Pointing out the superior workmanship of an early, elaborately quilted and unusual patterned quilt from Ohio, dealer Sharon Pittenger from Dark Moon Antiques proclaimed that such textile artistry is truly a “blast from the past.” Given the selection of vintage papier mache German Santas, Kugels, reindeer and sleds, the Katona/Lutz Christmas Antiques Show December 2–3 was verily a “blast from Christmas past.”
Extremely pleased with very strong show attendance for the weekend were show promoters Ellen Katona and Bob Lutz. “The gate was up 200 from last year,” noted Katona, who handled admission, adding that 30 patrons from Saturday returned to shop for more treasures on Sunday.
It is understandable that patrons would be eager to make it a weekend antique extravaganza of sorts when you are greeted by knowledgeable and affable dealers such as the previously mentioned Ron and Sharon Pittenger from Dark Moon Antiques, Johnsonburg, N.J.
Found in their booth was an American pre-Civil War military drum, circa 1830, with its original J. Meacham, Albany, N.Y., label and original sling, priced at $1,500. For $895 one could own a hand-forged iron German halberd circa 1560–90, used not only as a battle weapon but to give the officer visibility for his troops on the battlefield. An authentic “attic find” was a short saber/horseman saber from either the French and Indian War, or the Revolutionary War, selling for $1,975. For $249, patrons could set their holiday tables with a Nathaniel Austin (1741–1816) pewter plate.
Also in Dark Moon’s booth was a $595 black decoy duck, circa 1920, attributed to Ellis Parker. Interestingly, it is said that Parker never gunned a day in his life, yet made some very fine decoys. Another decoy, a circa 1920, hollow body mallard drake with glass eyes and articulated wings, was also featured in the Pittengers’ booth. Commenting on this decoy, Sharon said, “This is a nice New Jersey piece. You do not find the Delaware River examples as readily as others.” Also making its debut at this show was a circa 1820 Lancaster City, Penn., sampler made by Harriett Wallerton at $1,195.
From the Blue Grass state, dealer Ali Rickstrew, who trades under the name The Kentucky Sandpiper, had museum-caliber treasures including a turn-of-the-century folk art carved basketball player, and a late Eighteenth/early Nineteenth Century bed wrench doll made from Southern pine. Also seen was a teacher’s sampler for kindergarten students that was dated 1888, and a Nineteenth Century Lancaster County, Penn., ledger that featured a watercolor of an eagle.
With provenance linking them to Buckingham Palace, a set of hand crafted, papier mache Punch and Judy marionettes was accompanied with its circa 1906 script. Also exhibited was a Massachusetts Chippendale period miniature mahogany chest with shell marquetry, an 1822 sampler executed by Catherine Kellets with a verse entitled “contentment” and a pair of cloth 1930s Mickey and Minnie Mouse dolls. Remembering the true reason for the season, Rickstrew featured a Nineteenth Century tin folk art of the Holy Family that originated from either Spain or France. Sales included an 1846 verse sampler and a pen wipe of George Washington.
Art imitated life in the stand of Joanne and Marty Greenberg, Country Samplings, Kingston, N.J., with an early Twentieth Century “Satisfied Customer” roly-poly tobacco tin at $650, as the dealers had quite a few satisfied customers this weekend given their sale of 19 vintage tobacco tins, from Marty’s personal 30-year collection. “I sold mostly to collectors. The interest in these tobacco tins has been great.”
Only six different kinds of roly-polys were made (including Mr Scotland Yard), and Marty had five that were completely original, and the sixth a marriage. His love affair for these tin tobacco treasures began when he was a child working in his father’s general store. Included in his collection and offered to showgoers was a 1940s Jackie Coogan peanut butter lithograph tin pail at $800 that encouraged children to eat their peanut butter to be able to play with the pail.
Furniture sales were sometimes augmented by modern technology. Jim Woodruff, Chester, N.J., told of an overnight sale in which a decorator had taken a digital photo of his Empire mahogany chest of drawers on the first day of the show, sent it by computer to a client that evening, and then informed Woodruff first thing the next morning that his chest sold. Woodruff allowed that the use of the digital camera by decorators seems to be a trend. Two Nineteenth Century silhouettes also sold. Known for his strong collection of stoneware, Woodruff showed three Fulper half-gallon script jugs from Belmar, N.J., Minersville, Penn., and Allentown, Penn., that originally held either vinegar or cider.
Many of the displays included Christmas decorations, but not Hand Picked Antiques, Stowe, Vt. Dealers Richard Fuller and Annette Coletti were not being Scrooges; rather they wanted a historically correct look to their early Nineteenth Century New England furnished booth.
Fuller explained the New England Puritans did not celebrate Christmas; indeed, examples of those who did celebrate early Christmas in our country were the Germans who brought the trees and Yuletide celebration from Europe with them to Pennsylvania, as well as the Church of England Protestants in Williamsburg, Va.
Appropriately in this historically accurate booth, one found an early watercolor of a young lady dressed in Empire period attire and Windsor comb back chairs. Reporting that they had a good show, Fuller noted that a Nineteenth Century desk, a pair of country chairs and pantry boxes all found new homes.
Princeton, N.J., dealer H&L Antiques, lightened its inventory of furniture with sales that included a grain painted mule chest from Upstate New York, an unusual oval top farm table that came from a farm outside of York, Penn., a green painted dough table with ample storage, a one-drawer stand, a cobbler’s bench with a leather seat and a painted bench.
Distant Past Antiques from Mount Laurel, N.J., also reported having a good show. Some of its merchandise that found new abodes included an oak cabinet, spool box, burl bowls, a horse on wheels and lots of Christmas items.
Local dealers Kurt and Deborah Engelmann from Long Valley, N.J., were also happy they participated in this show. Their sales, which included a lot of furniture, consisted of a tavern table, a drop leaf table, a dough box, storage cupboard and a one-drawer stand.
Making the trip from Newark, Del., proved worthwhile for Pinkerton Antiques, whose sales included a canning cupboard, a chest of drawers, barn lantern, quilt, mirrors and lots of smalls.
For more information, Ellen Katona and Bob Lutz can be reached at 856-459-2229 or email@example.com. Their next show will be February 23–25, 2007 in Key West, Fla.
The promoters are also introducing a brand new, one-day show to New Jersey. Working in cooperation with the newly formed Delaware Township Historical Society, they will run this one-day show at the Delaware Township Middle School in Sergeantsville, N.J., on Saturday, May 5, with dealer setup the night before.