Published: November 18, 2003
– “I have never had so many compliments as I have had for this show,” Frank Gaglio said a couple of days after he closed his first event at the York Fairgrounds, The Pennsylvania Antiques Show. Taking advantage of the newly constructed York Expo Center, he rounded up 130 antiques dealers and jumped onto the coat tails of longtime fairgrounds resident Jim Burk and his Greater York Antiques Show and Sale.
“It was my personal goal in bringing a new show to the area to increase the overall gate by 500 to 1,000 people,” Frank said. He knows that visitors to York increased this year, but is uncertain to what extent as this was the first year for the show. Jim Burk, who ran his 34-year-old show during the same time period, has reported a 209-person increase the first day over last fall.
As for the new exhibition hall, “It was great, no unions to contend with, and the contract for the Expo Center for the show on May 7-8, 2004, is already in hand,” Frank said. That show is already 75 percent filled with many of the same exhibitors from this fall event. “What we now have to work out is a better schedule for opening the three shows at the fairgrounds,” Frank said, indicating that in the near future he would like to meet with Jim Burk and Barry Cohen to make some decisions. “Two hours between the openings of the shows in not enough and it makes people rush from one event to the next without enough time to really see and shop the show,” he said.
Bright overhead lights, combined with booth lighting, gave visitors every opportunity to check out paintings, furniture and fabrics to complete satisfaction. The aisles were wide, music was not distracting and the dealers had made every effort to get The Pennsylvania Antiques Show off to a fine start. “When the gate opened on Friday at 9 am, I was thrilled with the show,” Frank said, “and I know many of the customers who came were very happy to see us.”
For the most part, the show was a sea of country furniture, some folk art, good paintings, lots of fabrics and countless pieces with a Pennsylvania history, all combined to make for an exciting and grand looking show. People seemed happy as they walked quickly onto the exhibition floor, and the expanse of the hall seemed to swallow them up without the feeling of being crowded.
A portrait of an austere gentleman, attributed to Royal Brewster Smith, Portland, Maine, circa 1825-40, hung in the booth of Kelly & Jenner of Sherman, Conn., and may have roots in Pennsylvania as the original canvas retains a Philadelphia label. The portrait hung over a turned post bed with yellow painted surface on which was stretched a blue and white dated coverlet.
Across the aisle a large folk art model of a coal crusher, New York State, circa 1930, complete with carved figures at work, was shown by Mark Moody of Shohola, Penn. His furniture included a Hudson Valley corner cupboard with picture frame molding, door top and bottom, shaped shelves, and dating from the Eighteenth Century.
A Civil War quilt with a center square depicting a shield, crossed cannons and flag, surrounded by squares quilted with flowers and birds, hung in the booth of Ken and Susan Scott of Malone, N.Y. A stretcher base table had a blue painted surface, and a set of six Windsor side chairs, circa 1830, was by Joel Pratt, Jr, of Sterling, Mass.
An interesting booth seems to be a constant for Raccoon Creek, Bridgeport, N.J., and the offerings ran from a Hambletonian horse weathervane attributed to W.A. Snow of Boston, full-bodied, Nineteenth Century, to a rare New Jersey Quaker cabinet in old red, two doors, and in the original condition. A wool table rug, circa 1840, New England, with a fancy floral pattern on a brown ground, hung over a Sheraton blanket chest in salmon paint decoration, Pennsylvania origin, signed and dated on the reverse.
Waterville, Ohio, exhibitor Latcham House Antiques offered a lone star on black satin quilt, 72 by 78 inches, circa 1930, Pennsylvania origin, along with an oil on canvas, Prior-Hamblin School, portrait of a young man with a red curtain in the background. It dated from the mid-Nineteenth Century.
One of the weathervanes attracting lots of attention was in the booth of Otto and Susan Hart, Arlington, Vt., a setter dating from the turn of the century, by Washburn of Boston, with green patination. A pair of red and white barber signs, circa 1900, was displayed on the left wall of the booth, and on top of a cupboard was a rare form of a shooting gallery target, a running dog with red painted surface.
Francis Purcell of Philadelphia had a large booth filled with furniture including a New England two-part secretary-bookcase, turned Empire feet, three drawers in the lower section, with two glass doors on top. Well-known for mantels, Francis showed two examples, both highly carved and cleaned down to the original surfaces, one in blue and the other showing traces of salmon.
A pine chair table in old red, two-board top, late Eighteenth Century and probably from the Hudson River Valley, was at the front of the booth of David M. Evans of Cincinnati. On it was a Parcheesi game board of large size, 35 by 211/2 inches, wonderfully decorated, with a checkerboard on the reverse. Against the side wall was a New England country Queen Anne red painted chest of drawers, fine state of preservation, measuring 35 inches wide, 18 inches deep and 51 inches high.
Harvey Antiques & Art of Evanston, Ill., showed a late Eighteenth Century sawbuck of New England origin, red base and scrubbed top, and a pair of Queen Anne side chairs with heart cutout, old surface, circa 1750, Hudson Valley, and fresh out of a private collection. A sold tag hung on a Maine chest of six drawers, painted and decorated drawer fronts, turned columns and feet, from the Farmington/New Sharon area.
Grace and Elliott Snyder of South Egremont, Mass., offered a large New England Queen Anne drop leaf table in cherry wood, probably Portsmouth, and a large part of the back wall was covered by a white trapunto quilt with baskets of fruit border, signed and dated RGB 1852, Ulster County, N.Y. It measured 74 by 84 inches. Among the first rdf_Descriptions sold were a piece of needlework, flame stitch, and an iron clock jack.
