Published: November 27, 2007
Jenkins Show Management was near capacity for its October 23′7 Tailgate Antiques Show at Fiddlers Inn here.
The 20-plus years tradition “has been holding its own for the last two years,” according to Steve Jenkins, show manager and president of his family’s firm. “Since Heart of Country Antiques Show is not still in Nashville at that time, the dealers and visitors still came expecting †and getting †a great antiques market. Weather cut the gate somewhat, but sales were good, especially on the early days.”
The show was begun as a tailgate to Heart of Country 24 years ago and now it is the strong market for early American and some European antiques, especially porcelain from England. For six nights Jenkins bought out all the rooms in the hotel, filling all the first floor and most of the second with antiques and the dealers who sell them. The balance of the rooms were sold to visiting shoppers and dealers who have no space left to sleep in their exhibiting room. There were also some dealers on a portion of the motel’s parking lot selling under tents. With about 140 exhibitors, Jenkins had a full house for more than 1,000 patrons early Wednesday morning.
Heart of Ohio is the business name for Bruce and Vivalyn Knight of Springfield, Ohio. They are the owners of a large multidealer shop there, and also do many shows throughout the country. Their space in Fiddlers is at one of the corners, with great antiques in the room and on the parking space in front. Inventory primarily comprises small antiques, including dishes, lighting and a large showcase filled with all kinds of unusual and unique objects. There were early ink wells, dining table gadgets, Battersea boxes and a great collection of early lighting devices from candleholders to fat lamps and more.
Ohio was well represented at the show, as always. Russell and Katherine Lintner came in from Dover with a very large collection of furniture. They went home with a good deal less as a chest, a paint decorated box, a two-drawer maple stand and a hanging cupboard sold while there. “A good deal of smalls also sold for us,” Russell said.
Jerry Tebbano, Aurora, Ohio, is very specialized, collecting and trading only in early American stoneware. On the first day in the show, even though he was there alone, he was out shopping among the other dealers. “I found great additions to my collection or inventory. I had a good day and I didn’t sell anything yet,” he said at the time. During the remainder of the show, his sales were good enough to cover the purchases and still come out ahead. As he put it, “The show was above my expectations.”
Dealers for the show come from all over the country. Christopher English is the proprietor of Christopher English Fine Antiques of West Palm Beach, Fla. His collection is entirely composed of small antiques and household accessories. There were collections of fine dishes from France and England, fine art, silver service and serving pieces for the dining table. English had several terrariums that had considerable age, and sweetheart boxes, those small boxes covered with a collection of small shells that often can be identified as to where they came from by the shells used in their construction.
Mia Hudson Antiques is an exhibitor in shops in Nashville, and near her home in Lexington, Ky. She was at Fiddlers for the first time. Most of her merchandise is found while shopping in England, even some of the furniture. One of her biggest pieces was an English book press from about 1790 in excellent condition. Another first-time dealer was Martin Webster of West Branch Antiques, Delhi, N.Y. His collection is entirely hooked rugs and mats. Log Cabin Antiques, Little Rock, Ark., exhibited its assortment of silhouettes and miniature paintings.
Exhibiting for just the second time were Neil and Barb Finbloom of Kirkwood, Mo. Trading as Schoolhouse Antiques, these two retired school teachers have a collection of early primitive furniture and also carved birds and decoys.
Also just in his second show was Dennis Christianson, Unadilla, N.Y., with an eclectic collection of things that appeal to him. His taste was apparently rather good, for his sales were “just fine, selling some of the big stuff and smalls,” he said.
Sales were good with special and unusual items. Heart in Hand, Paducah, Ky., sold a small paint decorated box from its home state early in the show at $1,495. Bobbie Pries, Westfield Center, Ohio, was busy with the sale of a painted Connecticut desk at $3,300 and a rope bed that was tagged at $1,050. From Troy, Ohio, John and Ellen Williams were selling a variety of small antiques and folk art.
A tall Virginia pantry cupboard, a pair of oil on canvas portraits and other smalls were sold by Bettianne Sweeney and Friends from Williamsburg, Va. She is the promoter of the Williamsburg Thanksgiving Weekend antiques show for 26 years and also participates in some shows when her schedule allows. “I came here for the fun and for the excitement of selling the antiques. I bought a few, too,” she said.
Tailgate Antiques Show at Fiddlers Inn is twice each year, and the February 13-16 show will feature a special celebration for the 25th anniversary year. Jenkins Show Management is also working on a new marketing plan for this and their other shows here, in Springfield, Ohio, and in Farmington, Conn. For information, www.jenkinsshows.com or 317-598-0012.
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