YORK, PENN. — The York Antiques Show & Sale, one of the long-lasting antiques events in Pennsylvania, filled Memorial Hall East at the York Fairgrounds on February 1–3, under the management of Melvin “Butch” Arion. This 160th semiannual show hosted 99 dealers, filling 96 booths with lots of furniture, pottery, fabrics, folk art, glass, paintings and a smattering of Twentieth Century objects.
Both the exhibitors and the general public agreed that it was a good-looking show with lots of nice things to buy. “Business was good for many of the dealers,” Butch said, adding, “Our crew loaded out about ten pieces of furniture in addition to some that either the dealers or the buyers carried out.” The show at the same time period last year was very well attended, “One of our best gates ever,” Butch said, and “this year we were just off that record number.”
Harry Hartman and Oliver Overlander from nearby Marietta offered a fine horse and sulky weathervane, which was displayed on a three-board hutch table with red painted base and scrubbed top. A stepback cupboard with a grain painted surface was filled with pieces of redware, and a large barber pole in red, white and blue stripes had a gold ball on top and a black painted ball on the bottom.
“It is very heavy,” James Kilvington of Greenville, Del., said of a restaurant sign in the form of a running deer with a fine weathered yellow painted surface. He also offered a small, delicate blanket chest in the original painted surface, Delaware origin, and a collection of nine gunpowder tins of various sizes and colors, including red, orange and green. Each had the original label, such as “Kentucky Rifle Gunpowder” and “Champion Ducking Gunpowder.”
A nice portrait, oil on canvas, of a young man holding a book and leaning on a shelf with a book on it, was by Ammi Phillips and shown by Sandy Jacobs of Swampscott, Mass. She also had a pair of fire buckets, painted leather from the Washington Fire Club, dated 1803, and belonging to N.F. Safford.
Jeff and Holly Noordsy of Cornwall, Vt., showed an Eighteenth Century New England blanket chest, lift top with one drawer, old red painted surface, and among the glass offerings were five rare over-sized Dutch gin bottles housed in an Eighteenth Century painted box.
Tommy Thompson, Pembroke, N.H., had a Nineteenth Century weaver’s skein with 30 bobbins, a large trade sign, painted, in the form of a pear, and a pair of early ice skates with acorn ends. A selection of large wooden bowls came in a variety of colors, including red, brown and yellow.
A set of six plank seat Windsor side chairs, York or Lancaster County, grained with paint decoration, was shown by Robert’s Antiques, New Cumberland, Penn., along with a very colorful tulip pattern quilt, nine red squares, yellow flowers, on a bark blue ground.
A large wooden trade sign advertising “Dry Goods” and “Groceries” hung against the back wall of the booth of Axtell Antiques, Deposit, N.Y. Of lesser size were a circa 1850 pilothouse eagle carved on a rock with wings spread, a hooked rug depicting two black cats with red ribbons for collars, and a wax mold for bees, very narrow with 17 metal tubes in a wood frame.
Daniel and Karen Olson of Newburgh, N.Y., had a large booth at the end of the show packed with furniture and works of art, such as a New Hampshire highboy with a fan-carved lower center drawer, flattop in maple, circa 1780, with the original brasses, and a circa 1840 New England portrait of a child in blue dress with her white dog holding a basket of flowers in its mouth.
In a nearby booth, James Wm. Lowery of Baldwinsville, N.Y., offered lots of furniture and not many smalls. “We wanted to have a different look this time,” he said, and showed a Queen Anne mahogany table from Salem, Mass., circa 1750–1780, round with pad feet, and a pair of New England banister back side chairs with rush seats, circa 1740–1780. A card table, New York or Irish Chippendale, dated circa 1760–1780 with tooled leather top, cabriole legs and ball and claw feet.
An Eighteenth century demilune table with beaded apron was against the back wall in the booth of Thomas Longacre, Marlborough, N.H., with an early Nineteenth Century countertop spice chest, 11 drawers, Rhode Island or Connecticut, on top. An appealing folk portrait of a cat, Nineteenth Century, was charcoal graphite on paper.
East Derry, N.H., dealer Cheryl A. Scott had a sign that reminded some of us older folks of our childhood when, after a big snow storm, a sign would appear reading “Street Closed — Coasting.” A portrait of a sailing ship, The George of Arundel, was dated 1865 with Robert Smith listed as the commander.
An impressive row of three weathervanes on a large farm table was in the both of Michael Whittemore, Punta Gorda, Fla. A dog and a running horse were on either side of a very large cow that came off a dairy barn in western Massachusetts. “The cow has been off the barn since the mid-1990s,” Michael said, “as the owners were afraid it was going to be stolen.” A large pair of eyeglasses, an early trade sign, was of painted tin and cast iron, and the firm of Jones & Gentry was on a large black shoe sign for a shoe store.
