Published: January 3, 2023
Review and Photos by Beth Pulsipher
COLUMBUS, OHIO – On the last busy shopping weekend before Christmas, December 17-18, the Scott Antique Market was hopping – although a slow start on this bitingly cold December day, the crowds picked up quickly by mid-morning. The show is conducted each year from November through March at the Ohio Expo Center, located off the I-71 exit to 17th Street/Exit 111. The Columbus November Thanksgiving weekend show is the largest, using two buildings, while the December and rest of the winter shows are smaller and are found in the Bricker Building.
For decades, Don Scott, founder of the Scott Antique Markets, was an antiques dealer traveling across the United States in search of quality antiques and then selling them at many different antiques shows. He wanted to start his own show and began with the Atlanta, Ga., monthly show. It was so successful – taking up several buildings – that he soon expanded to Columbus, Ohio. The Columbus show has gained popularity in the winter months when there are few large shows in the area. He now has more than 30 years in the business, with a loyal following of buyers and sellers at both of his shows.
The show has gained a solid reputation over the years for the wide range of antiques and collectibles dealers, from serious early antiques to fun, whimsical collectibles. It has dedicated customers who adore the Scott Market and attend every month. Dealers arrive from several different states, as do customers – there were car license plates seen in the customer parking lot from Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Kentucky, all attesting to the show’s strong attraction. It’s a mixed show with many different vibes – whether you are a Nineteenth Century antiques fancier, or prefer your favorite Midcentury Modern collectibles, the chances are good that it can be found at the Scott show.
Regular customers were easy to spot – they came prepared to buy, and were seen carrying huge shopping bags, or pulling wire two-wheel grocery carts. Some arrived ready to buy larger items, and were towing children’s wagons. A few customers were in and out in under an hour, and most were seen hauling their new treasures home – a large 1950s advertising sign, Nineteenth Century stoneware and a vintage train set all left the show with happy owners early in the day. For the most part, buyers took their time shopping as they hunted, visited with their favorite dealer, and enjoyed a few hours of antiquing fun.
Although the December show is not the biggest of the winter series, there were plenty of dealers from several different states who set up. It speaks well of the show management – reasonable booth prices, a spacious climate-controlled indoor facility and food concession stands with many tables for seating. By noon, those tables were filled with shoppers taking a quick lunch break, and were doing show-and-tell with their new purchases. All these positives make for happy dealers and customers, bringing them back month after month. At Columbus, one could easily spend the better part of the day hunting for that special antique. Columbus Antique Market dealers are some of the friendliest sellers in the Midwest, and many were seen sharing their knowledge and expertise with their customers.
The show is conducted entirely indoors, making for a very comfortable shopping experience. The aisles are wide, with plenty of room for crowds to easily move about. Some exhibitors do not do every show, making the selection of antiques different from month to month, but many dealers are regulars who return each show with their latest fresh finds. The booths were packed in December with many thousands of antiques and collectibles, and it made for a fun day of shopping – if you are searching for something “different,” this show is an excellent place to hunt, as you just never know what will show up!
The Scott show calls itself America’s Favorite Treasure Hunt for good reason – it’s a low key, casual show to shop, easy to wander and always includes many unexpected surprises. The December show included both utilitarian and decorated stoneware, vintage toys and board games, early estate and costume jewelry, many racks of vintage clothing, antique woodworking tools, baskets of all kinds, trunks and wood advertising boxes, new handmade items and crafts, sterling and coin silver, many different kinds of china, pottery and glass, paper Americana, vinyl records, Nineteenth Century art, advertising signs in wood, neon and metal, kitchenwares from the 1800s through the Depression era, old cameras and photographica, quilts and other textiles, Nineteenth to Twentieth Century clocks and watches, and many different kinds of dolls, just to name a few categories. There is no singular theme at the Scott show – if it was old or interesting, it probably could be found at the show. Although the Columbus show is generally known for vendors of smaller antiques, there was some furniture there, including mid-1800s dressers and cupboards through Midcentury Modern furniture and decorative examples. For those hunting for country and primitive antiques for their home or office, the Scott show is truly worth attending… but you’ll find industrial art and furnishings, repurposed vintage accessories and newer items, too. Looking for inspiration and decorating ideas? Spend a couple of hours here, and you will come home with plenty to keep you busy!
The Scott Columbus Antique Market does not charge individual admission fees to the show; it’s free to attend. The only cost involved is paying for parking – and it’s just $5 per car. One pays at the entry gate by cash or check. If you are a first-time visitor, be sure to ask at the gate for directions to the Scott show, as there are several buildings at the Expo Center offering different activities simultaneously (this particular weekend also had a vintage clothing show, a sports show and the Ohio roller derby). No tickets are sold in advance.
Like most shows, cash is king at Scott events, but many of the dealers accept checks, too. Some take credit cards. But not to worry – if you run out of cash, there are two ATMs available at the Bricker Building. One machine is outside next to the main entrance, and the other is conveniently close to the concession stand. Also, be sure to take pen and paper to write down where you saw your favorite things – it’s a good-sized show, and trying to remember which aisle and booth where you saw that special treasure can be frustrating if you don’t write it down.
The 2023 Scott show dates are Saturdays and Sundays, January 28-29, February 25-26, March 25-26. The fall 2023 dates are Thanksgiving weekend, November 26-27 and December 16-17. Show hours are Saturday, 9 am to 6 pm, and Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm.
For additional information, www.scottantiquemarket.com or 740-569-2800.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm