Maine Antiques Exposition at Thompson’s Point, Portland, Maine
When I approached the entrance to Goosefare Antiques and Promotions’ Maine Antiques Exposition at Thompson’s Point, Portland, Maine, held on September 14 and 15, I passed Maine and Texas dealer Gordon Stanley heading out after making the rounds of the show. I asked if he had made some good scores. “I did. I sure did. I found some good stuff. Had to come down here to recharge.” And so did lots of other folks. Arriving about two hours after opening on the first day, I encountered numerous examples of dealer-to-dealer trading—some for hundreds of dollars, some for several thousand dollars.
Now in its third annual running with John and Elizabeth DeSimone at the helm, the show is building momentum. Each year it seems to be a little more prosperous and a little more well attended. Although not everyone I spoke with was going home rich, the facilities met with near universal approval—ample parking, natural lighting from high windows on the walls of the cavernous exhibition hall, and good acoustics. Even the food was a cut above the ordinary, with crepes and Mexican food on the menu.
Exhibitor Jim Luskay of Holliston, Massachusetts, agreed. “It seems like it’s a bigger, steadier crowd.... I think there are a few more [dealers]. What a great facility. It’s such a great environment for a show.”
Referring to their first show here in the fall of 2017 that was competing with a beer-tasting event across the way, I suggested that the DeSimones somehow take advantage of that. “We did,” Elizabeth quickly responded. “We opened a cash bar this year!” Ever the astute marketers!
For more information, go to (www.goosefareantiques.com) or call 1-800-641-6908.
Joni Lima of Iron Renaissance, Damariscotta, Maine, was pleased to explain the intricacies and subtleties of a $225 clown head to an obviously entranced listener. His biggest problem was that by the end of the day he had little left to sell.
Michael Leslie of Port ’N Starboard Gallery, Durham, Maine, offered for $6500 this signed 12" x 16" oil on panel by Belgian artist Edward Antoon Portielje (1861-1949), Tranquil Summer Shores, showing a pensive, fur-draped young woman gazing out to sea.
Deirdre O’Callaghan of Partridge Hill Antiques, Castleton-on-Hudson, New York, showed a gleaming coin silver teapot by Harvey Lewis (1783-1835) of Philadelphia, circa 1810, with multiple rows of gadrooning, an applied wooden handle, and a large inverted acorn finial, for $1500. After apprenticing with Joseph Lownes, Lewis began his own silversmithing business around 1803 and had his own apprentice within a year thereafter. “Much better crowd than last year,” O’Callaghan offered. “There’s a lot of out-of-staters here that I didn’t see before.”
This pair of port and starboard lanterns, with thick red and green lenses and heavily oxidized surfaces, was $495 from Michael Westman of Peace Dale, Rhode Island.
Patricia Stauble of Wiscasset, Maine, offered this circa 1820 stepback dressing table in mustard paint, with matching hand-painted decorations on the drawer front and backsplash, for $950.
Here’s a pair of stylized decoys that the dealer thought could represent mergansers. Made by Bob Biddle of Media, Pennsylvania, they were $995. “I don’t know if [merganser] is the right word or not,” admitted Sherry Cohen of Up Your Attic Antiques, Framingham, Massachusetts. “But I know this.... I like the look of them. They’re hand carved. I like the paint.... The other reason I bought them is that pairs are hard to find.” In other venues, the Biddle birds are described as red-throated loons, a bird that hangs out all over the Arctic.
I knew there had to be a story behind this $225 poster reading “OSTRICH GIRL / Miss OSA TRICH.” Evan Grant of Bremen, Maine, had both the poster and the story. It’s a World War II circus-style poster for war bonds and a USO dance. It was part of a trio of posters. In one Adolf Hitler is represented as a pig, another is an obese lady named “Miss Ella Fant,” perhaps for Albert Goring, and this poster of a big bird represents Nazi minister of propaganda Joseph Goebbels. The face does indeed resemble Goebbels’s.
This small and early sailor-made dome-top box in burlwood, lavishly decorated with engraved bone and ivory rosettes and brass studs, was $950 from Nancy Douglass of Willow Springs Perennial Antiques, Rexford, New York.
Trifles, Wiscasset, Maine, displayed this nearly full-size motorcycle model built mainly of wood, with movable rubber wheels and various wire and tubing accessories. It was hardly a trifling matter at $2800. Referring to the unknown craftsman who put it together, Helen Robinson offered, “Who knows?... We bought it here at the show.” Before its purchase by the previous owner, it had been a classic flea market find at someone’s yard sale. “I wish I was the one who had found it at the flea market,” she added.
