Sunday, November 7, 2010

Winter Is Coming

I've been busy the last couple of months, just not in the antiques business, buying or selling. I had hoped to do a show in New Hampshire today, but by the time I knew for sure that I'd be free, there was no longer any space available. So it goes.

Even without spending a whole lot of time searching for "new additions" I've managed to come up with a few neat things over the last eight or nine weeks-- nothing important, mind you, just some neat stuff.

 A 19th century silversmith's gutta percha Christmas Ornament Mold.

 A complete woven bagface, probably Anatolian.

 A late 19th/early 20th century Bamboo Book Shelf.

 A wagon Neck Yoke in old paint.

A string of Simulated Pearls, circa 1920.

Like I said, nothing important, just fun stuff to be able to offer once I get back on the show circuit, probably next year...

Even here in New England (we're told to expect 1-3" of snow tomorrow) there's plenty of opportunity to buy and sell good stuff. In Milford, NH, Jack Donigian presents the Milford Antiques Show EVERY Sunday from October 17, 2010, until March 27, 2010. In Concord, NH, Trisha McElroy presents a monthly Antiques Show on the first Sunday of each month until April 10, 2011. In Portsmouth, NH, Nan Gurley presents seven Antiques Shows on a somewhat irregular schedule, Sundays or Wednesdays, between now and April 13, 2011. In Bath, ME, Polly Thibodeau presents the Bath Antiques Shows on the second Sunday of each month, from now until April 10, 2011. And in Plymouth, MA, Lisa Davis will be presenting the winter "indoors" version of her very successful summer market, the Sandwich Bazaar, on the first and third Wednesdays from November 17, 2010 until April 6, 2011. These shows are, for the most part, "short and sweet" affairs, so plan to get there early.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

End of the Summer

Well, this is the last day of summer, but it's hardly the end of the antiquing season here in New England.

I didn't expect to be around last weekend to do any shows, but an abscessed tooth changed those plans, so I ended up in Amherst, NH, on the Village Green at the annual fall show organized there by the Amherst Historical Society. It was a picture perfect late summer day in a picture perfect New England village. This is a small show, about 40 dealers bringing good solid but affordable antiques. It's a show I've done before, so I knew what to expect, but if it's a show that's not on your radar, you really ought to add it to your list. It's always held on about the same weekend each September, and although it's not exactly a well-kept secret, it's not one of those heavily advertised (and therefore overpriced) shows.

For sellers and buyers both, it's a good opportunity.

Speaking of buying, I had managed to come up with a few tasty little things while dealing with that tooth problem...

Something that I otherwise wouldn't have even considered is this chain link ashtray stand.

It's got the age all right, probably 1930-40s, but what got my attention was that this is not simple log chain links welded together. It was made from flat, conveyor chain, the kind that you would have found on horse-drawn farm equipment-- hay loaders, manure spreaders, anything that was powered by its wheels as the horses drew it along. Once small tractors were firmly established on the small side-hill farms of New England, these implements were consigned to the back row of the field, behind the barn, and this little stand is a great example of adapting for reuse. I hope nobody smokes any more, but it's a perfect size for holding business cards, which is exactly what I had it doing last Saturday in Amherst.

I had also found a small number of tin cookie cutters since I last posted. My favorite was a horse.

It appealed to someone else, too, because it found a new home Saturday, on its first time out.

The real prize of the last few days of the never-ending antiques hunt, however, is a small Shaker Fancy Box. Only 4-3/8 inches long, and lined with silk (which distinguishes it from a pantry box), this little oval fingered box was probably made in the Canterbury, NH, community, likely "for the world" but its unusual feature is its Cherry top.

I had never seen a box with that feature before, but then again this is the first "fancy" box that I have ever owned. It may not be all that unusual for this kind of product of Shaker hands. It's a sweet little thing!

