Published: July 27, 2004
The 1877 stone gristmill with its huge wooden and metal gears is silent now. Some 20 yards away, the Delaware River no longer serves as a canal to transport manufactured goods. Instead, it now transports the spirits of fly fishermen and tourists.
During the weekend of June 19-20, however, the gristmill and the sawmill, now on the National Register of Historic Places, came to life with exhibitors, patrons and antique treasures at the Katona/Lutz Prallsville Mills Spring Antique Show.
The Delaware River Mills Society proclaimed that with regard to these historical structures, “each of us has a part to play in saving a segment of our past and in making it a part of the future.” That sentiment could also be applied to the antiques that filled these buildings on this summer solstice weekend.
Indeed, as one of the show’s 32 exhibitors, dealers Raymond and Nancy Scheffler of N&R Antiques, Alburtis, Penn., did their part to preserve the past for future generations. As Raymond Scheffler singled out an American flax wheel in their booth, he said, “Up until six months ago, when she turned 91 years old, a Boyerstown, Penn., woman used it.” One of several rdf_Descriptions that the Schefflers sold during the weekend, the flax wheel’s new owner now shares in the responsibility of keeping this story alive for future generations.
Other antiques that would not be making the return trip home with the Schefflers included a Pennsylvania dovetailed blanket chest with original paint, a farm table, a set of four paint decorated country chairs, a high chair and a display rack complete with coin silver spoons.
Blanket chests and a farm table also proved to be ready cash for first-time participants Keith and Diane Fryling of Green Lane, Penn. In fact, not one but two paint decorated chests sold during the weekend along with a ten-drawer spice box in original paint and a redware vase by Jacob Medinger.
The Frylings’ neighbor, dealer Jim Woodruff from Chester, N.J., used an early Twentieth Century screened pie safe or milk cupboard to display an assortment of redware. Juxtaposed to this collection was an array of spongeware bowls and pitchers, along with cobalt decorated stoneware. Included in his mix of yellowware was a rare 81/2-inch brown-and-white-banded pie plate. Also noted was an unusually small size dough box and a circa 1910 No. 3 Enterprise coffee mill. Several of his sales included a one-drawer stand with turned legs and a Penbrook-style top, a Nineteenth Century mortised water bench and a stenciled stoneware jug.
Bread turned into “dough” for show promoters Ellen Katona and Bob Lutz from Greenwich, N.J., who sold a large Turog Bread Company advertising sign from Maine.
Also capturing showgoers’ attention was a circa 1800 walnut drop leaf table with a rare leg form that was from either the eastern shore of Maryland or Delaware, and a collection of doorstops that included a dated 1930 Bradley and Hubbard Conestoga wagon. Two painted firkins included one in gray-green color and the other a salmon.
Filling out the booth was a mahogany Empire period paw foot sofa, circa 1825, believed to be of New York origin and a mahogany Sheraton game table, circa 1820, with spiral legs. Artwork included a signed Thomas Frederick Hoppin (Providence, R.I., 1816-1872) oil on canvas portrait of a horse and an oil on canvas landscape by Cullen Yates (1866-1945), who was a student of William Merritt Chase.
Richard Suydam from Lahaska, Penn., who was on his way to Maine after this show, commented that it was a good show for him. He sold a mix of rdf_Descriptions that included silver, jewelry, a wooden Mason’s sign and an Eighteenth Century cupboard.
Cottage Treasures, Long Valley, N.J., offered a winning combination of Hungarian and Chinese furnishings that produced sales, which included an 1880s prayer table, an 1890s altar table, a pair of Chinese chairs, a cast-iron planter, an ornate fireback and wooden architectural brackets with lion’s heads.
June and Charles Bertini from Ackerson Homestead Antiques, Park Ridge, N.J., are now working full-time in the antiques business, and their constant searching for the unique showed in their exhibit of a Nineteenth Century zinc apothecary sign with full-form eagle and mortar and pestle. Attributed to the Mott Ironworks in New York City, it originally stood in the Clayton & Edwards pharmacy on Lexington Avenue.
“It’s rare to have a matched pair,” noted June Bertini, referring to an 8-inch-tall pair of circa 1690 brass Spanish dome based candlesticks that are referenced in Schiffer’s The Brass Book. Also shown was a tramp art sewing box designed with multiple hearts, both inside and out. On Saturday, the Bertinis sold a late 1700s table top, slant front desk and an all-original oversized bedstep with Hitchcock stenciling.
Included in an artistic wall arrangement of weathervanes seen in the booth of Antiques at Olcott Square, Basking Ridge, N.J., was one of a tin cow. Also exhibited was a Silas Hoadley (1786-1870) tall-case clock, circa 1825, with a 30-hour wood movement. One of their Saturday sales included an 1850s step back cupboard.
Several rdf_Descriptions that sold from the booth of Sandbrook Antiques, Flemington, N.J., included a circa 1860 pumpkin painted pine dry sink, an early 1910 teddy bear and an 1876 Centennial child’s flag umbrella.
Hex Highway Antiques, Hamburg, Penn., exhibited an 1803 American mourning picture and, from across the pond, an 1887 advertising slate marking the Jubilee of Queen Victoria.
“It’s only the second one I’ve ever had,” said Lynne Oppenheimer of Ivy Hill Primitives, Langhorne, Penn., referring to a Nineteenth Century yellowware basket with an applied twisted handle that was being offered. A big find for collectors of miniatures was a rare blue onion pattern rolling pin.
Michael Olsen from Oldwick, N.J., showed a circa 1830 New England country Sheraton secretary constructed with a variety of woods, a New England Sheraton chest, circa 1820, made of figured cherry and bird’s-eye maple, a Pennsylvania transitional Sheraton/Empire chest of drawers, circa 1840, and a country Sheraton dressing stand.
The next Prallsville Mills Antiques Show will be conducted on Saturday and Sunday, August 28-29. For information, 846-459-2229.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm