MANCHESTER, N.H. — The hardest things about reviewing the annual New Hampshire Antiques Show is lining up all the compliments and positive things about it in the right order of importance. Should it be the gate, that showed an increase over last year on each of the three days? Or should it be the record number of sales slips written by the dealers? How about attractive booths filled with special objects that sold immediately, and could have been sold many more times before the original buyer came back to claim a purchase? Where does the mention of friendly dealers and fresh-to-the-market objects fit it? And what about a show atmosphere with absolutely no complaints? But really order is not that important; what is important is that the New Hampshire Antiques Show was one hell of a show, from every angle.
That said, we probably should just go on with what the dealers had at the show that made it so successful, mixed in with a few comments from them along the way.
Just inside the entrance to the show is the booth of Peter Sawyer of Exeter, N.H., always filled with furniture and a first-stop for many collectors. Offered were a Chippendale upholstered armchair from Portsmouth, N.H., circa 1790, with the original finish and a tall case clock by Calvin Bailey, Hanover, Mass., with the original fret and finials and the owner’s name of the dial. “It is the shortest Roxbury-type case that I know of,” Peter said.
A secretary-bookcase, circa 1810–1820, in the original surface was attributed to either Langley Boardman or Ebenezer Lord. “I was very pleased with the show and sold lots of brown wood,” Peter said, which has not been the case for a long time. Among his sales were three secretary-bookcases, two bureaus, tables, paintings and many smalls. “Just about every piece in the booth I bought privately, put it away for the show, and priced it according to today’s market,” Peter said. He noted that a few of the pieces he had sold to clients 30 years ago and was able to buy them back recently.
Also at the front of the show was Meryl Weiss, American Classics, Canaan, N.H., with a large oil on canvas hanging on the back wall of the booth showing Wyoming Valley, Penn., by Elisa R.F. Lancaster, 1896. The painting depicted a winding river with cows being herded by two people. A circa 1900 barber pole had a flat bottom and ball on top, and was in perfect original red, white and blue paint. Other items in the booth included a pair of New England painted and decorated side chairs, grained seats, dated circa 1860, and a large braided rug rolled up on a bench, but still showed its interesting pattern of colors.
Russ and Karen Goldberger, RJG Antiques of Rye, N.H., offered a peek at 13 objects in the New Hampshire Show Section of Antiques and The Arts Weekly with emphasis on color and condition. And they came through with one of the most colorful booths in the show, with a pair of roller ball game boards all but sparkling from the corner of their booth. The boards, 60 inches high and 18 inches wide, had all kinds of decoration and lettering on a bright yellow ground. The game, similar to skittles, involved rolling a ball down an “alley” and hoping it rested in a numbered hole that matched a bet number. It appeared to be a hard game to win, so hopefully the buyer of the boards will use them for display only. Also sold was a patriotic mailbox of Pennsylvania origin with a cutout and painted Uncle Sam decorating both sides. “It’s very good show,” Russ said, further indicating that he had also sold a fine and rare fire hat, a jewelry sign and a sailor whirligig, all within the first hour of the show.
Ron and Penny Dionne, Willington, Conn., had an early, full-bodied fish weathervane with old gold surface displayed on a table under a large hooked rug on the back wall depicting a farm scene, and other vanes included three horses, a fox and an arrow. A large selection of paintings, oil on canvas, by George Turland (1877–1947) was offered and it was interesting to trace the travel of the artist by the location of some of the paintings. He did view of the Arizona Desert, boats at Martique, France, and Gloucester, Mass., the list a few.
Jeff and Holly Noordsy of Cornwall, Vt., had a collection of 15 New England chestnut bottles, blown between 1790 and 1820 that was being sold as a group. On the back wall hung a 14-color Parcheesi game board that was recently found in a home in Orwell, Vt. A pair of Surrealistic paint decorated blown glass whiskey jugs with scenes from children’s fantasy novels dated from the Nineteenth Century and was among the highlights of the fresh material they offered.