I don't know where my next show will be. I had planned to be in Lebanon, CT, this coming weekend, but the work that I had to postpone now has to be done, so I'll not be available for that Saturday show. (You should still go!) On the old schedule I hadn't expected to be available for any of the southern Vermont shows on the first weekend of October, and I don't know yet whether I will be or not, but none of those shows are the kind you can expect to be able to squeeze into, so if I am not otherwise engaged, I may just have to be content to set up a "yard show" of my own at the house on in the village of Jamaica, close to the heart of the southern Vermont action. If so, I'll have signs all along on Routes 11 and 30 and 100, and post on Craigslist and all that good stuff. The Alice Peck Day show in Lebanon, NH, is coming up in November, and that's another one that I'll be there for if I can be, but I won't know for a while, and then it will simply be a matter of whether or not Lee has a space available.

So even though things are up in the air at the moment... See you at the shows!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Brimfield Bound

The Madison, CT, Historical Society Show last Saturday turned out to be a good one, and at that point I thought it might be my last show for a while, before my "real job" takes me out of the country for a few weeks (right at the height of the Fall show season, grumble, grumble...) but the schedule got shifted at least until the middle of next week, so here I am running around to get ready for Brimfield. I'll be set up on Tuesday afternoon at Brimfield Acres North, space # 51, in the middle of the field. Tuesday is the first day at Brimfield, and the show opens at 1 PM. This is a one-day show, so don't dilly-dally.

Whether or not I'll be able to set up at May's on Thursday, as usual, remains to be seen.

I don't have time to post a lot of pix of the things I've come across this past week, but this Silver Gilt and Lemon Gold frame, beat up though it may be, is good grist for Brimfield, and that's were it will be on Tuesday afternoon, for the first few minutes of the show... Oh, and the engraving is by Herbert Bourne (b. 1825) and titled The Family of Charles I, but for me it's about the frame.

See you at the show.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

So What Have I Found

So what have I found in the last couple of weeks? Well, I was able to buy several Finnish-American Hand Loomed Rag Rugs, of which the best of the lot is an 11'-6" runner. It was made by the grandmother of the woman selling the rugs, who is my age (shall we say politely, over full retirement age...). She estimated that the rug was at least 80-100 years old, and I concur.

It's strong enough to go on the floor, but bright enough to be hung on the wall as textile art, especially in a room with a cathedral ceiling.

On a much smaller scale is an ironstone platter, c.1870, bearing the seal of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. Apparently these were used to display fresh cut flowers and produce and fairs and displays sponsored by the Society. Like most ironstone, this piece will need to be cleaned to be presentable, but that's an easy enough task. By the time I offer it for sale it will look a lot better.

And here's another nice little thing, a spinner from one of the many woolen mills that could be found all over New England prior to the Civil War. At one time you could find these by the thousands, probably by the tens of thousands. They're not that common any more, but normally I still wouldn't bother with one, but this one was turned from figured wood, either Curly Birch or Curly Maple, I can't be sure which. It's highest and best use now, probably a candle holder.

Last week I found a c. 1949 serigraph by Harry Reeks, a New Orleans born man who became a combat artist during WWII, then spent a couple of years in San Francisco after the war ended. His work was, frankly, tourist art, lively, colorful, and intended to be a souvenir, an inexpensive reminder of one's visit. I have a number of similar pieces, in both intention and period, by Vermont artists. They've become very collectible, and I'm willing to bet that Reek's views of postwar San Francisco will prove similarly popular. This one has never been out of its original frame. It really should be rematted in acid-free materials, but that's another day.

Only a few weeks before I had found a watercolorist's field easel to display it on. Easels like this one were built to lie flat, if you were painting washes, or at angles, usually in 15° increments, all the way up to 90°. I've owned several, and they seem to be popular both with painters and displayers.

But I think the prize of what I've come upon in the last few weeks is an Herb Dryer. I almost missed seeing it, folded up flat. It hangs on the wall, flat when not in use, but lifts and folds when used to dry bunches of herbs.

It's very well designed, the rods nearest the front are offset, upper and lower, so that herbs can be hung from every rod. To put the frame into use, the pieces unfold and the ends are slipped into hand chiseled channels. It's ingenious and simple, and, of course, the question everyone asks is, "Is it Shaker?" Well, it might be, I don't know.  I do know that many auction houses, even the ones that specialize in Shaker sales, would be likely to attribute it to them, but that doesn't make it so. I guess it will just have to be left to others to decide.

And finally, one last thing...

Remember these?

