YORK, PENN. — Without question, the Greater York Antiques Show is the success story of the year in the world of antiques shows. Remember last fall, the final show under the management of Donna Burk, when the show had 30 or fewer exhibitors and from that time forward was sold to Bob Bockius of Mitchell Displays, Inc. In the spring show of 2013, he had increased the dealer list to about 45 exhibitors, and this fall, November 1–2, he came through with 85 dealers, and has a small waiting list. Now, that is progress.
When contacted on the Monday following the show, Bob said, “We had a good show, the gate was more than double the one in the spring, dealers were making sales right up to closing time, and well over 50 percent of the exhibitors have already indicated a desire to return next year. Right now we are rushing to catch up with our regular business.”
Bob noted that “we are always looking for new, young dealers to take part in our shows, and we are also looking for more shows if the opportunity comes our way.”
Raccoon Creek of Oley, Penn., showed a Pennsylvania bucket cupboard from Lancaster County, circa 1860, from which a black shellac had been removed to return to the original pumpkin painted surface, and a Delaware Valley corner cupboard, circa 1820–30, in apple green that fit a 25-inch corner. A pair of chalkware roosters, oversized, were of Pennsylvania origin and by the same hand, and a double basket carrier, South Jersey origin, was displayed at the corner of the booth. “A double carrier is rare, and this is only the second one we have owned,” Gordon Wyckoff said.
A booth filled with furniture belonged to Daniel and Karen Olson, Newburgh, N.Y., including a circa 1790 New England tambour desk and a circa 1770–80 New Hampshire slant lid Queen Anne desk in maple. Apgar Antiques, Denver, Penn., brought a selection of country smalls, including a collection of iron pieces for the kitchen, such as strainers, ladles and forks. A row of five candle molds ranged in size from 16 tubes to two tubes.
Joseph Lodge, Lederach, Penn., offered a 6-foot-long dining table with tapered legs, cleated three-board top, circa 1830, in original pumpkin paint; a paint decorated server/dressing table with one long drawer, circa 1835; and an inlaid walnut huntboard with two drawers, tapered legs, dated circa 1810. Shown in an original frame by Philip Gates was a large harbor scene, dated 1929, by an unknown New Hope School artist, and a full-bodied fox weathervane with gilding was shown at the front of the booth.
Much of the back wall in the booth of Bill Kelly, Limington, Maine, was taken by a circa 1840 New Hampshire cupboard with two doors in the upper section and an arrangement of four long drawers and ten short drawers in the bottom section. Nearby hung an early trade sign for “A.C. Eckard, Beef & Pork,” and at the front of the booth was a New Hampshire or Maine tavern table, a standout in pumpkin paint, circa 1780, with one board with breadboard ends top.
An American ensign flag, framed, dating from the first quarter of the Twentieth Century, was hung in the booth of Michael Hall Antiques & Fine Art, Nashville, Tenn. It measured 26 by 35 inches, sight, and had sewn stars, anchor and stripes. A cherry Hepplewhite sugar chest, middle Tennessee, circa 1840–50, measured 37¼ inches high, 29 inches wide and 18½ inches deep. It was attributed to Rutherford Co., or Wilson Co., both of Tennessee. A 12-inch terrestrial globe with walnut table stand, circa 1929, was made in New York City and printed in Great Britain. It measured 17 inches in diameter.
Jewett-Berdan, Newcastle, Maine, showed a large hooked rug with a black horse in the center, complete with brown saddle, and dated “Jan 30 1934.” A black painted major league scoreboard had all of the American and National teams listed on pieces that could be moved about on the board as the teams ranked and, of course, with his Boston Red Sox cap in place, Butch Berdan made sure Boston was at the top. A paint decorated blanket chest with one drawer, from the Portland, Maine, area, had a New York State dome top box, circa 1830, red with black and olive decoration, exhibited on the lid. A folk portrait of a young farm boy in a landscape holding a hoe, circa 1860, measured 24 by 40 inches and came out of a Connecticut estate. Hanging on the wall was an American signed dollhouse with the original painted brick design.
The Rathbun Gallery, Wakefield, R.I., had a New England Hepplewhite double drop leaf breakfast table in birch and cherry, circa 1800–20, and a country Chippendale one-drawer blanket chest from New England, circa 1785–95. It retained the original paint and varnish surface and stamped oval brasses. Christmas objects in the booth of Alice and Art Booth, Wayne, N.J., was dominated by a nodding Santa in sleigh and a nodding reindeer. Lined up in a neat row were seven Steiff frogs in several colors of green.
An interesting pedal car, certainly the work of a handy father, was shown on top of a store counter with 35 small drawers in the booth of David Horst, Lebanon, Penn. He also offered a set of six Pennsylvania painted chairs, green with gold decoration of the back splats, seats and legs.
