OLEY, PENN. — “We had one of the longest lines in our nine years of the show waiting to get in on Friday,” John Bartley of Old Farm Antiques, one of the show managers, reported a few days after the two-day Antiques In the Valley show closed on Saturday, June 15. He added that “we had fewer dealers than usual, the cafeteria was not filled, but we ended up with 54 exhibitors who put on a real nice showing and the crowd seemed very pleased.”
This show brings out a long list of Pennsylvania dealers, but they also come from a distance, including Illinois, Ohio, Maryland, Michigan, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Virginia. Most of the exhibitors carry a wide range of antiques, but there were a few with special avenues of collecting, including books, jewelry, Oriental rugs and blue china. But country stood out strong, with countless examples of primitives, painted furniture, early fabrics, lots of tin and treen and folk art.
All in all, it was an attractive show, with well-arranged booths staffed by dealers who were ready to show their things and talk antiques as long as a person would listen. The buying was strong for some of the exhibitors, and then there is always a group who would like to do better, even much better. But that is the way it is at just about every show.
A sawbuck table with three-board top, Schoharie County, N.Y., circa 1780–1860, was shown by Home Farm Antiques of Bolton Landing, N.Y., along with double spill holder, American, circa 1850, designed to hold spills or tightly twisted paper to light a fireplace fire.
Wenham Cross Antiques, Topsfield, Mass., offered a country hat rack capable of holding a dozen or more hats, and a selection of four tinsel pictures, the largest of birds within a wreath of flowers. A salesman’s sample of a sofa with turned arms came complete with cushion.
A Lancaster County, Penn., sampler by Cadarina Eby was dated 1792 and had family members listed around the border in the booth of Neverbird Antiques, Surry, Va. A stoneware bank, circa 1860, came from Piedmont, N.C., and a redware bank, circa 1850, originated in Bucks County, Penn. Wilhide’s Antiques, Shippensburg, Penn., once again had a large selection of tin cookie cutters in many forms, including hearts, horses, dogs, a pitcher, eagle on nest and man and woman. A bold bird on a branch in cobalt blue decorated a stoneware jug by Norton, Worcester, Mass.
Raccoon Creek Antiques, Oley, Penn., had an interesting honey pot of large size, 13 gallons, with an incised bee swarm, made in New York City to be shipped to a family honey farm in Virginia. When it was found, it had three inches of honey in it. A New York State worktable, pegged construction, dated circa 1830–1840 and retained the original blue-gray painted surface, and a high country Sheraton four-poster canopy bed was in the original red and dated circa 1830. The bed sold as the show opened. In the corner of the booth, behind the bed, was hung a rare Quaker “bars” quilt of Pennsylvania origin, circa 1860, in silk with rope or cable quilting throughout.
Country Antiques Two of Mullica Hill, N.J., had a New England paint decorated writing-arm Windsor chair dating from the mid-Nineteenth Century, the back crest rail decorated with a landscape including a church and stream. In addition, the chair had three drawers under the seat. An early painted Nineteenth Century jelly cupboard measured 523/8 inches high, 45 inches wide and 19¾ inches deep, an and early Nineteenth Century countertop Pennsylvania writing desk showed a surface of wear.
“Chairs like this one are rare and very seldom show up,” Halsey Munson said about his 1790–1810 child’s upholstered easy chair, Federal, maple frame with tapered fluted legs. It measures 26 inches high and was “probably a special order,” Halsey added. The Decatur, Ill., dealer also showed a circa 1800–1825 New England dome top textiles chest, untouched, with the original lock, latch and hinges. It was from either Vermont or New Hampshire and of basswood.
Old Farm Antiques, Reading, Penn., offered a large jelly cupboard of Pennsylvania origin in cherry, a white on black trade sign for “Timothy Seed,” and a nesting stack of graduated blocks by McLoughlin in excellent condition.
The Pennsylvania Farmer from Zionsville, Penn., showed a two-piece corner cupboard with 12 lights in the top doors, Pennsylvania, and a very large splint Pennsylvania basket just shy of 3 feet tall and with the same diameter. As Good As Old, Lower Gwynedd, Penn., offered an early diminutive sea chest in pine with strap hinges and the original red paint, and a selection of weathervanes that included a large gilded rooster with gold surface, a circa 1860 eagle with cast zinc head and feet, and a sheet metal plane that was covered with a good coat of rust. A triangular-shaped dove cote, gray painted with shingled roof, found a buyer as the show opened.