They were featured in my May 30th post. I didn't sell them that next weekend at the Cape Cod Antique Dealers Association as I expected, but they did sell a few weeks later, and they did sell down on the Cape. I made my money-- I was happy.

Imagine my surprise when I spotted them again in a Kaminsky Auction catalog for the August 28, 2010 sale featuring Nautical Antiques. They've got an estimate between three and four times what I sold them for down on the Cape... Am I upset? No. I don't know yet what they will sell for, but Kaminsky's is a quality auction house here on the North Shore of Massachusetts and I'd like to hope that they're right, and that their current owner meets his or her expectations, just as mine were met.  No, my message is to you, and what I want to tell you is that you shouldn't assume that the things offered at antiques shows are too expensive for you to buy, and even make money on!

Next outing is in Madison, CT, on the Village Green, Saturday, August 28, for the Madison Historical Society. Under tents, rain or shine, it'll be a good show.

So don't be shy, there's money to be made at antiques shows, for sellers and buyers both! See you at the shows.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Come and Gone

Early Sunday morning at a nearby flea market I spotted a pair of handwrought andirons. The seller said they had come from the Malden, MA, estate of an ironworker.

Both, of course, are right handed, and one is smaller than the other. I have no way to know if they were made as a pair or not. Nor, apparently, does it matter. This is Antiques Week in New Hampshire, and some of the best dealers in the country have gathered for the several shows in and near Manchester this week. The andirons visited Manchester yesterday and sold immediately. Come and gone.

From a different seller at the same market I got a cast iron stove door with a floral decoration that strikes me as quite unusual.

I know nothing of the maker, and can only estimate that it dates to c. 1875, but I like it, and it will find a place on my wall as a painting or drawing might, a cast iron drawing, as it were.

And from a third seller (still at the same market) a pair of Lomax Oil Guard lamps. These are the smaller size of the upright model, nicely scaled for use in the bedroom. Since the original Lomax burners are gone, I'll have sockets and wiring added, find a couple of nice shades, and take them out on the show circuit.

I turned out to be a good day at the flea market.

See you at the shows!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Another Spider

I've managed to come up with a few interesting things in the last week or so...

Totally unlike what I usually find, or even notice, this drying rack and its pair of waders caught my eye, more as sculpture than anything else.

I've never done the show, never even been to it, but I'll see if maybe I can arrange for them to hitch a ride over to the Adirondack show next week. The crowd might like them over there, or maybe some of the "object" sellers in Manchester, NH... I'm going to sit out Antiques Week in Manchester, too, although I might have to go over to see the NHADA show, grab a glimpse of the really good stuff before it flies out the door.

I picked up a nice little Tiger Maple Masher, one with distinct tiger stripes on the handle that, when you get down to the wider diameter of the masher itself turns into a quilted pattern, quite unusual.

A pair of hand wrought scissors was a nice find in a New Hampshire shed. I don't run into these nearly as often as I did when I was younger. Of course, that was quite a while ago...

From over in New York state I uncovered the base (just the base, I'm sorry to say) of a child-size chair table.

It hasn't very sophisticated construction, and of course there's a lot missing altogether... believe me, I wish it wasn't... but what's there I love, and I think it will turn out to be a great starter piece for a collector of children's furniture.

And, saving favorites for last, I chanced upon another spider, this one originally found near Canterbury, NH. There's nothing to suggest a connection with the Shaker community there, although there's nothing to argue against it either. This is something that I bought from a collector, so I have no knowledge of its original context, save that it was originally found in the area.
This is another nice early example (see the last post), late 18th century or perhaps very early 19th century, and although it will be offered for sale from time to time, it will spend the rest of the time on my kitchen hearth.

My next scheduled show is still on the last Saturday before Labor Day, on the Village Green in Madison, CT, for the Madison Historical Society. Of course, until then I'll still be poking around to see what else I can find.

See you at the shows!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Guilford, CT ~ July 24, 2010

Guilford was hot yesterday, hot and humid. One of the show organizers admitted that when prospective dealers ask her what the show is like, she always says it's hot. It was, and with a date near the end of July, it usually will be, even though Guilford sits right there on the Connecticut coast.

