If you go to the Greater York Antiques Show, chances are pretty good that you will go the extra 12 miles and visit the Historic East Berlin Antiques Show. Billed as “The Great Country Show,” this event opened with a preview on Thursday evening, May 19, at 5, with a good number of the Burk gang waiting in line.
“We had a very well-attended preview, and the best Friday attendance we have ever had,” Gretchen Davis, show manager, said. She added that Saturday the gate was down a bit, “as people took advantage of a long-awaited sunny day and found other things to do.”
All of the dealers, including the 12 new ones to the show, indicated an interest in returning next year. “We think we have a good mix of dealers, as we try to vary inventory, and also seek exhibitors from a wider geographical area,” Gretchen said.
The show is spread out throughout the East Berlin Area Community Center, with booths arranged in the library, multipurpose room, stage and classrooms. In total, 31 booths are home to 33 exhibitors, coming from Connecticut, Ohio, Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia, with the bulk of them Pennsylvania dealers.
For the most part, the show lives up to its country billing, with very little brown or polished furniture in the offering. Scrubbed tops and all-natural surfaces dominate, with accessories matching. Quilts are not overlooked, nor are cast iron implements for the kitchen and hundreds of smalls †really smalls †displayed in table cases.
Always a presence at the show are local dealers, including Lion and the Lamb with a New Hampshire lady’s desk on base in black paint, circa 1800, and a New England cupboard, probably Connecticut, in pumpkin paint and dating circa 1790‱810. It had two short drawers over two paneled doors.
A large balance scale in old blue paint, circa 1880, was on a table at the front of the booth of RSG Antiques, Hanover Township, Penn., while in a neighboring booth, Kathy Bonnes of Mentor, Ohio, offered a six-board sea chest with a painting of a tall sailing ship on the inside lid. The chest was the showplace for three dolls, two cloth dolls with the original clothes and a wooden head doll.
Don and Pat Clegg, also local dealers, showed a number of carved and painted decoys, one of their specialties, along with a Pennsylvania boldly paint decorated blanket chest, circa 1840, on high bulbous turned feet. A Pennsylvania dough trough on stand, circa 1830, was of pine and poplar, original red painted base, on splayed bulbous turned legs.
Williamsburg, Va., dealer Bettianne Sweeney Americana showed a 20-drawer apothecary, a table model, in old red paint, and a step back cupboard with a nine-light door on the top, one door in the lower section. A sheet metal crowing rooster weathervane, perched on an arrow, boasted a rusted white painted surface.
A good-looking, two-drawer farm table, with scrubbed top and original red painted legs, dated circa 1800, was at the front of the booth of Barbara Rew Antiques, Towson, Md. The table was found in Port Deposit, Md., and held a large trencher filled with stone fruit. A wire garden bench and a two-tier wire plant stand were offered by Pete’s Pickins Antiques, Upper Falls, Md.
A New England Eighteenth Century two-drawer, Queen Anne blanket chest, with early Nineteenth Century paint decoration, had been in an Ohio collection for more than 20 years and was offered by Beverly A. Jadus Antiques, another local dealer. She shared the booth with The Discerning Eye, Dover, Penn., who showed an 1851 Mennonite Book of Psalms and Hymns. This small, leather-bound book was of special interest due to a wonderful hand-drawn watercolor of a bird on a cherry tree limb at the front of the book.
Andrea Hollenbaugh Antiques, also from East Berlin, had a half-stock Kentucky rifle, an early cast iron jockey and horse pull toy, and a tin squirrel cage with punched tin decoration and molded roof, more than likely the work of a skilled tinsmith.
Lynne L. Dingus, Burnside, Ky., has held down the right side of the stage area for many years and showed several patriotic objects, including an eagle parade torch and an advertisement for the Philadelphia Daily and Weekly Journal in form of a flag with George Washington pictured in the upper left hand corner instead of stars.
Peter Diehl House Antiques, New Oxford, Penn., displayed a collection of early baskets on a wooden hat rack, while Hart’s Country Antiques, also of New Oxford, showed a grouping of seven wooden bowls of good size, all displayed upside down to show off the painted surfaces. A couple of them were on a New England scrubbed top sawbuck table with an original painted base.
Exhibiting in the library, Naomi Alexander Antiques, Venetia, Penn., hung a large quilt in the basket pattern, red and green baskets on a white ground, and an American School oil on canvas, mid-Nineteenth Century, depicting “The Cliff House” in San Francisco.
Booth 5 in the library was shared by Stephen Burkhardt Antiques and Groundhog Hollow Antiques, both of Felton, Penn., where a star pattern quilt was hung next to a quilt pattern cut in tin featuring four large birds and a tiny one in the center of the design. A large pierced tin lantern dated from the early Nineteenth Century, and a collection of treen included kitchen boxes, scoops, molds and food choppers.
The preview was followed by regular hours on Friday and Saturday and all proceeds from this event benefit the East Berlin Historical Preservation Society. “We own and maintain five historic buildings in town, and two of them need new roofs, the schoolhouse and the fire house,” Gretchen Davis said.
The show advertises “Fair Prices †Friendly Dealers, The way shows used to be.” If interested, mark down May 18‱9, 2012, with a Thursday evening preview. That is the weekend of the Greater York Antiques Show and the shows run comfortably side-by-side.