Attendance at the Springfield Antiques Show and Flea Market Extravaganza set a new record, according to Steve Jenkins, owner and president of Jenkins Show Management. Billed as the largest show in the country, more than 20,000 were admitted over the three days, September 19′1.
There was also a full house of dealers, with more than 2,400 exhibiting in the various buildings, barns, sheds and tents at the Clark County Fairgrounds. Jenkins attributed the record numbers in part to the Country Home magazine sponsorship, which included a presence at the show, designer exhibits, special subscription rates and the extra advertising. Dealer space was virtually sold out, and a staggered setup had the dealers closer together, allowing visitors to see everything with much less walking. Even so, with so many dealers it was still a good day’s exercise for any true antiques hunter, and it seemed like most had a good deal of fun.
Country Home , Meredith Publishing Company’s style-setting publication, was offering a designer exhibit in the center of the grounds, put together by its own designers and New York dealer Mario Pollo.
With so many different exhibitors, there was furniture from virtually every period of American history; there was also jewelry, household decorating accessories, collectibles and more.
American Heritage Antiques of Frankfort, Ohio, and El Jobean, Fla., was offering a collection of early painted furniture. J. and Carole Harper, dealers from Murphy, N.C., had early Southern furniture, most of which was in original surfaces, along with a collection of small accessories.
Coming from central Canada, Barry Ezrin collects furniture with a French country influence. A large bench at the back wall of his exhibit had curved lines that were reminiscent of early Nineteenth Century designs found in France and central Europe. Ezrin’s collection also included an American Federal chest of drawers in tiger maple, but with a very dark finish, which he thought came from two centuries of wax and oil.
In the motif of a primitive log home, Miller House Antiques was selling a collection of furniture and home furnishings. The owners, Linda and Ralph Miller, live in their own log home in Carroll, Ohio, which is where they have their shop as well. Their collection comprises primitives in “as found” condition, most often with no paint or, if painted, in a single coat of milk paint.
Selling furniture and very interesting small antiques, Jack Hickman’s Yankee Tavern Antiques, from Springfield, had several early novelties. One sale was a set of chairs and table often called an ice cream set, but made for very small children, or even dolls.
Color was everywhere in the Schlichters’ booth. Debbie and John Schlichter, from Washington Court House, Ohio, were offering a pink step back hutch, another one in pale green, a small dry sink in light blue and a table with six chairs in maroon. All this was backed by a polychrome Star of Bethlehem quilt.
Many exhibiting dealers were offering smalls. Linda Christensen from Carmel, Ind., had several tables filled with small useful items. One piece she called a “gypsy box” was about the size of a bread box, and was probably used 150 years ago to keep someone’s most important and private possessions; now it was ready for a new owner for just $95.
Still banks and a few mechanical banks were a big part of Eastman Antiques inventory. Lavone Eastman, from Mount Victory, Ohio, was also showing her collection of pantry boxes, pewter, tinware, candlesticks and woodenware. There was a small Hoosier kitchen cupboard nearby in Carl Snyder’s collection. The dealer, from Defiance, Ohio, also had a very large bellows in the center of his exhibit, probably from a small forge or blacksmith shop.
Dave and Pat Pusecker, Delaware, Ohio, were showing a large collection of early American primitive furniture. Two very large cupboards dominated their exhibit; one was a step back with a nine-light door on the top, and the other was a corner cupboard. Several chests and stands were also available. Next to them was Israel Schaaf of Mount Vernon, Ohio, with more furniture, including a corner cupboard in blue milk paint.
Many dealers came from outside the Midwest area, including Mario Pollo from Bearsville, N.Y. His collection was a large part of the Country Home exhibit; it also included many pieces he found at the show during setup. There was a set of Old Hickory stick chairs, a tiger maple table, some wall hangings and more.
Dennis Christenson, Unadilla, N.Y., was at the show to sell, but also to shop. His most remarkable purchase was a two-person workstation, complete with swing-out stool seats in oak. As Christenson specializes in industrial antiques, the piece was a good addition to his collection.
Buyers enjoy the big crowds, free parking and great food.
For information, 317-598-0012 or www.jenkinsshows.com .