Antiques

Loving antiques

By Anna Marie D'Addarie - September 28, 2006

It was obvious before entering the Grange Hall in West Tisbury that the Martha's Vineyard Antique Association Show would be remarkable. On the porch, two dealers carefully set up displays in quaint vignettes. Customers could tell immediately these dealers loved antiques.

The dealers

In the bright white foyer, Randi Walsh of Vineyard Haven welcomed everyone who entered the Grange. Most people had to stop to ooh and aah over her fabulous jewelry selection. A tray of sterling charms brought back memories from the 50s and 60s. Ms. Walsh loves to meet people and talk about her wares. Like all the dealers at this show, she is very knowledgeable and helpful.

Antique dealer Allan Hanson turns an old potty chair into a planter for this clever display. Photo by Anna Marie D'Addarie
Antique dealer Allan Hanson turns an old potty chair into a planter for this clever display. Ms. Hanson specializes in Vineyard antiques. Photo by Anna Marie D'Addarie

Entering the hall, visitors see why the Grange is the perfect spot for this type of show. The wooden interior accents the displays perfectly. And the dealers use the space to full advantage. Rugs are placed on the floor, for sale and also for atmosphere. Everywhere you look there are interesting things peeking out, calling you over, inviting you to touch, and perhaps own. Each item has a story, and the dealers are happy to share them.

Susan Shea of Beach Plum Antiques grew up in Lobsterville. She has been collecting for 40 years after acquiring the bug from Dorothy Scoville. Ms. Scoville was the curator of the Martha's Vineyard Historical Society (now the Martha's Vineyard Museum) and an author of several books on Martha's Vineyard collectibles. Ms. Shea loves to teach Island history to her customers as they browse her table.

Thanks to David Hilliard, a large platter of fudge was passed around the room. For Islanders, the name Hilliard will bring back memories of delicious handmade candy. Now, Hilliard's Candies are back on the Island at New Moon Magick in Oak Bluffs. Along with Kathleen Cowley, Mr. Hilliard worked at their booth, which includes garden pieces, nautical and seasonal items, as well as lovely English ironstone.

The Grange. Photo by Jeremy W. Smith
The Grange's rustic interior is the perfect backdrop for displaying the antiques. Photo by Jeremy W. Smith
Other dealers include Chris Mayhew of Smooth Sailing Estate Sales; Joan Potter and Jane Shelley of All Things Oriental; Richard Tripp of Vineyard Haven.

The boss

Patti Kirwin "runs a tight ship," said dealer Tim Rush of Lamplighter Corner with a smile. Ms. Kirwin of Able to Cane in Vineyard Haven runs the antiques show. But since all the dealers seem to be on the same wavelength, she doesn't have to act like the overseer. Ms. Kirwin said early birds are most welcome here. She also added that dealers bring different merchandise each week, so there is always something new to see.

Old kitchen items are always popular, attracting lots of attention. Photo by Anna Marie D'Addarie
Old kitchen items are always popular, attracting lots of attention. Photo by Anna Marie D'Addarie

Now in its fifth year, the show features more than 15 dealers. The show has been running weekly all summer and will continue with a sale this weekend, Columbus Day weekend, and again Thanksgiving weekend.

Stop by for a visit. You will certainly leave with a new appreciation of antiques, and maybe a new treasure too.

Antique Show Friday, Sept. 29, 9 am to 3 pm, Grange Hall, State Road, West Tisbury. Also Friday, Oct. 6; Friday, Nov. 24 and Saturday, Nov. 25. For more information call 508-696-7979. Free admission and parking. Rain or shine.