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Wilton Antiques Show Revived

Clayton Pennington | October 27th, 2013


Red Griffin Antiques, Georgetown, Connecticut, asked $13,500 for this ship portrait of Ida by Albert Szatmar Nemethy (1920-1998). A side-wheeler used by the Confederate Navy from 1862 to 1864, she was captured by the North and burned on December 10, 1864.


This circa 1940 sign for “Grinders / 2 Lbs. Average with Works” was $1250 from Victor Weinblatt of South Hadley, Massachusetts. It came from Goglia’s, a famous delicatessen in Rhode Island.


This child-size secretary in red paint was $1450 from Patricia Stauble of Wiscasset, Maine. A note on it suggested that it could be used to house a computer. The 1940’s horse on jockey on top, a piece of Maine folk art, was tagged $1200.


This 19th-century sailor’s canvaswork hanging, with four pockets below a painting of ships in Boston harbor, was $7500 from Stockton, New Jersey, dealer James Grievo, who thought it might have been used by a ship’s captain to keep important papers and documents.

William R. and Teresa F. Kurau of Lampeter, Pennsylvania, brought a selection of historical blue Staffordshire pottery.

Wilton Fall Antiques Market, Wilton, Connecticut

“You can’t be a good conductor without a great orchestra,” said show promoter Frank Gaglio, pointing toward the Wilton High School Field House, “and I’ve got a great orchestra.”

It was about 12:15 on Sunday, October 27, 2013, about halfway through the one-day Wilton Fall Antiques Market, an old warhorse of a show that was revived by the Wilton Historical Society under Gaglio’s direction. It’s been four years since the Wilton show, which for years was a steady payday for dealers, fell by the wayside.

Gaglio got 106 dealers to sign on for the one-day, nine to five show and confirmed that he has a waiting list for the next show. He made some changes, including lowering booth rents, and tweaked the old floor plan. “We put all the dealers on the main floor. In the past, dealers were upstairs and down in the café. Our goal was to keep the show focused on the main floor, not to water it down with auxiliary areas.”

“Overall it went really well,” Gaglio told us while he was set up at a show in York, Pennsylvania. “In reality, a relaunch is an interesting experience…you try to bring back that excitement and enthusiasm that once was. However, we know, times have changed, and things have changed, but I do have to say the exhibitors pulled together a beautiful show.

“The attendance was consistent throughout the day. At the end of the day, I’d say half the dealers did well, very well; a quarter covered expenses and made a little money; and the other quarter did not do much at all. That’s the most honest opinion I can give you. We had rave reviews from people who attended the show—they loved the mix.”

Gaglio’s marketing leaned heavily on his mailing list of names that he had acquired from Barn Star shows in New Hampshire, Philadelphia, and Connecticut. “We had a number of attendees from New York City, northern New Jersey, Long Island, and many were new to [the] Wilton experience.”

That’s not to say there weren’t growing pains. “One of the areas that was a little disappointing to me was the porter situation. The historical society had told me they were securing high school students to come and help to porter. They fell short on the setup. They said there were going to be seven students, and three showed up.” Gaglio, who has considerable experience in promoting shows, said, “I got my own four guys to come from New Haven to give me some coverage.”

When it came to breaking the show down, none of the students showed up. “Then I only had four guys to porter out half a show. That was a little bit of an issue…I can assure you that the next time out, I will have a complete porter team ready to go, and I will not rely on the students who say they are going to come and then don’t show up.”

For some dealers, Wilton was the end of a very long October. One New England couple we talked to late in the day didn’t look weary but had every right to. The husband-and-wife team had done seven shows in October, starting with Antiques in Vermont on October 6 in Manchester Center, Vermont. Before they made it to Wilton, they had also logged shows in Rhinebeck, New York; Swansea, Massachusetts; Wilmington, Massachusetts; Milford, New Hampshire; and Concord, Massachusetts. They do about 56 shows a year.

Other dealers told us that they were on their way to York, Pennsylvania, after Wilton. One of those was Frank Gaglio, who set up at York as a dealer for the first time since 2005. “It’s good to be experiencing what the dealers are going through by being in a booth…it keeps things in perspective,” he said.

For more information, contact Barn Star Productions at (845) 876-0616; Web site (www.barnstar.com).

Looking for a butter print? Chances are good that John H. Rogers Antiques, CAFS LLC, Elkins, New Hampshire, probably has what you’re looking for, since it carries a wide variety of styles and decorations from the U.S. and Europe. On the top shelf, dead center, is an unusual combination butter print and butter paddle, probably from Europe, for $750.

The 86½" long x 18" deep x 17" high bleached oak French bench from the late 1800’s was $2250 from The Red Horse Antiques, Bridgewater, Vermont. The large Quimper vase at the end was priced at $2900, and the pair of Quimper vases was $2250.

This circus banner from the 1930’s, an attic find, was $1750 from Treasured Memories Antiques, Mansfield, Connecticut.


Originally published in the January 2014 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2013 Maine Antique Digest

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