The Susan MacKay and Peter Field Collection

August 18, 2018
Portsmouth, New Hampshire

A Wonderful Life
Antiques, History, Old Houses & Friends

Peter and I both grew up in Grosse Pointe, Michigan with parents interested in collecting antiques. As young adults we haunted antique shops,shows and flea markets searching out pieces we liked and could afford. As with so many collectors we realized we were running out of space, so why not become dealers? In 1986 we started MacKay and Field Antiques, exhibiting first at flea markets and then moving on to indoor shows. We filled our booths with simple country furniture and accessories. While doing shows we were constantly upgrading our personal collections. Soon we were looking for pieces from the Pilgrim century, not only American, but also what would have been in the homes of early New Englanders. In 1996 we bought the authentically restored 1787 Jonathan Ashley house in Chaplin, Connecticut. Northeast Auctions was a favorite shopping place for us and in 2001 we attended their onsite preview of the Monahan Collection in Rhode Island. This was a life-changing event for us and the Monahan catalog became our bible. We devoted our lives to buying and selling early antiques as well as taking care of rescue animals.

Unfortunately, Peter died in 2010, just weeks after an unfavorable diagnosis, leaving me devastated at the loss of my partner and best friend. I wrote his obituary for the Art and Antiques Weekly (The Newtown Bee) and mentioned the highlight of Peter’s summer was the arrival of the Northeast Auctions catalog. Missing Pete very much, I still continued to collect and deal but it was never quite the same without him. I decided it was time to sell the collection and I called Ron. As he walked through the house he said, “This is like Roger Bacon’s collection” and together we decided that Northeast would be selling the collection.

Putting together this catalog, Ron mentioned that Peter and I were true collectors. Two or three hundred-year-old pieces have some wear, tear and restorations. We felt these were true antiques that had stood the test of time. “Make-do’s” are some of my favorite pieces as illustrated in lot 231, the early pine shelf rescued from the Chaplin dump, which is filled with five make-do’s including some from the Audrey and Tom Monahan Collection.

At this point I am now moving on to a new chapter in my life. This past Christmas Eve I married Zoran Pazameta, an astrophysics professor at Eastern Connecticut State University. The 1787 Jonathan Ashley house is currently on the market. Zoran and I are in the process of moving into our new home where I will spend my time volunteering for dog rescues and writing a book on my collection of one hundred leather tobies and other early English leather objects. When the book is finished, Northeast Auctions will sell that part of the collection. As I segue into the next phase of my life I’m also shepherding my antiques along to their next lives where I’m certain they’ll be loved, appreciated and admired.

Sue MacKay

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At Ayer House (Pumpkin House), Corner of Court & Pleasant Street

August 9-17, 10-5 Daily
August 18, 10-11:45