YORK, PENN. — “I am glad the snowstorm held off until our show was over, and now I am out in about 4 inches of the white stuff gathering up our signs that we had placed all over town,” Melvin “Butch” Arion said on Monday, February 3. When reached by phone he was maneuvering his vehicle, with trailer attached, around some curbing in an unplowed parking lot of a small market.
“Unlike today, the past three days were great, we set new attendance records on both Friday and Saturday, and both brown and painted pieces of furniture were selling,” Butch said. He noted that the gate on Sunday was a bit skimpy, but those who came were there to do some shopping.
The show had an inviting look, lots of color and many wonderful things to buy. Memorial Hall East was filled to capacity with 96 exhibitors, offering all manner of antiques representing many periods from large and small booths with plenty of lighting.
This year, George Allen and Gordon Wyckoff of Raccoon Creek Antiques, Oley, Penn., made a good change in their booth by moving the cases from the center to the far end against the outside wall, giving a better overall view of the booth, which included a rare apothecary chest of 30 drawers, covered by two doors, in the original green paint. Each drawer retained the original large wooden knob, and the piece of New Hampshire origin dated circa 1840. A bucket cupboard with booth-jack ends, dated circa 1830, was from Lancaster County, Penn. It was yellow painted over the original blue, and George mentioned, “I have owned that piece for 23 years and it is one of the best surfaces I have ever seen.”
One corner of the booth was taken by a diminutive corner cupboard, requiring only a 24-inch corner, in apple green painted surface over chrome yellow and the original red.
A hutch table in old red, with a rectangular three-board top, was at the front of the booth of The Hanebergs Antiques, Old Lyme, Conn. Other furniture included a Chester County, Penn., tilt top candlestand with birdcage support and ball-turned shaft, circa 1780, and a reverse serpentine front ball and claw foot chest from Massachusetts, circa 1765. This piece was in grained mahogany and had a 33-inch-wide case with large overhang.
A colorful oil on canvas of watermelons brightened the back wall in the booth of A Bird In Hand Antiques, Florham Park, N.J. This work, circa 1909, was signed by B. Hendrickson. Hanging nearby were two wainscot panels in faux grain paint, early Nineteenth Century, and a whale-end shelf held a row of six Crowell miniature carvings of a green-wing teal drake, a canvasback in feeding position and a hooded merganser, among others.
Hanes & Ruskin Antiques of Old Lyme, Conn., had an Eighteenth Century two-drawer blanket chest, paint decorated, New England origin with cotter pin hinges, and a small-scale New Hampshire Queen Anne highboy, circa 1780, with two carved fans and the original brasses.
Latcham House Antiques, Waterville, Ohio, offered a pair of portraits, pastel on paper, possibly by Micah Williams and dating from the early Nineteenth Century, and a 1930–1940 hooked rug with an eight-pointed pattern and of New England origin.
Scott Bassoff and Sandy Jacobs, Swampscott, Mass., hung an oil on canvas of a standing woman and a man seated at a table by California artist Arthur DeCoursey, 1890. A portrait of a young girl from the Caverly family, Stanford, N.H., dated circa 1835-–1840, and a trade sign in the shape of a tall boot was lettered “Shine.”
Steven F. Still Antiques of Manheim, Penn., not only had a large booth in the middle aisle of the show, but the one next to it as well, as Claude and Sharon Baker of Hamilton, Ohio, had to cancel. He had no trouble filling the booths with many examples of Pennsylvania furniture and several cases loaded with smalls. A paint decorated chest of drawers executed by Jacob Knagy for Mariann Hershberger, Myersdale, Somerset County, Penn., 1856, was interesting, as was a paint decorated corner cupboard attributed to Jonas M. Harley who worked in McAlisterville, Penn., circa 1853–1861. The center booth was guarded by a large carousel lion, attributed to Charles Dare, in the original old park paint.
Garthoeffner Gallery, Lititz, Penn., had a goose whirligig, circa 1910, of white pine with the original paint decoration to the wings and body. “I have seen a few of these before, but not one like this with great detail to the painted wings,” Rich Garthoeffner said. Hanging on the right was were two works by Captain James Keating, Reading, Mass., circa 1940, of sailing ships. “These don’t come on the market very often and they are painted on drywall material with the wood boats painted and applied,” Rich said.
Adding to some of the unusual things offered from this booth was a child’s pony saddle, circa 1920, in fancy and decorative tooled red leather. “Sales were good for us, really across the board,” Rich said, mentioning some of the objects sold, including a quilt, hooked rug, two nautical paintings by Keating, a boat model, some jewelry and a still bank and a mechanical bank.
