Published: May 17, 2011
Rain slickers, ponchos, hats, boots and umbrellas were donned by virtually everyone in the large crowd of shoppers awaiting the start of opening day at Renningers Antiques and Collectors Extravaganza on Thursday morning, April 28. The doors to the indoor market swung open at 8, and the crowd rushed inside to see what was available in the antiques center’s indoor stalls. While shopping there was good, the indoor market also provided a couple hours reprieve from the precipitation.
Even darker skies and a slightly heavier rain greeted shoppers as they scurried from the cover of the indoor market and prepared to enter Renningers’ field for the official 10 am opening. Show manager Gerry Bashore sat inside his office, one eye on the crowd, the other on the local radar map that he was constantly refreshing on his computer screen. He predicted “12:53” as the “hour that the skies would clear.” He was wrong, of course, but in a good way, as the storms passing through the area cleared out quicker than anticipated.
As shoppers rushed onto the field at opening, the skies opened up and virtually everyone in line made a beeline for the first pavilion; those who were unprepared got soaked during the 20-yard dash. Rain poured from the corrugated tin roofs in sheets, several dealers reported hail, and gusty winds whipped through the area.
Dealers inside the pavilions hardly noticed what was going on outdoors and they conducted business as usual. Those with outdoor spots could not help but notice what was going on around them and they either sat out the storm in their vehicles or bundled up in their tents.
Shortly after noon, the gray skies progressively turned lighter in color, a hint of blue shone through, and the rain was officially done for the day. Dealers began to unfold the flaps of their tents, stuff started coming out, and deals were being made all around the fields.
Mud quickly became a problem, although the crack staff at Renningers was on hand with load after load of hay, which provided for good, dry footing. Several innovative dealers improvised as the aisles between their tables grew muddy †laying down beds of newspapers. Antiques and The Arts Weekly was pleased to note that there was not a single Bee among the muddied newsprint carpets.
A couple of tour buses parked outside of the entrance to the show and the pile at the front of the one bus grew by the hour. As closing hour approached on Thursday, the bus driver was seen with a perplexed look on his face †wondering if all of the tour group’s purchases would fit into the luggage holds beneath the bus.
Several dealers that set up outdoors in the fields opted to wait out the Thursday’s storm in the comfort of their hotel rooms and arrived at the market on Friday morning. Fresh picking began again at 8, with another large crowd on hand. A good selection of merchandise was offered, with items around the field ranging from select mocha to folky trade signs.
Stoneware John, although doing business from a new location in West Virginia, offered his usual fare of quality blue decorated stoneware. A large jug with an equally large cobalt decorated eagle by William Warner, West Troy, N.Y., was among several desirable examples displayed.
A good selection of toys ranging from pressed steel airplanes to early Halloween memorabilia was at Doors Den, Bethlehem, Penn., while a huge assortment of cast iron doorstops was displayed at Neil Blodgett, Higganum, Conn.
Rooster River Antiques, Fairfield, Conn., and Terry Williams, Robesonia, Penn., were ready for summer. Williams offered a wonderful lunch table in bright red paint with four matching chairs, while Rooster River displayed a large collection of brightly colored thermos bottles and decorated tin picnic baskets.
Several pieces of art pottery were quick sellers at Leathery’s Antiques, Lancaster, Penn., with a pair of Roseville vases selling as soon as the show opened to the public. A Futura wall pocket and a large Jugtown vase were also catching the attention of collectors.
A nice mocha banded pitcher was available at Bryan Kautz, Lancaster, Penn., as was a large Staffordshire platter, two oversized ironstone soup tureens and a selection of cut glass.
Renningers is scheduled for two more shows this year, June 23′5 and September 22′4. For further information, www.renningers.com or 610-683-6848.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm