Published: September 21, 2010
There just is not another place around that boasts the intense concentration of Americana that is seen at Melvin “Butch” Arion’s Original York Antiques Show and Sale. The 155th semiannual event, conducted over the Labor Day weekend, September 35, was once again a stellar event and a true crowd-pleaser.
Just under 100 dealers set up for this show, presented in Memorial Hall on the York Fair Grounds, and although it is hard to imagine, the show seems to look better and better with each passing event. Arion pulls out all of the stops to make the show the best he can, keeping tradition alive while at the same time dealing with all of the adversities that are being thrown at this business.
Buyers were lined up early and the lobby was filled with shoppers awaiting the opening of the show on Friday morning, as has become the norm for the Original York Show.
Sold tags began appearing moments after the show opened, and more than one would-be buyer, thinking they had time to mull over a purchase, returned to booths later that morning only to find a sold tag on the item. Such was the case with a tiger maple highboy in the booth of Mario Pollo that quickly sported a sold tag, as did a wonderful pumpkin-colored cupboard in the booth Robert Conrad.
Dealers all around the floor seemed to be doing well, as the aisles became crowded with regular customers and new faces alike.
There was a new face minding the booth at Verna and Don Stump, Sinking Springs, Penn., and a missing face as well. It seems, according to Don, that Verna had shown her priorities in life and taken off with her daughter to attend a Keith Urban concert, leaving Don and his grandson Douglas to tend the booth. The gents seemed to be doing just fine, making sales and chatting it up with the opening day crowd.
An unusual “apothecary” sort of chest was a quick seller at Jewett-Berdan, Newcastle, Maine, with a top single drawer over a bank of five drawers, over four drawers, over three drawers and finally, over two drawers. Equally intriguing was the exceptional grained paint on the chest, with faux-tiger maple drawers housed in a red painted case. The miniature paint decorated firkin, painted finger boxes and a wonderful cloth doll that were displayed on top of the chest were quickly displaced as the piece left for a new home. Several hooked rugs and quilts were also offered, including a whimsical crazy quilt decorated with a menagerie of stuffed animals ranging from a horse to a robin.
A large zinc recumbent stag was majestic at the forefront of the booth of RGL Antiques, Pittstown, Penn. Incised stoneware, a good selection of redware and early case pieces were also offered.
Dan and Karen Olson, Newburgh, N.Y., offered their usual selection of quality furniture and accessories, including a large slant front desk in original yellow grained paint. Hanging alongside of it was an unusual early Nineteenth Century portrait of three children colorfully attired in red and blue dresses.
Nancy and Gene Pratt, Pratt’s Antiques, Victor, N.Y., displayed a nice collection of painted toleware comprising eight brightly painted document boxes and three trays. The collection was housed in a nice open top cupboard in gray paint.
A wonderful child’s bench was at Otto & Susan Hart, Arlington, Vt. The wooden bench had clown-form ends and was partitioned for up to a half-dozen tikes with rabbit-form dividers extending from the back. Susan Hart reported good sales, and at times people were lined up four-to-five deep in front of her showcases.
Joseph Lodge, Lederach, Penn., once again occupied the front booth to the show and he displayed a good assortment of country furniture and accessories, including a folky sheet metal Indian weathervane in mellowed paint that hung over a bucket bench in old red paint. Also displayed was an “angelic” Lady Liberty figure in bronze that the dealer thought to be circa 1890.
As is tradition at York, painted blanket chests were once again prevalent. A choice blanket box in orange and black scalloped design was at Greg Kramer, Robesonia, Penn., a painted dower chest with three red tombstones with tulip decoration was at James Price, Carlisle, Penn., and a Soap Hollow blanket box was at Lisa McAllister, Clear Springs, Md.
Richard “Smitty” Axtell was back in action after injuring himself and missing most of the New Hampshire Antiques Dealers Show in August. Putting his “scooter” to good use, Smitty was seen all over the floor of the York show and he also had a bunch of fresh merch on display, including an Eighteenth Century cobblers bench in old gray paint and outfitted with a bank of drawers at one end. Early lighting devices and a host of good smalls rounded out his booth.
No longer a part-time Floridian, Michael Whittemore has made the move to Punta Gorda permanent. His fare, however, has changed little, as a good selection of New England antiques was offered from his booth, including a large turned and painted barber pole that was flanked on both sides by weathervanes, a rooster to the left and leaping stag to the right. The dealer also offered an exceptional painted cupboard with a bank of apothecary drawers in the base and a set of open shelves in the canted back.
Superb Pennsylvania redware was offered at several booths, including Harry Hartman and Oliver Overlander, Marietta, Penn., as well as at Ohio dealers David Good and Sam Forsythe. Mocha was also seen in numerous booths, including J.D. Querry, Martinsburg, Penn., and also in the booth of Greg Ellington, Wilmington, Ohio.
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