Before I arrived in the late morning, a dry sink, a painting, and a few country stands had vanished from the booth of Bill and Ruth Garland of Jefferson, Maine. They still had this large (13") blue and white spongeware bowl with raised arches on the sides for $295.
by Mark Sisco
Seldom was heard a discouraging word at the Maine Antiques Dealers Association show at Round Top Farm in Damariscotta, Maine, on August 29. And even the skies were not cloudy all day.
The show is operated in partnership with the Damariscotta River Association, and the organization's executive director, Steven Hufnagel, had good words about MADA and the show management. "Colleen Donovan has been doing a terrific job. She was all calm this morning. She had everything taken care of."
When I arrived at the show in the late morning, Hufnagel said about the attendance: "We've crossed the five hundred mark, and we're not even halfway there." Eighty percent of the gate goes to the Damariscotta River Association, and the balance, plus the booth rents, goes to MADA.
MADA's entire membership roster is eligible to exhibit on a nonjuried basis, but only about 72 dealers had set up, slightly fewer than in years past, and few, if any, had much to gripe about. Now in her fifth year of running the show, Colleen Donovan confirmed, "I think everybody's happy, and I'm really glad Some years we do better because we just happen to have what everybody wants to buy."
One exhibitor commented, "We've got a real good crowd. They're serious, knowledgeable buyers, and they're buying stuff." Oriental rug dealer Tad Runge added, "This is as busy as I've seen it in years, and I go back to year one!" When I arrived at Roland Jellison's booth, he shook his head sadly and said, "Too late for pictures. We sold all the good stuff!"
For more information, visit the MADA Web site (www.maineantiques.org).
Bill Quinn of Alna, Maine, brought an unusual workbench with slightly curved and splayed legs with mortise and tenon construction, all in a well-worn yellow paint, probably dating to the 19th century. "Just some sort of bench they brought out into a field and did work on it pegged and mortised," Quinn said. It had already sold for about $650.
An accompanying label categorized this Osgood Carleton map dated 1795 as "The Best Map of Maine at the time." Carleton produced the first map of the District of Maine as a separate entity in 1793, and this version of it came from James Sullivan's The History of the District of Maine. Stephen Hanly of Bickerstaff's Books and Maps, Scarborough, Maine, was offering it for $1600.
Not only was it a bobcat, it was a Dixfield, Maine, bobcat, and a $750 one at that. "Somebody caught him in a trap in Dixfield," explained dealer Jon Magoun of South Paris, Maine.
Dave White of White's Nautical Antiques, North Yarmouth, Maine, always has a booth with a distinct maritime theme. The 1927 pond model of the Sprite made by Ray Welsch was $1575.
Kim Kassner and Jim McElroy of The Brewster Shop Antiques, Orleans, Massachusetts, brought a circa 1890 towering two-masted ship weathervane with directionals, priced at $375.
This nifty piece of folk art celebrates the common working man, specifically Pennsylvania coal miners. The large wooden relief carving was signed by maker Ed Lemke, and it could have hung in a union hall or a restaurant. Bonnie and Dave Ferriss of Antiques at 30B, Cambridge, New York, offered it for $495.
A classic running horse weathervane with a zinc head and gilt body was $4800 with Bettina Krainin and Harold Cole of Woodbury, Connecticut.
The beveled glass mirror with a wide board frame richly painted with swallows diving into a field of flowers was priced at $365 by Martha Perkins and Barrett Menson of Ashby, Massachusetts.
Nan Gurley and Peter Mavris of Cornish, Maine, had this painted blanket chest with two false drawer fronts, wooden knobs, matching burl grain yellow and ocher paint swirling around the front, and a shapely cutout bracket base for $2400.