Published: November 8, 2011
“Another show manager stopped by my desk at the show and said to me, ‘The show may be a little smaller, but the quality is still there,’ and that made me feel good,” Donna Burk, manager of the Greater York Antiques Show, said. That seemed to be the general feeling of both the exhibitors and the people who visited the October 28′9 event at the York Fairgrounds.
Sixty-one dealers filled most of Memorial Hall East, with, once again, painted furniture and country far out-numbering brown furniture. Pennsylvania antiques were well represented with pottery, fabrics, carvings and clocks, mixed in about the floor with weathervanes, iron, lighting and paintings.
The gate was steady on Friday and despite snow warnings, people came out on Saturday as well, all adding up to an increase over last year. The predicted eight inches of snow did not fall, and “we mainly had slush around the building on Saturday,” Donna said. She also told of a customer who went home Friday night and then drove back 3½ hours on Saturday to pick up a corner cupboard that he wanted. “We closed an hour early on Saturday and announced to those at the show that a complete refund would be given if that was bothersome,” Donna said. “One person came to the desk and said the show was very nice, but he would like a 50 percent refund,” Donna added.
This show has been going for years and always draws its share of collectors, dealers and browsers, and a good number of “holiday” collectors. For them, many of the exhibitors provided shelves of Halloween objects and Christmas ornaments, which moved on to new collections. “A good number of the dealers reported good sales to me, but I guess it’s the same old story, some do well, and others do not have good shows,” Donna said.
A Mohawk Valley blanket chest in pine, tulip and poplar, with folk art tombstone decorated top, was shown in the booth of Axtell Antiques of Deposit, N.Y. “That four-story brownstone is a Boston scene,” “Smitty” Axtell said, pointing out the design of a small hooked rug. A kneeling bench, with wonderful scalloped apron, was painted white over the original red surface.
Steven Smoot of Lancaster, Penn., had a nice tramp art church with tall steeple, carved wooden doors, in white paint. Fresh from an old hardware store was a 60-drawer tin and wood cabinet for nuts and bolts, dating circa 1870‹0.
An early three-wheel trike, red painted with yellow striping, white wooden wheels and wooden pedals, was at the front of the booth of Rich and Pat Garthoeffner, Lititz, Penn. Of interest was a good-size hunk of coal, polished on one side and engraved with a view of the Marvine Colliery Hudson Coal Company. In addition to the mining building, the engraving showed a railroad and an access road with a vehicle. A small centered blue star was surrounded by larger stars, making for a very colorful crib quilt, and a pair of Hessian soldier andirons showed the figures in full, painted dress.
Greg Kramer of Robesonia, Penn., said, “I saw this great one-horse sleigh come onto the fairgrounds in the back of a truck and followed it. I was determined to buy it.” And that he did, adding, “If the snow prediction is accurate, I might hitch it up to my truck and give customers a ride around the parking lot.” The two-passenger sleigh, circa 1830, was in very good condition retaining its yellow painted surface with striping and some spotty sponge decoration. “I have had several sleighs over the years, but this one is in really tip-top condition and wonderful paint,” Greg said. He was equally proud of a small carved mantel he was offering, a salesman’s sample; “the first one I have ever seen.” A large wooden boot trade sign was promoting “Shoes Shined,” and a large paper turkey was in time for the coming holidays.
Jewett-Berdan of Newcastle, Maine, showed an interesting architectural blanket chest of walnut and poplar in apple green paint, circa 1830, with cut-out scalloping around the lid of the chest and also around the base. A colorful Indian basket was in shades of yellow, red and green, with a ring of heart designs, and, as usual, a selection of anniversary tin was shown. “We really like the tin objects and have handled a great number over the years,” Butch Berdan said. Tin slippers, a top hat and a flask locket were available at York.
Man’s “Best Friend,” a standing dog on a black ground, was represented on a hooked rug hanging in the booth of Norwoods’ Spirit of America, Timonium, Md., along with another hooked rug showing a running horse, brown and white, with a colorful border of circles. A Lancaster County needlework, dated 1836, was by Maria Miller, age 12, complete with parent’s names, a large pot filled with flowers in the center, surrounded by a floral border.
Marjorie Staufer of Medina, Ohio, offered a rare standing desk, dovetailed with rosehead nails, New Hampshire origin, with two short drawers over four long drawers in the lower section. The upper section had a slant front writing surface that concealed a pigeon hole interior. An Eighteenth Century New England armchair, with three splats and finial tops, had a rush seat. In the display of Stallfort Antiques, Elverson, Penn., a tiger maple hanging cupboard of Pennsylvania origin, dated circa 1760‸0, had a tombstone glazed four-pane door and retained the original hardware and H-hinges.
Thomas R. Longacre of Marlborough, N.H., had a relief-carved and painted ship’s chandlery trade sign that was found on Cape Cod, circa 1920, and a tiger maple slant lid desk from Maine with grained doors in the interior, each surrounded with the original blue paint. A carved wood fish weathervane was in the original green painted surface, with tin tail, dating circa 1890.
