Published: December 18, 2012
“I have my own niche when it comes to running antiques shows,” Jennifer Sabin said, two days after her newest show, Heartland East, closed on Saturday, December 8. This show, staged at the Howard County Fairgrounds in one very large, heated building, had room to comfortably hold 86 exhibitors and “we have about 30 dealers on our waiting list to join the show,” Jennifer said.
Dealers at this first show hailed from many states, including Missouri, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Vermont, Maine, New York, New Hampshire, both North and South Carolina, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Kentucky, Michigan, Indiana, Rhode Island and Virginia.
Jennifer is a well-known promoter responsible for two shows run at the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Richmond, Ind., “a location that is in the middle of nowhere, but it still draws a crowd,” she said. One show is the Saturday of the first weekend in June, staged in two buildings with 130 exhibitors, and the other is the third Saturday of November, with 85 dealers in one building. Dates for 2013 are June 1 and November 16.
Heartland East is patterned after the Indiana shows, the ingredients a large building with ample parking, a well-known location, a good stable of dealers and a reasonable booth rent to ease the costs exhibitors have today to do a show.
“About one-third of the dealers doing this show are regulars at my Indiana shows, and the gate in Maryland was about the same draw as we have at our November show out there,” Jennifer said. As far as business went, “We had the usual mix of those who did well and a few who did not sell anything. But everyone seemed upbeat, and even those who said they did not do well are planning to come back next year,” she said. She is expecting a return lineup of better than three-quarters of the exhibitors.
Four rows of booths, separated by two aisles that ran the length of the building, as well as a couple of cross aisles, was the floor plan of the show, and it seemed, upon entering the building, that one might not make it to the other end, as it appeared so far away. However, with a first stop at the front booth manned by Dennis Raleigh of Wiscasset, Maine, where a large Hamburg rooster weathervane, copper and zinc, attributed to Cushing & White, Waltham, Mass., late Nineteenth Century with green surface, stood against the back wall of the booth, the journey had begun. But better first to check out a one-of-a-kind iron train locomotive in excellent condition and surface, circa 1900, made by a person who knew his trains, and on the right side of the booth, a collection of eight onion lamps in various shapes and sizes.
Missouri Plain Folk of Sikeston, Mo., offered a carved wood and painted Uncle Sam, originally used as a mailbox holder, and a selection of game boards, both checkers and Parcheesi. A sign for “Fresh Eggs for Sale” had black lettering on a white ground, and a carved quiver and arrows, painted red and gold, came from a Masonic lodge.
Michael Whittemore made the trip up from Punta Gorda, Fla., to do the show, selling most of what he brought. Among his inventory was a large horn armchair, a white painted cupboard with cutout base and four doors, two up and two down, and a small, delicate rooster weathervane with a good surface and large flowing tail. Three wooden cutting boards in the shape of fish formed an interesting school on a side wall of the booth.
Mario Pollo of Bearsville, N.Y., and Jim Hirsheimer of Erwinna, Penn., shared a booth, offering a Black Hawk vane, a large and colorful wheel of chance and several hooked rugs depicting a sailboat and dogs.
A whale end shelf, circa 1840, with double drawers at the bottom held a collection of about 30 Santa figures, various sizes and shapes, that “took about 15 years to assemble, with a good number of them from my own collection,” Nancy Pratt of Pratt’s Antiques, Victor, N.Y., said. A corner cupboard from eastern Pennsylvania, circa 1840, red and black surface, had a glass door in the upper section, three drawers and two doors in the lower part.
Stephen-Douglas Antiques of Rockingham, Vt., had a chair table at the front of the booth, holding a couple of stoneware pitchers with cobalt decoration, several pieces of slip decorated redware and a large wooden charger filled with several pieces of woodenware. A painted oval wooden box, decorated in part with patriotic images, had a large eagle and flag on the underside of the lid and a pair of leather fire buckets came from a home in Portsmouth, N.H.
“One lady came into the booth and mentioned that we did not bring much to the show,” Stephen Corrigan said, “and when I looked around I could not see room for any more. In fact, we have a couple of boxes in the van that we didn’t even unload.” Doug Jackman confirmed that the show was good for them, listing a few of the sales, including a broom holder, brass bucket, needlework purse dating from the Eighteenth Century, Old Hickory hatbox, child’s ladder back chair, a flower watercolor and some spongeware. And that was before noon on Saturday.
Denise Scott Antiques, East Greenwich, R.I., showed a selection of five hog scraper candlesticks, various sizes and two with wedding bands, with a collection of wrought iron pieces for the hearth around a small wood mantel. Five carved and painted wooden fish decoys, along with a selection of pewter, were displayed in a nice stepback cupboard.
