Published: June 28, 2016
Oley Hosts Annual Show With 45 Exhibitors
Review and Photos by R. Scudder Smith
OLEY, PENN. — The organizers of Antiques in the Valley made a very positive move with the show this year and eliminated the cafeteria of Oley Valley Middle School for more booths and used it only for its real purpose, food. Last year several dealers were in that area and it did not enhance the show. Now the show has a better feeling, more together, with the lobby displays leading right into the gymnasium where the majority of the exhibitors set up.
As with many shows, the list of dealers varies from year to year, and this June 17–18 half a dozen new exhibitors joined the Oley ranks. The choices were very good and the show gained strength with their presence. Country and paint are the order of the day and the exhibitors make sure that there is a large dose of Pennsylvania pieces to meet just about every taste.
Attendance was down a bit from last year, a mere three percent, but people tended to stay longer and generally circled the show more than one time. “You can’t see it all in just one turn of the show,” an early visitor was heard saying.
An array of flowering plants created a colorful entrance to the school and within a few steps the show began, with David Tuttle Antiques of Oley in the first booth. On the back wall was an eye-catcher, decorative horse and jockey sign that once was used at Wheeling Downs in West Virginia. It showed a jockey in pink silks, number 4, riding to the finish line. A large architectural element in an intricate pattern, old painted surface, came off a house in Quakertown, Penn., and a signed game carving, Samuel Thather, was dated Aug 9, 1899.
Kevin Derfler of Robesonia, Penn., filled the adjoining booth with a jelly cupboard in old red paint, a pair of Windsor armchairs by Walter Steely, an oil on canvas by G.B. French of a quilting scene and a two-sided trade sign for the Brownsville Hotel of Berks County, dated 1869.
Gloria M. Lonergan of Mendham, N.J., did not feel well and sent husband Pat in to cover for her and hopefully sell lots of things. Pat did it willingly, gave people the history of many of the pieces if they wanted it or not, and told a few of his jokes to anyone who would listen. The booth was attractive, as usual, with a Nineteenth Century six-board blanket box, Pennsylvania, dating from the Nineteenth Century at the front of the booth, and a cow weathervane, small size with great surface, on the side wall. A red painted Pennsylvania dough box with one drawer was on legs and a selection of six mirrors of various age and shapes hung on the back wall of the booth.
An Eighteenth Century iron chandelier with nine candleholders attached to a large center ball hung at the front of the booth of DBR Antiques, Doug Ramsay, Hadley, Mass., and one of several weathervanes offered showed a man with hat and cane walking his dog, circa 1900, sheet metal with rusted, painted surface. In place of the family dog, as dogs are not allowed at the school, Doug brought along a large Nineteenth Century carving of a dog, seated, with tongue out and curled tail.
Perfect for the collector of early advertising or a country store was the Dr Daniel’s veterinary medicines oak cabinet offered from the booth of Axtell Antiques of Deposit, N.Y. A picture of the doctor and a list of medicines available were printed on the tin door of the cabinet. A wall box in old yellow paint with a lollipop backboard and single drawer hung to the left of a small New York State mantel, circa 1940s, in green-gray paint. To the right of the mantel was a colorful “pagoda” spool tree, circa 1860, and a selection of nine occupational shaving mugs.
New to the show this year was Missouri Plain Folk, Sikeston, Mo., with a barber pole fashioned from an old log, a Parcheesi board in many colors on a yellow ground and a large slide-lid box in old red paint. Several signs hung on the back wall offering “Day-Old Chicks” and “Fresh Eggs @ 15 cents per dozen.” An early ladder, about 9 feet long, was leaning against the back wall and proved to be a perfect spot to display a collection of painted wooden song birds on each rung.
“How many butter prints did you bring this time?” was the obvious question to John H. Rogers upon seeing his booth jammed full of them. John answered, “I really don’t know, and there are more back home in New London, N.H.” This time he filled 29 shelves with prints, in addition to 11 displayed on the rungs of an old ladder, with little room left for any other treen. By chance, a couple of wooden bowls found room on the floor, one of them filled with a selection of wooden scoops. John, the king of prints, waved a hand about the booth and said, “Not often do I show so many at one time.”
A very nice looking blanket box was against the back wall in the booth of Robert M. Conrad Antiques, Yeagertown, Penn. Dating circa 1840, the box was on legs with two lower drawers, in the original blue paint, of small size and originated in Berks County. By contrast, a dry sink was quite large, two doors, old yellow painted surface and filled with stoneware and treen scoops. An interesting tramp art frame had a mat with 12 oval openings, each one showing an early picture of a person, possibly a large family of a couple generations.