Drew Epstein explained the mechanics of this Little Duke one-cent gumball and slot machine, which Scott Bassoff, Sandy Jacobs Antiques, Swampscott, Massachusetts, displayed along with a supply of pennies for people to try their luck. “Some people today have gotten some payoffs,” Epstein confessed, “but when the payoff slot gets so full, the pennies get siphoned off to a little cash box inside.” The appropriately named one-armed bandit from 1933 was a sure winner at $4250.
This 19th-century slant-lid clerk’s desk is adorned with an original coat of ocher grain paint on a yellow background. Dennis Raleigh and Phyllis Sommer of Dennis Raleigh Antiques & Folk Art and Pumpkin Patch Antiques, Searsport, Maine, offered it for $2450.
Early in his life, Portland, Maine, native Rupert Lovejoy (1885-1975) had a difficult career choice to make. He had to decide whether to become a dentist, mortician, or artist. He chose dentistry but eventually turned to art full-time after an encounter with fellow painter Walter Griffin, and it was Griffin who had the most influence on Lovejoy’s impressionistic style. His oil on canvas vision of Portland’s Park Street Church in a snowstorm was $2800 from Dennis Gleason of Gleason Fine Art, Boothbay Harbor, Maine.
Marvin and Leslie Wies (for clarity, that’s Marvin on the right) of Baltimore, Maryland, brought a friend to the show. The $1995 friend was a little stage struck and wouldn’t say anything. He’s old and a little beaten up, but he did wave his metal whirligig arms in a friendly greeting.
This simple copper rooster weathervane atop a tubular stand was $1250 from Laura Blanchard and Bill Perepchuk of Laura Blanchard Antiques & Design, Hancock, Maine. “It’s from the 1940s,” Blanchard explained, “and whoever made the base did a nice job.”
The 1900s home of sea captain Charles M. Nichols still stands in Searsport, Maine, where it had been a bed and breakfast in recent years under the appropriate name of “Sea Captain’s Inn.” Ed and Anita Holden of Holden Antiques, Sherman, Connecticut, and Naples, Florida, offered this trade sign for $795.
Dave White of White’s Nautical Antiques, North Yarmouth, Maine, is proud to stand behind his ship models. He particularly liked this full-rigged pond model of a three-masted schooner with the original sails and hull and mostly original rigging, priced at $3750.
First-timers to the show, Jim and Kathy Twining of Raven’s Way Antiques, North Kingstown, Rhode Island, presented this realistic oil on canvas titled Northern Encounter by Argentine artist Jorge Mayol (b. 1948) for $950. Mayol has immigrated to the United States, and this is the painting from which a series of limited-edition prints titled The Lost Coast were made.
The impressionistic style of Connecticut artist Winfield Scott Clime (1881-1958) is evident in this oil on canvas view of a sunlit valley and a lake or river in the distance. Bill Union of Art and Antique Gallery, Inc., Worcester, Massachusetts, offered it in the original frame for $8500.
Here’s an early two-part black-painted open-top corner cupboard with dentil molding, a single flat-panel door, and brass H-hinges. The top may have been somewhat newer than the bottom, but they made a good pair for $985 from Leslie and Jim Mansfield of Dog Gone Antiques, West Lebanon, New Hampshire.
When William Shakespeare’s Hamlet expounded, “The play’s the thing,” he was trying to expose his uncle King Claudius as a murderer. But when it came to a large painted stage backdrop, nobody was quite sure what play it was all about. Mark Longval of Parsonsfield, Maine, didn’t recall who the artist is, but he and his assistant Karen offered it for $700. It shows a small group of people in contemporary attire wandering under a Classical arch structure, with a small flock of winged putti flitting around above. The one peeing onto the crowd from on high probably represents a drama critic.
This Jalisco culture pottery tomb figure, dating from 250 B.C. to A.D. 250, was $1100 from Brian Cullity of Sagamore, Massachusetts. Presumably, it was dug from one of the interlocking shaft tombs found in western Mexico, and it has been carefully restored. The dark markings, according to Cullity’s website, represent tattoos distinctive to the tribe it was from.
Thornton Wilder’s classic play Our Town was first produced in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1938, and went on to win a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize. Although we couldn’t confirm this, Patricia White may have been the actress better known as Patricia Barry (1921-2016), born Patricia Allen White. That would date this sign to the mid-1940s, when she gained some screen credits under her Patricia White name. Jim Luskay of Holliston, Massachusetts, was seeking $390 for the sign. This was the third time at the show for him.
Emery Goff and Bill Carhart of The Old Barn Annex Antiques, Farmington, Maine, showed this enormous Black Forest carving with accoutrements of a hunting trip, such as muskets and pistols, priced at $495.
Ron and Pat Hodgdon of Pownal, Maine, offered for $4500 this Federal period mahogany bowfront chest in pristine condition, with bird’s-eye maple drawer front panels that match the oval cameo in the skirt and non-original but period hardware.
Originally published in the December 2019 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2019 Maine Antique Digest