– Studying the booths at the Heart of Bucks Antique Show at the George School in on November 22, only days before Thanksgiving, it was not hard to see reminders of this holiday.
For example, lithographs of Abraham Lincoln reminded one that it was this President who designated the last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving. Or eagles on the tops of banjo clocks or on vintage parade flags could have recalled Benjamin Franklin wanting to make the turkey our national symbol. Or the skookum dolls could have reminded one that it was 90 Native Americans, along with the Pilgrims, whose three-day feast inaugurated the First Thanksgiving.
But most of all it was the genuine and palpable camaraderie among the 46 dealers and patrons (as well as the often heard, “Have a Happy Thanksgiving”) that made the atmosphere of this show special. And no doubt show managers Ellen Katona and Bob Lutz also gave thanks to the fact that the gate was up from last year and there was good, steady attendance all day.
With American parade and military “Welcome Home” flags festooning the backdrop, the booth of Steve and Lorraine German, Mad River Antiques of North Granby, Conn., could have been a Norman Rockwell oil painting that encapsulated the Thanksgiving theme. In fact, while we visited with dealers Steve and Lorraine (who are participating in 31 shows this year), two of their flags sold to a homeowner who plans to decorate her Eighteenth Century Bucks County farm with them.
Precision work with provenance also captured our attention in the Germans’ booth. A collection of cutwork pictures (many depicting scenes from Aesop’s Fables) that were originally in The Magazine Antiques collection, were anything but child’s play. Each mid-Nineteenth Century picture was intricately detailed with illustrations from works that included “The Fox and the Stork” ($525), and “The Dog and the Shadow” ($425). A 1965 letter sent by a descendant of the creator of these cutwork pieces, to the editor-in-chief of Antiques, identified the maker as Catherine J. Hill (1835-1916), who was known, up to this time, only as C.J.H. Another work, also attributed to Hill, included a picture featuring three cranes and a woodland scene with cows ($750).
Also seen was an early Nineteenth Century, New England birch tilt-top candlestand in red wash with spider legs, spade feet and forged nail construction ($875). Also offered for sale at $795 was a Nineteenth Century Penn., grain-painted blanket box with bun feet (211/2 inches high by 351/2 inches wide by 181/2 inches deep), a Cowden & Wilcox stoneware milk bowl ($625), and a late Eighteenth/early Nineteenth Century New York double-sided cookie print, with a fish on one side and an anchor on the other, for $425.
How fitting it was for Curt Lefferts from Meeting House Antiques, Salem, N.J., who is a Quaker (sometimes referred to as Seekers), to also be selling a Quaker sampler. This dated 1809 example was sewn by Ann Wilson, who attended the Pleasant Hill Boarding School from 1807 to 1809.
“Seekers” of other types of early Americana had plenty of fine pieces from which to select in Curt’s booth. A circa 1830 cherry, two-piece corner cupboard, in the Mahantango Valley, Penn., manner, was selling for $8,800. A walnut Chippendale chair ($2,600), a Queen Anne tilt-top table with slipper feet ($3,800), a circa 1800 Hepplewhite card table ($3,800), a Nineteenth Century schoolmaster’s desk, a circa 1820 Pennsylvania blanket chest with original paint and a one-gallon salt glazed stoneware pitcher with blue slip flowers and leaf decoration that was attributed to Remmey (Philadelphia, circa 1840) were just some of the other rdf_Descriptions looking for new homes.
Almost as soon as the doors opened, Sharon Huss from LCS Inc, Washington Crossing, Penn., already had two visible open spaces in her booth. Two yellowware rdf_Descriptions — a very large bowl and a rolling pin with its original turned handles — left her inventory. Some of the furniture filling her space included a New York, circa 1840, mahogany drop leaf table with carved legs and brass castors and its original brass pulls on drawers ($995), a bucket bench with arched feet that was constructed with square nails and still retained traces of its original paint ($595) and a Nineteenth Century Ohio cupboard with its original paint ($465).
Among the textiles noted was a Nineteenth Century Pennsylvania crib quilt in cheddar colors ($895) and a circa 1890 Pennsylvania quilt in the duck paddle pattern (84 by 84 inches) that was offered for sale at ($495). Smalls included a rare yellowware sponged cradle (circa 1810-1840), a dated 1809 reverse inked fraktur in its original frame, a late Nineteenth/early Twentieth Century New England Algonquin basket with great patina and its original painted design, a Nineteenth Century New York State turned bowl with original blue paint and a Nineteenth Century New England spun brass signed jelly pan.
Reinforcing the fact that this group of dealers go the extra mile to set up their booths as if it were for much longer than a one-day show, was Ivy Hill Primitives, Langhorne, Penn. And apparently Lynne Oppen-heimer’s decorating style and attention to detail worked with the customers, too, because her trip home was made much lighter with the sale of a table, and two cupboards (one of which was step back).
Early on in the show we spotted a circa 1800-1820 New Jersey cherry work table with removable top and turned legs ($2,750), and a Nineteenth Century one-door cupboard that once belonged to the radio personality “Stella Dallas” ($895). And as a neighbor of LCS, Inc, who had the full-size yellowware rolling pin, we could not help but be amused by Lynne’s rare blue onion rolling pin that was approximately only five inches in length.
And we were also amused by the fact that Bill Fretz from Hex Highway Antiques, Hamburg, Penn., arrived at this Newtown, Penn., show with an iron bench that he acquired from Newtown, Conn. — which is also the home of Antiques and The Arts Weekly.
Bonkey’s Treasures, Rich-boro, Penn., always displays a unique selection of enamelware and this show was no exception. Pointing out an 1880s French enamel pitcher and basin, Janice Bonk noted that in her ten years of selling antiques, this is the first time show has had one this old and in this pattern. This special set of enamelware was offered for $425.
The next Heart of Bucks Antiques Show is scheduled for Saturday, March 27, at the George School, Newtown. For information, Ellen Katona and Bob Lutz can be reached at 856-459-2229.