Holding down their regular spot at the back of the show were Don and Gail Piatt of Contoocook, N.H., and when Gail was asked if she had a good show, she quickly said, “I did, I did,” adding, “I went through a complete sale receipt book and half of another.” She mentioned that she sold all three of the hour glasses pictured in her ad, several paintings, a set of shelves, two Windsor chairs, a stag weathervane, a pew-type bench and a large Noah’s Ark, among a list of other things. She and Don returned home with several pieces of furniture, including a child’s ladder back highchair with sausage turnings, old splint seat, dating from the Eighteenth Century; a stepback cupboard of New England origin with cutout base, original surface, and a maple and cherry tea table from Massachusetts, Eighteenth Century, old red surface, with two-board top.
Thomas R. Longacre Antiques, Marlborough, N.H., offered a large hackney horse weathervane with cast head and old, dark surface, J.W. Fiske & Co., New York City, circa 1880, and a prancing horse depicted on a hooked rug, dated April 1900, with a large red heart in each corner. A small, Windsor settee with tablet crest, bamboo-shaped legs, was of New England origin, circa 1830, in the original yellow paint with decoration. All of the above sold, and more sold tags started popping up shortly after the shop opened, appearing on a large blue six-board chest, an airplane whirligig, a carved wood snake, a birdcage, fruit still life, banner weathervane, pair of foot stools, several baskets, iron lighting, Indian weathervane, three game boards and nice car weathervane.
“It was one of the best New Hampshire Shows we have ever had,” Tom said. Beverly Longacre, co-chair of the show, said, “All of the dealers worked hard on their booths and a great many people came by our booth and complemented us on the look of the show.” Beverly, well-known for her Christmas ornaments, now has her own showcase and occupies a small portion of Tom’s booth. She noted, “Christmas did very well; in fact, you would think the holiday was right around the corner.”
John Anderson, who runs Candlewick Antiques of Milford, N.H., with his mother Jessie, said, “For the first time in many months we have been able to move about the living room, as we have been putting things away for this show all year and that is our best storage area.” Now in their 27th year at the show, they offered a William and Mary tavern table with one-board, breadboard end top and drawer, with a known paint history. “We both love that table and if it does not sell we won’t mind taking it home,” John added. Also shown was a 20-drawer apothecary with the original brass knobs and paint.
Judith and James Milne of New York City showed a very nice painted valence that came from an Odd Fellows hall with lettering on the front reading “Friendship – Love – Truth.” Used as a shelf, it held a collection of 13 pieces of Nineteenth Century redware with Albany slip that was being sold as one. A chunky copper, full-bodied pig weathervane retained an old gold leaf finish, and a dome top bride’s box with peacocks on the front and flowers on the top, all in red, yellow and green on a green ground, dated circa 1820.
John D. Wahl Antiques of Richmond, N.H., had an interesting folk art gunsmith trade sign, Nineteenth Century, 81 inches long and designed as an early flintlock rifle. The barrel was made from a piece of pipe. A massive barrel-shaped stoneware container was decorated with a basket of flowers in cobalt blue, Norton, Bennington, measuring 24 inches high, 13 inches in diameter at the top and 16 inches in diameter at the center, and a hill climber fire engine with driver was by Schieble Toy Co., circa 1920. It was painted yellow and of pressed steel. “I sold many things, but this year the show did not measure up to some of my past New Hampshire shows,” Danny Wahl said.
Priscilla Hutchinson of East Dennis, Mass., had a couple of signs, green with yellow lettering, that instructed “These seats for men only,” while the other read “These seats for ladies only.” Among the furniture shown was a country Hepplewhite table with a one-board scrubbed top, maple, circa 1810 and of New Hampshire origin, and a Nineteenth Century dough box on legs, pine, of New England origin.
Nathan Liverant and Son, LLC, Colchester, Conn., had a Chippendale figured maple tall chest of six drawers, Connecticut or Vermont, with the original brass-stamped escutcheons and cast brass bail hardware. It dated circa 1780–1805 and had a red painted car weathervane on top of it with a sold tag. There was no shortage of chairs in the booth, including a set of six Federal fancy side chairs in maple, tablet backs with polychrome decoration, circa 1815–1840, New England origin, and an assembled set of eight paint decorated arrow back Windsor side chairs with floral decorated tablets, New England origin, circa 1810-1830. Six of the chairs were identical, with very slight differences in the other two. An unusual turned armchair with carved effigy faces on the handholds, Native American influence, Maine or New Hampshire, dating from the Eighteenth Century and in the original red, was among the sold items in the booth.