The long back wall in the booth of Raccoon Creek, Oley, Penn., was covered, for the most part, by pieces of furniture, including a New England general store cupboard, two long drawers and four shelves, all in the old painted surface. New in line was a step back cupboard that was filled with a collection of redware pottery, and to the right was a pie safe with six punched tin panels, each with a large star design. A Delaware Valley ladder back side chair had five slats and the original rush seat.
A textile rack, made in three sections that folded together, was utilized as a display piece for a collection of nine early baskets in the booth of B. Hannah Daniel Antiques, Athens, Ga. Fresh from a country store was a display rack for Hohner Harmonicas, and a late Nineteenth Century blanket chest in the original blue paint was from Delaware.
The Antiquarium, Portsmouth, N.H., had a child’s three-splat armchair in old surface, circa 1790‱810; a rare untouched white painted New England blanket crane; and two handmade black puppets, male and female, the gent sporting a neat pair of red, white and blue suspenders.
Kelly Kinzle made the short trip from New Oxford, Penn., to do the show, offering a large boot trade sign, about 5 feet tall, with old red painted surface, and a large bird’s-eye view of the McKeesport Tin Plate Co in 1903. The factory, situated on a river, had a large hillside in the background. Ray Roberts of New Cumberland, Penn., offered several collections, including a grouping of chalk figures comprising a pair of doves, squirrel, rooster, two dogs and a parrot. Eight Gaudy Dutch single rose creamers, varying in size, formed another interest.
Newsom and Berdan, also located just around the corner from York in Thomasville, Penn., showed a New England bucket bench, green paint over the original grey, Nineteenth Century, and a wooden figure, a man with a top hat, better known as a dancing doll. An oval portrait of Captain William Duncan, British Marine officer, oil on panel by Charles Robertson, circa 1795 was displayed.
A circa 1830 dry sink from Kernsville, Penn., in the original red and blue, with an upper shelf, was against the wall in the booth of Joseph Lodge of Lederach, Penn., and extensive inlay decorated a small mahogany sideboard, circa 1795.
Kocian DePasqua Antiques, South Woodbury, Conn., had a splayed leg drop leaf table dating from the mid-Eighteenth Century with scrubbed maple top, 44 inches in diameter, and a red wash base. A very large eagle weathervane dominated one corner of the booth, a product of Harris & Co., Boston, dating from the mid- to late Nineteenth Century. It boasted a 54-inch wingspan, measured 35½ inches overall in height, and rested on a 10-inch-diameter copper ball.
“I was driving here from my home in Pembroke, N.H., and, all of a sudden, I had a bee flying around the van,” Tommy Thompson said. A few miles down the road he reasoned that, as the van got warmer, the bee must have come out of one of the two early bee skeps he was taking to the show. “The bee left me alone and I am not sure where he went,” Tommy said. A pair of black-painted, wood-carved drapes hung on the back wall of the booth, and a collection of nine skaters’ lamps with green, red, blue and purple glass shades was in one corner of the display case. And as usual, he offered a number of Halloween and Christmas holidays objects.
A folk art tall case clock with wooden works, circa 1830, the case decorated with animal figures, including a horse, giraffe and a number of birds, was shown by Lisa McAllister of Clear Spring, Md. Of interest was a decorated wooden box attributed to the school of Misses Martin’s School for Young Ladies in Portland, Maine, circa 1820.
Hilary and Paulette Nolan of Falmouth, Mass., had a bench-made child’s Queen Anne wing chair dating from the Nineteenth Century, and a graphic paint decorated blanket chest, one drawer, in blue/gray paint with black splashes. It was from New England and dated circa 1770‱800.
A New England chair table, circa 1830, with the original painted surface, was centered in the booth of James M. Kilvington of Dover, Del., and on a chest, a large and fine circa 1900 Zia/Olla was shown. A jelly cupboard, circa 1810, was from Lancaster County, Penn.
Stephen-Douglas, Rockingham, Vt., regulars at the Greater York Show, offered a bucket bench/cupboard in Prussian blue paint, a piece that just came out of a private collection in Quebec. Two vases of flowers, with a floral border, was depicted on a hooked rug, and a small blue and red sled sported the name “Jossie” painted on it. And for those interested in food choppers, a large wooden box was filled with a collection offering a wide range of shapes and sizes.
A stretcher base pine and maple Pennsylvania table, late Eighteenth Century, was shown by Steven Still, Manheim, Penn., as was a miniature plank-seat settee, green painted with decoration, dated circa 1860. Near the front of the booth was a tall cast iron, white painted, umbrella stand, complete with a mirror for adjusting your hat before going out and a tray to catch the water off a dripping umbrella.
“I have had 40 dealers sign-up already for the May 18‱9 show, when we will return to the fairgrounds for the Greater York Antiques Show,” Donna Burk said. She also noted that there will be different hours next year, with the show opening on Friday an hour earlier, 10 am, and closing an hour earlier, 6 pm. Saturday hours will remain 11 am to 5 pm.
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