Published: May 20, 2003
Story and photos by R. Scudder Smith
YORK, PENN. — Barry Cohen’s life as an antiques show manager grew yet another notch on May 9 when he opened his new spring show, The , at the York Fairgrounds. This show tailgates Jim Burk’s Greater York Antiques Show and Sale that has been a standard at the fairgrounds in May for 33 years. The Old Main Building, site of this new event, was laid out with in a pattern of 71 booths accommodating 78 exhibitors.
Many dealers and collectors who are regulars at the Burk show were in line for the 9 am opening of this new show. The line extended around about half the building, one visitor reported. Regular show hours were 11 am to 6 pm on opening day, and 9 am to 4 pm on the second day. Jim Burk opened his show the same day, but at noon, also to a large gathering of shoppers.
For the most part the show was very country, as witnessed by the furniture offered from the booth of Ziegler Antiques at Autumn Hill Farm, Epping, N.H. Shown were a Pennsylvania three-drawer blanket chest, a five-drawer pine chest on bracket feet, both in the original stain finish, and a nice dry sink with an old blue surface.
The award for the best game board in the show went, in our opinion, to Scott Powers of Brooklyn, N.Y. It was of New England origin, double-sided with breadboard ends, with Parcheesi on one side and checkers on the other. The board was painted in eight different colors. A second game board was of Pennsylvania origin, double-sided, 191/4 by 19 inches, with checkers in black and gold and Parcheesi in four colors.
“I happen to know a couple of elder gentlemen who have collection of windmill weights and they are letting a few go every so often,” Bud Weinert of Oxford, Mich., said. To prove it he offered a Hummer rooster on ball, a white painted standing horse, a large white-painted rooster with red comb and a red-painted Boss cow. Some early fishing lures and a few fish and bird decoys were in the booth.
Philip and Kathleen Seibel of Catskill, N.Y., always present a booth filled with furniture and accessories, ready to move into most any country home. This time, among a selection of furniture, were a late Eighteenth or early Nineteenth Century four-drawer chest in old mustard paint from western New York State, an early Nineteenth Century hutch table from western Connecticut with old surface, and a Nineteenth Century country candlestand from Long Island in apple green paint. Over the years the Siebels have come up with a good number of large wooden bowls, either in paint or with the original surface. This show was no exception as a large example was displayed on a table at the front of the booth.
Three wooden apple baskets, painted red, light green and dark green, Lancaster County origin, were shown across the front of the booth of Norwoods’ Spirit of America of Timonium, Md. Furniture included a paint decorated lift-top chest, faux painted drawer, dovetailed base, and a pie safe in walnut, early red surface, with six punched tin panels.
Michael and Lucinda Seward of Pittsford, Vt., spent a good part of opening day writing sales slips. “The show has been very active, we have seen some good sales made around us, and we have done very well,” Michael said late Friday afternoon.
One of the first things to leave the booth was a wooden horse weathervane dating from the Nineteenth Century, with a perfectly aged white painted surface. This piece had applied ears and came from a home in Dorset, Vt. “It was it first time out and sold right away,” Lucinda said. A dry sink in bark chocolate brown over the original red retained the original zinc liner, and a mustard and green swirl-painted dome-top box was of Vermont origin.
“This show has been just fine for us,” Tom Barringer said a few hours after opening, and his wife Julia agreed, listing some of their sales including a paint decorated one-drawer stand, a Victorian plant stand, several pieces of iron and some redware. Still awaiting a buyer were a set of six half-spindle Windsor side chairs with angel wing crests, Pennsylvania, circa 1840, with the original floral decoration, and a grain-painted lift-top blanket chest, two long drawers, Nineteenth Century, and of New England origin. Two colorful parrots perched on a branch decorated a mounted hooked rug, 21 by 36 inches, circa 1930.
Otto and Susan Hart of Arlington, Vt., wasted no time selling a trio of paintings hung across the back of their booth. Each was game related, one showing a rabbit, one a fish and one a fowl, each on a table with a serving platter and a bottle of wine. These works, oil on canvas, were by E. Raulli. A pair of cast-iron gate posts fashioned to look like logs, complete with vine wrapping, circa 1880, was offered, and among the dry sinks on the floor the Harts showed an example in old red, six feet long, with two cabinets under the sink portion.
Darwin of Philadelphia noted on the firm’s business card that here was the source for “compelling and resonant objects.” To prove that point the booth was filled with many interesting, and well displayed, objects including a carved wooden turkey, circa 1880. Part of the back wall was decorated with six cast-iron star bolts from a barn in Kentucky, and at the front of the booth was a Nineteenth Century grain-painted center hall table with columnar supports.
Brown furniture filled the booth of Hanes and Ruskin of Old Lyme, Conn. Centered in the booth was a small-size Connecticut Chippendale secretary, 37 inches wide and 76 inches tall, with carved dentil molding above two raised panel doors. It was in cherry wood and had been in the same family for more than two centuries. Dating from the Seventeenth Century was an English coffer with a three-panel lid and two-panel carved front. It retained its original iron hinges. From the Queen Anne period was a breakfast table from Boston, 1740-1760, in maple. It measured 331/2 by 39 inches with the leaves extended.
For those with the initials “WB,” Brian Cullity of Sagamore, Mass., had a selection of three redware plates with yellow slip decoration. Other pieces spelled out Adline and Spotted Cow. A pair of yellowleg decoys from Cape Cod in the original paint showed signs of use, while a bow front chest in mahogany was from Eastern Massachusetts. It had ball and claw feet, circa 1780-1790, and the grain in the mahogany ran vertically.
