Gurley’s Thanksgiving Show Brings Out Buyers Despite Ice Storm

MARLBOROUGH, MASS. — Nan Gurley filled the Royal Trade Plaza in Marlborough on Sunday, December 1, with more than 80 exhibitors and thousands of antiques, including furniture, early art and home accessories and décor. The morning dawned with an ice storm that on nearby Interstate 290 had a 75-vehicle pile-up due to the early morning storm, but a few hours later as the temperature warmed just a little, the ice was just a chilly rain and customers came in great numbers.

Gurley assembled many of her regular dealers for the show, but there were many who had not done this show before, thus giving the one-day affair a fresh look.

Michael Weinberg is a recent addition, only exhibiting at shows for the last few years as West Pelham Antiques, from the Massachusetts town of the same name. Although trading in shops and online for many years, he said, “The ‘Net and shops were not doing it for me so I switched to shows where we can really sell the antiques.” The show proved him to be correct, as he sold seven silhouettes, some Wedgwood pieces, pewter and a small pantry box, creating a good sales total for his efforts.

 Greg Hamilton of Stone Block Antiques, Vergennes, Vt., has been doing many shows for many years, but this was the first time he joined Nan’s Thanksgiving tradition. His first comment was “Great show!” as he sold a wide variety from his collection. He found buyers for an assortment of early silver hollowware, sold several sandpaper drawings; several early earthenware pitchers and some jewelry.

Charles Guinipero of Pantry Box Antiques was another happy dealer after the day’s sales. From nearby Stafford Springs, Conn., his sales were a good collection of smalls. Lots of Christmas-related objects found new owners, including some of the German-made wooly sheep and a valuable red firkin, as well as an early blue maple turned bowl and a collection of early ledger books from a girls’ school in the Boston area.

Candlewick Antiques is a second-generation antiques business from Milford, N.H. and a frequent exhibitor at Nan Gurley Shows. Here for the day, even with a late start due to road conditions, John Anderson said he “had great sales: a Queen Anne blanket chest, a Nantucket basket, small but valuable; some stoneware and my big sale, a Sheraton server in mahogany, with reeded legs and original brasses that went for serious money.” He believed the period server was New England made.

Hooked rugs were available from several exhibitors. Sheila Robbins, Framingham, Mass. had an early one-color background and a one-color cat piece on display. Mike Gallant, Home Town Antiques, Glenburn, Maine, was offering a moose.

Many dealers were offering Christmas antiques. Thomas and Beverly Longacre, Marlborough, N.H., had about half of their exhibit devoted to early Christmas decorations, including several feather trees draped with early blown glass decorations. Prospect Hill Antiques, Essex Junction, Vt., had another feather tree, about 5 feet tall and filled with early toys and decorations. Sea Antiques was offering an early Twentieth Century snow-covered village, and several dealers were offering crèches from various European countries.

Colt Barn Antiques, Townshend, Vt., was selling some folk art and other small things. Howard Graff, the proprietor, said he sold a jade disc, about 15 inches in diameter, on a stand as one of his early sales. He also had a matched set of six Lebanon, N.Y., Shaker ladder back chairs available, which created great interest.

Karen Alexander Antiques, Somers, Conn., sold a pair of sack back Windsor chairs early into the show and at the end an exceptional cherry Pembroke table, American, with a turtle-shaped top. Ian McKelvey, South Windham, Conn., was also selling early furniture but among his big sales were several small things, including an exceptional early pantry box in original finish.

Early American folk dolls are the primary focus for Kathy Schoemer. The Walpole, N.H., dealer has been specializing in them for many years made mostly from cloth but sometimes in wood or papier maché or other materials. Sales at the show included five of these early playthings and also a pair of small andirons, a Delaware Valley child’s chairs and more smalls.

Dave and Bonnie Ferriss, Lake Luzerne, N.Y., were showing a collection of early primitives. One of their first sales was a large and rugged work table in original painted surface.

“Well, I did pretty good!,” Anne B. Russell, Newburyport, Mass., said after the show. Her sales were “mostly smalls for that was mostly what I brought, although I did sell the potting table right at the start.” Also going out the door were a bust, an early canteen and some folk art.

Nan Gurley, with the assistance of her husband Peter Mavris and most of her family, produces antiques shows throughout the year. During the winter months there are Sunday shows in Portsmouth and in April at the ice rink in Concord. Check with her at 207-625-3577 or 207-625-5028 for details.

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