Cherry Gallery of Pine Plains, N.Y., brought the Adirondack-rustic look to the show, offering a yellow birch root base table by Lee Fountain of Wells, N.Y., circa 1925. The diameter of the table was 50 inches and it was surrounded by a set of four Old Hickory side chairs, signed, circa 1940. “A real interesting and rare piece is this three-section room screen from North Carolina, made from rhododendron roots and I don’t believe this screen frame ever had any panels,” Jeff Cherry said. Without the panels it appeared to be more of a piece of sculpture.
A ten-foot-long worktable with scrubbed top stretched across much of the booth of Mario Pollo, Bearsville, N.Y. Behind it was a step back cupboard in old blue-green paint, a Shaker rocker was in one corner and a nice wooden clock face with rose decoration was on the back wall. Another table with a scrubbed top was offered by Schweiz-Mar, St Joseph, Mo. This one, a tap table with walnut skirt and legs, three boards, circa 1820-30, was from the Cumberland Gap area, Pineville, Ky. Of New Hampshire origin was a set of six thumb back Windsor side chairs, paint decorated, circa 1820-30.
Visitors to this show had a number of corner cupboards to pick from, including two in the booth of John J. Lodge of Souderton, Penn. The one on the left had a red painted surface, mid-Nineteenth Century, 12-light door on the top, with an exceptional apron. On the right, one in cherry wood with arcaded upper door, single door on the lower section, ogee feet, original hardware and dating circa 1830. One of the three horse weathervanes in the booth was shown on a walnut tavern table of small size, Pennsylvania, molded edge top, original surface, circa 1780. In addition to the horses, a cow vane was also available.
“Many of the things I bought last summer I put away for this show as it is my first time in York and I wanted it to be good,” Lit Kirkpatrick of Kirtland, Ohio, said. Furniture in the booth included a Sheraton tiger maple one-drawer worktable, circa 1820, with the original lock and key. “This piece, because of the lock, might have been used as a sugar chest” the tag read. Also from the Sheraton period was a chest in tiger maple and cherry wood, inlaid escutcheons, turned feet, circa 1835, of Ohio origin. A Pennsylvania two-drawer over three-drawer chest was of walnut, 341/2-inch case, Philadelphia foot, ogee feet, and dating circa 1770.
“The best way to sell a pair of chairs is to display them with a table,” Dick Costa of Costa and Currier, Portsmouth, N.H., said recently, and that is just what he did at the last show he exhibited. The table sold, and the chairs, a nice pair of Windsors with yellow decorated seats, stayed behind and made the trip to York. Again they flanked a table, and again the table sold while the chairs went home to Portsmouth. It appears it is not such a great way to sell chairs, but a solution for moving tables. Even without selling the chairs, however, Costa and Currier did well at York with sale including a server, Pembroke table, hooked rug, several rag rugs, a mirror in a painted frame and an articulated circus figure.
Ed Weissman, also from Portsmouth, was doing well with sales including a one-drawer stand, pair of Chippendale English candlesticks, miniature child’s desk with carved gallery and rail, and several paintings. Holding down one of the corner booths in the show, Jim Hirscheimer had sold a 96-drawer notions cabinet, a sign maker’s sample sign, nine mechanical figures, a carved wooden cane and a carved hunter scene of French origin.
Van Deest Antiques, Uncommon Objects, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, had a collection of iron pieces including a full figured head that was once on a boat mooring post, circa 1852, and hitching posts in the form of a horse’s head, a hand and a head. Robert Perry of Hamburg, N.Y., drew attention to his booth by offering an Eighteenth Century set of stairs taken from a home in Plainfield, Conn., circa 1740-50. The treads showed a great deal of wear and the paneling retained the original blue surface. His sales included a carousel horse in park paint, an English sewing box in leather and an early Nineteenth Century pencil sketch of Mount Vernon. At the end of the first day of the show, he said, “I have sold no wood.”
Don Heller of Heller-Washam Antiques, Woodbury, Conn., was one of the booths in the gallery section of the show and had filled it with a collection of furniture and paintings. A Boston Queen Anne side chair with shepherd’s crook stiles, herringbone inlay on the back splat, stockings and pad feet attracted the attention of Wendy Cooper as there is a related example at Winterthur. Among the paintings was a China Trade ship port painting of Carrie Clark, built in Waldoboro, Maine, 1848, an oil on canvas that had descended in the family of the original master.
Among the furniture offered by Ware House Antiques, Boylston, Mass., was a Queen Anne drop leaf table in mahogany, pad feet, 67 inches wide extended, and a painted and dovetailed pine school master’s desk on frame with fitted interior, 473/4 inches high.
Steve and Lorraine Marshall, American Antiques, Greensboro, N.C., had an impressive collection of Eighteenth Century wine glasses, flint and sandwich glass whale oil lamps, peg lamps, redware and baskets. Steve noted, “Redware does not sell well in North Carolina; people there like the Southern pottery, so I offer most of it when I go north.” He added, “This is a wonderful show, but I would like to see the three promoters work out a better opening schedule so that the three sets of dealers are not just looking at a two-hour blitz.”
“My opening gate here was a strong as The Navy Pier Show in Philadelphia, there were lots of sales by the dealers and we are well on the way to filling the May 2004 event,” Frank said. “This show was a real success for me and my staff, including Brenda Klaproth, who took care of contracts, porters, parking, etc, and Cynthia Saniewski, my assistant manager, who managed her many duties while still on one crutch following a leg accident at the Salisbury show,” he said. Was there one rough spot during the show?
“Yes,” Frank replied, “the food was not popular.”
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