Published: November 27, 2007
It was clear from comments made by both those attending the show, and by many of the exhibitors, that some sort of explanation was needed to iron out the management and make-up of the two-day antiques show at the York Fairgrounds on November 2″.
The advertisement in this paper said it was the Greater York Antiques Show and Sale now including the York County Classic Antiques Show. One line below dubbed it “One great show †two halls.”
Jim Burk, the name long associated with antiques and the York Fairgrounds, said that this was basically his show. “Most of the exhibitors are on my list, I own the walls, and have taken care of the advertising.” He added that some of the dealers who have been with Barry Cohen and his York County Classic Antiques Show were scheduled for this event and he worked them into the floor plan as space allowed. “We could not get them all into Memorial Hall East so we ended up with about 20 dealers in Memorial Hall West,” Jim said.
Barry Cohen confirmed the Burk comments, saying, “It was all under Jim Burk’s direction, Jim ran it and it was really one show, not two under one roof.” Barry said that he had hoped that all of the exhibitors would have fit into one space, but in the end a small number had to be put into Memorial Hall West. “With a number of the dealers set up in the lobby between the two halls, and the food area also in the lobby, I am sure that people who came to the show managed to get into both halls,” Barry said.
This fall York show has always been known for a wide selection of painted country furniture, Pennsylvania fabrics and ceramics, and seasonal objects for both fall and the fast approaching Christmas holidays. Cheryl Mackley of Airville, Penn., makes shoppers well aware of the holidays with a wide selection of jack-o-lanterns and shelves laden with Santa figures from several inches tall to about 1 foot in height, along with Christmas trees and tree decorations in both glass and papier mache.
Among the furniture shown in the booth of Van Tassel-Bauman of Malvern, Penn., was a nice Delaware Valley low back Windsor settee, circa 1860‸0, in poplar, hickory and maple. Traces of the original blue-green paint were showing in several areas. Centered in the booth was a plaster bust of Benjamin Franklin, after Houdin and dating from the late Nineteenth Century.
As usual, the large booth in the center of the show was filled to capacity by Greg Kramer of Robesonia, Penn. “Even with an extra showcase and a couple more feet in length, we still brought too much and have a reserve in the truck,” Greg said. Pennsylvania furniture and objects dominated this vast inventory, including a Lancaster County two-part cupboard in cherrywood, early Nineteenth Century, and a set of six plank seat Windsor side chairs in salmon paint with floral decoration. A double-handled stoneware cooler with floral and eagle decoration was of large size, and redware pieces included slip decorated plates, jugs and chargers.
More stoneware was shown several booths away by School House Farm Antiques of New Holland, Penn. Here jugs and pitchers had eagle, floral and bird decoration, while Pennsylvania redware pieces were hand decorated in slip. Jeff and Cathy Amon Antiques of Jamestown, Penn., offered a Pennsylvania corner cupboard in the original paint and dating from the mid-Nineteenth Century. The cupboard had a 12-light door and measured 85 inches tall and took a 28-inch corner. A York County chest of drawers, circa 1860, was signed in pencil “John Rupp.”
When Melvyn and Bette Wolf of Flint, Mich., do a show, there is no shortage of pewter to be bought. York was no exception with shelf upon shelf of porringers, plates, tankards, cups, candlesticks and other forms offered from makers both well known and seldom heard about. “Since this is the first York show we have done, we brought along some very rare Pennsylvania pieces,” Melvyn said. Also shown was a set of five dry measures in brass by E&T Fairbanks & Co of St Johnsbury, Vt. A small inventory of iron implements included porringers, trivets and three-legged pots.
“Doing this show is a double treat for us,” Melvyn said, “as we are pleased to have been invited to do the show and we are big crab fans and this is the right territory.” On Thursday evening, after every piece of pewter had been put in place for Friday’s opening, the couple headed off to Maryland and one of their favorite crab houses.
Pie safes and hutch tables seem to be popular objects at York and are often shown by a number of the exhibitors. This time Sharon and Claude Baker of Hamilton, Ohio, had one of each. The shoe-foot table, with scrubbed top and old red painted base, was in pine and of New England origin, while the pie safe came from either Tennessee or Virginia. It dated circa 1830‴0 and had 24 punched tin panels.
Wiscasset, Maine, dealer John Sideli had his usual well-appointed booth with brightly painted objects displayed on all walls. Of special note was a well-designed game board that had dice, not numbers, between the pegs. “Country Produce” from the farm of James Bradley was advertised on a trade sign with black and red lettering on a white ground. Two rooster weathervanes flanked a full-bodied cow vane and a large spread-wing eagle in cast iron and old mustard paint was among several objects sold within the first hour of the show opening.
A large wooden bowl, 31 inches in diameter, was featured at the front of the booth of Otto and Susan Hart of Arlington, Vt., along with a grouping of hand painted and wood carved hand puppets. Of special interest was a large Hudson Valley or Finger Lakes landscape with a large Federal house in the foreground, wooded area and people maneuvering a boat across a small body of water. It dates circa 1830‵0, was found in Finger Lakes, N.Y., and was shown in a later frame.
Pam and Martha Boynton of Groton, Mass., showed a sawbuck table with scrubbed top surrounded by a set of six plank seat Windsor side chairs, rosewood decoration, with urn motif on the back splat. A six-drawer chest in the original red wash, circa 1800, was of New Hampshire origin. When asked about the whereabouts of Pam, Martha said, “She did not make the trip this time, but sent us off with instructions to sell.”
