Purchase Story

Maine Antiques Dealers Association Goes Back to School

Coastal Maine Antiques Show, Damariscotta, Maine

The annual Maine Antiques Dealers Association (MADA) Coastal Maine Antiques Show, held on August 22, had to be moved to another location this year because of ongoing renovation and construction at the Damariscotta River Association (DRA) in Damariscotta, Maine, where the show has been held for years. MADA settled on a new location at the nearby Great Salt Bay Community School. Everyone on the MADA side seemed to like the new setup. When I arrived about an hour after the opening, the tent space was almost filled with elbow-to-elbow traffic, so much so that I frequently had to wait my turn to speak to exhibitors as they were busy filling out sales slips. In fact, during my entire visit, I didn’t encounter a single dealer who complained about his or her sales. Usually, there are a least a few who crab but not this time.

Bill and Ruth Garland of Jefferson, Maine, came with this pair of hand-forged iron eel spears for $95 apiece. “I sold some expensive things, like half-hulls and an apothecary chest,” Bill related.

According to Cheryl Anne Reed of Inverness, Florida, this type of glaze is characteristic of North Carolina. “It’s a southern pottery thing,” she said. “They call it a ‘tobacco spit’ glaze,” for an obvious reason. She’d part with it for $395.

It would be tough to find an earlier mirror than this one. With a series of bull’s-eye decorations ringing the frame, a thick, rough-hewn hardwood backing, and spline-mitered joints held together by centuries-old nails, it may have dated from the 17th century. Even the glass looked original. It was $950 from Harold Cole and Bettina Krainin of Woodbury, Connecticut, and Wiscasset, Maine. Cole was pretty sure it was of Continental European origin and maybe even as early as the 16th century.

John and Elizabeth DeSimone of Goosefare Antiques and Promotions, Wells, Maine, volunteered their services to manage the show. Regarding the new setup, with the gymnasium, the cafeteria, and an outdoor tent, John commented, “This, I think, worked this year. If it’ll work long term, I don’t know.” Not having to share the proceeds with the DRA results in a bigger portion of the pie for MADA. John commented, “We don’t get paid for this, so MADA saves the money, and they get free labor out of us.” The situation sounds like a win for the organization. Regarding returning to the DRA, John demurred, “We don’t know. With all their construction, we have no idea….”

Harry Hepburn of Hermitage Antiques, Harrison, Maine, asked $495 for this rare pewter flagon by Smith & Co., Albany, New York, which operated in the 1830s.

“I have to say I really love the crow,” Deirdre O’Callaghan of Partridge Hill Antiques, Ballston Spa, New York, said, referring to the mid-century carved bird in the original finish by Maine carver Reginald Edwards of Mechanic Falls. Quoth the raven “$475.”

Peter Murphy of P.D. Murphy Antiques, Bath, Maine, had this late 19th-/early 20th-century miniature Edwardian Adam Revival chest-on-chest, with painted floral bouquets and Classical statue figures in large oval cameos. It was priced at $1900.

In New York harbor the pilot boat John D. Jones would sail out to meet the larger incoming ships and guide them into port. But on the night of March 18, 1871, she met her doom instead. She was run down and sunk by the incoming Inman Line steamer City of Washington. No lives were lost, but the steamer was held responsible for the accident. Dave White of White’s Nautical Antiques, North Yarmouth, Maine, priced this circa 1865 painting of the ill-fated vessel at $2500.

On the positive side of the law of unintended consequences, there came this revelation. John speculated that packing the exhibitors into closer confines produced a healthier buying atmosphere. “It wasn’t intentional, but I think that’s what happened,” he admitted. “It creates a mood like ‘I’ve got to buy this before somebody else buys it.’”

So was it the rain that poured down like a waterfall at times? Was it the freshness of a new setup? Was it the close-packed, convivial sales atmosphere? Was it the freshening of the economy? Nobody can tell for sure, but it sure looks as though nobody went home unhappy from this one.

For more information, call the DeSimones at 1-800-641-6908 or visit the MADA website (www.maineantiques.org).

This unusual child’s oak chair with an embossed and brass-tacked leather seat and back, probably dating from the mid- to late 19th century, was $265 from Martha Perkins and Barrett Menson of Townsend, Massachusetts.

This 21" x 38" 19th-century shirred rug in a floral pattern, circa 1885 and professionally mounted, ready to be hung vertically or horizontally, was $425 from Colleen Kinloch of Bristol, Maine, and Laurel, Maryland. “This is the Waldoboro style,” she confirmed. “I don’t know if it’s actually a Waldoboro rug.” The much-coveted red “sold” tags were blossoming all over her booth.

Rick Bernasconi and Charles Harris of Indian Trail Antiques, Newcastle, Maine, offered this elaborate birdcage from the 1920s. More like a bird townhouse, it has all-original paint, gabled dormers, and three stories of bird living space, and for $1800 someone could take it. “Somebody loved their birds,” Harris said with a laugh.

Joni Lima of Iron Renaissance, Damariscotta, Maine, offered this folk art carved wooden panel of a remarkably fit and trim Adam and Eve for $475. “I’m almost sold out,” he happily reported.

This early French weathervane, looking very much like a Merino ram, was $1100 from Susan Sorrentino of S.B. Adams Antiques, Westport Island, Maine, and Salem, Massachusetts. “It’s been busy,” she said. “I think the rain has been helping us.”

It’s not a George Hathaway, but Hathaway wasn’t the only artist to paint Maine’s Portland Head Light. This unsigned oil on board, approximately 8" x 14", was $395 from Brent Lawyer and Steve Vittum of The Bronze Dolphin, Rockland, Maine.5

Phyllis Sommer and Dennis Raleigh showed for $1950 a 1740 banister-back chair, on which the original red paint had been overlaid with black and a pair of 19th-century sailing scenes adorning the double hemisphere crest, with a painted date of 1776 in between.


Originally published in the November 2018 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2018 Maine Antique Digest

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