NASHVILLE, TENN. — The Music City is known for putting on a good show, and a good show was had by shoppers and exhibitors alike at the Tailgate Music Valley Antiques Show February 13–15 at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. Produced by Jon Jenkins, the show hosted more than 140 dealers in three buildings at the fairgrounds, now also known as Nashville Expo. The buildings were each filled with a slightly different theme: Creative Arts offered walled booths in room settings, while the agricultural building featured vintage and the banquets building had more antiques but without the room settings.
Most of the dealers reported having a good show, selling furniture, fine art, folk art, early smalls, vintage fashions and décor. Benting & Jarvis Antiques, Barrington, N.H., sold furniture, art and smalls very well, according to Jane Benting. “We are happy with how we have done; we sold a lot of furniture and a cupboard, a pair of early Connecticut portraits and a lot more.” The unsigned portraits, oil on canvas, were of a husband and wife and from the middle of the Nineteenth Century.
Furniture was selling very well throughout the weekend, primarily country style. Jeff Walton, exhibiting with Debbie Schleicher, Jenera, Ohio, was selling early furniture and accessories. His pie safe was found a year earlier in need of some work; he did the work and brought it to Nashville where he sold it to the former owner on the first day of the show. Other sales included an early linen press, a fireplace mantel, several quilts and two Nineteenth Century rocking horses.
From Columbia, Mo., Douglas Solliday was offering a collection of early American art, furniture and fine earthenware. His centerpiece was an early Southern hunt board, tall, in excellent condition, and made of Southern yellow pine.
English earthenware was the primary offering from Dennis and Dad Antiques, the Fitzwilliam, N.H.-based business of Dennis and Ann Berard. Their sales were excellent for the weekend, including Staffordshire, early transfer ware and more.
A late addition to the show was Terry and Renee Cormier, North Kingstown, R.I. They were able to obtain a space from a late cancellation, bringing an interesting collection of New England-found antiques. They sold an early pearlware tureen with underplate as the show opened, a large table in the center of their exhibit, some early art and accessories.
In a booth with subdued colors and earth tone painted furniture, Matthew Ehresman was offering his collection of early American primitive home furnishings. The Wadsworth, Ohio, dealer and collector favors early basic furniture and has built a customer base around it, selling nearly all the furniture he brought to the show.
Maine Attic Antiques is, as owner Sandy St Pierre says, “just what you would expect to find in a northern New England home’s attic if it hadn’t been entered in years; all the really old things, but good and useful.” Her sales began as soon as the show opened and there was a little bit of everything: an early carved dove, a document box in red paint with its lock intact, a leather box; an early wall box — perhaps found in a kitchen or bath — a stack of blanket boxes in various colors and about a dozen paintings.
Halsey Munson, Decatur, Ill., offered a collection of special pieces of New England antiquities. There were two very fine early candlestands, several Eighteenth Century Windsor chairs, including a matched pair of rod backs with a wonderful flair to their top, and an assortment of early art.
Steve and Barbara Jenkins, Shelbyville, Ind., and parents of the show’s producer, Jon, were exhibiting with a collection of early American country furniture. Steve began in the business many years ago as a dealer, then moved into show promotions, but never forgot his roots as a dealer. When he decided to do this show, he shopped throughout Indiana, Illinois and Ohio to find the collection he was offering here.
His sales included an early Nineteenth Century corner cupboard, a very large blanket box and a stunning pie safe, one of the most talked about pieces at the show. In original blue milk paint with all the original pie tins serviceable, having a punched silhouette of a fish on each one, the piece found a new home in Iowa. Steve and Barbara continue to produce other antiques shows in Harwinton, Conn., and Springfield, Ohio.
Ted Fuehr, American Spirit Antiques, Shawnee Mission, Kansas, showed a collection of tiger maple furniture, including a large early corner cupboard. Fuehr also had several chests and stands and early American art.
The Hartmans, East Bridgewater, Mass., offered early New England furniture and smalls, which were selling well. Marie and Larry Miller, Dorset, Vt., sold from their extensive collection of American quilts. Mechanical little things are the inventory for Paul Smith, Harlan, Ohio, and he showed off several unique kitchen implements to buyers.
Sniktaw Antiques, Gurnee, Ill., had a most remarkable carved wood Noah’s Ark and its cargo. Made between the wars in England by Frank Whittington, the design was inspired by animals he observed at the London Zoo and the Natural History Museum there.
Recently, Jenkins has added a group of dealers offering old but good materials in décor and apparel that he dubs “Vintage.” In this show, he had an entire building devoted to this genre and customers firmly endorsed it. Sales were good and “this Vintage section brought more shoppers to the show, who bought both from antiques and vintage collections,” he said.
Blackberry House, Murfreesboro, Tenn., offered its collection of early furniture and accessories in fresh and bright paint, and, in fact, the dealers also offer paint as part of their inventory. A similar motif and inventory was offered by Gypsy Moon, Watertown, Tenn.
Jonathon’s, Plymouth, Ind., featured vintage clothing and some furnishings in its oversized exhibit space, while next door, Here Today Gone Tomorrow, Scottsville, Ky., had vintage advertising, signs and decorator pieces.
Bill Walton, Dyersburg, Tenn., mixes his collection with Nineteenth Century antiques through late Twentieth Century home furnishings — something for everyone.
Jenkins was very pleased with the results for this show. He said attendance for the Thursday morning preview “was the highest number of visitors in four years, endorsing our return to the fairgrounds, and more than half the dealers left contracts for our February 12–14, 2015 show before they left this one. That was a very strong endorsement of what we have here.” Look for an even bigger show next year, he added.
For additional information, www.tailgatemusicvalley.blogspot.com or 317-431-0118.