Gloria M. Lonergan of Mendham, N.J., had a very colorful booth with a bright blue painted storage chest, bootjack feet, Massachusetts origin, measuring 62 inches long and 33 inches high, dating from the Nineteenth Century, shown against the back wall, with a bannerette weathervane with scrolled bracket, yellow surface, 50 inches long, displayed on its top. A large lidded feather basket measured just over 4½ feet tall, and an Eighteenth Century tavern table in maple and pine, black painted base, had a two-board top with breadboard ends that measured 40 by 28¾ inches.
Steven F. Still Antiques, Manheim, Penn., offered a hanging cupboard with one long drawer across the bottom and two stacks of graduated drawers above, triangular shaped, that formed a very interesting pattern. A child’s settee in the original green paint with floral decoration, Pennsylvania, dated from second half of the Nineteenth Century, and a Hepplewhite inlaid mahogany sideboard, mid-Atlantic states, was circa 1800. A miniature chest of drawers with vivid paint decoration, circa 1860, was found in Pennsylvania.
John Rogers traveled down from Elkins, N.H., to do the show, bringing with him his vast collection of all manner of wood, from large and small bowls to ladles on many sizes, and row upon row of butter prints. One butter print of note featured two stars above a plant, about 41/3 inches in diameter, displayed on a open book showing the exact same piece. A large table with two-board top, breadboard ends, was surrounded by a set of six thumb back Windsor side chairs. On the back wall hung a cupboard with partitioned inside and a note from auctioneer Bill Smith that read, “This cupboard was purchased from a dealer in New Lebanon, N.Y., who got it from a local family who said that it was always known as the Amos Stewart cupboard. He was a member and craftsman in the Mt Lebanon Shaker Community.”
Bertolet House Antiques, Oley, Penn., showed an early feed chest in the original red, a Lancaster County, Penn., 12-pane Dutch cupboard in cherry with old finish, circa 1840, and a Pennsylvania milk cupboard, circa 1870, in yellow grain decoration, “great small size” measuring only 26 inches wide. Emele’s Antiques of Dublin, Penn., had a Hepplewhite bowfront chest of drawers, circa 1800–1810, with the original brasses, and a nice painted dry sink, yellow grained, with three spice drawers and the original zinc liner.
At his usual spot in the hallway, with a large booth, was Joseph J. Lodge of Lederach, Penn., offering a 5-foot harvest table with single leaf, turned legs and lots of the original red paint remaining, and a set of four armchairs, “duckbill”-shaped arms and crest, dating circa 1810. “They are possibly from New Hampshire based on the black and red paint and design,” Joe said. A late Nineteenth Century sheet iron Indian weathervane, complete with arrow, retained a colorful painted surface with just the right amount of rusted surface blending in. It was sold on the second day of the show and it was found in Jim Thorpe, Penn. A pair of shooting gallery targets, with white painted surfaces, was in the form of stags.
Gene Bertolet Antiques, another of the Oley dealers in the show, was at his usual spot just inside the door of the gymnasium with a variety of things that included a set of four heart-shaped molds, a graduated set of six melon baskets, a bucket bench filled with a selection of blue and white sponge pieces, including bowls and pitchers, and a trade sign announcing the practice of “Doctor Emery.”
Carlson & Stevenson of Manchester Center, Vt., had four amusing cartoons in color done by William Nicholson Jeffers, 1911–1988, grandson of Commodore Jeffers, who commanded the Monitor during part of the Civil War, hung on the back wall of the booth next to a hand hooked rug depicting a reclining dog on a red mat. The rug, American, measured 55 by 32 and dated circa 1910. A running horse sheet iron weathervane in old gray paint with iron reinforcing rods dated circa 1890 and was from Indiana.
A red painted bucket bench served as a spot to display a Dr Daniel’s Veterinary Medicines chest in the booth of Axtell’s Antiques, Deposit, N.Y. Fiske & Co., was the maker of a circa 1893 “Mountain Boy” horse weathervane with iron head, a cobalt bird decorated a stoneware crock, a stack of one-finger oval boxes was in green paint, and a large altar chamber candlestick of New England origin dated circa 1830.
A very heavy carved sandstone, eight-sided sundial, 36 inches tall, was at the front of the booth of Timeless Restoration, Canfield, Ohio, beside a circa 1930 colorful bird-tree with 16 birds on the branches. A circa 1950 pie safe had tin punched panels with stars in the corners. Goodhart’s Antiques, Shippensburg, Penn., had a very impressive 4-gallon water cooler with cobalt decoration depicting a reclining stag among some trees. It was by Edmonds & Co., Charlestown, Mass.
The tenth edition of this show is planned for the same time period next year, and the same location, the Oley Valley Middle School. “We are already planning for 2014, talking to new exhibitors, and we are hoping to fill the cafeteria area to capacity for our tenth anniversary,” John Bartley said.