The "Murray's" store sign from Maine was $1750 from Bill Quinn of Alna, Maine. Quinn also had a huge grain bin, "fresh from Maine," priced at $1850.
Weathervanes and checkerboards and a circa 1900 carved carousel cat ($3700) were all from William Gittes of Barrington, New Hampshire. The tin vane (center) was $575; the rooster, $2400; and the metal architectural element, $650.
The toy milk wagon was $650 from Nan Gurley and Peter Mavris of Cornish, Maine.
Deerfield, New Hampshire
by Fran Kramer
During Antiques Week in New Hampshire, beginning with Northeast Auctions' sale on August 3 and ending with the New Hampshire Antiques Show on August 11, the only "game in town" (within 20 miles of Manchester, New Hampshire) on Tuesday, August 7 was Nan Gurley's Americana Celebration Deerfield Fairgrounds Show. Between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., it was literally a field day for the huge crowd that came. The show was held on the fields and in the buildings of the Deerfield fairgrounds.
At the early buying frenzy at 8 a.m., there were 481 early buyers, according to Gurley. After the early opening, dealers and collectors alike leisurely enjoyed the weather, which was sunny and pleasant with no rain and few clouds (Gurley said it was the best weather they ever had); the food, especially the homemade apple pies; and the conviviality of buyers, who did not rush because there was nowhere else to go and so much to see.
"They had tons of people; they stayed all day; and in general everyone was happy and relaxed," said exhibitor Pat Hatch of Harvard, Massachusetts.
"We sold thirty items. However, none of the bigger ticket items sold. We were pleased overall and managed to purchase several nice items. We loved the show," said Ellen Katona and Bob Lutz of Greenwich, New Jersey.
"It is the most buyable show," said David Proctor of Brookfield, New Hampshire. "The dealers love it. Plus the quality stays high."
We have been going to Deerfield since day one, and we have seen it evolve into an affordable buying market with lots of smalls. This year it looked the best ever in terms of quality. Many of the newcomers moved to Gurley's show when other New Hampshire shows they might have done presented conflicts. There were at least 20 dealers who were new to the show, and they all added more variety and experience.
Gurley advertised 150 exhibitors; we did not count them, but the show was definitely bigger than in the past. There was no time for fancy booth settings, programs, or lectures, just good old-fashioned buying and selling. Maybe some patrons left without a purchase, but it would be hard to do so, given the eclecticism offered.
Dealers came from the Midwest, the Northeast, the Mid-Atlantic, New England, and more. Many were longtime repeaters; others were first-timers at the show. All were upbeat and talkative. Setup is easy; the bucolic setting was reminiscent of the old days when outdoor shows crowded the spring, summer, and fall months.
Gurley said a week after the show, "It was like the old days. You expected to buy and to sell, and you did. You looked forward to the discovery. There were nice things to buy for fifty dollars or several hundred dollars. It was not over your head."
We saw many sold tags, mainly on the funky folky items, ranging from clown shoes to a clock with a fireplace carved into its base.
"It was a win-win, very successful," added Gurley. "An event that dealers and collectors look forward to all year."
For more information, phone Gurley at (207) 625-3577.
A tobacco silks tablecloth was $195 from Betty Anne Lavallee. The silks with tobacco brand names on them were used to tie cigars.
Tom and Rose Cheap's booth was typical at the show with signs, crocks, game boards, vanes, early lighting, one- and two-drawer stands, and chairs, all in the so-called "country look."
New to the show was Alley Antiques, Pelham, New Hampshire, which showed this multi-drawer chest for deeds and papers priced at $875.
Quick, what is it? A hammered dulcimer with remnants of old paint that was $425 from Country Collectibles, Methuen, Massachusetts.
Edd and Karan Oberg of Ashford, Connecticut, showed an orange two-door Hudson Valley cupboard (left) priced at $1600 and sold the open stepback cupboard (right).
Ship in a bottleno, but how about a ship in a case? Ellen Katona and Bob Lutz of Greenwich, New Jersey, asked $1475 for this 1880's model.