. “I sold about 30 rugs at my first show here and about that number last year,” she said. “We’ve been in the rug business for years, mostly selling wholesale. We don’t change our prices for this show, and buyers recognize the reasonable prices. For example, this year we have a room-size Heriz priced at $3,200. All the rugs have been washed, so they’re ready to be laid down in their new homes.”
Frandino is fortunate to be able to set up in the playhouse’s theater and can spread out several rugs over the seating, as well hanging several more on the wall.
Bob Perry, Orchard Park, N.Y., had a booth full of country Americana, most with old painted surfaces. He had a stepback cupboard in old red paint and a large hutch table with the same color. The booth included a candle-drying rack, redware, a wonderful portrait of a child and more.
Hanes & Ruskin, Old Lyme, Conn., had a selection of early English ceramics, including Leeds and Whieldon, a circa 1765-85 comb back Windsor armchair with an old surface, brass objects, paintings and more. Joy Hanes said her favorite item in the booth was a small bracket base fall front child’s desk. Charles and Barbara Adams are known for their wide selection of Bennington pottery, small pieces of furniture and a variety of other merchandise. Charlie Adams later said that this was one of his best shows.
Henry Callan, Dedham, Mass., was set up in the theater and utilized the available wall space for a selection of samplers, priced from $800 to $5,000, and he also had a selection of glass and china. Callan had signs in his booth indicating that he is willing to provide an extended payment plan, a courtesy that not many dealers openly state.
“I enjoy selling things that are reminiscent of earlier times and especially enjoy being able to make things affordable for younger buyers just getting started with antiques,” he explained. “I’m willing to work out a budget payment plan so they can own things that otherwise they might not be able to afford. That’s worked really well for me over the years and has made any number of repeat buyers.” Callan was another of the dealers who said Weston is one his best shows of the year.
Dealers brought some very unusual items. Witt’s End Antiques, Wallkill, N.Y., had a 54-inch carved wooden mermaid with traces of original paint that may have been a fairgrounds item. At first glance, it appeared to be a ship’s figurehead, but since it was fully carved it must have had another use. Co-owner Chris Doscher said it been found in the area of Saratoga, N.Y. Bill and Ann Nickerson, Orleans, Mass., had a group of ship paintings that had been done by Bill’s father, R.E. Nickerson, who in addition to painting, had been an antiques dealer for more than 50 years.
Dover House Antiques, Louisville, Ky., had a large handmade model of a river steamboat. Black Feathers Antiques, Colebrook, N.H., had an exceptionally large paint decorated Vermont grain bin, made of single, wide boards and with unusual construction methods. White & White, Skaneateles, N.Y., had a wonderful painting of Mount Washington and a pair of portraits by Erastus Salisbury Field priced at $4,600.
Sold tags began to appear shortly after the 5 pm gala preview opened. Wine and hors d’oeuvres were included and got the show off to good start for many. Several dealers also commented that they had strong sales during set up. Two days later, several continued to report strong sales.
For additional information, www.westonantiquesshow.org.
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