“This was the most successful selling show we have ever had in New Hampshire,” Arthur Liverant said, also noting the sale of an oil on canvas painting of a mill town, a rare John Gaines armchair, four delft plates and a Queen Anne desk on frame.
Lewis Scranton of Killingworth, Conn., offered a set of ten fancy Sheraton side chairs, circa 1815, a wall shelf that held a collection of painted tole, including a coffeepot, trays and several document boxes. A couple of hog scraper candlesticks had wedding bands, and redware pieces were placed all over the booth, including charger with slip and the initials “WB.”
Brock & Co., Concord, Mass., had a booth hung with paintings, including an impressive oil on canvas by Louis Kronberg (1872–1965), “Mending the Ballet Skirts,” 1910, 36 by 28 inches, signed and dated lower right, and in a period frame.
Fred Giampietro of New Haven, Conn., was one of the new exhibitors at the show this year, and came with a selection of Americana and folk art, including three whirligigs, a painting of a black and white dog standing by his dog house, a pair of cast iron andirons with oval tops enclosing a model of a truck and a stoneware gemel jug, New Haven origin, among many other things. All of these items sold, including about 40 other objects. “The show was great, we had about 50 sales and almost everything we brought went,” Fred said. He noted, “We were busy every day, sold to a lot of people we had never seen before, and I think it is the Americana show of today.”
Newsom & Berdan Antiques of Thomasville, Penn., had a 73-inch-long Pennsylvania farm table in walnut at the front of the booth, with three drawers, old surface, which just came out of a private collection in Ohio. A couple of outstanding fabric pieces were offered, including an appliquéd mat that was recently found in New Hampshire. This early woolen fabric on cotton backing, dating from the early 1800s, depicted a gathering of many town residents in militia uniforms, some in top hats, children and animals, with the town church and other landmarks included. Against the back wall hung a quilt covered with 36 squares enclosing all kinds of animals, including camels, elephants, bears, squirrels, cats, dogs and horses. Fabric expert Jan Whitlock came into the booth to get a better look at the quilt and said, “It is one of the best quilts I have ever seen.”
Bob Jessen and Jim Hohnwald of Fitzwilliam, N.H., moved to a larger booth this year and filled it with country things, including a blue bucket bench filled with 20 round kitchen boxes, all painted in various shades of red, blue, green and yellow. A circa 1800 New England cobbler’s bench, complete with a selection of shoemaking tools, was at the front of the booth, a piece that would make the perfect coffee table.
Olde Hope Antiques, New Hope, Penn., one of the new exhibitors this year, was at the front of the show with a colorful selection of some painted furniture, paintings, carvings and folk art that was, figuratively speaking, eaten up quickly. “We certainly received a warm reception for first-year exhibitors, from both the other dealers in the show and those who came to buy, and we sold about 50 objects. It really brought back the good old days to us,” Ed Hild said.
A swan confidence decoy in white paint, attributed to Madison Mitchell, Havre de Grace, Md., measured 29 inches tall and 30 inches long, and a open stepback cupboard with cutout scalloped sides and top, New England origin, circa 1840, green painted, was among the items sold, together with a long list that included a red Weber box, a cigar store Indian by Robb, an overmantel from the Little collection, two weathervanes, several baskets, including a stamped covered one, several carved birds, small painted boxes, and triple portraits “that we saved for this show” and were the first things sold. These portraits were attributed to Asahel Lynde Powers (1813–1843), Vermont, circa 1831–1835, oil on panels, 25 by 16½ inches, and mounted as early Twentieth Century drawer bottoms. In as-found condition, the provenance lists America Hurrah Antiques and a private collection.