Mark Moody of Shohola, Penn., noted, “The show has been good for me, not great, but I cannot complain.” He had made a good number of sales, all smalls, leaving his Pennsylvania hutch table with two-board top, early gray over the original paint, Nineteenth Century, and his splat back settee, arched crest with angel wings, Pennsylvania, Nineteenth Century, in the original mustard paint with floral decoration, still looking for a new home as of Friday’s closing.
Tracy Goodnow Art & Antiques and Robert Thayer, both of Sheffield, Mass., shared a booth and offered a large selection of furniture. A doll’s armchair in mahogany, American or English, dated circa 1790, while a New Hampshire card table in cherry wood, inlaid with round tapered feet, showed the influence of the Boston-Salem School. A three-piece book shelf and cupboard with drawers, New York State or New England, probably Shaker, circa 1815, was in the original red stain, and a birdcage tea table in cherry wood and birch dated from the mid-Eighteenth Century and was probably of New Hampshire origin.
Christopher Stanley Antiques of Walpole, Maine, showed a large hooked rug made by twin Amish girls, Anna and Sarah King, who lived in Gap, Lancaster Coun-ty. The piece featured a raised puffy flower design. A Catalan chair, circa 1670-1725, made in Catalonic, the northernmost province of Sapin, was in the original green paint turned black with age.
Several parts of the world were represented by the furniture shown in the booth of Antiques at Hillwood farms, Pecatonica, Ill. From Canada there was a chest of drawers, St John River Valley, untouched surface and condition, dating from the early Nineteenth Century. England was represented by a Queen Anne highboy with cabriole legs, early Eighteenth Century, with later finish, while a mid-Atlantic corner cupboard was possibly from Maryland. This piece, with the original hinges, was of hard pine.
There were several pie safes on the floor, one of the more interesting in the booth of Blue Dog Antiques of Stafford Springs, Conn. It was from Alabama, 1898, in pine with punched tin panels with different sayings. One read “In God We Trust,” while another merely said “Home.” Of Connecticut origin was a Chippendale two-drawer blanket chest with the original snipe hinges, Eighteenth Century.
A Massachusetts flat-top highboy in maple, Essex County, Mass., was shown in the booth of David M. Evans Antiques, Cincinnati, Ohio. The piece was circa 1740-50, 70 inches high and 38 inches wide, and had a fan carved in both the top and bottom short center drawers. A carousel rooster with incised feather carving, attributed to C.J. Spooner of the Orten & Spooner Co., English, circa 1900, was 47 inches tall.
A very nice watercolor theorem, yellow basket overflowing with pears and blue grapes, ex Betty Dorrow collection, hung in the booth of Claude and Sharon Baker/ 1848 House, Hamilton, Ohio. A portrait of Ohio origin showed a reverend with bible, circa 1840, in the original frame, and a grain-painted comb back corner chair, New England, dated circa 1780.
A few pieces of needlework were offered from the booth of Lake Ridge Antiques, Quakertown, Penn., including a sampler by Mary Ann Walker, dated 1834, on fine linen, silk threadwork, a bold floral border, and a darning sampler, circa 1840, on linen, cotton threads, in shades of red, pink, blue and green.
Chocolate molds in every size and form were stacked in the booth of Lost and Found, Baltimore, and many lead soldiers, horses and hounds marched or raced across glass shelves. Among the doorstops in the display was a Hubley depicting two cats, standing with arms locked, in the original paint.
Nutting House Antiques of Brandon, Vt., offered a large cast stone eagle with painted surface, a tall arched window in white paint and a dry sink with two doors, canted front. The Merskys of Paradise, Penn., showed a large corner cupboard, Pennsylvania, in figured maple, and a rope bed with acorn finials, old red surface. The bed was covered by a large star pattern quilt.
A large oil on canvas of a young woman in a daisy field, circa 1900-20, was hung by Gary Promey of Atwater, Ohio. The woman’s dress simulated a printed newspaper, the Philadelphia Gazette Democrat. Furniture included a set of six tiger maple saber-leg side chairs, all with good cane seats.
According to Barry Cohen, “We were very pleased as the show went off without a hitch, there was good buying, attendance was fine and the show is here to stay.” Next spring it will move into Memorial Hall as Jim Burk is moving his show to the new Expo Arena on the fairgrounds. He has also made agreement with the York Fairgrounds to occupy Memorial Hall this fall for his York Tailgate Show. The tailgate has been, since its start nine years ago, a motel-room show with 120 exhibitors.
“We will have that same number when the show moves this fall to the York Fairgrounds,” Barry said. Dates are October 31 and November 1, “but we have not come up with our hours yet,” he added.
As reported in the May 16 issue of Antiques and The Arts Weekly, there will be three shows at the fairgrounds in the fall. Both Jim Burk and Frank Gaglio will be in the new Expo Arena, and Barry Cohen will be in Memorial Hall.
“We are going to start from scratch doing a floor plan, with every effort made to have the best flow of air in the building and making it shopper friendly,” Barry said. As far as opening time for the show, he indicated that he really has only two options. “We can open on Thursday night, before either of the other two shows, or we can hold off until Friday afternoon after both of the other shows have opened,” he said. His decision will be reported when announced.
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