“I call that a real eye-dazzler,” “Smitty” Axtell said as he looked to the end of his aisle at a quilt hanging in the booth of Robert Snyder and Judy Wilson of Mount Joy, Penn. And indeed it was. This Mennonite quilt from Leola Village, Lancaster, Penn., in windmill pattern, glowed in bold red, yellow, green and blue fabric. It dates 1890, measures 90 by 88 inches and has a signature patch reading “J.E.S. / Leola.” An oval hooked rug spelled “Welcome” across it, a basket on the showcase held about 30 pieces of stone vegetables, five cupola still banks included both the middle and the small size, and a pair of pastels each showed a single chicken in a landscape, the largest one measuring 23 by 18 inches sight and signed by the artist, Alma Edna Fletcher.
Joseph J. Lodge, Lederach, Penn., offered a hooked rug with a meandering floral border around a compote of flowers, excellent condition, circa 1900, and a handsome set of six birdcage Windsor side chairs, circa 1815, in light salmon paint with a faint show of white decoration. A large tiger maple mirror dated circa 1820, and a stepback cupboard, only 43 inches wide, was in the original green-gray paint. It had scalloped sides, raised panel doors, rattail hinges and dated circa 1810s.
Old Farm Antiques, Fleetwood, Penn., hung a star quilt in cheddar and red against the back wall and in the center of the booth positioned a folding campaign lounge chair with caned seat panels. The armchair, of iron and oak, folded up for easy carrying and dated 1873–77. “It has the Mark’s patent and we sold it the first day of the show,” John Bartley said. A Berks County birth certificate and baptismal was attributed to Johaan Jacob Friederich Krebs, who worked 1784–1812.
Wilhide’s Antiques, Shippensburg, Penn., had a real patriotic look with large red, white and blue bunting hanging over two tables that were loaded with interesting objects such as eight snow eagles, a couple of ram’s horn wrought iron hinges, cookie molds and pottery. A stack of graduated pantry boxes, alternating from red to green painted surface, measured 5½ feet tall and numbered 13 pieces.
A yellow grained small pine cupboard from Lancaster County, glass door both top and bottom, chip carved, was filled with small pieces of Pennsylvania redware, and a yellow grained dry sink was filled with stoneware with bird decoration in cobalt blue. As usual, the showcase was filled with cookie cutters, and standing in the corner was a pair of knock-down carnival dolls.
Graybills Antiques & Folk Art, East Waterford, Penn., offered a one-piece, small stepback cupboard with open top and one door in the bottom section. It measured about 4 feet tall and was filled with a selection of redware. Another small stepback cupboard, less than 3 feet tall, was in red paint with two doors in the lower section. A walnut candle mold had 24 pewter tubes and three painted foot stools were stacked in a corner.
Lots of furniture filled the booth of Bertolet House Antiques, Oley, Penn., including a three-drawer jelly cupboard from Berks County, circa 1850, original grained decoration, and a 12-tin pie safe, circa 1860, in excellent condition. This pie safe sold right after the show opened. A Pennsylvania 12-pane Dutch cupboard was in original condition, dated 1820–40, grained surface, and from the collection of Lester Berringer.
Another dealer from Oley was G. Martin Sutton, showing a large Vermont wood box in old red with a blue painted ox yoke resting on top of it. A hackney horse weathervane with good surface was by Snow & Co., and three firkins of good size were all in green paint. The booth to visit if interested in country store objects was by Payne & Campbell Ltd of Shrewsbury, Penn., where a bag rack was filled with brown paper bags, a corn dryer hung nearby and a butter churn was in the original blue paint. An eight-tier stand displayed early packages of seeds and a spool cabinet was in excellent condition.
It is a safe bet that Greg Kramer, when exhibiting at any antiques show, comes in looking to find a booth that is vacant due possibly to sickness, accident or just a no-show. Such was the case in Oley and Greg signed on for a second booth and easily filled it with overflow inventory. A bucket bench with four shelves, old red painted surface, was loaded with decorated stoneware, redware and some treen, and a Federal corner cupboard in cherry with broken arch was filled with many different shapes of china and chalk. A rare high chair with a solid back, Windsor style, dated from the Nineteenth Century, and around a large kitchen worktable was a set of five Pennsylvania decorated Windsor side chairs in the original paint.
Pewter & Wood, Enfield, N.H., showed a large iron ram on stand, circa 1900, that was a carnival shooting target. It was the largest of three sizes and it came out of a New Hampshire collection. An eagle-decorated Civil War drum on stand had a piece of glass added to make a low coffee table, and a hooked rug depicted a large cat sticking out its red tongue. A very colorful game board dated from the late Nineteenth Century.
Emele’s Antiques of Dublin, Penn., also filled two booths with many pieces of furniture, including a 25-drawer wall apothecary with stenciled drawers, circa 1890. A large horse weathervane with zinc head, 41½ inches long, L.W. Cushing, circa 1870, was on a sawbuck farm table with four-board top, circa 1820. The top measures 78 by 41 inches and the table seats 10 to 12 people comfortably.
Those planning to attend the show next year, mark your calendars now for June 16–17.
For additional information, www.oleyvalleyantiqueshow.org or Gene Bertolet, 707-310-4488, or John Bartley, 610-779-0705.
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