“We had two big sales in the first ten minutes and because we were so busy, we are going to have more help next year,” Pat Bell said.
Forty-nine samplers hung in the booth of M. Finkel & Daughter, Philadelphia, and it was like an ever-changing exhibit. “We had a wonderful show, sold lots of samplers,” Amy Finkel said, and as one sold, another one went up on display. Hanging at the center of the booth when the show opened was a Philadelphia sampler by Mary Seckel, dated 1786, with camels and published by Betty Ring, and a Baltimore sampler by Mary E. Smith was dated Oct. 12, 1841. “That sampler is from a group known as the diagonal path group and I have two of the known examples,” Amy said. A few pieces of furniture filled the rest of the booth, including a grain painted New England pin desk, circa 1830, measuring 42 inches high.
Douglas L. Soliday, Columbia, Mo., had a nice Chippendale secretary in maple and tiger maple, Connecticut River Valley, circa 1770–1800, and a circa 1780 American Chippendale New England wing chair with cherry base. Several doorstops were offered, as were a pair of soldiers by Hubley, designed by Fish, and the largest Hubley Pekingese, 14 by 9 by 4, circa 1910–1930, in the original paint.
Jon Chaski, Camden, Del., hung a naïve ship portrait with crew, lighthouse in the background, that dated 1920 and was of New England origin. In as-found condition, it measured 33 by 56 inches sight. Russack & Loto Books, LLC, Northwood, N.H., did well, selling lots of books and catalogs from their booth at the back corner of the show. “We were very busy, as was most everyone here, and this year popular book topics were furniture and metals,” Judy Loto said.
A pair of Nineteenth Century wooden gates in the original mustard and white paint, originally from a home in Wolfeboro, N.H., made an interesting back wall in the booth of Thomas M. Thompson, Pembroke, N.H. “The gates sold, and I was busy all three days of the show,” Tommy said. In addition, he offered a worktable from the Balsam Hotel in Dixville Notch, N.H., a sign that read “Sorry No Sunday Sales,” a three-masted ship weathervane in old white paint, a pair of wood finials that sold, and tons of smalls.
“It seemed that every time I looked around people were reaching into my showcase and buying things. It was great,” Tommy said, adding that “at one point it was so crowded in the booth that my friend Richard Cowing, who was here to help, took refuge in the food area.” And speaking as president of the New Hampshire Antiques Dealers Association, he said, “I can’t think of anyone who had a really bad show this year.”
New to the show this year, The Norwoods’ Spirit of America, Timonium, Md., came to New Hampshire with a complete fresh load of objects and it paid off. “We saved things for the show and we had not shown any of the pieces at other shows before this,” Doug Norwood said. He added, “Sales were great, our fellow exhibitors welcomed us, we met many new people and collectors, and had a wonderful time and show.” Among the portraits in the booth was a pair of the Bennett sisters, Sarah age 11 and Mary age 10, attributed to Isaac A. Wetherby. An interesting German Punch and Judy stage, with 13 puppets, dated 1920, and a long list of items sold included three samplers, hooked rug, schoolgirl theorem, lion and lamb carving, ice fishing decoys, game boards, trade signs, portrait miniatures and wood-carved puppets.
It would not be the booth of Hollis E. Brodrick of Portsmouth, N.H., if he did not have his trusty, old mantel against the back wall, a piece that serves as a showplace for items such as a long rifle, several pieces of pewter and glass, cooking utensils hanging from it, along with a pierced tin lantern. His furniture included a pair of ladder back side chairs, circa 1790, of Massachusetts origin.
Cherry Gallery of Damariscotta, Maine, brought Adirondack to the show with carvings and paddles, as well as an Old Hickory drop leaf table with hard pine top, circa 1845, on high casters, which were badly needed when the table was moved from one spot in the yard to another. A large hooked rug, circa 1920, featured two cornucopia flanked by baskets of flowers and surrounded by a floral border. A colorful circus clown ring-toss game, circa 1930, required the ring to land on the clown’s nose.
