Published: July 1, 2015
Old Farm Antiques, Reading, Penn.
Review and Photos by R. Scudder Smith
OLEY, PENN. — Antiques in the Valley, one of the highlights on the June schedule of antiques shows, bowed into the Oley Valley Middle School for a two-day run starting on Friday, June 19. A good crowd was at the door for the 11 am opening, and the gate remained good for the remainder of the day. “Saturday was a bit flat, not the crowd we had hoped for, but in the end the attendance was about the same as last year,” John Bartley, one of the show’s organizers, said.
This show is pleasant, friendly and fun to attend and provides a good look at country furniture, some brown pieces and lots of smalls, with many of them hailing from Pennsylvania. There is an effort on the part of the exhibitors to present colorful booths, using both fabrics and painted furniture, and there is always an abundance of early household implements and tools of earlier days.
There were some new faces this year, but ones well selected to fit the overall look of the show. However, there were fewer dealers, with only five set up in the large cafeteria area.
Located in the hallway, just inside the school’s entrance, was the display of Goodhart’s Antiques, Shippensburg, Penn., with a display of pottery that included about a dozen pieces of stoneware, among them a 1-gallon pitcher with blue cobalt floral decoration from the Wm. Moyer pottery. Redware pieces varied in shape and use, and on the bottom of a set of shelves was a birdhouse in the form of a barn, painted in green with a red roof. For those who enjoy gambling, there was a circa 1932–33 Pace 10-cent Bantam slot machine in working order.
Greg K. Kramer, who generally never has enough room in his booth to satisfy the number of objects he would like to offer, this time out jumped at the offer of a second booth in the gymnasium area of the school. The Robesonia, Penn., dealer filled the space with ease, offering a very nice Nineteenth Century green painted and floral decorated youth-size Windsor bench, and an early school desk and chair, with rosehead nails, that began life circa 1820s in a schoolhouse in the Oley Valley. An early Twentieth Century whirligig featured four figures mounted on a large, round iron base, which all came to life as the wind turned the piece.
A large booth at the end of the entrance hallway was filled with furniture and folk art by Keith and Diane Fryling American Antiques of Green Lane, Penn. Against the back wall were a grain painted dry sink, with two drawers over two paneled doors, and a mid-Nineteenth Century cupboard with bold faux figured maple paint decoration filled one of the corners. Two well-done bird trees were shown, the work of John Holloway of West Creek, N.J., a carver with more than 20 years of experience.
One of the local dealers in the show, Bertolet House Antiques, appeared to have cornered the market on dry sinks, with four examples scattered about the booth. One was grain painted with a lead liner, another retained the original red painted surface, a third had just two doors in front and a very old, faded surface, while the fourth was from Northampton County, circa 1860, tricolor surface of green, red and black, and from an old collection. An interesting tabletop Pennsylvania dough tray in the original ochre-green decoration dated circa 1860.
Wilhide’s Antiques, Shippensburg, came loaded with a variety of smalls, including three cast iron frogs, a selection of trivets, stoneware and some redware. What appeared to be the center of the dealer’s interests was a large collection of tin cookie cutters in many shapes, including hearts, fish, birds, cowboy, roosters, ladies, horses, chickens, dogs, boot, pitcher and, most interesting, one with a hand and heart.
Emele’s Antiques, Dublin, Penn.
Would you pay $10 for a paint decorated jelly cupboard in vibrant yellow surface made in Lancaster County, Penn.? You might back in 1877 when the cupboard was made, but today that cupboard was offered for $1,450 from the booth of Emele’s Antiques of Dublin, Penn. Jim Emele pulled out one of the small top drawers at Antiques in the Valley, revealing the date of the piece and the original price. Also shown was a Hepplewhite farm table with three-board scrubbed top, tapering legs, 6 feet long and dating circa 1850. It was on hold as the show ended, and on Friday morning at 10 a couple visited the Emele home for a second look. “The show was just okay for us,” Jim Emele said, noting that sales included two pieces of furniture, some stoneware and two pieces of redware, a couple of hanging spice cabinets and some other pottery.