Maxine Craft of Sarasota, Fla., had a large dry sink in old blue paint, and a portrait of a young man in military dress measured 21½ by 18 inches sight. Agler House of Columbus, Ohio, offered an apothecary chest in old gray paint, four drawers high, nine drawers wide, with some display space on top, and a one-board, scrubbed top store counter with old green painted base.
Heller Washam Antiques of Portland, Maine, had the largest boat in the show, a cutter rigged sailing yacht measuring 97 inches tall, 79 inches long and 11¾ inches deep. It was of either English or American origin and dated circa 1900. It was shown on top of a tall chest in flame birch with old surface, original hardware, circa 1790 and of New Hampshire origin.
A small-size green-painted sawbuck table was the perfect display space for a horse and jockey weathervane at the front of the booth of Steven F. Still of Manheim, Penn. On the back wall hung a portrait of Nancy Nolan, Roxbury, Mass., done in 1806 and was complete with full family history. The sitter wore a pearl necklace against a lace collar, and was holding a red bound book.
Another horse weathervane, this one a high-stepping figure, was shown by Nancy and Craig Cheney of Newark, Ohio. A Nineteenth Century dressing table in yellow with stenciled decoration was shown against the back wall, and at the front of the booth a horn hat rack with pinwheels carved on the backboard was mounted, a piece fit to hang eight hats.
“We always sell a good number of old Christmas ornaments around this time of the year,” George Allen of Raccoon Creek Antiques, Oley, Penn., said as he decorated a tree at the center of the booth. He also mentioned that “each year I seem to break more than the year before while doing this.” Furniture in the booth included a large yellow painted dry sink of Pennsylvania origin and a Pennsylvania folk art rug, wool on burlap, circa 1870‱880, floral decoration with leaves, was ex Connie Hayes collection. An interesting display of German candy containers included a large colorful rooster and hen, with four chicks, all papier mache, that at one time was probably used in a store window.
Bob Hartman of Country Huzzah, Burke, Va., had a rainbow tail rooster millweight in near perfect paint, “The best one I have ever seen,” Bob said. He was also pleased with the large Old Salt doorstop he offered, and a selection of Griswold chocolate molds included a reclining lamb, a rabbit and a large Santa.
Bristol, Maine, dealer Colleen Kinloch had a New Hampshire hooked rug, circa 1900, with a pattern of circles in many colors, including salmon in the center ring. A bucket bench in old gray paint was of Maine origin. More hooked rugs were available in the booth of The Norwoods’ Spirit of America, Timonium, Md., depicting a deer and a couple of dogs, including a Scottie and setter. A bright oil painting showed a heart in hand on a bright blue ground, a piece that came from an Odd Fellows lodge. And the only wicker in the show was a very nice set of four armchairs in the booth of Jane Langol of Medina, Ohio.
Ayscough Antiques of Chadds Ford, Penn., hung an appliqué quilt on the back wall, red and green on white ground, and a schoolmaster’s desk on frame, circa 1840, had an old, red painted surface. And just in time for the holidays was a circa 1870 child’s sled with a Christmas tree decorating the top surface. New Jersey dealer Country Antiques Two offered a carved and painted carved wooden shield with 13 stats, measuring 23 by 30½ inches and dating from the Nineteenth Century, and a pie safe with blue surface and six punched tin panels in the door, each with a basket of flowers design.
Ponzi/Stayer of Lowman, N.Y., offered a country Federal three-drawer worktable in tiger maple, figured with two short drawers over one long drawer, circa 1815‱825, and a large ship diorama dominated by a three-masted sailing ship flying an American flag, with a small sailboat in the left foreground. Three large dollhouses dominated the booth of Jackie Everett of Glenwood, Md., one with simulated brick walls, three stories high, and a balcony over the front door. Two stables were also available, as was a large collection of dollhouse furniture and farm animals.
A pair of one-dimensional wooden penguins stood out on the back wall at Cherry Gallery, Damariscotta, Maine, while at the front, four Old Hickory fanback side chairs surrounded a Rittenhouse drop leaf table. A large squirrel holding a nut dominated a hooked rug, and a trio of canoe paddles stood in the corner.
A perfect Christmas gift would have been a dapple rocking horse on red painted rockers, circa 1880, in the booth of Robert Conrad of Yeagertown, Penn., and from an estate in Hagerstown, Md., came a soldier whirligig with weathered painted surface, dating from the early Twentieth Century.
