BETHLEHEM, PENN. — Antiquing and collecting is a major spring pastime in the Lehigh Valley and the Antique City Fun Fair, touted as Pennsylvania’s largest indoor antiques show, offered around 250 booths guaranteed to satisfy the collecting urge.
The Rauch Fieldhouse at Lehigh University was filled to the brim April 12–13 with dealers offering a diverse mix of choice antiques and collectibles from dolls, toys and games to vintage advertising, college pennants, china and silver, vintage posters, smalls, primitives and more. Attendance on opening day, Saturday, was very strong, but crowds were a bit lighter the next day, perhaps owing it to it being Palm Sunday.
Show manager Norman Schaut was pleased with the weekend results. “It was everything I expected and much more,” he said, noting the new online ticketing system that debuted this year worked very well, eliminating the long line at the gate that held up some buyers for nearly two hours last year. “Thanks to an aggressive advance ticketing program, which was promoted in all of the trade papers and heavy direct mail, the line only reached across the front of the building and down the side for a short distance. However, it kept our two ticket sellers and two ticket takers, one for conventional tickets and another for Internet tickets, busy all day Saturday. I prefer a steady short line rather than a long one because people become less irritated.”
The show will move its dates back one week next year to April 18–19, making it the lead-off event to Renninger’s Extravaganza nearby, making the area a destination week. “With Pennsylvania’s largest indoor event at Lehigh on April 18–19, Renningers’ Extravaganza right after that and the Philadelphia Antiques Show at the end of April, there should be more regional attention focused on antiquing than at any other time of the year,” he said.
A star in the booth of Lorraine Wambold Estate Jewelry, Doylestown, Penn., was a yellow, orange and white diamonds necklace and earring set, while a highlight among fine antiques seen was a Tiffany lamp in the Acorn pattern at Scott’s Antiques, Milwaukee, Wis.
Befitting its name, Sport & Spool Antiques, Goldsboro, N.C., had a large display rack filled with rows of thread spools, but its booth was heavily sports-oriented. College pennants, a pair of vintage snowshoes and an oar were among the highlights.
Clever or folky signage was well represented in the show. Besides the fine red and yellow quilt and country primitives West Branch Antiques, Delhi, N.Y., featured, a standout was the wood sign reading “Dangerous Corner Go Slow!” while a 7Up sign featured the logo bordered by yellow, orange, and blue waves. A vintage ad for Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit gum bore a sports theme and read “Juice Fruit Always Scores.”
Great vintage posters spanned themes such as food and drink, sports and travel at Vintage Poster Art, Morris Township, N.J. Highlights include a Pan American poster for Portugal and Spain, depicting a yellow and red clad matador, as well as a Deco-style poster for Jacquet Cognac with a peacock.
A William Spratling silver coffee/tea set having jaguar finials was a standout at Gary Niederkorn Gallery, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, while funky and very colorful pieces were offered at Deb & Ben Unger Midcentury Modern, Center Valley, Penn.
A variety of toys from cast iron to cars and trucks and police vehicles were on offer in several booths, including Bertoia’s, Vineland, N.J.; Antique German Toys, Lengenfeld, German, and Tin Toy Works, Allentown, Penn.
For additional information, www.antiquecityshow.com or 800-822-4119.