A carousel lion, attributed to Charles Dare, in old park paint, stood at the front of the booth of Steven F. Still, Manheim, Penn., and a 32-drawer apothecary in the original paint and decoration, Newport, N.H., measured 72½ inches high, 36½ inches wide and 11¾ inches deep. On top of the apothecary was a selection of mocha, including a tall, 8 inches high, English pitcher with seaweed design. “I did very well, sold lots of smalls out of the case, but no big furniture,” Steven said. Sales included an arrow weathervane, an early trade sign, boxes, mocha and a nice red and black decorated trunk.
“I sold a wonderful tin hat and a marble carving of a boy reading, which went to California, during the first few minutes of the show,” Cheryl Scott of Pittsfield, N.H., said, adding a list of others sales, including a miniature profile of a man, painted sled, quill weathervane, signs and green painted bench. An American sawbuck table with a single board top and breadboard ends, Eighteenth Century and about 6 feet long, also sold. “This is the last year I will be doing this show, and it was quite a swan song for me,” Cheryl said.
In addition to a jewelry case, which saw quite a bit of action, Scott Bassoff / Sandy Jacobs of Swampscott, Mass., had a wool pieced quilt with 90 squares, each filled with any number of things such as chickens, birds, stars, a hat, owl, shirt and animals. A large wood frame held a collection of pencils, each with writing on it from various firms, including Portland Cement and Lane’s Jewelers of Boonville, N.J., that proved to be an interesting and ambitious piece of work.
Frank and Barbara Pollack of Highland Park, Ill., and Sunapee, N.H., were again at the foot of the stairs leading to the second level of the show, offering a large collection of furniture and folk art, such as a painted and decorated one-drawer blanket chest with lift top, pine, circa 1836–1850, made by Samuel G. Reed. Against an ochre, grained background were yellow panels outlined in red. A pair of portraits showed a young couple seated in red chairs, attributed to George C. Hartwell (1815–1901), Prior-Hamblin School, oil on academy board measuring 24 by 20 inches sight.
“I had a great show in spite of having only a few days to prepare,” Michael Whittemore said, mentioning the sale of his leaping stag weathervane attributed to Harris & Sons, Boston, 31 by 27 inches and in the original as- found condition, lots of smalls and a moving van painting. Other vanes sold included a fighting cock, running horse and pig. A couple of nice pieces that did not sell and are heading back to Punta Gorda, Fla., with him are a pair of cast iron reclining lions, 1890, made in Louisville, Ky., and a large painting of a farm scene titled “Farm Yard Evening” that measures 4 by 8 feet and includes an ark-full of animals in a picket fence surrounded yard.
“I am still hoping that some of the antiques that were stolen from me will turn up and I have posted notices all along the way from New England to Florida,” Michael said.
Joshua and Mary Steenburgh, Pike, N.H., brought to the show a Nineteenth Century harvest table, early Nineteenth Century, one-board top measuring 29½ by 67¾ inches, that came out of an attic in Haverhill, N.H., and was fresh to the market. A country Queen Anne blanket chest, probably Connecticut, was found this summer in a house in Peacham, Vt., and a New York State store table, Nineteenth Century, with scrubbed top and old red base, had large turned legs.
“We are already buying for next year,” Joshua said, “and we are hoping for another great show.” Together they wrote 40-plus sales slips covering 55 items, including a lolling chair, cat portrait, signs, carvings, many smalls and four pieces of furniture including the NYS store table and a folding tuck-away leg table with the original leg. “The show went very well, I was pleased for everyone; attitudes were positive, visitors seemed very happy, and I am planning to serve as co-chair of the show again next year with Bev Longacre,” Joshua said.
“We had to restock the booth a couple of times during the show, but we don’t mind doing that at all,” Doug Jackman of Stephen-Douglas, Rockingham, Vt., said. They offered a large selection of both furniture and accessories, including an academy ladies worktable in rare form, two drawers and rounded corners on the top, with decoration on all four sides; a small Maheson School Vermont blanket chest in the original paint dated circa 1820–1830; a sea chest from coastal New England was painted with buildings and conch shells, circa 1825–1850, and a pair of rare leather fire buckets were from Portsmouth, N.H., marked “A. Wendell” and dated 1825. An Eighteenth Century trade desk came from Lowell, Mass., with slant lid and two drawers.
