Published: February 18, 2020
Review and Photos by Greg Smith
YORK, PENN. – It was a record gate for show manager Melvin “Butch” Arion’s 174th Original Semi-Annual York Antiques Show and Sale when it swung open its doors January 31. The three-day show featured 75 exhibitors in American furniture and decorative arts, folk art, American and European ceramics, silver, early textiles and quilts, antique toys, advertising and more.
“Friday was a record breaker gate,” Arion told Antiques and The Arts Weekly, adding that Saturday was very good and steady and Sunday, while fewer, brought in hundreds of attendees, and they did buy.
“Overall, every kind of small did well,” Arion said, relating what he saw walk out the door.
But that didn’t stop Jamie Price of James L. Price Antiques, Carlisle, Penn., from selling a number of large case pieces to new clients. The dealer sold a Chester County walnut Chippendale chest on chest with original brasses, circa 1780; a cherry Chippendale tall chest, Manheim, Penn., circa 1785-90; a walnut Queen Anne chest on frame, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, circa 1770; a New Hampshire mahogany candlestand from 1790; and a cherry flat top tall case clock, probably from Virginia, circa 1800.
“The show was good to us. We sold a number of pieces to new, younger clients, which is encouraging,” Price said.
Don Heller of Heller Washam had a good preshow with added sales to retail, including a number of furniture pieces. He sold a James Kirkland & Co lifesize cast zinc retriever, a figured walnut Southern utility cupboard, a Boston Queen Anne side chair in original surface, a Chippendale drop leaf tea table, a figured walnut tall chest, a collection of cheese baskets and three pieces of mocha pottery, among others.
Joe Lodge, Lederach, Penn., had a productive show, tallying up at least 15 sales. Among them were two New Hope school Impressionist paintings, a set of six painted Windsor chairs, five painted pantry boxes, three pairs of tin sconces, two pieces of stoneware, early iron and others. The dealer also featured an approximately 3-foot-tall painted Nineteenth Century whirligig in the form of a jester with a ruffled collar and puffed short sleeves, tin paddles and a hardened leather brim on his hat. Lodge had bought it out of a folk art collection in Lancaster, Penn., about 15 years ago, and though it did not sell at York, the dealer said he was fine with it returning to his personal collection at home.
It had been three years since dealer John Sideli returned to York, and he was pleased he did as he counted up 17 sales. Among them was a gamecock weathervane, a few pieces of mocha, Pennsylvania primitive iron and a fine painted Shaker box. Also in his booth was an abolitionist lock box from Shropshire, England, circa 1780-1820, featuring the word “Humanity” beneath an image of a shackled man bending on one knee with his arms raised. An early copper kettle by metalsmith Victor Blanc was nearby, stamped to its handle and dating from the early Nineteenth Century, when Sideli said the maker was active in Philadelphia.
A wall featuring an homage to George Washington was on show at Norwoods’ Spirit of America, Timonium, Md. Among the Washingtoniana was a detailed early Nineteenth Century schoolgirl rendering of the original burial site of the first president at Mount Vernon. Washington was originally placed in a family burial vault at Mount Vernon, which he knew was deteriorating and had provisions set aside to create another. In 1831, Washington was moved to this new burial vault. Also on the wall was a finely detailed bust of Washington, housed in a gilt frame, which featured an old letter on the back indicating it came from a direct descendent of the president.
“It’s the first time this Cropsey has been out of a house in decades,” said Steve White of White & White Antiques, Skaneateles, N.Y. The watercolor on paper dated 1897 by Jasper Cropsey featured a Hudson River scene in autumn. White had known of the painting since he was 15 years old, when it was in his friend’s grandparents’ home. The painting passed down through generations until now, when the same family contracted White to sell it. “To my thinking, it’s the best Cropsey watercolor that has been for sale in years. The color is vibrant and it has activity all over the place,” White said.
John Chaski, Lewes, Del., was featuring a collection of English ceramic banks that were once in the Noel Lehume collection. The dealer also exhibited a Twentieth Century American maritime painting of a sailboat executed in oil on sail cloth. Chaski said he had sold a gameboard and a number of smalls just as the show opened.
Tom Jewett from Jewett-Berdan Antiques, New Castle, Maine, said he had sales on all three days. Among them was an early Quebec raised panel cupboard in a vibrant green paint, a soap factory sign, an Eighteenth Century candlestand, a carved head of a young lady and an Ohio paint-decorated blanket box. The dealers also featured a sweet Nineteenth Century painted wood German village on a tiered stand, so it rose like a city on a hill.
Hilary Nolan said he had a good show. “The gate on Friday was amazing,” the Falmouth, Mass., dealer told us, “the largest gate in a long time. There was good energy at the show.” His sales included a Pennsylvania cupboard with lollipop ends, two tavern tables, a chair and table from Maine and a good whirligig. The dealer also exhibited and sold an unusual Nineteenth Century carved and blue-painted mantel he said was from a log cabin in South Carolina. Some of the carved details led some to suggest it may have been African American made.
Another Massachusetts dealer, Sandy Jacobs, said she sold well from her collection of memorial jewelry, miniature portraits and early toys. “All small pieces,” she said. A notable sale was a Seventeenth Century heart-shaped, chip-carved box.
“I had so many compliments about the show,” Arion told us. “A couple came in who had been coming to the show for 25 years, and they said this was the best edition so far. They said they had just got home from Americana Week in New York, and they would rather just come here.”
Arion’s September 18-19 edition will be two days only – Friday and Saturday. There are dealers to the show who have long suggested a two-day format, and he finally felt there was majority support for that. He would not commit to saying the February show would follow suit.
For additional information, www.theoriginalyorkantiquesshow.com or 302-875-5326.
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