It's not usually this humid, though, and it seemed to me that the crowd, understandably, was down some... Most of them certainly came before noon, though I admit I was surprised that there were still some new faces even as late as half past three in the afternoon, by which time a thermometer that I had for sale was reading 97° in the shade. However, no one really wanted to know just exactly how hot it was, least of all me.

I plan to take most of August off, just relax with the family at the Vermont house. Maybe I'll run over to Manchester, NH, to see friends at the shows there, but I'm determined not to join them this year. For once I want simply to sit around in August.

That said, I'll make a liar out of myself, because I do plan to show in Madison, CT, at the end of August, Saturday the 28th, from 9 to 4 on the Madison Town Green. Rain or shine, we'll hope for shine, but with a little less heat than we've had in the July outings. If forecast is a good one, I'll bring some tiger maple furniture that I don't normally bring to outdoor shows, and a 10' diameter braided rug. Rain or shine, I'll bring some cast iron cookware, not the Griswold or Wagner stuff that you can find every day, but early and mid-19th century examples like this griddle, called a "spider" because of
its legs. These spider pots, pans, and griddles were made at a time when most of the cooking was done on an open hearth; the legs held the pans above hot coals piled beneath. Spider frying pans, hard enough to find, are much more common than a griddle like this one above, or the pot seen below, used to heat water.

Pieces from the period of this pot, just a little bit later, still have the spider legs (as well as the handle which allows the pot to be suspended on a trammel) for use on the hearth, but the base of the pot was sized to fit on the stove top (inside the holes found on all kitchen stoves) in order to gain maximum heat.

I'll also bring a couple of unusually large pieces that I bought from the estate of a man who worked as lumber camp cook.

A 14 inch pancake or stew for 24 anyone?

See you at the show!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bridgehampton Bound

Vintage Cut-out Wood Fence Decorations

On Saturday and Sunday, June 26-27, I'll be set up in Bridgehampton, Long Island, on the grounds of the Corwith House for the Bridgehampton Historical Society Antiques Show. Early Buying begins Saturday at 8AM, and if you're serious about it, that's when you'll be there. The show runs until 5PM on Saturday, and on Sunday from 10AM until 5PM. Right now, the weather forecast for Sunday doesn't look all that good, but I'll be there on Saturday, under my own tent, rain or shine. There's plenty of time to go to the beach some other day.

Among other things, I'll bring along a couple of good garden pieces like this c.1900 Conservatory Stand. It rotates freely and was intended to hold potted plants in the sunroom.

I'll also bring a great Cast Iron Garden Bench with an oak top, interesting because it's tall enough to be used as a bench, but low enough to serve as a table next to or in front of chairs. I had it soda blasted to remove many, many coats of paint from the iron without dulling the edge of the casting itself, and I had to simply replace the top altogether. As a result what we have is a piece ready to go into your yard, on your deck, or in your sunroom-- for another lifetime of use.

Finally... a vintage Hat and Scarf Display Stand, Bamboo, a 20th century piece that is simply "outa' sight". It stands some 75 inches tall, 58 inches wide, and given its size was probably originally a store display piece. If you need a pair, you're just "outa' luck!

See you at the show!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Despite a threatening weather forecast on Sunday we made it through the entire CCADA Spring Antiques Show in Sandwich, MA, with no more than a drop or two of rain, but placid as it looks in this picture, taken just before the gates opened, the wind did blow as the day progressed.

By early afternoon small tents like mine were taking a terrific beating. One of my immediate neighbors had to literally stand by the corners of their pop-up tent to constantly reset the pegs holding it down. With the help of other dealers I finally removed the top sheet of my tent, packed away the most breakable pieces and the small, light weight pieces that were being dumped on the ground by every gust, and made it through the rest of the show with no major problems, having sustained only minimal damage to two or three items. Others were not as fortunate. Whole tents were lifted off the ground, tables blown over, and too many sounds of breaking glass to make anyone comfortable. Dealers were given permission an hour before the show ended to start packing, since the wind gusts were strong enough to have pretty well emptied the field of buyers.

So it goes with outdoors antiques shows. My next scheduled outing is not until the end of the month, June 26 and 27, in Bridgehampton, Long Island, for the Bridgehampton Historical Society. We'll all hope for better weather.

