Published: June 8, 2016
Review and Photos by Tom O’Hara
SPRINGFIELD, OHIO — The Springfield Antiques Show and Flea Market at Clark County Fairgrounds had the largest daily totals each day for the May 19–22 Extravaganza. While Promoter Steve Jenkins does not release attendance figures, a local police official estimated the total for the four-day event at more than 20,000 people, judging from the car traffic generated. This was in spite of rain showers off and on all day Saturday. The show hosted more than 3,000 dealers with about 25 percent of them exhibiting in buildings and the rest in tents.
While this show has enormous offerings, it is accomplished in a very tight area with narrow aisles outdoors so customers can see the whole show with a minimum of walking. This allows the visitors to shop the wide variety of collections and inventories offered by participating exhibitors.
The show began with dealers lining up early Thursday morning to prepare to move into their spaces. During this time trading is permitted and customers are admitted with an early four-day pass to shop. This is called “line buying” and creates some of the best trading for the weekend, with quick decisions made for fresh antiques.
As the action moved into the buildings at noon, it quickly heated up.
Shelbyville [Ind.] Antiques sold from its quilt inventory a Pineapple Log Cabin example to a well-known quilt/coverlet buyer from the area. The buyer was studying it with a fine tooth comb, but left and almost lost his chance when another customer picked it up. But, that customer did not take it, so the first fellow got it for a fair price — with a plan to resell.
Country Folks Antiques, Ludington, Mich., was in the lead position in one of the buildings with a large load of Nineteenth Century American furniture and store fixtures, one of the firm’s specialties.
Kay and Bill Puchstein, El Jobean, Fla., were selling furniture as well as small antiques through the weekend. Among their early sales was a walnut one-piece stepback hutch, probably from Pennsylvania, according to Bill, made in the first half of the Nineteenth Century or before. Continuing on that weekend, they sold a dry sink from Ohio and a New England chimney cupboard. Their sales of little antiques included a quilt and several pantry boxes that Bill believed were Shaker-made.
Robert McIntire is a retired medical doctor from Walnut, Iowa, who has been a collector of early advertising and home equipment most of his adult life. At some point his hobby turned into a second career, and now in retirement he exhibits at a variety of shows, where he trades in Nineteenth Century tools, equipment and advertising. Just in sewing machines alone, he had more than a dozen varieties of miniature working machines. He was also able to offer signs for just about every brand of gasoline ever sold.
The Hoosier Sisters were selling vintage décor for inside and outside the home from their collection gathered near home in Indianapolis.
Brian Seccurro, STC Finds, of Carmel, Ind., offered decorative accessories. His sales included several Oriental rugs, Nineteenth Century pewter and dishes.
Quilts were selling well for Mary Muffley. This dealer who comes from Plymouth, Ind., brought a collection of about 100 quilts to the show; most were in very good condition, ready to use and so popular with customers who would take them home. One customer bought six examples that each were about 100 years old, he said, including two sets of twin bed quilts, all hand stitched.
Larry Marple and his wife are dealers of military antiques, relics and more. But the South Charleston, Ohio, couple also have great fun traveling around the United States as impersonators of Teddy Roosevelt and his wife Edith at many events. “Bully!,” he said.
The rain Saturday did not deter shoppers, for there were so many exhibitors in the various buildings, it was easy to stay dry while perusing the antiques during the occasional showers. Further, dealers for the most part stuck it out, realizing that the Sunday forecast was for great weather and it did bring out another huge crowd.
The Springfield Antiques Show and Flea Market happens nine times a year, on the third weekend of the month from March through December. For June and July, there is only one combined show, June 18–19. September 15–18 is the next Extravaganza with another 3,000 dealers expected to exhibit; most booked their spaces while at the May show but some spaces remain. For additional information, www.springfieldantiqueshow.com or 937-325-0053.
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