Published: November 30, 2010
“We were very pleased with the show. Some of our dealers reported very good sales, and we maintained the same gate as last year,” Elaine St Onge, program coordinator at the Wethersfield Historical Society, said. This is the tenth year for the Wethersfield Antiques Show and 45 exhibitors filled three exhibition spaces at the Pitkin Community Center on Greenfield Street. “We were happy with that number, which included ten new exhibitors,” she said.
The show kicked off with a preview party on Friday night, November 19, 6:30 to 9 pm, and then opened for one day on Saturday at 10 am, closing at 4 pm. “We have blended early buying in with the preview and people seem to like it that way. This year 140 people came out on Friday,” Elaine said. The preview, at $35 per person, is a real buy as it includes not only shopping the show, but an open bar and a fine food spread.
The show is attractive, good dealers additions have been made, and for the better part country furniture prevails. Most of the booths are filled with smalls, as they are the best sellers in this market, and there are rugs, some folk art, pewter, toys, pottery and paintings.
Daniel & Karen Olson, Newburgh, N.Y., offered a selection of furniture, including an early Nineteenth Century chair table found in Maine, retaining the old gray painted surface, and an Eighteenth Century New England slant front desk with shell carved center drawer.
John Gould, Yorktown Heights, N.Y., had fewer frames than usual, but attracted attention with a well-painted barber pole in red and blue with gold painted ball on top, about 5½ feet tall, and a nice green painted bucket bench, two shelves, with cutout ends.
Among the Connecticut dealers in the show was Nutmeg Treasures from nearby Glastonbury with a selection of 16 teddy bears of various sizes and most dating from the early Twentieth Century, and a collection of Staffordshire with several pairs of spaniels. A large “Dumbo” elephant toy on wheels was a favorite vehicle for kids many years ago.
Ron Chambers, Higganum, Conn., really does not need a booth sign, for he is the dealer with the many pieces of pewter and chairs. Fifteen pewter plates and three chargers were stacked in a row, one shelf was filled with porringers, including several Rhode Island examples, and graduated measures were in perfect line. Seating was available on a Connecticut side chair with four banisters, rush seat, and also on a circa 1760 Connecticut double tombstone crest side chairs, also with four banisters.
Mary and Ken Vincent, West Simsbury, Conn., showed a selection of eight lanterns, the tallest an American hobnail head Sandwich glass whale oil lantern, a miniature whale oil lamp, and a few with either red or blue chimneys. A dozen copper food molds were spread out on one table, circa 1840, featuring various design, including a pear, lion and corn.
Two Windsor armchairs, one with applied rockers, Eighteenth Century, were at the front of the booth of DBR Antiques, Doug Ramsay, Hadley, Mass., and an interesting tin chandelier, circa 1850, six arms with candleholders, hung in the corner of the booth from a tin link chain. An old sailing vessel weathervane was done in sheet metal, and a running horse vane was full-bodied copper.
From South Dennis, Mass., Davidian Americana had set up a cannonball bed in the original paint with stenciled decoration, maple and pine and of New England origin. It dated circa 1830 and was dressed with an early tri-colored coverlet. A set of seven pewter measures was offered, along with a set of six clothespin figures, including a mother, father and children. “I have not seen a set of these figures for years,” Peter Davidian said, adding, “This set is in perfect condition, complete with the box and all the original clothes.”
Furniture dominated the booth of Derik Pulito, Kensington, Conn., including a Connecticut Queen Anne tap table with splayed legs, one-board top with breadboard ends, traces of red paint remaining; a Connecticut River Valley scalloped apron two-drawer blanket chest in early red paint, circa 1730, from a Stafford Springs, Conn., estate; and a New England or New York State Sheraton candlestand with rectangular top, tiger maple, on spider legs.
Steele and Steele Antiques of Middletown, R.I., were exhibiting at the show for the first time and came away with “the best show we have had this year,” Dave Steele said. Sales included a 7-foot-tall two-piece secretary from Cape Cod, a chest of drawers from Vermont, a set of five plank seat chairs, an octagonal-top candlestand, a six-tier hanging shelf and some shorebird prints, as well as some smalls. “We did this as a retirement venture, but find ourselves working harder today than when we were regularly employed,” Dave added.
Gil Tyler Furniture & Restoration, Glastonbury, Conn., offered a Connecticut or Rhode Island York side chair, circa 1760‱780, and a great chair with Queen Anne vasiform splat, old black paint over the original red, circa 1790‱800, from Milford, Conn.
Collections seemed to dominate the booth of The Painted Bird, Woodbury, Conn., where one could pick from a grouping of eight late Eighteenth to early Nineteenth Century bellows. Some were displayed on top of a large forge bellows that lay on its side and could easily pass as a low coffee table. A grouping of wood carved and painted birds was shown, and a nice collection of small swing-handle baskets took up most of one of the tables.
Paula Patterson, Westfield, Mass., surrounded a Sheraton swing leg, drop-leaf dining table, early 1800s, original finish, with a set of six birdcage Windsor side chairs. A salmon painted bucket bench was shown by Linsey-Woolsey Antiques, Noank, Conn., positioned under a six-sided colorful penny rug.
“We did better than last year, which is always a good sign,” Lorraine German of Mad River Antiques, North Granby, Conn., said, adding, “We did not bring any furniture this year as it has not been selling well, but came with a good selection of small things, some coin silver that sold, and lots of Christmas ornaments that went very well.” One show visitor took home their dome-top wall-papered box, early Nineteenth Century, that measured 15½ inches wide, 9½ inches high and 10 inches deep. It was lined with a 1817 copy of the Middlesex Gazette , the first newspaper to service Middletown, Conn. Unsold was a nice Nineteenth Century butter churn, Northern New England, with a grain painted surface.
Seven side chairs and one armchair filled the booth of William Bakeman Antiques, Wilbraham, Mass., along with a country sofa, a candlestand in mahogany with rectangular-shaped top and snake feet, a six-board blanket box in old red with bootjack ends, and a nice still life oil on canvas of peaches spilled from a woven basket.
The Wethersfield Antiques Show is under the management of Joan Hughes and the show booklet is worth free admission to the Wethersfield Museum at Keeney Memorial Cultural Center throughout the show weekend.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
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