Published: December 10, 2002
By Tom O’Hara
INDIANAPOLIS, IND. – just had its 39th annual fall event November 8-10 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Jean Crutcher began it all, and after passing away, Jenkins Show Management bought it from her family. They were already running a few Nashville shows, but as Indianapolis natives they felt it was natural to add this arrow to their quiver.
The mix for this show had always been good but under the Jenkins influence dealers from a much larger geographic area are now exhibiting. Carlson and Stevenson from Vermont, Michael Whittemore, South Woodstock, Conn., and Ruth Nutty from North Carolina are among the many travelers who exhibit there.
This year the show opened on Friday at 11 am with more than 90 exhibitors offering predominantly American Seventeenth through Nineteenth Century household furniture and furnishings. There was even a scattering of the Twentieth Century, primarily advertising rdf_Descriptions, toys, silver flatware hollowware and dishes. Sales were generally adequate to give the venders a return for their time and money and there were some spectacular things offered.
A textile oriented dealer offered a full bed size quilt made as the American flag with 45 stars, circa 1895, but curiously the maker made a provision to add three more stars anticipating the 48-state union of 1911. These last three were not added, however, and who knows why. Perhaps the quiltmaker did not live long enough. Purchased by another dealer this piece was put away; look for it at a future Americana auction.
Offered by Ruth Nutty was a sampler from the collection of Herbert Hemphill, Jr. He was one of the founders, curators and a trustee emeritus of the Museum of American Folk Art. Upon his death in 1998 some of his estate was bequeathed to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC with rights to sell rdf_Descriptions it did not need. Ruth purchased the piece at auction for her collection and inventory and offered it at Crutchers for $2,350.
Dealer Dennis Raleigh lives in both Michigan and Wiscasset, Maine, where he has a seasonal shop. For the Crutcher show he offered an early Nineteenth Century oil on board painting of a child.
Ohioans Don & Marta Onwig have been regulars at Jenkins’ shows for some time. They collect, among other things, a great deal of store fixtures. This year they brought a cigar store Indian, two different seed bins with original labels, signs, a large child’s wagon in original paint and a raffle quilt.
Magoon Bros. is a Maine dealer who usually offers moose heads, canoes and snow shoes, along with household rdf_Descriptions. Having known the dealer for years, this reporter asked him recently who among the other men from Maine in his booth is or are his brothers. He replied “none of ’em. I use Bros. so the customers can feel like asking anyone of them about something.”
Of special interest at this year’s Crutchers was an exhibit and short talk from Kit Carter-Weilage about the Nineteenth Century heritage of Christmas traditions. The talk focused on Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert’s love of the holiday and how the celebrations that are now taken for granted started by them. The exhibit featured Kit’s personal collection and inventory of Christmas decorations, dolls and toys.
There was a fee to attend the talk, which went to Childs Advocates of Indianapolis, a legal service that represents abused and neglected children in the courts. A fee for appraisals went to the same organization.
Steve Jenkins said at the conclusion of the show it was a success, a full house of dealers with great antiques and a good gate. Most dealers felt it was worth the trip and will be back, November 2003, second weekend. For information, 317-598-0012 and ask for a member of the Jenkins team: five of the six are Jenkins with Laurel McKinney the only one with another name.
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