Published: September 29, 2020
Review and Photos by Tom O’Hara
SPRINGFIELD, OHIO – More than 2,000 exhibitors showed their stuff at Springfield Antique Show & Flea Market Extravaganza, September 18-20, now its 50th year. The show has evolved from just a big monthly antiques show into the largest single field show in the East twice each year in May and September. Offerings include antiques, country Americana, vintage home decor and collectibles from exhibiting dealers who have traveled from as far away as Iowa, Maine and Florida to attend and sell to the thousands of shoppers anxious to find the treasure there.
Show manager Janie Rogers Murphy worked tirelessly all summer since the July resumption of the monthly event conducted at Clark County Fairgrounds. May is the other month for the Extravaganza, but with COVID-19 shutdowns this year, only September was the giant show. Founded by Bruce Knight in 1971 and now owned by Steve Jenkins, the show has grown and flourished under the Jenkins/Murphy management team.
The assortment of offerings is strongest in Nineteenth Century furniture and accessories. Country Folks Antiques of Destin, Fla., and Michigan filled to overflowing four spaces in the field with well-preserved or restored American furniture and sold very well. Their collection included many store fixtures, such as a 50-drawer cabinet in pine, restored and very large at about 10 feet wide by 5 feet tall. Also, the dealer had several glass top showcases from the past and a great deal of home furnishings, which sold so well that it was necessary to restock the exhibit on Saturday morning.
Bill and Kay Puchstein were selling country Americana and folk art. One piece in particular that drew a great deal of attention was a small, paint-decorated sugar chest complete with the chopper inside it.
Typical of the furniture that sold well here was a Hoosier kitchen cabinet, an all-in-one pantry and workspace made by the company of the same name from about 1875 until World War I. There were also competitors available from other manufacturers, including Sellers Mfg. Co., ready for use in any kitchen. One was reported to have been sold to be used in a small apartment.
Nancy Thomas, St Paris, Ohio, sells from a large collection of wooden objects from 150 years ago that she is able to repurpose as useful home décor. For example, a primitive wooden box was suggested as a bench, wooden bowls for displays in a kitchen and antique household tools, which would be interesting displays.
One portion of the show with about 100 exhibitors is the Vintage Collections. Here, the dealers have trendy décor, such as industrial objects that have been converted to household purposes and other pieces which have been given a fresh Twenty-First Century look. Sparkle and Rust, Lancaster, Ohio, offered 100-year-old furniture in new paint and in some cases new hardware, all selling well.
TWIG, Erie, Penn., was also putting a fresh face on the furniture and workplace objects to be incorporated into a modern home.
Variety is the key at Springfield. There were exhibitors in the Arts and Crafts Building with furniture from the Georgian and American Federal periods.
Show owner Steve Jenkins is also an antiques dealer with a great affection for early American furniture. His exhibit included a cherry dropleaf table, late Federal period, with rope turned legs, a set of four French country painted chairs and the furnishings of an American farmhouse kitchen. One of his sales included a set of six brace back Windsor chairs and a farm table for the kitchen; also, a silhouette from about 1807, several early small accessories and three burl bowls.
Sharon Green Antiques, next to Jenkins, sold four quilts, all 100 percent hand stitched. One of these was made from silk cigar bands, circa 1900, the others were summer weight cotton, two applique and one a checkerboard pattern.
Nearby, Sarasota, Fla., dealer and auctioneer Andrew Ford was showing a large collection of art and William and Mary period furniture. Sales for him included a Seventeenth Century stretcher base table in oak, several works of art, a horse head statue and a 100-year-old boat model with a clockworks motor.
Jewelry is available from many sources at the show with some semiprecious and also a good selection of valuable articles. Margaret Alderman Ford and her husband Bobby were there for the first time. They divide their business in two, with Bobby doing the silver, glass and furniture while Margaret does most of the jewelry. Their jewelry collection is varied with precious and semiprecious stone in valuable settings. Margaret also designs and makes much of the jewelry, including a large assortment of lapis lazuli pieces and other materials. For this show, they sold more silver hollowware than they could remember.
Steve Peterson, Knightstown, Ind., sold from his collection of estate jewelry. Peterson has an open shop in his hometown, but also does many shows to acquire new customers. Here, he was selling an estate jewelry collection.
With all the current restriction of public gatherings, Steve Jenkins said, “We were very pleased with how the exhibitors and shoppers turned out for the show. Our setups were very close to the best for Springfield September, and the attendance was also very rewarding. In addition, the dealers told me they were so pleased with their sales, making the weekend a very worthwhile experience for all that came.”
Springfield Antiques Show and Flea Market is conducted nine times each year, on the third weekend of most months; however, there is no show in February, July and December due to conflicts at the fairgrounds. Extravaganzas are May and September with 2,500 dealers and thousands of shoppers. The next monthly shows are October 17-18 and November 21-22. For information, www.springfieldantiqueshow.com or 937-325-0053.
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