By Nancy Vozar
NEWTOWN, PENN. – Despite a six-inch snowfall the day before, 48 dealers from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and New York took part in the one-day Heart of Bucks Antique Show on Saturday, February 8, at the George School. It was fitting that this show was conducted at a turn-of-the-century, Quaker-founded institute of learning, since a number of “educational” antiques were witnessed in several dealer booths.
Early in the show in the booth Helen and Larry Bryan of H&L Antiques, Princeton, N.J., a gentleman who volunteers his time to teach school children about early American life, seeking antiques to help give his history presentations a visual, hands-on approach, purchased a grease lamp and a Colonial fireplace candleholder. Other rdf_Descriptions they reported selling were a mule chest, a candlestand, a quilt with a whimsical design, some toleware and treenware.
Directly across the aisle was Robert Simpson, Mahwah, N.J. Among his offering of stoneware was a West Troy, N.Y., script crock with mathematical calculations in cobalt blue. What “added” to its charm was the fact that there appeared to be an errant decimal. In defense of the maker, perhaps this was an example of Nineteenth Century New Math. Later in the afternoon, this unusual crock found a new home. Other rdf_Descriptions to sell in Simpson’s booth were a blue and white coverlet, a hooked rug in a geometric design, a paint decorated dressing table, a Windsor fan back chair, an early trade sign, a green painted bench and a stoneware crock with a large tulip decoration. At the closing of the show a dry sink was also added to this list.
A European education was also in store for shoppers. On the opposite side of the hall, somewhat removed from the strong presence of country and Americana, was a booth where showgoers could imagine themselves strolling down the Parisian boulevards of the Impressionists, or hear Gershwin’s An American in Paris ringing in their ears. They could even test their recollection of high school French by trying to read street signs and plaques, all in the booth of first-time show participant Janice Bonk, Richboro, Penn.
Among her eye-catching arrangements were collections of enamelware and agricultural prize signs from the 1920s and 1930s. Regarding her agricultural signs, Bonk said, “This is the French version of our 4-H clubs.” Having a good show, she added, “I’ll be back!”
Only a couple of booths down the aisle one was an elaborate necklace and matching pair of earrings, made of 14-karat and 18-karat gold, platinum, diamonds and pearls with an asking price of $12,750. The seller was Verde Antiques, Manahawkin, N.J., and Ginny Verde was happy to model these gems. Ginny’s husband Ray, a dealer in rare books, was proud to show us a gem in his collection – a fore-edge painted book, entitled Enoch Arden and written by Alfred Tennyson. The painting on the edges of the closed pages, travel related, resembled Venice. Ray explained that this example was a cut above others he has owned because it was “highly detailed, of exceptional quality and the painting is related to the content of the book.”
Denise Accinno of Christopher’s Antiques, Richboro, Penn., is a participant at both the November and the February Heart of Bucks shows. Her offerings included Limoges, Royal Bonn, Nippon, majolica, Herend and mulberry transfer ware. When asked how the show was for her, without pausing she said, “Terrific! I think the secret to my success is that there aren’t too many other dealers here who specialize in what I carry.”
And what better way to complete the perfect table setting than with the right sterling silver flatware. Wendy Pierce Evans and her mother Barbara from Silver Thyme, Ltd, Princeton, N.J., share an appreciation and knowledge for the pieces that they display, including a case filled with Tiffany.
Even the most fastidious shopper was sure to find the right pattern glass goblet at the booth of Foley Carrow Art and Antiques, Ewing, N.J. Breck Carrow mentioned how his wife Paula Foley mixes and matches different pieces for the sake of variety and visual interest when she has a dinner party.
Even a dealer who specializes in Flow Blue, Staffordshire and children’s china added an instructional element to her booth. Sunny Lenzner, Newtown, Penn., offered a group of educational boards, with movable tiles, that were used as a tool to teach children, of the precomputer era, the three R’s – reading, writing and arithmetic.
Game boards were displayed on the wall of Antiques at Olcott Square, Bernardsville, N.J., located at the entrance of the show. All in old paint, the grouping comprised a Parcheesi board, a folding game board with checkers and backgammon and a New England Nineteenth Century game board. Collections of weathervanes were also artistically arranged on another wall. A colorful figural tin weathervane, “Sailor’s Wife,” complemented several equestrian examples. Other rdf_Descriptions included a pine lift-top desk, pine harvest table, four half spindle back chairs with plank seats, an 1850s Seth Thomas mini Empire clock and an Ingraham shelf clock.
With one individual staffing the gate and the other their booth, show promoters Ellen Katona and Bob Lutz, Greenwich, N.J., remained active throughout the day. Happy with the one-day format that is now in its second year, Ellen said that it creates a sense of urgency with the buying crowd. She commented, “We have been pleasantly busy all day.” Displayed in their booth was a cobbler’s bench, four Old Hickory chairs, an old wagon advertising “Goodwill Soap,” a New York sampler made by Catherine Grumbell in 1834, a collection of doorstops and a hooked rug.
Commenting on the show’s attendance, Jim Woodruff, Chester, N.J., felt that there was “a satisfactory crowd, with a good amount of both dealers and collectors shopping throughout the date. The opportunity was there for participants to make sales.” And sales he made.
Among the rdf_Descriptions to leave his booth during the course of the show were a New England chest in original paint, a foot warmer, a crib quilt and at the conclusion of the show, a crib coverlet. Adding to the country look in his booth was a jam cupboard, circa 1880, in a red milk paint; a grain painted dough box; an 1880s cradle made of poplar wood in original surface; an 1890s mortised and pegged wood box in original grain paint; and a salesman’s sample cross buck and saw.
Showing a strong presence at the show as a consortium of dealers from Antiques in Yardley, with merchandise from Lynne Oppenheimer, Linda Grier and Rose Gallo. Their antiques comprised two large booths at the entrance of the show.
Some of the furniture they exhibited included a mid-to-late Nineteenth Century small-size cupboard with old red and green paint; a Lancaster, Penn., Nineteenth Century work table in old red paint; a circa 1840 red drop leaf table; a one-drawer stand; a painted blanket chest; and a pine two-drawer table with pegged and dovetailed construction. Decorative rdf_Descriptions noted were early baskets, yellowware, quilts, pewter, a pair of flintlock pistols, a Nineteenth Century dome-topped wallpaper covered document box, a Nineteenth Century tole spice box with original stenciling, push-up candlesticks, a Nineteenth Century turned bowl with original paint and a collection of sewing rdf_Descriptions.
Directly across the aisle was River Edge Farm, Bridgewater, N.J. Always offering fine pewter, brass and hand forged iron implements, their booth was also furnished with an early Pennsylvania hutch table, with shoe feet in chestnut wood and a poplar top; a three-drawer cherry stand; a selection of redware; yellowware; tin sconces; a game board; and a croup of stone fruit. Some of their sales included a chest of drawers, a large pine mirror and early iron.
Thomas Wolfe was wrong. There was one antique at the show that proved “you can go home again.” Seen in the booth of Distinctives, Doylestown, Penn., was an old lidded bucket inscribed, “shingle nails” and a hand penned address on the top, “George School, Bucks County, George School, Pennsylvania.” Apparently the original owner was so proud of being affiliated with the George School he repeated the name twice!
The next show managed by Ellen Katona and Bob Lutz is the Old Red Mill Antiques Show held in Clinton, N.J., on May 4. For information, 856-459-2229.