Published: September 28, 2021
Review and Photos by Greg Smith
YORK, PENN. – Add another one to the tally – the 177th Original Semi-Annual York Antiques Show & Sale reprised itself September 17-19 after missing the past two editions on account of the pandemic. The last York show took place in February 2020.
A little over 60 dealers were in attendance and buying was steady in that Pennsylvania mainstay that sprawls out through four aisles down the long length of Memorial Hall East at the York Fairgrounds. It wasn’t the only show at the fairgrounds that weekend as it coincidentally opened alongside the York Antique Arms Show and a historic militaria show, leading to some confusion among shoppers as some wandered into the wrong doors but found old things just the same.
“Under the conditions that we’re all under these days, I was very pleased,” said the show’s manager Melvin “Butch” Arion. “The crowd at the beginning, I really didn’t expect it.”
The opening gate stretched thick and far down the lobby before the start of the show and come 10 am that Friday, the throngs of guests made their way inside to find something new for themselves.
In addition to renting his exhibition space, popular Pennsylvania dealer Kelly Kinzle cut a $400-plus check to cover the entrance fee of his patrons at the end of the show.
He laughed, “My assistant started that years ago and it’s really grown.”
It proved beneficial as the dealer sold a Schwenkfelder family paint-decorated blanket chest and at least ten paintings. Kinzle said he sold as many objects on Sunday as he did on Friday.
“It was good to be seen,” he said.
Of note in the dealer’s booth was a decorated pin-top table with grain painting uniformly throughout the top, apron and legs. It had been in the Jean and Howard Lipman collection and was pictured in Dean Fales’ American Painted Furniture, 1660-1880.
Returning to the show floor after years away was American Heritage Antiques out of Frankfort, Ohio. Bill and Kay Puchstein said they had an excellent show and blue furniture proved winsome for them. The dealers sold a New York blue apothecary and a one-door blue cupboard in original paint. They also sold two Shaker pails, a dome top box, a peg rail and some other smalls.
The Puchstein’s took the booth of longtime York dealer Jimmy Grievo, who was missed by many this edition.
John Rogers, New London, N.H., was exhibiting an American ash sack back Windsor chair with a pencil inscription to the bottom that indicated it was made by the father of Elder Benjamin Randall about 1770 and given to his sister, Elizabeth Randall Briggall, the wife of John Sanders.
“It was the best September York show I’ve ever had,” Rogers said, recounting sales in Pennsylvania furniture to local collectors. Among those Pennsylvania pieces was a cherry corner cupboard and a walnut wall cupboard with flared French feet. Rogers remembered setting up next to dealers Eugene and Vera Charles at the Guernsey Pavilion in Lancaster, and he brought a piece of them to this show, which promptly sold. A set of six paint-decorated chairs had provenance to the Charleses and went home with a Pennsylvania buyer.
At Stephen-Douglas Antiques, Rockingham, Vt., the dealers were showing off a set of four carved panels depicting drawn drapes that were originally from a Victorian horse-drawn hearse. “People like to put them around windows,” dealer Stephen Corrigan said. Between them on the back wall was a Prior Hamblin school folk portrait of a lady in black dress holding her spectacles and book. Within the painting were more drapes drawn on each side of the subject.
Dan and Karen Olson of Newburgh, N.Y., were exhibiting a turn-of-the-century cabinet with all-over fruit cluster carving to its many drawers. They got it recently from a house call in their area.
Halloween material was popular in a few booths given the proximity to the holiday ahead. Eight German composition pumpkin lanterns were seen in a display with Keith and Diane Fryling, Green Lake, Penn. The dealers sold a black cat composition container shortly after the show opened.
On offer with Dallas dealer Betty Bell was an outstanding 4-inch-tall German pumpkin container with deeply molded facial features accentuated by fine paint decoration. It stood alongside an early Halloween clown lantern with glass eyes, a composition Devil head lantern (that sold) and a jack-o-lantern candy container with a long stem.
Bell had done the show in the fall of 2019 and plans to be a mainstay at the September shows ahead. She sold a German Santa mushing figure riding a dog sled behind a pack of white malamute dogs. She said the dogs are quite rare. Bell also sold a heavy cardboard icicle beard Santa candy container, a musical tree stand with extra discs, all the feather trees she brought and a group of Dresden ornaments.
“Interest is fabulous, holiday is hot,” she summed it up with.
Some prefer to leave the costumes to others and Greg Kramer, Robesonia, Penn., offered a street performer’s trunk opened wide to display a full set of marionette figures with elaborate dress and masks. The figures included a green monster, a Devil, boy and girl, a king and queen and other royals. The trunk and figures were fully intact and in working condition with good paint.
Over in the booth of Jersey, Shore, Penn., dealer Don Heim was a Bad Accident cast iron mechanical bank by J&E Stevens. It came with its original box, the wagon painted blue and yellow with red wheels accentuated with black stripes.
The lively world of New York City Twentieth Century artist Vestie Davis was decidedly quiet in a painting on offer by Pat and Rich Garthoeffner, Lititz, Penn. There was not a soul to be seen in Davis’ oil painting of the boardwalk at Steeple Chase Park, the large carousel at center sits motionless as the ticket booths are unattended. The painting came with an artist-made frame decopauged with cigar bands.
Victor, N.Y., dealers Nancy and Gene Pratt were exhibiting a pair of Eider decoys of nice form that were likely carved in Maine. To the bottom of one was an old label that indicated they were used on Merrymeeting Bay, a popular waterfowl meeting ground that is second on the Eastern seaboard only to Chesapeake Bay.
Arion said that attendance was likely equal or a little better than where it was in 2019, but his dealer numbers were down, something he lamented.
The show will return for its next edition at the York Fairgrounds, January 28-30, 2022. For more information, 302-875-5326 or http://theoriginalyorkantiquesshow.com.
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