Stephen noted, “The show has been very active, people are buying, and we are having a good show.” Sales slips indicated that a slant lid desk on frame, a carved wooden set of heart-shaped boxes, a sawbuck table, watercolor portraits, two hooked rugs with dog images and a scrimshaw swift, with the original box, sold, among many other things.
Richard “Smitty” Axtell, Deposit, N.Y., noted that he has done shows in many parts of the country, but “this show was the best one I have ever had, absolutely the best,” he said. He added, “We sold tons of stuff,” referring to a pair of early baskets, a pair of eagle-impressed wall sconces, a six-drawer spice chest from Pennsylvania, chair table, North Shore dresser, Boy pail, 52-tube candle mold and other smalls. “I even sold one thing twice,” he said, mentioning a sale made to a man who later came back and wanted to buy another thing instead. “I took it back and sold it quickly again,” he said.
He also told of a lady who saw his circa 1870 appliqué table cover from down the aisle and came running to the booth, pointing at it and saying, “I will take it.” She didn’t even ask the price,” Smitty said. Much to his amazement, he did not sell his set of six circa 1840, paint decorated side chairs by C. Gibbs Barbour, Shippensburg, Penn. They were in a bright red and green, with black striping. Also unsold was his blue-painted with flower garden and heart decorated two-drawer blanket chest in pine, circa 1820, from the Connecticut River Valley. The bee’s wax, pine frame, 52-tube candle mold that sold was dated circa 1820, New England origin, and measured 45 inches long.
Ed Weissman of Portsmouth, N.H., had an “Ask For Assistance” sign on his Ebenezer Everett Queen Anne walnut highboy, with bonnet top, attributed to Benjamin Frothingham Jr, Charlestown, Mass. It measured 911/8 inches to the top of the finial and, Ed noted, “It descended in the family, 1794 to us.” Of local interest was a portrait of the ship Chocoura by Harry R(ussele?) Lowd, an oil on canvas signed lower right and dated 1948. It measured 19 by 29 inches, sight.
Jewett-Berdan, Newcastle, Maine, had a really great show, rearranging the booth and bringing new things in all three days. “We have been putting away things for this show for many months, and it has paid off as people are always looking for fresh things,” Butch Berdan said. Within the first half hour of the show they sold a dapper young man whirligig, with top hat, blue pants and black coat, all in great surface, 31 inches tall, circa 1860, probably from Pennsylvania; two Masonic pieces, a carved wood and painted beehive on a small round base, a pair of beautifully painted globes, and a yellow and red painted banner-form sign reading “Side Shows of Strange People” was a piece that brought smiles to many viewers. “We could have sold that sign many times,” Tom Jewett said.
Other sales included a paint decorated four-drawer chest, four game boards, two weathervanes, three good decorated boxes, cast iron trade sign featuring the figure of Columbia, early portrait, two painted and carved birds and a folk art carving of fruit in a compote. “We also sold our Maine dressing table and washstand to a couple who saw it at the show and called us later to purchase it,” Butch said. “The energy was like the old days and this is our favorite show to do,” Tom added.
Pam Boynton, Groton, Mass., and Martha Boynton, Townsend, Mass., again shared a large booth and offered a pair of portraits by J. Brewster, Maine, and a nice set of six painted chairs., signed “Brown warranted.” A red painted Queen Anne tea table with the original surface and two-board top was in the arms of a man who was showing interest in the piece, while Pam sat back in her green and red painted Windsor rod back armchair watching. Soon she told him, “We have had that in our collection for many years and it still has the original cobwebs.”
One of the first things sold was a green-painted miniature blanket box, bracket feet, that was displayed on a shelf in the middle of the back wall. A young couple came into the booth and bought it, and Pam mentioned, “I have owned that box for about 40 years; bought it at the time from Bob Cleaves.” The name Cleaves meant nothing to the young collectors, but years ago Bob was a very active and popular dealer who ultimately conducted auctions.
Pratt’s Antiques, Victor, N.Y., had a rare-form carved wooden rocking horse that just came out of an old Western collection, and a turned foot settle bench dating from the early Nineteenth Century. It retained the old red surface, measured 42 by 59 by 15½ inches, and had double storage tills.
Jef Steingrebe, Springfield, N.H., had a cast iron and bronze garden set by W.A. Snow of Boston and shown on the table was a large peacock weathervane with good surface, probably a Jewell. A large hooked rug on the back wall showed a stagecoach with six people inside and being pulled by two teams of horses. Across the way, Bob and Debbie Withington, York, Maine, had a large horse weathervane, circa 1880, by Rochester Iron Works, that sold early into the show. An interesting cast iron alms box, English, in the form of a building, was lettered “Remember The Poor.”
Gary F. Yeaton, from just up the road in Concord, filled his booth with furniture, including a New Hampshire Federal tiger maple candlestand, likely Gilmanton, N.H., dating circa 1800, and a New Hampshire Sheraton card table, attributed to Stephen Ross, Gilmanton, with the original crazed surface and dating circa 1800.
A bright pumpkin-painted tavern table was in the booth of Bill Kelly Antiques, Limington, Maine, and it was visible from one end of the aisle to the other. “That is some painted table,” a man said, as he entered the booth for a closer look. It had a one-board top with breadboard ends, circa 1780, and from either Maine or New Hampshire. Across the way, Robert T. Foley Antiques, Gray, Maine, was set up, with a long worktable at the front of the booth, which at one point was lined with 11 mortar and pestles. A four-sailing-ship diorama with the message “My Ship Has Come In, arriving with a cargo of fresh trade goods from New England and beyond,” was also shown. One could take that as a double meaning, referring both to his inventory and the fact that he is now in the show.
Kate A. Alex of Warner, N.H., seemed a bit more than her usual joking and jolly self, probably because of all the sold tags that decorated her booth. One hung on a metal hat rack with mirror and owl decoration, another on a yellow painted tole lamp, and a pair of andirons also joined the group. Bronze patinated candlesticks, signed “B & H,” 18 inches tall, was displayed near a marble top center table with the top measuring 39½ inches in diameter. Cast iron black tuxedo-clad figures were on a pair of andirons, measuring 16½ inches tall.
Shaker experts Courcier & Wilkins, Yarmouth Port, Mass., exhibitors at the show for the past 34 years, lined their booth walls with furniture and seemed to have some small Shaker pieces on every flat surface. A Shaker worktable from Hanover, Mass., circa 1850, was of pine, cherry and butternut with a large overhang and turned legs. The two-board top, with breadboard ends, measured 65¾ by 36 inches, and it was 30¾ inches high. An architectural hanging cupboard in pine, dating from the end of the Nineteenth Century, was in old blue and yellow paint with red graining on the paneled door. It had an interesting form, with peaked roof, measured 293/8 inches high, 22 inches wide and 10½ inches deep, and was from southern New Hampshire. “The excitement this show generates is both impressive and unparalleled, and we see and sell to a wide range of customers, including many new ones,” Suzanne said. “This year, quality American smalls were strong sellers, and we experienced a resurgence of interest in textiles, including quilts and hooked rugs,” Bob added.
Stella Rubin of Darnestown, Md., another one of the new exhibitors at the show, dubbed the summer spread, circa 1860, from Connecticut hanging on the back wall of her booth “a masterpiece,” and that it was. Again, animals dominated the spread, with giraffes, horses, cows, birds, etc, making an appearance on it. “Other gems for you and your home” her ad read, included a number of hooked rugs and a wide selection of attractive jewelry.
The show brings together dealers, die-hard collectors and those just starting out for three days of nonstop shopping, along with the other events of Antiques Week. To indicate the distances some of the people traveled, Tom Longacre read off the state names listed on some of the checks he received, including Texas, Florida, Missouri, California, New York, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Kansas, Maryland, Rhode Island, Washington, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Massachusetts and New Jersey.
Without question, the New Hampshire Antiques Show is the anchor of Antiques Week in New Hampshire.