See you at the shows.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I didn't get to do a whole lot of picking during the last week since my son and his girlfriend were visiting at the Vermont house, but I did manage to come up with a couple of things to take to Cape Cod next Sunday.

A pair of hand-forged iron and brass folk art andirons, probably about a hundred years old judging by the undisturbed patina.

And I also found a nice set of bronze bookends of a clipper ship flying the American flag, a late 19th C engraving of the America's Cup yacht "The Defender", a very small brass mast head lamp still with its original burner, a copper-bodied outdoor thermometer with a good bit of age, and a few other odd bits, but no pix of any of it yet. Along with the Butternut Stand I picked up a week or ten days ago, it will all be down on the Cape next Sunday, June 6, in Sandwich, MA, at the Cape Cod Antiques Dealers Association show at the Heritage Museum.

I hope the weather turns out as good as it did in Madison, CT, on the Village Green, yesterday. The rain held off all day and long enough for us all to get packed up, too. An easy show, a good crowd, and the Chamber of Commerce will do it two more times this season, so check it out.

Oh yes, one other thing...

How it made its way to rural New Hampshire I'll never know, but I picked up a nicely framed set of three pen and ink drawings of St. Tropez this morning at the Peterborough Antiques Market. I guess Peterborough, home to the MacArthur Colony, isn't really like most of the rest of rural New Hampshire, is it? This one will wait until the end of the month to make the trip to Bridgehampton, NY. Folks in the Hamptons are much more likely to be familiar with St. Tropez than those in New Hampshire, even Peterborough.

See you at the shows!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Peterborough (NH) Antiques Market, every Sunday from now until early October. Today was a light day, only about a dozen dealers set up, and selling was soft... but the show is friendly, easy, and often a lot more busy than it happened to be today. For me, 90% of sales happened after 1PM as I was packing up. I'm not complaining.

Buyer or seller, if you're in the area I suggest you check it out, Route 202 South of the village of Peterborough (on the way to Jaffrey). Dealers begin to set up at the very civilized hour of 7AM and most don't start packing until 1PM. As I said, it's a friendly and easy show. You can call Otto ahead of time at 603-547-5832 or you can just show up. It is an Antiques Market, so no socks and t-shirts or yard sale leftovers, please!

Fewer than a half dozen of the things seen here will be taken to Madison, CT, next Saturday, so as always, see you at the show.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

People have been after me for some time now to blog my latest finds and my show schedule, so I guess I'll try to add it to my list of things to do or at least to catch up with...

This week I found a nice little One-Drawer Stand, early 19th C, Butternut with White Pine secondary and Black Walnut knobs. 28-1/2 inches tall, 18 inches wide, 17-1/4 inches deep. Quite some time ago it apparently got stripped; on the underside of the top is a single coat of black paint over the original red wash. Too bad, because otherwise it's pretty much untouched. They knobs may or may not be original, but if they're not they replaced a very similar knob.

I'll have it cleaned up and ready to go in time for the June shows.

I also picked up a nice little Knife Box, also 19th C but later than the stand, White Pine, blue paint over the original red. It's 10x14 inches, 6-1/2 inches tall at the top of the handle, and also is in good shape. The sides are canted, not square as they appear in the pic, but it's late enough, or simply primitive enough, that it's not dovetailed. Still, it's a good surface in a good color.

Tomorrow morning I'll run up to the Sunday Antiques Market in Peterborough, NH. I have a small load of inexpensive antiques packed in the van, a Post Office Sorting Station, a J.R. Bunting steel Lawn Chair from the 1930-40s, and the like. Next Saturday I'll be in Madison, CT, on the village green for the first of the summer shows in Madison, and on the first Sunday in June I'll be in Sandwich, MA, for the CCADA Spring Antiques Show at the Heritage Museum. HOWEVER, we're expecting a grandchild at some point in the next couple of weeks, and when the baby decides to make his or her appearance (Mom and Dad decided they didn't want to know ahead of time) we'll be there, regardless of the antique show schedule. Later in June I may set up at Farmington, CT, I will set up at Bridgehampton, NY, and I might run up to Keene, NH, late in the month to see what that's all about.

No promises, but I'll try to add pix of stuff I come up with from time to time, and post at the beginning of each month during the summer and fall with the show schedule.

Until next time, see you at the show.