Published: November 21, 2006
Once there was Jim Burk, all alone on the York Fairgrounds two times a year, filling Memorial Hall with dealers from near and far. Barry Cohen came along next, running a show at the same time in a nearby motel, filling most of the rooms and the small exhibition area in the main building. Later he joined the ranks of those on the fairgrounds. Frank Gaglio brought a third show to the fairgrounds, moving into one side of Toyota Arena. And as is bound to happen, things shake out and on November 3–4 Jim Burk and Barry Cohen had the fairgrounds to themselves and combined their dealers into one show under one roof. Unlike the time before, there was no separation between Burk and Cohen dealers; 122 exhibitors were all on one side of the large exhibition space.
“All went well and the response from both the dealers and the public was very positive toward the combined show,” both Jim Burk and Barry Cohen agreed. It was also encouraging to learn that the gate increased about 45 percent over November 2005.
The only hitch came when the fairgrounds decided to move the show from one side of the arena to the other to accommodate a musical program that needed a stage area. “We had to revamp the floor plan quickly and the loading areas are better on the side we originally had,” Donna Burk said, “but we did it and the show looked great.”
“We hope to enlarge the show a bit and already three quarters of my dealers have indicated they will be back in the spring,” Jim said. Barry Cohen also indicated that he has had positive intentions from his exhibitors and “I am looking to add more in the spring,” he said. Barry said he knew of several buyers who came a good distance to view the show, including shoppers from California and Texas. “One lady came up to me late Saturday afternoon and asked where the other show was. I told her both were in the same room and she was delighted, commenting that she was going back to shop some more and still had time for a cup of coffee,” Barry reported.
As usual, McMurray, Penn., dealer Tom Brown had a booth filled with furniture including a Salem, Mass., card table with shaped top and reeded legs in maple and mahogany, along with a two-drawer Pennsylvania sewing box with multiple inlays, turned feet, dating circa 1840.
A sawbuck table with two-board top and candle slides, scrubbed finish, was in the center of the booth of Stephen-Douglas of Rockingham, Vt., with a large wooden bowl filled with wooden scoops in the center. A large trade sign hung at one end of the booth, a piece of Maine history advertising the Vassal Borough Hotel, once under the management of J. Sturges, Prop.
A bright yellow painted desk, circa 1840, with interior drawers, drew attention to the booth of Jewett-Berdan, Newcastle, Maine, as did an untouched fireboard, circa 1835, depicting a house in Sussex County, N.J. It was freehand and stenciled, with a church, house, ducks, hunter, eagle and deer worked into the peaceful scene.
“These chairs have been in a private collection for the past 40 years,” Harry Hartman said of a pair of smoke decorated against yellow side chairs. Dating circa 1840, the chairs had red floral decoration on the back splats. A child’s settee, also of Pennsylvania origin, showed the most wonderful original paint, green with all kinds of embellishments, and nearby two pairs of tall hog scraper candlesticks, complete with hangers and push-ups, were offered.
A large hooked rug with roses hung in the booth of Thomas Longacre, Marlborough, N.H., along with a coach painted trade sign, Nineteenth Century, for the “Marcin House,” an establishment on the Jersey coast. “I just got this wonderful loveseat,” Tom said, referring to a Federal Windsor arrow back piece in old white paint over the original black, circa 1815. “Some of the dealers refer to it as a settee, but it is really a loveseat,” Tom added.
Jane Wargo of Wallingford, Conn., offered an early Eighteenth Century square-top chair table with breadboard ends, turned legs and possibly of Maine origin. “This is a great table,” Jane said, “and it will seat eight people for dinner.” One of her early signs advertised “Strawberries For Sale,” with a picture of one large berry, and a carved and painted dove, circa 1920, showed nice form from a hanging wall shelf.
Among the Pennsylvania pieces in the booth of Bertolet House Antiques, Mark and Kelli Saylor, Boyertown, Penn., were a decorated cradle from Berks County, circa 1840, and a blind step back cupboard from the same area and time period.
“This large quill weathervane, 48 inches long, came right out of a New England collection this past summer,” Sidney Gecker of New York City said of the impressive vane shown at the end of his booth. Other vanes in his booth included a pig and a grasshopper. There was also a bow back Windsor chair, New York State, 1780–1790, with old finish was by McBride.
Rich and Pat Garthoeffner of Lititz, Penn., showed a circa 1800 continuous arm Windsor chair in old black paint and a well-designed garden gate in white paint, circa 1880. A large eagle weathervane, boasting a great weathered surface, was late Nineteenth Century. An end booth was filled by The Norwoods’ Spirit of America, Timonium, Md., offering a Pennsylvania mammy’s bench in the original brown surface with gold striping and a New England paint decorated dressing table, two drawers in the top section over one long drawer. A good looking stack of graduated pantry boxes was in salmon paint.
Van Tassel & Baumann of Malvern, Penn., showed a mahogany Chippendale suppressed ball tea table with dish top, birdcage support, of Philadelphia origin, circa 1775, and a Rolling Stone pattern Mennonite friendship quilt in mint condition, never washed, dating circa 1900. A large metal sign, looking like a signature, announced “Lily Langtry” in the booth of Ziegler Antiques At Autumn Hill Farm, Epping, N.H. The sign hung over a New England rope bed in old blue paint.
“This is the first time we have had this out,” Jim Hohnwald said, referring to a miniature redware loaf dish with slip decoration. With his partner, Bob Jessen, the Fitzwilliam, N.H., dealers also offered a collection of mitten and sock molds, New England, all dating circa 1850–1900, and a grouping of eight wood-carved and painted song birds, all on one birch log.
