Tuesday, August 1, 2017

New Hampshire Antiques Week

The very very very best week of the year is just around the corner. Antiques week in New Hampshire!!!! I mean, it's an entire week devoted to the very best in the worlds of folk art, fine art, and antiques, AND it's in gorgeous southern New Hampshire. How could you go wrong? By missing out, that's how.

My dear friends Jeff and Holly Noordsy's booth from last year's NHADA show. Um, I'll take one of everything please!! Several of my most treasured pieces of antique glass and stoneware have come from the Noordsy's booth over the years.

        I've been attending the New Hampshire Antiques Dealer show at the Manchester NH Radisson for, I think, seven years in a row. It's better than a free trip to Disney world combined with when a bartender likes you and gives you and extra big pour!
         Row after row after row of beautiful objects so wondrous it'll make your head spin, even better (or worse?) many of the objects are priced quite reasonably, enough to be heart achingly tempting, enough that I rarely come home empty handed! I've been setting a little bit aside all summer so I can come home with a goodie or two this year! It's their 60th annual show, so really, if ever there were a year to give yourself a treat and spend a pleasant day perusing all the antique-y eye candy, surely it's this one! To learn more about the show be sure to check out their website here- http://www.nhada.org/new-hampshire-antiques-show/ Look close and you might see a little Heir and Space press on one of their sidebars!

         NHADA, though truly it's the crowning jewel of antiques week in New Hampshire, isn't the only draw to lure you in. There's also 'Antiques in Manchester' which is right down the road from the NHADA show in the Sullivan Arena at St. Anselm College. Last year was the first time I'd attended, and I was absolutely blown away by the quality and variety of antiques for sale by so many top notch dealers. It seemed almost beyond reason that so many fantastic and lust worthy antiques could all be available for viewing, enjoying, and possibly buying, all in one great city during one great week. Have I mentioned yet that you'd be a fool to skip these shows? Manchester itself is a darling city with loads of awesome restaurants, so you can absolutely make a day or weekend of it!

      Before I worked in the antiques field, I had never actually been to a real deal antiques show. I loooooved antiques, but I was weirdly intimidated by the shows. Take my word for it, there is absolutely nothing intimidating about the shows, or the dealers. They are on the whole, some of the nicest, chattiest people you will ever meet. Even if you're not in the market to buy something, I encourage you to go anyway. It's like a museum where you can touch the stuff, and dealers are the best curators, they know their history inside and out and are always happy to answer questions and tell hilarious stories! For dates and details on all the events happening during antiques week, you can check out the website here! http://www.antiquesweeknh.com/shows.php#midweek

          I've asked some of my dealer friends who will be set up at the shows to give us some sneak peeks at the treasure they'll be bringing, to further whet our appetites, and I'll be taking pictures and live tweeting throughout my time at the shows, for those of you who can't logistically make the trek in person!

John Chaski- from whom I've purchased an impressionist pastel landscape, a dutch brass tobacco box, several silhouettes (for my mom who collects them), and my favorite sign in my entire collection, an oversized pocket watch trade sign from 1910- will be set up at the NHADA show and is bringing this absolutely knock your socks off spectacular trade sign. Holy smokes, that's a looker!! For many more treasures from John, or J-Chaz, as I've just decided he surely should be called, check out his website here. https://www.johnchaski.com/ John also has a blog that covers his travels through the antiques world, it's equal parts educational and delightful.
Dating from the third quarter of the 19th century, this vibrant sign is in a remarkable state of preservation. It's cheeky as hell, and would make a great statement piece in any home! Also, can we talk about how high men's heels were at this point?! Amazing.

My friends Tom Jewett and Butch Berdan will be also be at the NHADA show, their booth always makes my head spin, it's so stunning and packed with incredible and playful antiques to bring color and humor to your home. This year they're being coy and only giving us the sneakiest peek (so like them to tease!) but oh what a tease it is!! You can see soooo much more from Tom and Butch on their website here! (or at the show, which I swear to god you really should attend) http://www.jewettandberdan.com/
I'm literally dying to know to what exceptional object this vividly handsome fella belongs!!

Steve Powers, arguably the snappiest dresser I know, always has a booth full of thought provoking, dare I say challenging objects, the stuff that sticks with you for years. Just last week I was talking to a friend about a bowl of hundreds of antique dice he had at a show a couple years back. It's funny but I still think about those beautiful dice pretty often, they were just so tactile and appealing. I can't wait to see what incredible pieces he'll have in his booth at the Antiques in Manchester show, but I know this c.1892-1913 folk house portrait is going to drive my mom go crazy. She LOVES folk art house portraits, and this, one of a set of five, is the creme de la creme.
     Steve's got a fabulous e-catalog of his most current offerings available on his website right now, and it's well worth the click-through! http://www.stevenspowers.com/home+away+from+home.html#.WYEYYStJmu7

And finally here's the 2016 Antiques in Manchester booth from my friend Don Olson, who has been a tremendous support to me, and Heir and Space for years now. Don has to be one of the kindest and most genuine people I've ever met and he always has a swoon-worthy booth. At last year's Antiques in Manchester show he had some really REALLY fantastic early painted furniture and objects. I'm always shouting at you about the unmatched beauty of original antique painted surfaces, and his booth is a masterclass. And again, for you folks from afar or tied up next week, Don's website is sooooooo much fun. http://www.donolsonantiques.com/

So here's the takeaway- I'm 32. I've got about six pennies to my name, but HELL YES I buy antiques, and from dealers, and at good shows. Once in a while I splurge and spend $500 on something I cannot live without, but often I'll buy one thing and it's under $100. We're not talking huge numbers here to own an individual, unique, and important piece of history, something you can tell your friends about when you've had two martinis, and pass on to your kids...when you've had two martinis. These aren't the antiques of our parents and grandparents. They're weird and fun and funky. They don't need to be in palatial, painfully formal homes, you can live with them, and use them, and they'll never let you down like mass produced Homegoods crap will. I'll be shopping both shows next Thursday, if you spot me, you better say hi!!

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