John H. Rogers of Elkins, N.H., was as happy as a child opening Christmas gifts as he unpacked a plastic container with several pieces that had just come out of a private collection, including a double-sided cookie board dated 1894 and a Masonic butter print with carved symbols, such as an ear of corn, hanging level, hammer, square and mallet, and dating from the Nineteenth Century. “Some of these things I have never seen before, and it is going to make several of my clients very happy,” John said.
As usual, he offered row upon row of butter prints, wooden scoops and carved spoons, including a set of three by the Ojibway Indians. An interesting lemon squeezer was of Shaker origin and mounted on three legs. “This was my second year at the show and it was better than the first,” John said, noting that he had sold two pieces of furniture, a couple of burl bowls and a few of his best butter prints. “People zeroed in on the top butter prints, which shows the trend these days that collectors want the best,” he added.
Doug Ramsay, DBR Antiques, Hadley, Mass., had a large carved swan figure, circa 1920, with crooked neck and the original old painted surface and a squirrel mill weight in cast iron. A one-drawer pine blanket chest in old blue dated from the Eighteenth Century, and there were numerous doorstops in the form of cats and various breeds of dogs.
James Wm. Lowery, Baldwinsville, N.Y., brought color into his booth with an arrangement of 24 quilts displayed on a rack, two tiers high, at the center rear of the booth. “We have lots of quilts and I built this double rack to hold them, a dozen at each level, so all are in view and it is easy to pick one out for a closer look,” Jim said. On either side of the quilts, furniture was displayed, including a Chippendale tea table in mahogany, Massachusetts origin, circa 1765–1780; an English Chippendale card table of small scale, circa 1740–1750, and a New England Chippendale desk in cherry, old varnish surface, dating circa 1770–1780.
Making the trip to York from Rockingham, Vt., Stephen-Douglas came with a load of country objects, including a New Hampshire hutch table, circa 1830–1840, with a 47½-inch-diameter top and a child-size cobbler’s bench with some of the appropriate tools. An early pair of splint woven snowshoes hung on the side wall, and near the front of the booth was a trade sign in the form of a tall boot, painted black with “Repair” written on both sides.
“We are going to be on the road for 11 days as we did not have time to go back home [Newcastle, Maine] between the Armory Show in New York City and this show in York,” Tom Jewett of Jewett-Berdan said. He noted that “the show in the city was good for us, and York has gotten off to a nice start.” Painted furniture can always be found in this booth and was represented by a New England smoke decorated server, circa 1840, in pale yellow with an urn and flowers on the backsplash.
The server was flanked by a pair of Pennsylvania decorated side chairs, chrome yellow paint with a red urn and flower in the middle of the back splat. A two-sided Civil War memorial mirror, with heart decoration on one side, was on the back wall, as was a pie safe with six punched tin panels in the front doors, and three panels on each side. The building outlined on the tin was the state capitol of Georgia.
The largest rocking horse at the show came in with Pratt’s Antiques, Victor, N.Y., a hide-covered figure that measured 6 feet between the tips of the rocker. This piece dated circa 1830–1850. An oval fan or vent from a Federal house in Albany, N.Y., dated circa 1800–1820, was being sold along with the original attic window.
Joseph J. Lodge, Lederach, Penn., was again at the front with a well-lighted booth showing off a set of six brace back Windsor side chairs in green paint with yellow striping and other decoration. “This is the best set of nine-spindle, bowback Pennsylvania Windsors I have ever seen,” Joe said. They dated circa 1795. A cherry Dutch cupboard in two pieces, Pennsylvania, circa 1835, was unusual with a fixed central section of three panes of glass between the two doors in the upper section. A smoke decorated blanket chest with strap hinges, circa 1840, had a waist molding and a fine weathered surface. It was topped by a large horse and sulky weathervane, circa 1885.
Harry B. Hartman and Oliver C. Overlander II, Marietta, Penn., offered a Pennsylvania blanket chest decorated with three tombstone designs on the front, and a large Hackney horse weathervane with gold leaf weathered surface was running across a large Pennsylvania worktable at the front of the booth. A large bull weathervane was displayed at the end of the booth, and a pair of Pennsylvania paint decorated side chairs in yellow each had a compote of fruit design on the back splat.
Kelly Kinzle asked, “How come when you buy a tall case clock one day, with a key in the door, the very next day the key is gone?” As he was posing this question, he was trying a handful of keys with only about ten minutes left to the opening of the show. He found the right one in time. A large, black painted, wood-carved crow kept an eye on the booth from the top of a blanket chest at the rear of the booth, and among the pieces of furniture brought to the show from just down the road in New Oxford was a two-piece corner cupboard from York County with pinwheel decoration on the top, and tulip decoration on the lower section. A pair of Boston side chairs in walnut, circa 1780, had needlework covered seats.