Dennis Raleigh Antiques & Folk Art, Wiscasset, Maine, had cornered the market on mill weights, showing a “Hummer” small rooster, the wide version of the Eclipse, circa 1900, and a star on a round piece in old black paint. Among the weathervanes in the booth were a horse, two roosters and two eagles.
Chocolate molds filled the best part of one table in the booth of Bayberry Antiques, Orleans, Mass., in the shape of Santas, cats, bunny, etc. A selection of early doorstops included the large lighthouse, Old Salty, ships, soldiers, and an Art Deco one by Fish.
Standing out in bright yellow paint was an Indian whirligig in a canoe in the booth of Newsom-Berdan of Thomasville, Penn., and of interest was a large architectural birdhouse, rounded shingles on the roof, tower in the center and shutters over arched windows. A Nineteenth Century coffee tin in salmon paint measured close to 3 feet tall, and a two-board sawbuck table, 6 feet long with scrubbed top and gray painted base, was among the furniture shown.
“This is one of the most unusual coverlets we have ever owned,” Trish Herr of Lancaster, Penn., said of the example hanging on the outside of the booth. It was from Bucks County, 1840, with eagles. Hanging next to it was a New York Beauty pattern quilt, pieced cotton, from Lebanon County, Penn. It dated circa 1900 and measured 92 inches square.
“I did my first antiques show when I was 18 years old and it was for Jim Burk here on the fairgrounds 25 years ago,” Bert Long of New Market, Va., said. He added, “This is my first indoor show ever, and here I am again with Jim on the York Fairgrounds. Things do come full circle.” He bought a large inventory and had boxes stacked, one on the other, and pie safes, four in number, displayed back to back. One case was filled with blue decorated stoneware from Virginia, and a slant front desk from Damariscotta, Maine, circa 1800–1830, was grain decorated with a seven-drawer fitted interior.
Two step back cupboards were in the booth of James Emele, Dublin, Penn., including a New England example in vibrant blue paint, mid Nineteenth Century, measuring 6 feet 6 inches tall and 32 inches wide. Double spoon racks, raised panel doors and nine light doors set off the other cupboard in walnut, circa 1780–90.
A midsize wood carving and painted swan by John Paxon of Great Dismal Swamp, Va., circa 1960, was shown by Keith and Diane Fryling of Green Lane, Penn. They also offered a Sheraton four-drawer chest with 6-inch turned feet, circa 1820–40, scalloped skirt and measuring 45 inches high, 41 inches wide and 21 inches deep. A painted hardwood bed from New Jersey, circa 1830, bittersweet and dark brown painted surface, tapering legs, was in the booth of Pat and Don Clegg of East Berlin, Penn. Also of Pennsylvania was a jelly cupboard from Berks County, dovetailed drawers and yellow grained surface.
Furniture shown by Bruce Rigsby, Lancaster, Ky., included a country Queen Anne tilt top tea table in the original surface and a set of four faux oyster burl Queen Anne side chairs, circa 1850–80. A full-bodied copper stag weathervane in the original gilded surface, attributed to Fiske, was offered by Chuck White Folk Art & Antiques, Mercer, Penn., and a two-part red-painted cupboard hailed from Lehigh County, Penn. Also of Pennsylvania origin was a tall chest, tiger maple and cherrywood, circa 1820, with great patina.
Once again Lewis Scranton of Killingworth, Conn., filled his booth with a collection of redware and 13 pieces of painted tole that filled a hanging shelf. Complimenting these pieces was a circa 1730 New England three-drawer blanket chest in old red surface. A stenciled cellaret from Maine, original surface, circa 1840, was offered by Lana Smith of Louisville, Ky., along with a cherrywood lift top desk from Pennsylvania, circa 1850, with old surface. She also had one of the largest feather dusters known to man hanging on the wall of her booth.
Three French mannequins dating from the Nineteenth Century stood in the front of the booth of Adrian Morris Antiques, East Aurora, N.Y., and a stack of boxes included a miniature document box dating from the late Eighteenth Century on top of a painted New York blanket chest, circa 1820–30, on top of a grain painted Pennsylvania example, circa 1850–60.
Dave and Bonnie Ferriss Antiques, Cambridge, N.Y., had a complete ornate cast iron bed in old green paint, Nineteenth Century, and a nice side table of the same period that came from the Center Salisbury Universalist Church. A sign advertising the Hotel Wellington made it a point to let the public know it also had a garage.
A Nineteenth Century oil on canvas portrait of a young woman, said to be Catherine Maria Sedgwick of Stockbridge, Mass., 1789–1867, was unsigned and hung in the booth of Dark Moon Antiques, Johnsonburg, N.J. John and Veronica Malchione of Kennett Square, Penn., dominated the “sporting life” at the show with a large selection of fishing and hunting equipment, as well as some navigation instruments. A binnacle compass by John Hand, Philadelphia, was made for the US Navy and sold through Riggs & Co., of Philadelphia.
Michael and Carol Kellogg of Hudson, Ohio, showed a pair of hand decorated bell flower Windsor side chairs, arrow backs, circa 1820, found in Maine; reported to be in Newark, N.J., was an oil on canvas of a large church with attached buildings, dated 1830.
Greg Kramer of Robesonia, Penn., again had a large booth and it was filled to capacity with furniture, including a Lancaster County architectural cupboard in walnut, 100 inches high, and accessories that included a fraktur portrait of a gentleman in bold colors, Bucks County, circa 1830–40, from the “Dieterly School” and ex Flack collection.
The gates to the Greater York Antiques Show and Sale and the York County Classic Antiques Show will open next on May 18–19, again in the Toyota Arena on the fairgrounds. Prior to that date, Jim Burk and Barry Cohen will present Antiques at Philadelphia’s Navy Pier, April 13–15. This will be the second year for the show.
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