Shown against a striking blue papered wall in the booth of James Lowery Fine Antiques, Baldwinsville, N.Y., was a Federal tall chest in maple, Pennsylvania origin, five long drawers with three short drawers at the top, circa 1780–1800, in estate-found condition, and a paint decorated schrank, dated 1742, either German or Swedish. An American ship portrait, oil on canvas, 30¼ by 39¾ inches, was done by Frank Derago of Brooklyn, N.Y., a ship builder by trade.
Thomas Longacre of Marlborough, N.H., and wife Beverly have split, not marriagewise but boothwise. It just so happened that a booth across from the Longacre site became available and Bob Bockius assigned it to Beverly and her collection of Christmas feather trees and ornaments. “I sell nothing bigger than what you can hang on a tree, and it was an active show for me,” Beverly said. As for Tom, he, too, had a good show, attracting interest to a hooked rug depicting two horses in brown with large hearts in each corner, a copper banner weathervane of delicate design measuring about 4 feet long and a two-tier bootjack base bucket bench in blue-green paint, circa 1820–40, in white pine and of Pennsylvania origin.
Dennis Raleigh, who is now on just the show circuit, having closed his shop for the season in Wiscasset, Maine, had three wood carved and red, white and blue painted shields, one of which had a shelf across the middle. Swing-handle Nantucket baskets measured in diameter from 9 to 11 inches, Dapper Dan was fashioned into a cast iron umbrella stand, and a pair of owl andirons had the owls standing in front of an inkwell with a quill pen. “They are the first pair of that design that I have ever had,” Dennis said.
Baker American Antiques, Hamilton, Ohio, showed a well-preserved cast iron figure of a bellhop card holder or ash tray, circa early 1900s, which “is the first one in cast iron we have had. All the rest were of wood,” Sharon Baker said. A Nineteenth Century carved wood eagle with gilding gesso all over was shown at the back of the booth, and a circa 1880–90 Cushing cow weathervane, zinc and copper, was shown next to a Black Horse weathervane with fine green surface.
Two rocking horses were at the front of the booth of Holden Antiques, Sherman, Conn., and Naples, Fla., at the start of the show, but within a very short time there was only one left. The larger of the two, in the original paint, retaining the original mane, tail, saddle and blanket, ran off with a new handler, leaving behind a small rocking horse by F.H. Ayres of London. With leather saddle and harness, it rocked on a wooden frame in its original paint and came out of a Maryland collection. Furniture included an early Nineteenth Century tavern table with scrubbed pine top with rounded corners, molded birch legs, of New England origin.
DBR Antiques, Doug Ramsay, Hadley, Mass., had several weathervanes, with a mix of material and construction. A circa 1900 sailboat vane in wood was painted red and black, a locomotive was about 30 inches long, sheet metal, weathered surface with some traces of yellow paint left behind, while a plane was full-bodied and of copper. “Barber Shop — Hot Baths” lettered an early trade sign.
Michael Whittemore of Punta Gorda, Fla., has been busy gathering material after his robbery and put together an interesting booth that included a large pair of cast iron lions, reclining, with friendly faces. An apothecary chest in off-white paint had 30 drawers, and a large, very large, rooster weathervane dated from the early Twentieth Century. It looked to be 60 inches from beak to tail, and came from a church in New Jersey. As for the latest on the robbery, Michael mentioned that one weathervane surfaced, but only briefly when it was offered for sale but did not exchange hands, and disappeared back into hiding before any action could be taken.
Emele’s Antiques, Dublin, Penn., covered one side wall with a display of six large tole decorated tea canisters in red with the original labels, and furniture included a cherry corner cupboard, inlaid throughout, with broken arch top and double spoon racks. It dated circa 1805 and rested on bracket feet. Salem, N.H., exhibitor Brett Cabral covered a good part of his booth with early trade signs, reading messages such as “Canteen,” “Well’s Motor Co.,” “Danger — Curve 300 ft” and “Overland Stage” with a carved hand pointing the way.
Reilly & Jenks traveled just down the road from New Oxford to do the show, bringing a New York classical game table in mahogany, mahogany veneer and rosewood veneer, with carved paw feet, old finish, and dating circa 1825. Several printed cloth dolls were lined up, and once a fixture in an Odd Fellows hall was a wood and painted hourglass.
Van Tassel Baumann American Antiques, Malvern, Penn., covered the booth walls with samplers, including one from Chester County, Penn., by Sarah H. James, 1820, with a large tree, sheep and a pair of rabbits. A Chippendale walnut drop leaf table with cabriole legs, ball and claw feet, circa 1750, was from either Philadelphia or Wilmington. It measured 47½ by 51 inches with the leaves open.
A first glance of the booth of John H. Rogers makes one think immediately about “how long did it take to set up?” And when it is done, with every piece of carved wood in its place, John is beating the floor looking for more inventory. This New London, N.H., dealer has row upon row of butter prints, including many rare examples, such as a lollipop butter print from Maine. Others are carved with swans, eagles, flowers, stars, many tulips and foliage. Butter paddles have their own section of the table, as do ash burl bowls, carved busks and a choice set of three Indian carved spoons.
