Madison Bouckville celebrates 40th anniversary

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BOUCKVILLE, N.Y. – It began as an antiques event in a town filled with antiques shops to increase the business in Jock Hengst’s restaurant, The Landmark Tavern. Just a nice weekend in the back field for about 40 exhibitors in 1971. However, the word got out and it grew like a weed in a hayfield to nearly 1,000 vendors in just a few years.

The size has leveled off at about 700 contracted spaces for many years now, but the antiques show over time has spawned many other open air antiques markets, about 20 all totaled stretching down Route 20 about two miles to the center of Madison, N.Y., thus the combined name for the event.

 The Madison-Bouckville Antiques Show was held Aug. 20-22, 2010, with nearly 1,000 exhibiting dealers who came from virtually all the states east of the Mississippi River and some from further west.  Located about 100 miles west of Albany, N.Y., Bouckville is a very small hamlet where antiques are a very big pastime and where local businesses cater to the shoppers most of the year, fostering a great deal of activity and just plain fun in the buying and selling of antiques.

The environment has been making antiques shoppers and sellers feel comfortable spending the August week searching out the best additions to their collections and inventories. In essence visitors consider it ‘The Well,’ where fresh antiques come to market for the first time.

Opening for set up and early buying Aug. 20, there were hundreds entering at the gates for the early bird shopping which began that morning at 10 a.m., with the best weather the show has had in several years. Hengst had increased the number of large tents to seven for exhibitors to show their collections. These spaces are very popular because they are large enough for big exhibits, while staying out of the sun’s heat and the rain. It also gives the show a more closely-knit area for the shoppers.

Kay Rolland of Geneva, N.Y., was showing her inventory, which included early country furniture and small antiques for dining. Also offering furniture was Jim Emele of Emele’s Antiques of Dublin, Penn.

Don and Marta Orwig of Corunna, Ind., were offering some of their collection of early Americana, folk art and old advertising materials. They included antique country furniture and a good deal of unusual pieces. Hanging as high as the tent would allow was an American buffalo head, as big as life except it was dead and stuffed. According to Marta, it did not sell but it did bring shoppers into their booth for some other purchases.

The show attracts many exhibitors from near and far with highly specialized collections. Red Barn Antiques of Dallas, Texas, was selling early 20th century dishes. Cavern View Antiques of Howe’s Cave, N.Y., is an ironstone specialist, with several tables filled with the early English earthenware. Donna Shannon of Chapel Hill, N.C., sold pillows, nosegays, and rag dolls all that she made from antique and vintage textiles. Lebanon, Conn., dealer Harry Eck was offering his collection of early English candlesticks.

Peter Moses had a little bit of everything: all kinds of small antiques from his North Syracuse, N.Y., collection. Bringing his collection of early English antiques, Stuart Cropper travels across the Atlantic from home in Seaford, England, to exhibit at the show. This week he was showing a large collection of samplers, and small useful things including Majolica and Spode dishes and some English folk art.

Ponzi’s Antiques of Trumansburg, N.Y. was showing some of their collection of 18th and 19th century furniture. A regular at this show for many years they have sold well and also been able to draw customers to their shop nearby.

Madison-Bouckville is only once a year but for all these 40 years there have been many who make the trip for good antiques and good sales according to Hengst. It will happen again next summer, Aug. 20-21, 2011.  Hengst has several other shows in the area throughout the year with details for visitors and exhibiting dealers available on their website or by calling 315-824-2462. ?


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