Lots of things fit neatly into a small booth set up by Country Antiques Two of Mullica Hill, N.J. A row of four yellow and green decorated parade batons, early Twentieth Century, was on the top shelf of a set of shelves, and a selection of large wood-carved bowls with painted bottoms filled a tabletop. Colors ranged from red and green to brown and no paint at all. A large slip decorated loaf dish dominated a grouping of redware pieces.
Gene Bertolet Antiques, another one of the local dealers, maintained his regular spot to the left at the entrance to the gym area, and once again showed a large selection of Pennsylvania smalls that included a grouping of various sized redware molds, a row of cookie cutters with horse design, along with one with both horse and rider, and a set of ten knock-down figures, canvas covered, with painted clothing, including a large bowtie on each one. Furniture included a late 1800s jelly cupboard, grain painted, with one long drawer over two tall doors.
Old Farm Antiques from nearby Reading, Penn., offered a birdhouse in the shape of a church with “Our Home” written above the front door, and a very decorative birdcage with a fancy-cut roof and glass feeder attached to the side walls. A set of half-spindle Windsor side chairs were paint decorated with a floral motif across the back splat.
Graybill’s Antiques & Folk Art, East Waterford, Penn., showed a tapering leg worktable with one-board top, a dry sink in old red paint with two miniature chests of drawers displayed on the top, and a stepback cupboard with the top section filled with 20 pieces of stoneware and redware. Against a side wall was a stack of four six-board blanket boxes, all ranging in different sizes and surfaces, including one with strong graining.
Placed in the glass display case in the booth of Steven F. Still, Manheim, Penn., was an eye-catching cigar cutter in the form of a seated black figure on a bench with red shirt and blue and white striped pants, in working order and excellent painted surface. “I have had a number of cigar cutters in the past, but this one is new to me,” Steven said. Also offered was a small pie safe with screen all around, the trim yellow grained and one door. A paint decorated miniature blanket chest from York County, Penn., dated from the mid-Nineteenth Century.
A real fun booth was presented by Finish Line Collectibles, Campbelltown, Penn., offering a large carnival penny game, “Clear The Lines,” circa 1900, triangular in shape with the many squares on a bright yellow ground. Nearby, an actual scarecrow in rather tired clothes stood, once a fixture in a garden in York County, and a shooting target game, early Twentieth Century and of New England origin, was in the form of a folk art apple tree.
“The show went very well, better than I expected,” Smitty Axtell of Axtell Antiques, Deposit, N.Y., said. Lacking furniture because of the size of the booth, he filled the space with a row of large wooden store scoops, a couple of trade signs, a maple burl dipper displayed in a large wooden bowl and an 1830 bass wood and pine sugar box with a decorated surface on a bright yellow ground. One of his best pieces, which sold early into the show, was an 1848 marriage board, carved wood with polychrome surface. “It was one of the best ones I have ever seen,” Smitty commented.
Pat Lonergan was babysitting the booth in the absence of the real boss, his wife Gloria, who was busy taking care of a sick pet and making vet calls. Among the pieces of furniture she left him to peddle was a red painted New England table, Eighteenth Century, with turned pedestal and pad feet. The top measured 31½ inches in diameter. Also with a red painted surface was a Nineteenth Century bucket bench with tapering legs, and a grouping of nine round pantry boxes were of different sizes and colors. Very noticeable on a side wall was a sign, red lettering on white ground, that read “Toys & Games.”
Joseph J. Lodge, Lederach, Penn.
Joseph J. Lodge of Lederach, Penn., held down his same booth just before the entrance to the gym area, showing both furniture and several folk art pieces. Standing at the corner of the booth was a late Nineteenth Century hitching post in the form of a small black boy dressed in a yellow hat and shirt with a pair of blue pants. Against the back wall was a Chippendale tall blanket chest with four real drawers and two fake drawers at the top. This lift-top piece, with red surface, dated circa 1790. An Eighteenth Century table, country Queen Anne, circa 1785, had a one-board top and old red stain on the base.
The show has been running for 11 years and a donation is made annually to the school’s student scholarships.
For additional information, www.oleyvalleyantiqueshow.org.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm