Published: May 15, 2012
Renningers Extravaganza, April 26′8, was “doing great,” with an early crowd that was much bigger than last year and nearly sold out of spaces, according to Jim Renninger, co-owner of the family-owned antiques market.
The Renninger’s Markets began in the 1950s as a farmers’ market each week, but as more facilities were added in the 1970s, the offerings grew to include antiques. Now the market has the mix every week, but three times each year there is an Antiques Extravaganza of 400 to 500 exhibiting dealers in the buildings, the sheds and on the grounds in tents.
This spring as the crowds entered at 10 am on Thursday, the sales began, with small antiques and furniture both getting a good deal of interest. Tom Heisey, a Newark, Ohio, dealer who had set up an exhibit and sale with friends, found an old poster for some scary movie. He jokingly referred to it as his “self-portrait,” but also said it was “a great deal, as it is really early.”
Mike Gallant, Hometown Antiques, Glenburn, Maine, was busy from the start with sales, including several early marbles that were handmade Benningtons and china from the Nineteenth Century. For years Gallant has been selling all of his marbles, for, as he said, “better to sell them than lose them.”
He said his totals were good through the show, with a great hooked rug, a dome top wallpaper covered trunk, an early ovoid stoneware crock from New York and more smalls. He concluded, “This show was a very good start for the spring, and a good way to get ready for Brimfield.”
Debra and Kurt Engelmann, Long Valley, N.J., said they were very pleased with their sales. “One of the first things to go was a limberjack toy or Hamplemann, one of those flexible jointed dolls with a stick in its back so a child could make it dance,” they said. They also sold several valuable quilts, and, as Debra said, “some other funky stuff, like a mortician’s practice head used for training students, industrial molds and a cast iron sign with one of the Ten Commandments on it †’Thou Shalt Not Steal.'”
“We had the best Kutztown ever,” reported Tom Varney of Mapleside Antiques, Titusville, Penn. The dealer’s sales included an early pine stepback cupboard with an open top. Sales also included some chalkware, hornbeams and more small things. One of the special pieces offered at this show was an unusual tinware lard lamp with double mantels, a rolling barrel for the lard and an original reflector. The rolling barrel allowed the user to roll it to keep the lard warm and liquid not gumming up and failing to be drawn up into the two wicks. Co-owner of the business Cid Paden said the piece was unique.
Many assortments could be found at the show. One unmanned exhibit showcased early store fixtures, including a toleware spice display cabinet. Jerry Adams, a Charlestown, W.Va., dealer, was selling early oil lamps. One of his tables was filled with railroad signal lanterns, while another display was skater’s lamps with many colored chimneys.
In a tent where she was keeping plastic tarps handy to cover up during that morning’s showers, Patty Sexton was selling from her collection of early quilts and bedcovers. From nearby Selinsgrove, Penn., her inventory was moving quickly, as most were Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century handmade cotton, with a few Amish pieces as well.
Elizabeth Ayscough, Chadds Ford, Penn., sold early quilts, too. Her other sales included an ice box, a pair of fire buckets and a whirligig. Vermonter Richard Fuller was there with a collection of early primitives.
Dirinda Houghton, Madison, N.Y., was selling early country and primitive furniture and small accessories. For her backdrop she was offering a wall of early pine paneling in a thin coat of early milk paint.
Chelsea Hill Antiques, Hampton, Conn., was showing a much more formal room setting of early hardwood furniture, generally Sheraton or Federal style. Tom Nagy, the owner, said he and a few customers were working on some sales early Thursday.
This show has so much to offer for the casual shopper looking for a few things for the home or to stock a shop. One dealer had an early Aladdin oil lamp, electrified with an original milk glass shade for $45. Nearby there was an early wicker set, three pieces in very good condition with cushions for $350.
For dealers who cannot man their own exhibit, Renningers has a large consignment shopping area in one of the buildings. In it there are smalls displayed in showcases, medium size things on shelves and a large inventory of furniture. This booth is manned by several sales people who are willing to show and sell for the absent dealers.
A dealer from New Zealand, Maria Henere was buying to stock her shop back home. Her purchases included early fashions, early period dolls and their clothing, period textiles and other small items. She has been making the trip to Renningers each spring for the last three years.
The antiques markets have been a part of the Renninger family business since 1975, and, as such, the shows are a very popular destination for the exhibitors and shoppers, too. Kutztown is located midway between Allentown and Reading, just off Route 222. Show location is 740 Noble Street. The next Extravaganzas are June 28″0 and September 27′9. For information, www.renningers.com or 570-385-0104.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm