WETHERSFIELD, CONN. — “I have been with the show for the past 13 years, manager for the last three years, and am happy to say that we had a wonderful show this fall, with a nice increase in our gate,” said Elaine St Onge, program coordinator for the Wethersfield Historical Society. Well over 100 people came out on Friday evening, November 15, for the preview party, and more than 500 came the next day to enjoy the show and buy from the 38 dealers exhibiting. Of that number, ten were new to the show this year.
“We did not hear that much furniture was sold, but people did buy many smalls and decorative pieces,” Elaine reported. The show, staged at the Pitkin Community Center, 30 Greenfield Street, has become popular with many dealers and “we now have a waiting list,” she said.
A nice set of six Shaker side chairs, mint condition, were in the center of the booth of Howard Graff, Colt Barn Antiques, Townshend, Vt., and a selection of iron pieces was spread out on a table. “A lady came into the booth at the last show and bought almost every piece of iron I had,” Howard said, but he still managed to come up with a couple of cast iron frogs, including one male, paperweights and some cooking pots used in the open hearth. A selection of wood carved scoops also found their way onto this table.
English furniture filled the booth of Jan and John Maggs, Conway, Mass., including an oak one-drawer table with elaborate turned legs, original feet, circa 1690, and an oak four-drawer chest in two parts with applied geometric moldings, split spindles and punch-decorated frieze, dating circa 1650–1670. Jan came equipped with her trusty stool and large wood showcase filled with jewelry, which she staffed at the left front of the booth, while John worked the furniture end of the business.
Furniture in the booth of Paula Patterson, Westfield, Mass., included a country Queen Anne armchair with tiger maple arms and vase-turned stretcher, and a New Hampshire Chippendale two-over-four-drawer tiger maple chest. A New England highchair with rush seat, circa 1830, was offered by Chester Cwilichoski of Trumbull, Conn.
Lorraine German brought a strong dose of Christmas feather trees and ornaments to the Mad River Antiques booth, while Steve crashed through with a nice selection of stoneware, as usual. A 1-gallon jug was attributed to Egbert Schoonmaker of Kingston, N.Y., circa 1805–1815. A good size hooked rug was on the back wall of the booth depicting the Bluenose, a fishing and racing schooner from Nova Scotia, patterned by the Garrett family.
A tall Chippendale desk-bookcase in cherry, circa 1760; with old finish, was in the booth of Old Beautiful, Clinton, Conn., along with a Federal serpentine front game table in mahogany, Philadelphia origin, circa 1810.
There was a definite glare coming from the booth of Patina Art & Antiques, Roxbury, Conn., as lights bounced off about 50 pairs of brass candlesticks and an assortment of copper kettles, molds and pots, all with a bright shine and no fingerprints as the show opened. Mixed in were a few other objects, such as a wall box with a spoon rack holding ten pewter spoons.
A large swan, with removable head and iron horseshoe on the bottom for balance, Nineteenth Century, was shown by John Bourne Antiques, Pittsford, Vt. It was made by William Kenney from Texas. Across part of the front of the booth was a one-board table with long Shaker red-stained clamps as legs. The largest of two wind toys had a man sawing wood when the wind turned the prop at the front of the piece.
Knollwood Antiques, Southbridge, Mass., filled the booth with furniture, including a circa 1880 English armoire, faux bamboo style, with two large doors, and a pair of circa 1900 English Queen Anne slip-seat side chairs in honey oak, with shell details to crest, knees and aprons.
A Nineteenth Century splayed leg night stand, with single drawer and hidden lock, was shown by Two Sides of a River, New London, N.H., along with a Sheraton gate leg, drop leaf table in cherry, with a single-board top.
A Pennsylvania bucket bench, with three drawers on top and two longer drawers on the bottom, was used as a display area for a selection of six graduated, oval finger boxes in the booth of West Pelham Antiques, Pelham, Mass. Five pewter ice cream molds were in the shape of a locomotive with coal car and freight car, a fire engine and another locomotive.
Stuart Magdefrau of Ellington, Conn., known for having still and mechanical banks, showed a good number of them, including horses, cats, elephant and lion. A selection of Historical Blue Staffordshire, including a plate with the Landing of Lafayette, was displayed on a New England tavern table with scrubbed top and red painted base.
Denise Scott, East Greenwich, R.I., was again this year at the first booth upon entering the banquet room, offering a Nineteenth Century open top, stepback cupboard in pine, which was filled with pewter and redware pieces. Against the side wall was a fall front bureau desk or butler’s secretary, dating from the Nineteenth Century and of Pennsylvania origin.
Joseph Collins, Middletown, Conn., had lots of space, but he filled it to capacity with paintings, some furniture, a few toys and some folk art. “I call that my nautical wall,” Joe said, pointing out six ship paintings and one ship diorama. A banner weathervane with gilt surface was shown on top of a circa 1780 mahogany slant lid desk, and early toys included a two-horse-drawn covered wagon and a single-horse-drawn milk wagon with “Sheffield Farms Company” printed on top.
Christmas and smalls filled the tables of Pantry Box Antiques, Stafford Springs, Conn., including a decorated Christmas tree, a family of three early bears, boxed set of Mother Goose blocks, and a stack of five round and painted storage boxes and three painted firkins.
A small, painted mantel leaned against the back wall at Sheila Hylan’s booth, up against a red and blue quilt with sawtooth border. Hansje Hill Antiques, Old Saybrook, Conn., also showed a quilt, crib size, circa 1930, with large eagle centered, which had been made for a home fair in upstate New York.
The show benefits the programs of the Wethersfield Historical Society and visitors to the show receive free admission to the Wethersfield Museum at Keeney Memorial Cultural Center.