March 2019 VADA News
Greetings from snowy Vermont! Winter weather can be a problem for shows but luckily that wasn’t the case this year for the 42nd Annual Cabin Fever Show and Sale in Quechee, Vermont. It was a lovely but cold day, and in spite of terrible driving conditions including snow and icy roads on Friday, dealers were able to arrive safely for set up. It is always a nice little show and this year was no exception. There were some new dealers and many familiar faces as well.
Looking ahead to April, the 53rd Vermont Maple Festival Antiques Show and Sale is going to be held on April 27th and 28th in St. Albans at the St. Albans Town and Educational Center. The show opens Saturday, 10am to 5pm and again on Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Admission is free.
This month Holly and Jeff Noordsy are our featured VADA dealers. They have been active members of VADA for many years and Jeff is currently Vice President, Membership. Jeff and Holly are probably best known for selling bottles, glass, and ceramics but they also deal in other antiques especially those with painted surfaces and unique craftsmanship. They met while both were attending Middlebury College in Vermont and discovered a mutual interest in American history and the material culture of the 18th and 19th centuries. Unlike many college students, they began attending tag sales and estate auctions and used their finds to decorate their dorm rooms. Their interest in antiques was further fostered while Jeff was working a summer job for a Middlebury graduate who specialized in buying and selling antique building materials acquired through disassembling 18th and 19th century structures. His employer had been an avid bottle digger in the 70’s and his tales served to pique Jeff and Holly’s interest in antique bottles. They quickly began actively searching for and buying bottles and decorated stoneware. After graduation Holly worked in local museums, including the Sheldon Museum, the Shelburne Museum, and the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum; and Jeff continued work as a carpenter and contractor. They set up at their first show in 1993 and were quite successful and by 1997, they were doing so well that Jeff was able to become a full-time dealer and a year later Holly joined him selling full time.
Holly and Jeff currently have two websites www.jeffnholantiquebottles.com and www.noordsyantiques.com. They do a number of shows, including the NHADA show during New Hampshire Week and the VADA show, Antiques at Stratton Mountain, during Vermont Antiques Week. They also do the ADA show and some of the Peter Mavris shows in New Hampshire during the winter. The major bottle shows they do are held in Baltimore, Maryland and in Keene, New Hampshire.
Jeff and Holly both love being dealers and enjoy researching and learning the history of what they sell and the thrill of finding a unique piece, never knowing what may turn up. They continue to collect bottles, especially labeled Vermont bottles and other objects of local interest such as Addison County redware.
One of the difficulties facing the antiques market is attracting a younger audience. Both Jeff and Holly feel that shows are still relevant in the age of internet selling but that shows must change to better fit the times. Younger people and others often seem less interested in the historical background of a piece than they are in the visual appeal of the piece. Perhaps dealers might need to present objects in such a way as to be visually appealing first and then engage the mind.
I think that after this winter, most of us are now ready for spring and are looking forward to the new season of antique shows.
Vesta Urband firstname.lastname@example.org