April 2019: John & Elizabeth DeSimone

The NHADA is pleased to announce that John and Elizabeth DeSimone of Goosefare Antiques & Promotions are our dealers of the month for April 2019. John and Elizabeth started their antiques business in 1969 when a fellow teacher and antiques collector interested them in antique furniture. At the time, they were making $98 a week and, after paying all bills, had $7 a month left over. So, in order to buy antiques, John and Elizabeth had to sell antiques as well. Those days were lots of fun for the DeSimones who participated in Mal French’s Concord shows and Sonia Paine’s Boston shows. They became addicted to weekend auctions and the hunt for early antiques at affordable prices.

Back then, 18th-century antiques in early paint were easy to find and buy. The DeSimones opened their first two shops in Saco, Maine, and opened a third shop in 1999 in Wells, closing it last fall after 20 years in that location. In the early days there were not many shows in Maine where young dealers were allowed to exhibit, so in 1972 John and Elizabeth started promoting antiques shows in Maine and Goosefare Antiques & Promotions was born. Now, almost 50 years later, the DeSimones still buy and sell, and continue to run fine antiques shows in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut. John and Elizabeth still get enjoyment from the wonderful pieces of furniture that they have handled and collected over the years. After decades in the trade, the DeSimones are still in awe of the craftsmanship of those 18th- and 19th-century New England furniture makers.

One thing about dealing in antiques for many years — which John and Elizabeth wanted to note — is that one’s tastes broaden and one gets to appreciate the beauty and quality in other areas of the market. The DeSimones now buy, sell, and collect folk art paintings, decoys, pattern glass and early ironstone, and they are always on the hunt for good Maine antiques. They also appreciate the independence and the quirkiness of the many interesting antiques dealers whom they have met over the years. The pleasure of promoting so many antiques shows comes from the dealers who they have grown to know and like. If it were not for them, it would just be work. Thanks to those individuals, it is an enjoyable business for John and Elizabeth.