WOODSTOCK, VT. — For the past 40 years the Vermont Antiques Dealers’ Association has sponsored an annual antiques show, and not always at the same location. The show has had a number of venues, but of late has set its anchor in the village of Woodstock, a community popular for summer visitors, and often in the past, the show lands on the same weekend as the very large book sale that dominates the town’s green. Such was the case this year over the July 26–27 weekend.
“We had some new exhibitors, many of the old returned and Union Arena was filled to capacity with 56 exhibitors,” Greg Hamilton said. He added, “We all thought the show had a great look, good variety in the things offered, and we had a nice gate, about the same as last year, if not a bit larger.”
Hansje Hill of Old Saybrook, Conn., hung a set of green painted shutters to resemble an open window in the corner of her booth, with a wood-carved balloon in flight sign hanging in the opening; in the other back corner of the booth were two ship dioramas, one an 1880 three-masted example with carved wooden sails, the other in a shadow box, sailor made, originally from Maine.
The Wicker Guy from Saint Albans, Vt., filled two booths with various forms of wicker furniture and other furniture, including two bentwood twig rockers in old green painted surface. Both were drawing attention, especially the one from a camp on Long Lake in New York.
Dennis and Valerie Bakoledis of Rhinebeck, N.Y., were doing the show for the first time, and offered a collection of American folk art that included a large black angus weathervane, sheet metal, with black surface. On the opposite was hung a baseball board game, Bambino, circa 1930, which was different and eye-catching. “I bought it for the strong graphics,” Dennis said.
In 1772, when Anne Draper was 11 years old, she did an interesting sampler, which hung with others in the booth of Henry T. Callan of East Sandwich, Mass. It pictured, among other things, a large brick house at the center bottom, a basket of fruit and urns of flowers, all enclosed within an Indian pink border. A selection of Rose Medallion was shown on a table under the sampler. “One lady just picked out five or six pieces of Canton and has gone off to seek her husband who has the checkbook,” Henry said. “I think, and hope, that she is going to be a real be-backer.”
When questioned about a Victorian tin house, old green surface and lots of extra trim features, Stephen Corrigan of Stephen-Douglas, Rockingham, Vt., said, “I really do not know its use, it could be just a model house or possibly a birdcage as it does have a slide tray on the bottom; however, the windows do not open and the only way in is the front door. It certainly is not a dollhouse.” Doug Jackman, a still bank expert, brought along a nice selection of banks displayed in a cubbyhole-type shelf, and an interesting white painted tin, eight-tube candle mold was mounted on tall legs.
“They must be the product of some design school,” Tim Chambers of Missouri Plain Folk, Sikeston, Mo., said, referring to the collection of various shaped wooden pieces displayed at the front of his booth. Most of the pieces nested, some round, some square and some triangular, all painted in bright colors, making for a very colorful and interesting arrangement. The various pieces were being sold as a collection. Tim also pointed out his “happy chairs,” three brightly painted miniature Adirondack chairs well-displayed within an old table in yellow.
From Utica, N.Y., Griffith Antiques offered a nice child’s cupboard in salmon paint, square nail construction, dated 1873 on the back, and a long storage box with large initials “KFD” on the side that was once mounted on a fire truck.
Centered on the back wall of the booth of DBR Antiques, Doug Ramsay, Hadley, Mass., was a large sheet metal weathervane in the shape of a locomotive, circa 1900, with just the right amount of rust, sharing space with a circa 1900–1920 shoe trade sign in the form of a tall-heeled boot in yellow with black laces. A circa 1840 barber pole, about 15 inches tall, red, white and blue, was mounted within a ring frame and shown next to a late Nineteenth Century barber shop trade sign in metal, green lettering on a faded yellow surface.
A mustard-colored, tiered stand was perfect for a display of about two dozen small baskets in the middle of the booth of West Pelham Antiques of Pelham, Mass. Hung on the back wall were some hooked rugs, one showing a pair of cats and another depicting three roosters with red combs on a blue ground. A large fish-shaped mold was on the table, causing Michael Weinberg to comment, “It was used for mackerel ice cream, a specialty of Ben & Jerry’s.”
Back Door Antiques, East Middlebury, Vt., offered a bamboo fly rod, with case, 7 feet long with extra tip, by H.L. Leonard. It sold early into the show to a young man who said he was going to have his uncle put it into tip-top shape and then put it to use. He even took it from the case and showed it to a friend before leaving the show. A large gray cat was depicted on a rug, curled up on a black ground, and a swing-handle Nantucket basket, 10 inches in diameter, was attributed to A.D. Williams. Jean Tudhope of Back Door shared the booth with Goodwin’s Antiques.
Michael and Lucinda Seward of Pittsford, Vt., were having a good show, with sales including two landscape paintings, a Nineteenth Century still life, a child’s cupboard in bittersweet paint, a pair of shore birds, a paint decorated chair and an inkwell, “plus a few things I can’t remember,” Michael said. “The show is still young, and we have tomorrow to sell some furniture,” he said, referring to an Eighteenth Century four-drawer chest with ogee base and another four-drawer chest in cherry on turned legs, both displayed against the back wall of the booth.
Bittner Antiques of Burlington, Vt., is becoming a serious contender to Victor Weinblatt, the Sign Man. There were signs on all three walls, as well as on the outside wall, with readings such as “Royal Hat Works,” “Stan’s Radio Service,” “Lucky’s,” “Dailey – Double,” “Keene Valley/Lake Placid,” “No Hunting Allowed,” “Dance Hall,” “Proper Maid Gloves”’ “Tune-Up,” “Cold Beer & Ale” and “Cigarettes For Sale.”