Claude and Sharon Baker of Hamilton, Ohio, had a well-arranged booth with a circa 1790–1810 New England pine farm hutch table, three-board top measuring 6 feet 8 inches by 3 feet, at the front, the perfect place to display a 15½-inch-diameter burl bowl in excellent condition with old surface.
A half-round sign with wood letters on a gray sandpaper ground spelled out “Masonic Hall” in the booth of Steven Still, Manheim, Penn., and among the pottery pieces was an embossed jar from the Henry Swope Pottery in Lancaster, Penn., dating from the second half of the Nineteenth Century. Dublin, Penn., dealers Jim and Victoria Emele had a tiger maple and cherry bowfront chest with reeded stiles and turned feet, circa 1800–1815, from the Philadelphia area. A walnut Dutch cupboard with two doors in the top section, with a total of 18 panes of glass, had an interior of original red paint and a nice spoon rack. From Berks County and dating circa 1820, the piece measured 7 feet 1 inch high, 62 inches wide and 19 inches deep.
A set of six plank seat side chairs with floral and fruit decoration, Pennsylvania origin, was shown with a New England three-board bench table with scrubbed top in the booth of David H. Horst of Lebanon, Penn. And Hanes & Ruskin Antiques, Old Lyme, Conn., offered an oval top Queen Anne figured maple New England table, circa 1730–1760, and a matching set of six rod back Windsor side chairs in old black paint, New England, circa 1800–1820.
John H. Rogers Antiques of Elkins, N.H., showed more wooden pieces than any other exhibitor in the show. “This is only part of my collection of butter stamps,” John said, pointing out row upon row of them around the booth. Just about any design you could think of was represented, including wheat, flowers, animals, birds and eagle and buildings. The flow of treen continued with a selection of trenchers, scoops, molds, and all manner of paddles.
Joseph J. Lodge, Lederach, Penn., had a nice paint decorated high chair, all original and dating from the mid-Nineteenth Century, and a tiny tin candle mold, three tubes, that would be perfect for making candles for birthday cakes. An inlaid one-drawer stand in cherry, tapering legs, decorative inlay, circa 1790, was shown with a circa 1860 dry sink with dovetailed well and one open shelf .
Ohio dealers David Good and Samuel Forsythe had a New Hampshire tall chest with the original surface and brasses, circa 1780, and a carved plover was by Charles Hart of Maine, 1928. A small redware bank with manganese decoration was dated 1867. By shortly afternoon on Thursday, the last day of setup, the booth was completely done, perfectly arranged. When notice was made of this accomplishment, Sam said, “It was real easy; David is in Mexico.”
American Sampler of Barnesville, Md., had a collection of cast iron that included five dog doorstops, a monkey hitching post finial dating from the second half of the Nineteenth Century and several still banks and bookends. A double carved fish plaque was by Lawrence C. Irvine of Winthrop, Maine, circa 1950, and measuring 10½ by 23½ inches.
A pair of hitching posts with horse heads, complete with a bottom section about 3 feet long that went into the ground, was shown by Chuck White of Warwick, N.Y., and a large fish weathervane by J.W. Fiske, good surface and measuring 30 inches long, was displayed over a yellow stenciled dressing table with two curved drawers on the top.
Heller Washam Antiques, Portland, Maine, had many pieces of furniture, including a Queen Anne Spanish foot armchair, American, circa 1755, with yoke-form crest, and a high-style figured walnut inlaid hunt board, American, Southern states, circa 1790, with a 65¾ inches wide top. More furniture was across the aisle in the booth of The Hanebergs’ Antiques, East Lyme, Conn. A tiger maple desk with pigeon-hole interior with bracket feet was from Rhode Island, circa 1770, and the Porter family bonnet-top cherry secretary, Chapin School, circa 1779, measured 87 inches high and 42 inches wide.
Raccoon Creek Antiques, Oley, Penn., occupied a large booth, displaying a Pennsylvania Dutch cupboard of rare small size, two-color painted surface, red and chrome yellow, with five spice drawers in the upper section and dating circa 1830. A New York State farm table with the original blue painted surface was circa 1840.
The Fassnachts, Canandaigua, N.Y., showed a portrait of Emily Moore Beatty by Samuel Dubois, who lived in Edison, Bucks County, and a painted trade sign for Lake Luzerne, circa 1870–1900, with a carved and painted wood fish right in the center. Todd Kibler Country Antiques Two, Mullica Hill, N.J., displayed a sawbuck table with red wash base, Pennsylvania origin, with a 71-by-34½-inch top, and a mid-Nineteenth Century blue over the original robin’s-egg blue painted pie safe with six flower basket tins.