Axtell Antiques, Deposit, N.Y., brought two rare pieces of stoneware, jugs that were made in Troy, N.Y., circa 1860, with cobalt decoration showing a hummingbird on one and a centipede on the other. A pagoda-style Pennsylvania spool tree dating from the Nineteenth Century, and a New England lift top desk in the original red painted surface, one drawer, dated circa 1820. “We have had a very good show,” “Smitty” Axtell said, “and Bob certainly has turned this show, it is really good looking.”
From Lower Gwynedd, Penn., As Good As Old brought a carnival bean bag toss game, a black figure with watermelon, signed on the back “Pinkerton Amusements 1907,” and in the corner of the booth was a circa 1900 Christmas pyramid, either German or Scandinavian, found in Lancaster County. It was constructed of wood, paint decorated, with a large fan on top that was turned by the heat from a number of candles placed around the piece at different levels.
Heller Washam, Portland, Maine, had a large booth, which was badly needed to show a collection of furniture, including a Federal mahogany and mahogany veneer dining table that measured 121 inches long with several added leaves. Dating from the early Nineteenth Century, it had demilune ends and was 45 inches wide. A Massachusetts gate leg table in maple, circa 1720, featured robust baroque turnings, oval top and ring and vase turnings. An easy chair from the Philadelphia area, Chippendale, in mahogany with H-stretcher, peaked and domed crest rail, dated circa 1780.
From up the road a bit in Lancaster, Penn., Steve Smoot Antiques offered a circa 1940–50 airplane weathervane in the shape of a Piper Cub, and a hand forged salesman’s sample of a plow, Nineteenth Century. A Connecticut cherry and pine red painted Chippendale tall chest was dated 1802 on the back boards. John Stroop Antiques, Yeagertown, Penn., was in the baseball mood with a collection that included a signed photograph of Babe Ruth, a baseball player still bank, six early baseball bats and a half-baseball paperweight advertising Cochran & Allen, Inc.
From Nashua, N.H., Ken and Robin Pike brought a circa 1876 stable with six horse stalls and horses, as well as wagons and human figures, and a gray cat with two kittens and ball on a hooked rug in excellent condition. “Yellow is my favorite color, as you might have guessed by the things we have,” Ken said, pointing out a pair of yellow painted gathering baskets and a yellow dollhouse with round turret on one end. More yellow was the color of a house on a needlepoint mat.
The Norwoods’ Spirit of America, Timonium, Md., had a large theorem on velvet of fruit in a fine lattice basket, circa 1820–40, in period gold frame, and an 1827 needlework done in Roxbury, Mass., by Elesha M. Bryant, age 14, silk on linen with vines and flowers. Robert Conrad Antiques, Yeagertown, Penn., offered a Pennsylvania German dower chest, Johan Rank, dated 1790, in the original paint, and an oil on canvas of a prized Holstein bull by M.V. Chambers, Glenside, Penn., November 21.
Newsom & Berdan Antiques, Thomasville, Penn., had an early Nineteenth Century checkerboard, of large size, with large wooden pieces shaped like small butter prints, to move about the board. A Nantucket sailor whirligig retained the original painted surface, and several wood carvings included a rooster, owl and large crow. A New England wooden rack held a collection of early splint brooms in various shapes, and Michael Newsom noted, “Betty loves brooms and buys every one she sees. If these all sell, we have plenty more at home.”
Just inside the main entrance to the show was the booth of Cheryl Mackley Antiques, Red Lion, Penn., with a 24-inch-tall Santa, a German nodder, with a basket of toys, and a cast iron stand with bell and a Merry Christmas message. When you think you might have seen everything, Cheryl comes up with a selection of early clothespins, 24 ranging in size and style.
Sheridan Loyd American Antiques, Missouri, showed a Federal paint decorated chamber table with the original vivid surface and a Windsor bench in mustard paint, tablet back, circa 1830–40, measuring only 5 feet wide. A Delaware Valley ladder back armchair, five slats, finely turned finials, dating from the early Nineteenth Century, was from southern New Jersey.
Perkins & Menson Antiques, Townsend, Mass., came with a large selection of picture frames, many with gilt finish, and an interesting piece of tramp art in the form of a church with a large cross on the top of the steeple. A selection of eight shovel handles, still attached to about 12 inches of the shovel’s shaft, were displayed in a basket and offered as a lot. We are not sure of how many people collect these, but it was the first time we have ever seen a bunch of them for sale. A real first.
“The majority of the dealers at the show are already on the list for next year,” Bob Bockius said, and the dates are May 2–3, from 10 am to 5 pm both days. The show will always be at the York Fairgrounds, but will return to Memorial Hall East next time around.
With 12 people taking down the show, including several members of the family, Bob Bockius and crew were on their way home shortly after midnight on Saturday. The booth walls are all new, constructed by Mitchell Displays, Inc, and are sturdy to withstand the hundreds of nails that are hammered into them. For as dealer Sam Forsythe said, “You can hang something on the wall and you know it is going to stay there.”