A fine-looking carousel horse, “I believe it to be by Looff,” Mario Pollo said, was in the corner of his booth, along with his usual varied and interesting mix of things, including a French life-size mannequin of a young boy and an amusing bean bag board of a clown’s face.
A set of eight paintings, all winter scenes from Wilton, N.H., by Brian Truelove, who came through Ellis Island in 1920, hung across the back wall in the booth of Rathbun Gallery, Wakefield, R.I. Lined up below the watercolors was a set of six painted and decorated tablet top Windsor fancy side chairs from Lancaster County, Penn., circa 1840.
Holden Antiques, Sherman, Conn., and Naples, Fla., offered a pair of sled runners from its outside wall, which sold immediately as the show opened. “We did well with that wall,” Anita Holden said, noting that each time they sold something off the wall, they replaced it and that object also sold. A ship portrait, a pair of screens and numerous smalls accounted for some early selling, and offered from the back of the booth was an early Nineteenth Century Connecticut four-drawer chest, probably from the Hartford area, and a still life oil on canvas, early Twentieth Century, of watermelons by Juan Montoya, in the original frame.
One can usually find a nice early carpenter’s workbench in the booth of Liberty Hill Antiques, Reading, Vt., and this year was no exception. A large one, complete with vise, was in great shape against the back wall, with a large selection of hand tools, including many planes, displayed on top. Also against the back wall was a stack of three blanket boxes, in graduated sizes, and colors ranging from blue/green to red to gray.
The Red Horse Antiques, Bridgewater, Vt., offered a circa 1820 rocking horse, Belgium origin, that showed plenty of use, and at the corner of the booth was a carved sundial, English, composed of three pieces of stone. It measured 55 inches high and was signed Cosbey Banwell. Kocian & DePasqua, Woodbury, Conn., had a nice twig bentwood Adirondack chair, green painted, circa 1960, and a circa 1930 hooked rug depicted a pig in pink on a black ground. It was initialed “PH.”
Ken and Susan Scott of Malone, N.Y., showed a collection of decorated Indian baskets and bottles, a stepback cupboard in old blue was half filled with a selection of mocha, a wood-carved Dalmatian, about 6 inches tall, showed off his spots, and several large vintage picture frames occupied the outside wall of the booth. A large architectural finial was displayed on a pine table with one center drawer at the front of the booth of Heidi Lang Moran, Norwich, Vt. The one-board top table measured 66 inches long and 27 inches wide.
Bill Quinn of Alna, Maine, had lots of color in his booth, a good portion of it with a wheel of chance with a bright red, yellow and white center. An interesting Parcheesi board was oval in shape, and a cast iron squirrel nutcracker was positioned over a very large cutting board measuring 36 inches in diameter.
Folk art filled the booth of Dennis Raleigh, Wiscasset, Maine, including a sheet iron weathervane in the form of a beaver, a Boston terrier doorstop in cast iron with the original paint and several wooden whimsies showing off intricate carving.
Justin Cobb of Captain’s Quarters, Amherst, Mass., said that he was doing ok and was impressed by the retail business at the show. However, his main concern, since he is a major player in the nautical field, was about the laws governing the sale of ivory, both whale and elephant. “It is about time this is really nailed down and the ivory law is supposed to be announced officially on August 1. We will see what happens and so far there seems to be no point in asking any politician about it,” Justin said.
Tommy Thompson of Pembroke, N.H., had a real mix of objects, running from a nice early barrel in red paint to a set of three hoops painted red, green and blue. A stack of pantry boxes varied in both size and color, and cutting boards came in different shapes and sizes. “It seemed to be a cutting board crowd, as I sold about six of them before the show was over,” Tommy said.
One of the outstanding pieces of folk art hung in the booth of Jeff and Holly Noordsy, Cornwall, Vt., a wood-carved and painted shield of the seal of Vermont. It showed a deer head on top, over a pine tree design, carved on a single plank about 3 inches thick. It had Vermont written on the back and dated circa 1931. This piece came from a camp in the Adirondacks, which also produced four more similar plaques representing other states, namely North Carolina, Michigan, Delaware and New York. A cast iron dog face, possibly used at one time in a theater, was also offered, along with a nice sheet iron horse weathervane and some early glass.
An early Mickey Mouse, positioned on a high shelf, watched over the booth of Greg Hamilton, Stone Block Antiques, Vergennes, Vt., and noted a sofa, two end tables and a card table leave the booth. “I was surprised I did well with furniture this time,” Greg said. An oil on canvas portrait of a young lady, Boston School, circa 1910, original frame, hung on the back wall, and the corner was filled with a circa 1800 tall case clock. An interesting still life, oil on canvas, on the outside wall showed a basket of peaches, urn of apples, pears and grapes, and a large watermelon, sliced and ready for the table.
New England Homes Antiques, Wethersfield, Conn., offered a circa 1770 two-board scrubbed top table with breadboard ends, button feet, and a nice pair of painted cast iron garden chairs, child’s size, circa 1920. George B. Johnson, Montpelier, Vt., noted that he had had a “very good show,” selling lots of smalls and even most of the painted furniture that he had brought.
Howard Graff of Colt Barn Antiques, Townshend, Vt., had a fine collection of cast iron objects, including a selection of harness hooks of various sizes. “I once had a lady client who collected harness hooks and we lined both sides of the entranceway with them and then hung a collection of hats on them,” Howard said. “They looked great and when she decided to sell the house, I was able to buy many of them back, and here they are.”
Howard also kept people guessing about two cast iron painted hooks he had, seeing how many people knew what they were used for. “Very few knew the answer,” Howard said, relating that they were called “skidder hooks” and used for pulling cut lumber out of the woods.
Looking ahead, Greg Hamilton said, “I have sent out an email to the exhibitors concerning the show for next year, and when we have definite dates we will announce it. And our venue will not change.”