Upstate New York’s Madison-Bouckville Antiques Festival relaunches with new promoter

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Enamel ware offered by Harry and Ginny’s Antiques, Brookhaven, N.Y. is primarily French. Photos courtesy Tom O'Hara.

Enamel ware offered by Harry and Ginny’s Antiques, Brookhaven, N.Y. is primarily French. Photos courtesy Tom O’Hara.


Madison-Bouckville Antiques Show dentist trade sign
Don and Marta Orwig, Corunna, Ind. were showing their tooth, this Nineteenth Century advertising piece at Madison Bouckville, priced at $7,500.

BOUCKVILLE, N.Y. – Begun in 1971 as a 40-something dealer show, the Madison-Bouckville Antiques Week this year had a nearly continuous line of shows Aug. 15- 21, 2011 between the small villages of Madison to the crossroads of Bouckville.

These antiques markets launched to fill founder Jock Hengst’s Landmark Tavern for another week each summer. However, the event quickly escalated into the monster show week it is today, with a score or more of markets and capped by the big one: Madison Bouckville Antiques Festival.

Hengst sold his land after the 2010 show to the neighboring White Eagle Farm, an active dairy farm. White Eagle Farm is owned and managed by Ed Carhart and his family, operating a dairy with about 900 head of cows. With strong encouragement from local business people Carhart instead rented the land to The Results Group, an event management company, headed by Tom Tarry.

Under Tarry’s eye, the new Madison Bouckville Antiques Festival regained its anchor status of the  Madison Bouckville Antiques Week. Tarry was successful in bring back most of the dealers from the recent past, about 600 in total. Changes came with the new owner including the active days of the show and the layout of the field. In the past dealers were not allowed to actually show inventory until Friday morning’s early buying time. Tarry’s changes allowed the dealers to enter on a Wednesday in advance of an early buying period starting at noon on Thursday for a $29 admission ($50 for couples).

The layout of the show was similar to previous years but since Tarry did not have a copy of Hengst’s layout, some of the large multi dealer tents were located in slightly different positions, creating narrow lanes, which Tarry plans to correct. Also some dealer’s locations were changed innocently due to the absence of old plans, frustrating the dealers affected.

Tarry, in several interviews, said he “hoped dealers and customers alike were able to chalk it up to our first year here and we will tackle these problems for next year. Moving the tents will happen, and we’ll talk with the dealers to see how we can work [their exhibit spaces] out. We are also going to work on some issues about the food service to be sure we have it available during the set up days.”

The new show was blessed with good weather. Many participants said that in the last five or more years there has been heavy rain at some point during the show. The clear skies most certainly helped with visitor traffic at all the week’s markets by bringing more shoppers who stayed longer and probably did more buying.

wildfowl decoys 

Madison Bouckville Antiques Week has a reputation as a place  dealers and decorators can find fresh additions to their inventories. Collectors are also shopping for special additions in “as found” condition and free from a history of retail markups. For these reasons, many shoppers call the show “The Well”

Great antiques were available at most of the fields. Mapleside Antiques of Titusville, Penn., was showing a collection dominated by country things but there was some later pottery and collectibles as well. Hanging from the pipe trusses of their tent was a collection of about a dozen pierced, 19th century tin lanterns.

A Lady Liberty wood carving found in a Michigan court house was exhibited at the East Expo Field Antique Show by Cindy and Joe Lewis from Clarence, N.Y.

A Keystone Ride’em fire truck put out many fires for some little fellows over the last 75 or 80 years but it was still worth $325 according to Art Bennett a Waits Field, Vt. exhibitor at the East Expo Field Antique Show.

Don and Marta Orwig of Corunna, Ind., were showing their current collection of antiques and a good deal more.

Dealer Scott Condello’s Sword and Pen Antiques of North Wales, Penn.,  specializes in early weapons and guns, early documents and unusual items that strike his fancy. His collection  included a circa 1860, nearly complete chemist’s case in mahogany that came from Jersey City, N.J. It was priced at $395 at the Madison Bouckville Antiques Festival.

Enamelware offered by Harry and Ginny’s Antiques of Brookhaven, N.Y. is primarily French. Their inventory is from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Old Country Antiques of Heightstown, N.J. was showing very hard to find pieces from their inventory of yellowware. They offered a large batter bowl with pour spout, a butter dish, a colander, a mold and many more, as well as old standbys such as assorted sizes of mixing bowls.

A collection of grass baskets and Native American beaded bags and accoutrements were among the collection offered by Jonna and Robert Austin of Stratford, Texas.

Paul Bishop of Catdaddy Antiques, a shop in Jonestown, Penn., was offering a large collection of painted furniture from his part of Pennsylvania. The blue-painted corner cupboard was in milk paint outside with a red inside, in hardwood, and priced at $3,300. Along side it was another cupboard, also in blue milk paint.

The other shows along the road, New York Route 20, were also great sources for fresh antiques. Generally the distance of one or two tents from the pavement, they were opened Aug. 15- 21, with some dealers packing out for “The Big Show” the nickname dealers give the end-of-week festival.

Ponzi’s Antiques of Trumansburg, N.Y., sells smalls and fine art, including several Hudson River School paintings. A small, red work table priced at $985 had good interest but did not sell according to Paul Ponzi. They had been regulars at the Festival show for many years but their traditional space was not available to them so they moved to the East Expo Field Antique Show.

Many exhibitors were simply selling in front yards. Meisner’s Auctions from New Lebanon, N.Y., was selling clocks and furniture. Mike Stanton was reseating antique porch rockers at his house while also selling them.

Sue McCabe of Eden, N.Y., had a Hoosier-like kitchen cupboard for sale. Made by McDougall of Frankfort, Ind., the cupboard was offered for $700 along with a good deal more in 19th century oak furniture.

For next year’s show, August 16-19, 2012, Tarry said they will have a few more changes or corrections. More information is available at the show’s website.

There is a combined website which has details of most of the other sites for Madison Bouckville Antiques Week. Since each of these fields are individually owner or managed there are varying differences. Look for all the shows next summer August 13-19.

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