Some observations on Manchester, 2021. It was great to see the shows back in person. I went to West Townsend group shop and had a long and wonderful conversation with the dealer Martha Boyton. My wife and I used to purchase antiques from dealers in Wisconsin who were good friends with her mother. Not looking for one, isn’t that always the way, I found a homespun blanket in a brown check at Antiques at West Townsend. We now have 2 homespuns in brown, so I am told one more makes a collection.
I then stopped at Delaney clocks where John Delaney Sr. was overseeing the shop. We spent 90 minutes talking clocks including how he got into the business. In looking at the tall case clocks I concluded if I were to get another one it would have to have birds or flowers on the dial. Thanks, John, for a sweet and unexpected treat, both the conversation and the book on Willard clocks you gave me.
Tuesday evening was supper and conversation with Toni and Noel from Houston. Antiques brought us together as friends.
The Collector’s Show showed once again that the Karen, the promoter, knows how to take care of collectors. While because of Covid we could not spend the last half hour or so inside the arena before the show doors opened, chairs were put out for every person in line. The venue is terrific. Schmoozing with fellow collectors for 3 hours was great fun. The number of people in line when the show began seemed fewer in number than two years ago, which surprised me. Perhaps Covid and its variants were worrying folks. I found a small sized pantry box; I had been looking for several to complete a stack but did not fall in love with anything else.
On to lunch with another antique friend, Jim from Kansas City. Because it seemed attendance was down at the shows compared to 2019, I slept in just a bit and did not get to the Dealers’ Show until 7:15 am, still near the front of the line. It was incredibly hot and humid, no chairs or water provided to those in line. Once numbers were issued, I went back into the hotel to survive. It was brutal outside. I found two more pantry boxes at the show, passed on something I had asked a dealer to bring (saving me lots of dollars), and a weathervane I wasn’t really looking for but decided was terrific had sold by the time I realized I wanted it. Par for the course.
It seemed to me that buying and the offerings were a bit stronger at the Dealers’ Show than anywhere else but that may be my bias. I was surprised that more dealers did not bring what I considered to be “drop dead” pieces, given these were some of the first in-person shows of the year, and it was Manchester after all. And I wish the NH Dealers had taken better care of those in line. One gentleman passed out; it is an older crowd as we all know.
I already am looking forward to next year.I’d be interested what others thoug