Samuel Forsythe, Columbus, Ohio, offered several chairs, including a rush-seat armchair with bold turned stretcher, western Connecticut, circa 1740, and a black painted, continuous arm Windsor chair that was sold at Garth’s in 1971 as part of the George and Mildred Samaha auction.
Axtell Antiques, Deposit, N.Y., offered probably the largest wooden butter bowl in the show, a 24-inch-diameter example from New York State, maple with the original blue paint on the outside, circa 1830. Also from New York State was a two-piece corner cupboard in cherry, circa 1810. Lighting is always part of the booth, and this time “Smitty” displayed an altar chamber candlestick of large size, New England, circa 1830, and two signed hog scraper candlesticks with wedding bands. A set of four rectangular joined chairs dated circa 1710.
Furniture overflowed the booth of Philip H. Bradley Co., Downingtown, Penn., with a large walnut schrank, Pennsylvania origin, 80½ inches tall, ex-Machmer Collection, taking up most of one wall. A Federal inlaid walnut tall case clock by Jacob Hendel, Carlisle, Penn., was 87½ inches tall and dated circa 1800, while a Pennsylvania salmon and blue painted dower chest, probably Lehigh County, original paint and brasses, dated circa 1800.
James B. Grievo Antiques, Stockton, N.J., had a blind corner cupboard, two doors in the upper section over one drawer and two doors in the lower section, grain painted in bold colors, and a Midwestern carved and painted spreadwing eagle. A New York State blanket box, 1847, was in yellow with floral and vine decoration, a silhouette center at the front bottom, and initials “DLC’ on one side and “GSH” on the other. A goose with a red bill was centered on a hooked rug, surrounded by a wide floral border.
The Herrs traveled all the way over from Lancaster to do the show, bringing with them a load of coverlets, all neatly arranged on racks, and a Diamond Point pattern quilt, circa 1875. Among several pieces of Lehn ware in the case was a cup and saucer with the original label, naming the maker and Elizabeth Township, Lancaster, circa 1870. Pewter had its own spot in the case and pieces included a federal teapot by Israel Trask, Beverly, Mass., circa 1813–1856.
A primitive farm table with three-board top, traces of the original blue paint, Pennsylvania origin, was at the front of the booth of Bertolet House Antiques, Oley, Penn. Other Pennsylvania pieces offered included a green painted jelly cupboard, circa 1860, and a dough table in old salmon paint and scrubbed top, circa 1840.
Dublin, Penn., exhibitors Jim and Victoria Emele had a three-board-top bench table with large overhang, the top measuring 6 feet 1 inch by 42 inches, and a four-drawer Hepplewhite bowfront chest of drawers dated 1800–1810 and retaining the original brasses.
Thomas Brown of McMurray, Penn., filled a large booth with many pieces of furniture, including a New England figured maple drop leaf table with shaped apron and pad feet, circa 1760, and a figured maple highboy with sunburst carving, circa 1760, of Massachusetts origin. A handsome set of four Sheffield candlesticks, circa 1880, New England, was displayed on a one-drawer stand.
Jeff and Holly Noordsy of Cornwall, Vt., showed a collection of late Nineteenth Century poison bottles, six graduated pieces in blue glass with glass stoppers. A mid-Nineteenth Century folk art fireboard that was found near the Maryland/Pennsylvania border depicted a country scene, complete with a fenced-in house, a rural road and people in the yard.
“I have many things that other dealers here do not handle,” Jane Langol of Medina, Penn., said, pointing out a large Weller pottery “Matte Bedford” umbrella stand and a historic Spanish Colonial santo with great surface, circa 1850–1870. Just down the aisle, Daniel and Karen Olson of Newburgh, N.Y., offered a circa 1810 baker’s table in first red paint, a New England two-drawer stand with two leaves, old painted surface, and a New England Queen Anne drop leaf table dating from the Eighteenth Century.
Wesley T. Sessa, Pottstown, Penn., had a selection of furniture that included a Connecticut Queen Anne maple tavern or worktable, single drawer, with cabriole legs and pad feet, and a Philadelphia Sheraton sofa with reeded crest continuing to the top, circa 1810–1820.
With the 162nd Semi-Annual York Show now a thing of the past, there is a change coming for number 163. It no longer will be on Labor Day weekend, as has been the case for years, but will be moving to the end of September, opening on Friday, the 26th, and closing on Sunday, the 28th. For more information, 302-875-5326 or www.theoriginalyorkantiquesshow.com.