Published: October 8, 2019
Review and Photos by Greg Smith
YORK, PENN. – Show manager Melvin “Butch” Arion surmised there to be about 80 to 83 dealers at Memorial Hall East within the York Fairgrounds for the 173rd edition of the Original Semi-Annual York Antiques Show and Sale that ran September 20-22.
The twice-a-year show is packed with goods. Formal furniture from the Northeast to the South – check. Painted country furniture, too? Yes. Fine art from the Eighteenth Century and Nineteenth Century – sure thing. Stoneware, redware and European ceramics? Everywhere. Americana objects from weathervanes and carvings through trade signs and country smalls? Yes, yes, yes – all there, and so much more.
While some dealers could not make the show this year due to commitments or circumstance, the floor was missing a friend with the recent passing of Bill Kurau. According to Arion, his wife Teresa and sons will be set up again at future York shows.
Dealers gathered twice throughout the weekend to send their positive energy for a successful recovery to show manager and Oriental rug dealer Ralph DiSaia as he undergoes cancer treatment. His wife Karen said that it indeed helped and Ralph improved greatly following his treatments. He headed home from the hospital the week after.
For the dealers who exhibited, the show was positive for some. We have detailed some sales and exhibitions below.
Dealership Jewett-Berdan Antiques, Newcastle, Maine, had an industrious show, selling a first-paint robins egg blue dry sink from Maine, a quilt, a carnival pointing hand sign that read “Play While/You Are/Living You/Are/A Long Time/Dead,” a “Farmer’s/Inn/F.Whitney” sign, an Odd Fellows carved and painted heart-in-hand staff and a small painted carving featuring Adam and Eve around an apple tree. The dealers also sold a carved and painted folk art eight-member African American band by George Allen Britton of Pine Bluff, Ark.
Gene Rappaport featured in his booth two weathervanes: a fish with layered tin can cutouts that appeared as scales. Though the tin has oxidized brown, the Strasburg, Penn., dealer said it would have shone brightly, appearing like glimmering scales when it was new. Rappaport also featured a circa 1860-80 folk art bull weathervane in sheet iron from New York state.
James Kilvington, Greenville, Del., said he sold about 15 things during the show run, many of them on opening day. Among them was a Philadelphia carved Chippendale armchair of mahogany, circa 1770, with delicate carving to the pierced splat, a bouquet on the crest and claw and ball feet. He also sold a Lancaster County, Penn., spice chest. Of note in the dealer’s exhibition was a two-tiered candle box from England, circa 1820, with a fabulous carved skirt at bottom and a flowing crest at top with a warm, glowing patina to the wood.
Manheim, Penn., dealer Steven Still said he had a fine show and was able to move along some furniture and smalls. A notable sale was a set of dated 1800 butchering utensils from Pennsylvania. The three-piece set was iron with brass inlay. There was plenty of color in the booth, lent to it by a Connecticut Militia infantry uniform, which was an attic find that had descended in an Easton, Conn., family. Also colorful were two painted polka dot frames from 1880, Hellertown, Penn. Beneath them was a polychrome painted blanket chest with geometric designs, found in Allentown, Penn.
A hooked rug illustrated in Patricia Herr’s Rags to Rugs was found in Lisa McAllister’s booth. The York County, Penn., example featured a red-toed panting black dog, circa 1890, provenance to the Anne Bedics and Thomas Kort collection.
Grenfell works were on display with Ron and Joyce Bassin, A Bird in Hand Antiques, Florham Park, N.J. The dealers had hand-hooked works, including “Hunter and Dog Returning Home,” “Falling Leaves” and “Husky In Northern Lights.” Also featured were small carved Grenfell works, including puffins, cows, letter openers and works featuring eskimos.
Litchfield, Conn., dealer Jeffrey Tillou featured a graphite pencil on paper work by Ferdinand Brader (1833-1901) of the “Residence of Adam and Caroline Waltz/Mapleton Stake Co. O.,” circa 1875, Brader is known for his detailed view of farms and family residences and made them on commission in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
As the holidays begin to ramp up, Halloween and Christmas material was on offer from Dallas dealer Betty H. Bell. In Halloween, Bell featured an early painted-face clown lantern with glass eyes and a small top hat on his head. Christmas ornaments of all shapes, sizes and colors hung from her German revolving tree stand, which played music from six discs.
Dealer Mike Vasilikus, Annapolis, Md., featured a Hudson River School painting by J.H. Williamson titled “Shining Cliffs” and dated 1875. Williamson was a founder of the Brooklyn Art Association. Vasilikus related that the painting was very dirty and painted over when he bought it. When he took it to the cleaner, the Williamson painting was revealed beneath.
Three John Conger-carved cake boards were on exhibit with John H. Rogers, Elkins, N.H. The boards were all in mahogany and walnut. “He was known for the detail of his carving,” Rogers said. “The superb execution of it, everything is etched clearly. The boards were stamped “J Conger” on the side. Conger also did rollers and at least one butter stamp that Rogers has heard of. Conger was first listed in New York City directories in 1827 and worked as a carver, cutter and baker until his death in 1869.
Kelly Kinzle, New Oxford, Penn., said he had a decent show, moving two bookcases and several smalls. The dealer featured a notable miniature pie safe, which hasn’t been on the market in 35 years. “It’s just an incredible scale. I’ve never seen a miniature pie safe, but I’ve seen miniature everything else,” Kinzle said. The safe was from Maryland, circa 1840s, in original blue/green paint with original tins featuring pinwheels.
Following the show, Arion told Antiques and The Arts Weekly that the Friday gate was good and steady, but Saturday and Sunday were off. He said that he is seriously mulling reining this in to a two-day show, nixing Sunday. It is a prospect that has been up in the air for some time now, with Arion quoted as such in our review of the September 2018 edition after it had similar results on the third day and dealers raised their concerns. He seemed more committed to it this time around, though the February dates are still listed as January 31 to February 2 at the time of printing. The change may take effect come next year’s September edition instead.
For additional information, www.theoriginalyorkantiquesshow.com or 302-875-5326.
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