Published: October 7, 2008
Country Living, the popular home magazine, produced its 3rd annual festival of antiques, crafts, design and food for thousands of visitors. According to Nancy Soriano, editor-in-chief, the festival, held September 12‱4 at the Ohio Historical Society’s Village, brings the pages of Country Living to life; it’s a place where readers can visit with writers and editors, and see exhibits that, in many cases, reflect stories from the magazine. Stella Show Mgmt Co. ran the festival, which had more than 150 exhibits and reported nearly 20,000 visitors, in spite of some weather problems, which included the tail end of a hurricane †75 mile-an-hour winds shortening the show on Sunday.
Exhibits for the affair included most of the departments from Country Living , a Hearst magazine with a preference for early American style. Offering space to about 160 exhibitors, the show had nearly 120 crafts exhibits, some including specialty foods, and about 40 antiques dealers.
The crafts dealers are very accomplished artisans who make reproduction furniture in tiger maple; quilts and other textiles for home décor; canvas murals for the walls of homes and small treasures for gifts. One craft exhibitor offered old furniture, which had been reworked into more comfortable pieces by padding the back and seat of ladder back chairs. Another offered candles in a rainbow of colors; there were dried flowers arranged in antique frames as shadow boxes and even a few farmers offering pumpkins, dried corn and corn stalks and mums from their annual crops. A fellow from Pennsylvania makes wooden spoons and forks for serving pieces and also as place-setting flatware.
The antiques portion was for dealers who offer country style antiques or, as in several cases, something of the New Millennium trend, mixing country with Art Deco.
David Drummond, Lititz, Penn., was selling very well throughout the show with several sets of chairs, including a set of black painted firehouse chairs; a set of six turn-of-the-century plank seated kitchen chairs in bright green, with painted decorations; an early workstand on “A” frame legs, along with a collection of accessories.
Another dealer sold an early saddle stand; it looks something like a tall saw horse with a stop in the front and a rig to drape the reins. Valuable small items were selling all weekend. Victorian sugar shakers, Old Sheffield Plate objects including a pair of candlesticks and more small antiques from England, which might have been found in America in 1803; they now found new homes in the Columbus area.
Amanda House Antiques from South Bloomingville, Ohio, was offering some late Nineteenth Century furniture including a bentwood rocking chair in hickory for $650. Another dealer from Chagrin Falls, Ohio, Keystone Antiques, sold a dry sink in old painted surface for $850, and Rolland Dellaire Antiques was offering a similar piece in scrubbed surface from their Brockway, Penn., collection.
Ohioans favor early Nineteenth Century painted furniture and Pigeon Hollow Farm, Kingston, Ill., offered a large collection of it. Maureen Little, the owner of the business was offering some early furniture and even store fixtures in paint from her inventory.
Enamelware was the entire exhibit for Antique Depot of Monticello, Ind. There were saucepans, double boilers, three-tiered lunch pails, coffeepots and teapots available in all colors.
Located at Ohio Historical Society’s Village Museum, the show was showing off the buildings and grounds to the many visitors. Kim Schuette, public information officer for the society, said the festival was the busiest event in their history.
The show was not blessed with cooperating weather this year: Friday there was rain off and on all day long; Saturday, the forecast was poor but the day turned out just fine, however, as local weather forecasters were telling all the viewers to stay home, it may have hurt attendance somewhat; Sunday there was the tail end of Hurricane Ike. The day started fine, but by noon the wind began to pick up and by late afternoon it was gale force, knocking down several tents. No severe injuries were reported as the packing out for the show began early, but it was not fun.
Irene Stella, show manager, said “we were in a bad position in that we did not want the vendors to miss out on sales, but we were so very concerned for the safety. We stopped admitting people at 2:30 pm, but we couldn’t get the visitors to leave.”
“Look for the festival again late September next year,” Stella said. For more information, www.stellashows.com or 212-255-0020. See Country Living at www.countryliving.com .
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