Jane Wargo of Wallingford, Conn., between snacks and lunch, set up an uncluttered booth featuring a pair of Eighteenth Century raised panel interior pocket shutters, sometimes known as Indian shutters, that came from an early home in Ashford, Conn. Dating from the mid-Nineteenth Century was a green over red painted lap/countertop desk with cubbies in the interior.
One of the end booths to the right of the main entrance was filled with paint decorated furniture by Jewett-Berdan of New Castle, Maine. Most eye-catching was a Pennsylvania decorated blanket chest, circa 1835, with three linked ovals on the front panel in red on yellow ground. The same pattern was carried on throughout the blanket chest. A New England decorated blanket chest was vivid in green on white.
Pat and Rich Garthoeffner, longtime exhibitors at Burk’s York shows, offered a Dare carousel horse that was outstanding due to its small size and original park paint. A tramp art mirror in old red, a horse hitching post, cast iron with a good portion of the base still intact, and a rare pair of andirons, cast iron, with a full-masted ship set on a large anchor, were among the interesting objects in the booth.
“United we stand, divided we fall” was the motto woven into an 1847 coverlet, embellished with eagles and other patriotic symbols, shown in the booth of The Herrs of Lancaster, Penn. This red, white and blue coverlet was done by J. Cunningham, Weaver, North Hartford, Oneida County, N.Y.
Raccoon Creek at Oley Forge, Oley, Penn., had a large booth and it was filled to capacity with early Pennsylvania furniture, folk art, fabrics and a fine selection of slip decorated redware. Of special note was a Pennsylvania Dutch cupboard, circa 1840‶0, with a blue interior against a yellow ground. “We just found this cupboard and bought it from a 90-year-old gentleman who has owned it for years. It is its first time out,” said Gordon Wyckoff. An appliqué summer spread dating from the mid-Nineteenth Century with farmyard scene was found in a home in the Kutztown area. It was very colorful with birds, animals, trees and house depicted on a white background.
Emele’s Antiques of Dublin, Penn., offered a Queen Anne blanket chest in apple green over red, from either Berks and Leigh County. A Pennsylvania Dutch cupboard in cherrywood had an 18-pane door, double spoon rack and candle drawers and was from Lancaster County, circa 1825.
An untouched country sofa with painted legs was across the front of the booth of The Antiquarium, Portsmouth, N.H. Against the back wall was an early Eighteenth Century mantel surround made for the Indian trade in Quebec.
“I have just moved into a new house and am having a great time, I love it,” Chuck White said of his new address, an Eighteenth Century stone house in Warwick, N.Y. At York he filled his booth with trade signs, portraits, a couple of blanket chests, corner cupboard and a piece not to be missed, a large cannon from a GAR Lodge in Ohio. When assembled, it took up most of the center area of the booth and rested on large hand forged iron wheels.
T.L. Dwyer of Barto, Penn., had two tall chests, both from Chester County, Penn. One had double raised panel sides, circa 1740, while the other, Queen Anne with original red painted surface, dated circa 1760. Adrian Morris Antiques of East Aurora, N.Y., offered a New England blanket box, circa 1830, in the original painted surface, and a 10-inch- diameter green Kugel ornament tagged as “the ultimate glass Kugel.”
Thomas Longacre of Marlborough, N.H., showed a well-carved eagle with American flag and plaque carved by George Stapf of Harrisburg, Penn., circa 1875. A red schoolhouse quilt on white dominated the end wall of the booth, and a small Cushing & White, Waltham, Mass., full-bodied bull weathervane, 24 inches long, circa 1870, was shown on a long drop leaf table in old red. Beverly Longacre was among those in the Christmas spirit, offering a large selection of ornaments from a 4-foot-tall tree.
Adding to the Pennsylvania Dutch cupboard count at the show was Bertolet House Antiques of Oley, Penn., with two examples. The first had a 12-pane door, circa 1830, with old grained surface, and the second was a child’s tramp art cupboard, circa 1880. Hailing from nearby East Berlin were Pat and Don Cleggs with several pieces of furniture, including a dough trough on stand, circa 1830, of poplar and pine and in the original red surface. A harvest table of Vermont origin, circa 1820, with scrubbed top and two leaves, measured 69½ inches long and 37¼ inches wide.
A George III looking glass, English, circa 1765‱785, transitional period from high style rococo to neoclassicism, hung in the booth of James Kilvington of Dover, Del. He also showed a Pennsylvania pewter cupboard, three plate racks over two doors, and a nautical scene, oil on canvas, depicting a view of Chilhower, a pleasure yacht, 1893, was by Otto Muhlenfeld (1871‱907), who was best known as a painter of ships on Chesapeake Bay.
Michael and Sally Whittemore, Washington, Ill., showed a nice chair table in old red and a Tiffany scroll banner weathervane, J.W. Fiske & Co., circa 1890, in old gilt surface. An interesting trade sign, about 15 inches in diameter, showed a colorful Punch figure advertising Agency Tansill’s 5-cent Cigars.
‘We still have a few things to hang on the walls, but not today,” Harry Hartman said on Thursday evening as he left the show for home in Marietta, just across the river from York. Early Friday morning he was back at it and by opening time the walls were covered with a nice selection of hooked rugs. One in muted colors depicted two stags facing each other, while on the back wall two dogs were pictured in a landscape. A third rug of good size showed four white horses pulling a covered wagon across the prairie. Furniture included a Windsor settee in old green paint with well-carved knuckle arms.
“We will be back in full swing for the Greater York Antiques Show in May,” Jim Burk said, “but I am not certain of the dates at this point. We are waiting for a couple of other managers to announce dates so as we do not cause any major conflict.” Jim will have his dates shortly and the announcement will appear in this paper.
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