We could not make this up. Jack Winner of Newfane, Vermont, fits his name. Not bad—after 60 years in the business. The great Grenfell rug, on consignment, was $2800.
Dean and Beth Woolever of Rochester, New York, started off their great show by selling all three unusual candle molds. They were (from left) $215, $550, and $650. They were all late 18th century, according to Dean.
This pair of white corbels was priced at $95 each from Janet and Charles Taylor of Waverly, Pennsylvania.
The doll bed with linens was $110 from Carrie Eck.
There was great color in this large ingrain carpet, 102" x 90", in yellow, orange, and pale blue. It was $375 from John Smart of Park Antiques, Inc., Rutland, Vermont.
A copper fish trade sign, early to mid-20th century, was $330 from Blue Line Antiques, Port Leyden, New York.
by Fran Kramer
I don’t think I have ever seen a “tailgate” party before an antiques show opened, let alone outside a show known for its abundance of food. But there they were about an hour before the 7 p.m. preview opening of the Ludlow Antiques Show, held October 5, 2012, at the Ludlow Community Center in Ludlow, Vermont. Dealers and collectors gathered with show patrons Frank Wood of DeWolfe and Wood Rare Books, Alfred, Maine, pouring wine, both red and white, and Suzanne Courcier of Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, checking out the cheese and crackers.
“A few years ago, we started bringing snacks to pass the time, especially the dinner time, between leaving the Okemo show down the road and waiting for the Ludlow show to open,” said Wood. And since Ludlow, population about 8000, does not have a lot of alternatives at that hour, and the line forms early, why not party?
Luckily, it was one of the warmest years for the Vermont shows; in fact, it was downright balmy. (Sometimes there are snowflakes; after all, the shows are in the mountains, and it is Vermont.) The venue, a community center that was formerly an armory, was a new one since the adjacent high school was booked for a craft fair during Columbus Day weekend. Usually the Vermont shows are the weekend before Columbus Day, but this year everything happened at once.
The show has a long history, 48 years in fact, going back to the time when local resident Marion Cardwell ran the show for the Holy Name of Mary Altar Society. When she died, her estate gave the show to the society with the provision that the society must run it. And it does, under the energetic direction of Carol Baranowski, who lives in nearby Proctorsville, and Ann Firkey.
Baranowski told us about the floods of August 2011, in a matter of fact way, and said Vermonters dealt with it as they always do with any emergency: calmly and swiftly.
But before we tell you about the show and sales, let’s get the food thing in first. For a $12 preview ticket, patrons get a full meal, including chicken wings, meatballs, soups, salads, and desserts, most homemade, and let’s not forget the star of the show, fresh broccoli salad. And, of course, all the dealers get the meal first with the compliments of the women of the altar society.
The new venue, which will probably be the future venue as well, even if it did mean going down to 32 dealers from 38, has a full kitchen (used for making lunches for the kids from the nearby high school). This is a big deal, especially because on the second day of the show, a $5 lunch gives you soup (get the cabbage patch), a sandwich (we recommend meatball or ham salad), and homemade pies—this was a tough choice, but the peanut butter pie was already gone, so we chose raspberry/cherry.
Not only are the dealers (and the public) well fed, the dealers are well versed in what they sell and have the longevity to prove it. We met two dealers, John Smart of Rutland, Vermont, and Jack Winner of Newfane, Vermont, who have 110 years’ experience selling antiques between them. What is their secret? None at all; love what you do, keep a sense of humor, and play fair.
One exhibitor used the phrase “everyday low prices” to describe the show, not like that big-box store does, but in the sense that dealers try to buy right, don’t take huge markups, and keep their prices the same no matter what show they are in.
We came back near the end of the show for a recap (and for the pie), and almost everyone was satisfied with the sales. Of course, expectations reflect the current market, said one.
The exhibitors came from New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Florida, most of them longtime fans. Offerings included country items, Victorian furniture and accessories, swords, doorstops, baskets, textiles, silver, jewelry, toys, Oriental rugs, lighting, and much more. Prices were very affordable, as the show is known for good buys. Many dealers from the other shows held nearby that weekend made sure to check it out, and most seemed to buy.
About 200 came to the two-hour preview, and another 200 came the next day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call Firkey at (802) 226-7574 or Baranowski at (802) 226-7842.
The multi-drawer small cupboard was $375 from Linda Lacombe.
|A wood and wax Santa, possibly Canadian, was $1400 from Robin Stephens of Richmond, Massachusetts.|
Originally published in the January 2013 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2013 Maine Antique Digest