Published: June 27, 2017
Review and Photos by R. Scudder Smith
ALLENTOWN, PENN. – It started raining about 7:30 am on June 16, just prior to the early buying opening of the Antique City Antiques Show at the Allentown Fairgrounds. Quickly, Bill Thomas, manager of the show, opened the doors to the exhibition space and the line of visitors filed into the lobby. And in no time at all, those people were on the floor, looking over the booths of the close to 100 dealers exhibiting.
“We had a good show, no real hitches, and many of our visitors left the show with packages under their arms,” Bill said. He also announced that there would be a couple of changes next year, such as the show will be on Saturday and Sunday, not Friday and Saturday as it was this year, and it will also be moved a week earlier to get off Father’s Day. He added that “we had a good mix of dealers this year, with the addition of some dealing in jewelry, and next year we hope to broaden interests even more.”
At the first booth on the right, just inside the entrance to the show, Russ Harrington Antiques of Baltimore set up six shelves of horse-drawn cast iron toys, including coaches, carriages, fire pumpers and hose carts, while the table was filled with more horse-drawn toys, such as chariots and circus wagon with cages to hold and display animals. While Russ, who has been in the toy world since 1963, watches over the toys and a selection of both mechanical and still banks, such as Uncle Sam, Punch & Judy, Mama, several camels and elephants, wife Shelia concentrates on a vast collection of Christmas items, such as balls of many shapes and sizes, numerous tree toppers all neatly arranged and other holiday decorations. In addition, Russ is the source for repairs and replacement parts.
The best place to buy bookends at the show was at the booth of Rare Books & Print Gallery, Elmira, N.Y., where a large selection included images of an Indian chief, buffalo, four pairs of variations of eagle and shield, cats and sundials, all mostly of brass. A large clipper ship doorstop was shown along with other stops, including a seated black and white dog, a cat and a horse-drawn coach.
“The cone top beer can was used in the early 1900s, but ended with World War II when the metal found other use,” Don Heim said about a selection of ten examples he had at the show. He added that “the cap used on the cans was the same as the caps for bottled beer.” This small collection was surrounded by many cast iron toys and banks for which Don and Betty Jo Heim of Jersey Shore, Penn., are best known. The Greyhound bus was offered in three different sizes, and six small cast iron airplanes, including the Lindy and Spirit of St Louis, were arranged on shelves and tables. A glass case was well outfitted with mechanical banks, including Uncle Sam, the kicking frogs and the camera, an example said to be the second best example known. An elephant on wheels rolled into the still bank section, along with a blue painted donkey, a stove and red GE refrigerator and a row of state banks of every size.
Several showcases in the booth of Dottie Freeman & Allan Teal, Chester Heights, Penn., were filled with rare glass by many makers, including Tiffany, Quezal, Steuben, Rookwood, Marblehead and Durand. In addition, a large, flat case contained wall-to-wall sterling silver souvenir spoons from many places in the world.
David Irons, Northampton, Penn., had a variety of items that ran from a small chair table in red paint to a couple of very small baskets. Tramp art picture frames, a gray-painted Windsor side chair and a couple of painted document boxes were also offered.
Moniques Antiques of Dunkirk, Md., under the direction of Signa and Henry Powell, took the prize for offering the greatest number of oyster plates and French pottery. Answering the question, “How many oyster plates did you bring to the show?” Signa thought for a moment and said, “At least 300, and we have 1,000 more at home.”
David Thompson, Antiques & Art, South Dennis, Mass., showed books on one side of the booth, titles in keeping with material at the show, including doorstops, toys, dolls, Christmas and paper dolls. Pieces of stone fruit filled a bowl, and four Huichol Indian yarn paintings hung on the back wall.
Anita Deold, the lady in charge of A Touch of Glass, Verona, N.J., rested comfortably behind a large display of hat pins, all shown sticking up out a large number of glasses. She said her exhibit included at least 2,000 hat pins, adding, “I can’t collect them or there would be none here. I love them so much.” Husband Al joined the conversation, saying, “I collect hat pins made in America, and only if they are duplicates to the ones we are selling. Now I have about 75 in my collection.” He produced a couple of ones he collects, including the Jamestown Expedition, Indian image and Mohawk Trade.
Advertising set the tone in the booth of Hilltique Antiques, Bergen County, N.J., with a display of clocks, some lighted, urging people to not only check the time, but to have a Coke, Pepsi or 7 Up. Other signs promoted cigarettes, mostly Chesterfield, and Blue Coal.
Another dealer with advertising, John Lord of Wells, Maine, had a broad interest in signs, including Wolf’s Head, Kelly Tires, Royal Crown, Co-Op Motor Oil, Bireley’s Orange Drink, Sherman Williams paint and Lone Star Cement.
R.E. Van Anda and Sandra Whitson, Lititz, Penn., had a real mix of objects in their booth, including a 3-gallon stoneware crock for butter, a selection of still banks, an offering of silver souvenir spoons and a couple of poker-related items, such as a box of chips and for the serious players, an 1864 wood box, with cover, holding ten stacks of poker chips. Sandra spent her time in the booth watching over her regular case of figural napkin rings, a large selection, and an equally impressive selection of patriotic pins featuring many different designs with the American flag and the eagle.
A large world globe on wood stand held down an end of the table in the booth of Bob Nance Antiques, Hazelton, Penn., along with a large picture of an early steamship and a sign that lit up to advertise Jolly Time Popcorn.
Greg Kramer & Co., Robesonia, Penn., took at least three booths at the end of one of the aisles to show his usual mix of furniture, pottery and all kinds of unusual objects, along with some traditional folk art pieces. Greg, who after looking around the show wondered why he brought a selection of furniture both large and small, was standing, at the time, by a large Pennsylvania cupboard with two doors in the top portion and three short drawers over two doors in the lower part. It was from Lancaster County and at some point in its life had lost its painted surface. And on the other side of the booth was a pair of painted shelves with cabinets below, a perfect place to display a portion of the stoneware and redware he brought along. A bamboo stand with butterfly-shaped shelves held even more pottery. A large locomotive pedal car looked as if it had more miles left in it, a pair of flat barber poles hung together on one wall, a large brass eagle was mounted on a stump and a hat stand had steer horns to hang hats on.
Tom Hughes, Fleetwood, Penn., had a booth of books, from the old, 1880, to newer works, including a selection of first editions.
Memories Antiques, Dunellen, N.J., had a booth near the entrance, where Edward Sawicki showed a large selection of glass, including a sparkling collection of cut glass. “Glass is our passion,” Edward said, adding, “We handle a quantity of glass with a specialty in stemware and candlesticks.”
Neat Stuff of Baltimore covered several interests of collecting with a selection of still banks, including animals and safes, doorstops, including the rabbit pushing a wheelbarrow in bright paint, a few cast iron stoves to help furnish a kitchen in a dollhouse, and an early French board game, Jeu des Cyclistes, with the original box.
Taking up about the space of three booths, against an outside wall, was the display of Fry’s Antiques, Elmira, N.Y. Flat glass showcases covered a row of tables, and posters, advertising and early board games were lined up against the wall. There was a collection of hats in the corner, while under glass were more hats, calendars, all manner of pins, lighters, decks of playing cards, coins, knives, badges and small toys.
Sign of the Tymes, Lafayette Mill Antiques Center, Lafayette, N.J., showed a large wooden wagon filled with animals, including a bear with patriotic hat, and a well-preserved rocking horse was at the front of the booth of Nancy McGlamery & Ed Pelton of Lancaster, Penn..
For more information, contact Bill Thomas at 443-617-1760 or 410-538-5558.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
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