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Antiqueman's diary : the memoirs of Fred…

Antiqueman's diary : the memoirs of Fred Bishop Tuck

by Fred Bishop Tuck

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0884482278, Paperback)

This charming little memoir is a turn-of-the-century Antiques Roadshow with the gentleman who proclaimed himself Maine's first antique dealer. As an enterprising twenty-six year old, Fred B. Tuck set up shop in Kennebunkport's Union Square in 1893 hoping to capitalize on the popularity of the Kennebunks as a summer destination for people of means. At one point he ran two shops in Kennebunkport, offering furnished period showrooms at one location, and at the other antiques combined with a soda fountain dispensing "the best of soda with pure fruit flavors," and for many years he had a shop in Union Square, on Hovey's Wharf, or later on Route One.

Tuck made frequent buying trips through New England and the South, where he sometimes opened a winter shop for the season. He took delight in tracking down leads for old furniture and other items and relished the stories that went with them, recalling them in perfect detail. When there wasn't enough stock to satisfy customer demand for "colonial relics," Tuck and his staff were quite creative with reproductions or their "improvements" to existing pieces. Their expert refinishing and upholstering services would cause tears today on the Antiques Roadshow. Tuck's entrepreneurial bent also led him to develop "historical" postcards, jigsaw puzzles, and scrapbooks; bottled water in patriotic red and blue bottles; and a patented moth-proof garment bag!

The late Dean A. Fales, Jr., a furniture historian and the author of American Painted Furniture: 1660-1880, unearthed a transcript of Tuck's "diary" in a secondhand shop and, intrigued by Tuck's life, undertook further research and gave several illustrated lectures about him. His wife, Martha G. Fales of Kennebunk, has provided a new introduction, and Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr., director of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, has written an afterword that acquaints us with some of Tuck's successors in the world of Maine antiques, beginning with Shettleworth's first foray into an antique shop at the age of six.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:18 -0400)

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