Antiques aficionados swarm to NH for esteemed show

By LYNNE TUOHY | August 11, 2011 | 4:28 PM EDT

Dealer Peter Sawyer, right, shows a shelf clock to a possible buyer during the New Hampshire Antique Show Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011 in Manchester, N.H. The show runs through Saturday and caps a week of antiques auctions and shows, which are a powerful tourist magnet for New Hampshire. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — A tall-case clock crafted in 1810 was the heart-stopping piece Peter Sawyer of Exeter, N.H. proudly brought to his booth this week at the 54th New Hampshire Antiques Show.

Made of mahogany by Boston clockmaker Aaron Willard Jr., the timepiece was priced at $85,000.

Antiques aficionados began packing the lobby of a Manchester hotel before dawn Thursday, anxious to be among the first shoppers at a show many proclaim to be tops in the country.

Dealers hoped that antiques buyers — as they so often do in down economic times — would spring for special, pricey items as investments.