A chair table with painted base, found in New York State, circa 1820, one-board top with breadboard ends, was shown by Newsom & Berdan Antiques of Thomasville, Penn. A Nineteenth Century album quilt from Crisfield, Md., Sterling family, measuring 85 by 84 inches, was designed in bright colors with red and green flowers in urns, parrots and songbirds. The Norwoods’ Spirit of America, Timonium, Md., had a large black shoe trade sign in wood, and a large basket of velvet fruit and vegetables, including apples, carrots and pears.
“It has been a really good show for me, sold lots of things,” Jim Grievo of Stockton, N.J., said. By mid-day Friday he had some things left, including a paint decorated blanket chest from Berks County, a two-part Pennsylvania painted cupboard that dated from the late Nineteenth Century and some smalls, including a real folky carved and painted Nineteenth Century deer with small sticks for antlers.
For those looking for whale oil lamps, Dennis Raleigh of Wiscasset, Maine, had about eight good answers. His selection included regular onion lanterns, lighthouse lanterns, some with brass tops and a couple of squashed globe lanterns. Latcham House Antiques, Waterville, Ohio, had a New England hooked rug, 29 by 39 inches, with a flying fish design, and a watercolor of the ship Constitution in New York Harbor, dated 1884, with several different flags, including five American flags.
Stephen-Douglas of Rockingham, Vt., had an early trade sign for “William B. Bickford & Co Manufactory,” oval in form with gold shoe and boot on a black ground. A miniature chest of drawers was shell decorated, and a six-sided wood birdcage was painted black and orange.
Robert Snyder and Judy Wilson, Wiscasset, Maine, came to York directly from the Stella show in New York City, feeling a bit weary from all the driving. However, they put on their regular very neat and well-lighted booth displaying a “mute”’ swan decoy carved and painted by Horace Graham of Charlestown, Md. It measured 33 inches long and was initial branded on the bottom. A wire basket contained many pieces of stone fruit, and a trio of snake-in-the-box painted carvings had all just come out of a private collection.
An oil on panel portrait of Frances Ann Barrett by Samuel L. Waldo, dated 1838 and signed verso, hung in the booth of Neverbird Antiques, Surry, Va. An African map sampler, dated 1850, possibly made in England or in one of the English-run missionaries in Sierra Leone, was shown, and a recent acquisition was a portrait of a boy in blue with book and hat, oil on canvas, circa 1840, unsigned and in a period frame.
DBR Antiques of Hadley, Mass., had a number of doorstops, including the Hubley bathing beauties under their umbrella, a car, sheep, cat, elephant and a rare example of a waiter with a Coke tray. A large straight razor trade sign was painted wood, and a demilune hooked rug depicted a recumbent white dog under a “welcome” banner.
Jewett-Berdan of Newcastle, Maine, had a large three-tiered martin house with a tall finial on top, and an elaborate hooked rug featured 22 animals and birds, three buildings and two people in a rural farm scene. A copper waiter, dressed in black and white and holding a tray, once “worked” in a hotel in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
A very nice scale model of the Union Pacific Big Boy locomotive, designed to haul iron ore in the Rockies, was in the booth of Pratt’s Antiques, Victor, N.Y. A red song bird was mounted on a heart-shaped perch, circa 1890–1900, Pennsylvania origin, and a pastel portrait of a young lady holding a pink rose was in a painted frame, circa 1840–1850. Robert Conrad of Yeagertown, Penn., offered a corner cupboard with red painted surface, circa 1820, in two pieces and measuring 7 feet 10 inches high. It originally came from the Burrell family farm in Millmont, Penn. Dating from the early Twentieth Century was a soldier whirligig, painted, from a Hagerstown, Md., estate.
A Bird in Hand, Florham Park, N.J., offered a large cow weathervane with a fine verdigris surface, iron head and horns, 39 inches long and dating circa 1880. A folky green painted splayed-leg table in pine was of New England origin, second quarter of the Nineteenth Century, and a hanging shelf was crowded with carved and painted creatures such as ducks, horses, elephants, lions and fish.
“We had three of our regular exhibitors cancel a day or two before the show, but since we have a nice waiting list, those booths were easily filled,” Butch Arion said. “One of the replacement dealers wants to be in the show next summer and will take any space,” he added. For those who mark calendars way in advance, put down this York Show for August 30–September 1. You will be glad you did.