Several red sold tags appeared in the booth of Crazy Mountain Trading Co., Queenstown, Md., attached to a six-board blanket chest in old blue paint, one on a small twig stand and another taped to a long foot stool. Among a selection of four Indian pottery jars was a Hopi example, Roberta Youvilla Silas, flying wings pattern and dating from the mid-1900s. A collection of Indian baskets and trays was also shown.
The Tinker’s Wagon from Flint Hill, Va., brought a pile of early baskets, including some straw examples, and a nice pair of stuffed bears looked very comfortable seated in a child’s ladder back chair. Lots of Christmas balls were available, most in the original boxes.
Tex Johnson and Son Antiques, Adamstown, Penn., had a display case filled with butter prints, just a portion of a collection built up over the years. “There are many examples in the shop where we sell, and more at home to select from when we do shows,” Kris Johnson said. He added, “We have many collectors for them, including several in the Midwest.” Another shelf was filled with tin cookie cutters, including eagles, horses, human hand, hearts and flowers, and several pieces of cobalt decorated stoneware were shown.
A choice Pennsylvania blanket chest with paint decoration, bracket feet and the original wrought iron strap hinges was shown by Claude and Sharon Baker of Hamilton, Ohio. An impressive trade sign hung on the left wall, sand on tin with gold lettering, turned wood side posts, advertising “Frank Crowley †Choice Wines & Liquor.” It dated from the Nineteenth Century and had a curved surface.
John Cooper Antiques & Fine Art, Wilmington, N.C., offered a Nineteenth Century sawbuck table with scrubbed, four-board top and blue painted base. It was Alamance County, N.C. Jugs and crocks with cobalt decoration, floral and birds, were arranged on an early bench. A farm table, also with a four-board scrubbed top, green base, was in the booth of Catskill Antiques, Delhi, N.Y., a piece that came from Onondaya County, N.Y.
Baker & Co. divides its time between California in the colder months, and summers in Brantley, N.Y., conducting business at both locations. Among the offerings here was an early croquet set with mallets colored blue, red, green, yellow and black, and a number of checkerboards with the original paint and one Parcheesi board. “We are enjoying doing this show, meeting lots of nice people and shoppers know exactly what they are looking for,” Tom Baker said.
“If you want a great deal, then that is it,” Tom Brown of McMurray, Penn., said of his Connecticut flat-top highboy in maple. The tag reads “a great marriage,” but “people do not realize it is a marriage until they read the ticket,” Tom said. It was priced at only $1,950. Also of interest was a pair of zinc finials, American, early Nineteenth Century, probably from a building in Rhode Island. They were shown on new bases, painted to match the surface of the finials.
The most noticeable thing in the booth of Firehouse Antiques, Galena, Md., was a large sign for “Sterling Tires,” red lettering on a yellow ground, that took up most of the back wall of the booth. Another sign once advertised the location of “South Paris Savings Bank.” Sorisio’s Antiques of Leechburg, Penn., had a schoolmaster’s desk in old red paint, gallery and turned legs, that was signed by the maker, and a tall jelly cupboard from Lancaster County, Penn., with a grained surface over old red.
A bucket bench filled with large wooden bowls, the bottoms painted various colors including red, salmon, green and blue, as well as kitchen boxes and other treenware, was in the booth of Period Antiques of Scottsburg, Ind. Decoys and shorebirds formed another collection, and an interesting sheet metal weathervane was in the shape of a convertible car with driver.
Few areas of collection were missed in the booth of Ken and Sue Zippel of Bowie, Md. Large tables and other means of display were jammed full with sewing implements, butter prints, a rack of round breadboards, ironstone molds, samplers both large and small, brass tea kettles, tin molds, watercolors of young girls in fancy dress, candlesticks, and on and on. It was set up like a magnet, pulling in almost everyone who walked down the aisle.
Lana Smith of Louisville, Ky., traveled 12 hours to do the show and brought a varied selection of antiques, including a New Hampshire four-drawer chest in mahogany, beaded drawers, robust side turnings, circa 1840, and a nice hooked rug depicting a cat that was mounted for hanging. Four painted chalk dogs shared a shelf with a collection of early house painting brushes, and porters just happened along to pick up and deliver several canoe paddles and a trade sign that had been sold. Lana also echoed what we had been hearing from a good number of other dealers: “People are very knowledgeable and know what they want.”
Jennifer Sabin is already working with the people at the Howard County Fairgrounds for a 2013 date, saying, “We are looking for the first part of December or even late November.” She will announce a date after knowing the availability of the building and other show dates so as not to cause a major conflict. She is also considering a spring date, possibly sometime around the end of April. As a happy resident of South Carolina, she has firmly rejected any winter dates, saying, “I don’t like snow and love to play golf.”
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