YORK, PENN. — “I know things were selling, including furniture, by the number of deliveries that had to be made,” Melvin “Butch” Arion said a couple of days after his York Antiques Show & Sale closed at the York Fairgrounds. He also noted that “in spite of it being a holiday weekend, our attendance was up on Friday, August 30, opening day, and remained constant with last year for the next two days.”
The show had its start on Labor Day 1934, and this was the 161st semi-annual event. “I took over the show 17 years ago,” Butch said, “and at that time there were 45 dealers in it.” He did not invite many of those exhibitors to come back, but looked for new blood and now has 98 dealers in a great-looking show. “We have put together a good list of dealers who present a variety of antiques, the show always seems to get better, and I am real proud of the presentation about the floor,” he said.
And he should be proud of it, for in addition to being good in appearance, many wonderful things come onto the floor and the line waiting to get in on opening day includes important collectors and other dealers.
“Some of the dealers reported as having great shows, and a couple came to me and said the show was not good for them,” Butch said. But that is the way of all shows, with very few exceptions, and yet the show has little change in the listing of exhibitors from year to year.
Just inside the entrance to the show Greg Kramer & Co., Robesonia, Penn., had his usual large booth, and standing command at the front was a large carved cigar store Indian. “I just got this figure and have not had time to really research it, but it is possibly by Cromwell and reportedly it was once a fixture in the office of John Wanamaker,” Greg said. Other sculpture included a black and white painted wood Holstein cow, a folk art figure that was originally carved as a pull toy or trade sign.
Heller-Washam of Portland, Maine, also with a booth at the front of the show, displayed two tea or breakfast tables, one a tilt-top, birdcage example from Massachusetts, circa 1775–1790. It had a three-board top measuring 40 inches in diameter. The other, also a tilt-top, Queen Anne, maple, dated circa 1790–1800 and was of Connecticut origin. It also had a three-board top, 42 inches in diameter. Both were shown with the top tilted, revealing the latch, which was all carved wood with no metal parts.
The Hanebergs’ Antiques, East Lyme, Conn., offered a rectangular hutch table in old red paint and three-board top, along with a wood carving of a mallard in flight, circa 1930, with a 12-inch wingspan. An American portrait showed two sisters seated on a couch, with book and feather, dating circa 1850.
A banister back day bed from the Delaware Valley, circa 1780–1790, was shown at the front of the booth of Raccoon Creek Antiques, Oley, Penn. A wonderful pair of New England Federal child’s chairs or doll chairs, circa 1810–1820, with decoration on a yellow ground, was mounted on the back wall, and one of several trade signs was for “Frederick Basher, Boot & Shoe Maker,” with a boot and two shoes pictured below the lettering.
A Bird In hand, Florham Park, N.J., showed six Grenfell mats of various sizes and subjects, including dog sleds, bears and mallards in flight, and at the front of the booth was a country Sheraton drop leaf table in maple with blue-green painted surface, shaped corners, circa 1840–1860.
Scott Bassoff-Sandy Jacobs, Swampscott, Mass., had a pair of rare Eighteenth Century Salem, Mass., paint decorated leather fire buckets that once belonged to N.F. Safford, Washington Fire Club, Inc, and dated Oct. 10, 1803. Also on view was a large hooked rug, measuring 74 by 39 inches and depicting a horse and sulky with rider and documenting a race in the corner with “Smuggler,” 1874, time 2.20. More hooked rugs were shown by Latcham House Antiques, Waterville, Ohio, one saying “Our Home” from Chautauqua, N.Y., and a second, circa 1930–1940, depicting a white cape house with two red chimneys.
Jewett-Berdan, Newcastle, Maine, had a colorful booth with a smoke decorated card table against the back wall, a set of four American African puppets in bright clothing and a set of six Pennsylvania decorated side chairs, green with floral decoration. “It was a good show for us,” Tom Jewett said, with a list of sales that included a rare folk art carved wood doll, a blue painted Pennsylvania desk, a shadow box of wooden soldiers, a couple of trade signs, a hooked rug and a paint decorated box.
A scale model of a sailboat for pond racing, with the original sails, circa 1900, took up the better part of the end wall in the booth of Garthoeffner Gallery, Lititz, Penn., and nearby was a child’s “Shoo-Fly” with spindled seatback, in the original paint decoration, dated circa 1850. Bright on the wall was an oil on panel by J.J. Raymond of a compote of fruit, dated 1906, in the original painted frame. Brought into the show on opening day was, according to a label inside one of the drawers, “Garland’s combination ladies’ rotary work table and foot-stool with veneered chess board or otherwise — F.A. Garland, Nashua, N.H.” With an inlaid star on the top and well-carved legs with boots as legs, the piece attracted lots of attention.
Doug Ramsay of DBR, Hadley, Mass., had a number of doorstops, including the golfer and a tall circa 1920s lighthouse, a circa 1920 whirligig of a man on a high-wheel bicycle and a 12-drawer apothecary in yellow with large wooden knobs. Ingle Nook Antiques, Reedville, Va., had an unusual sheet metal weathervane in the form of a tractor, circa 1930, original weathered paint, and a child’s painted arrow back Windsor settee from Pennsylvania, circa 1850, 36 inches wide, in yellow with green leaf decoration on the back.
Everything has its place and is in its place in the booth of Robert Snyder and Judy Wilson, Wiscasset, Maine. Again, there is lots of color coming from doorstops, stone fruit, toys and signs, including a real eye-stopper advertising “Ice” in bright red letters on a bright yellow ground. A cheerful rug measuring 36 by 28½ inches and dating from the mid-Twentieth Century showed a squirrel holding a nut. Three Canada geese stood in the corner of the booth, all of a different pose, made by Roy Mill and Stacey Bryington of Prince Edward Island. “I have been collecting them for years and have about 18 at home, all different,” Bob said.
Douglas R. Wyant of Cassopolis, Mich., had a mini sports shop at the back of his booth, with several pennants, a “BASEBALL” sign on the back wall, and under it a rack designed to display 25 baseball mitts, all dating from 1930 to 1950. “It took me four to five years to bring this collection together, and there are some rare examples there, including a left- and right-hand catcher’s mitt, and a three-finger mitt,” Doug said. He also added, “I collect bats and have well over 100 of them at home.”
Dennis Raleigh of Wiscasset, Maine, had a rare, small size, full-bodied fish weathervane, English, with the original surface, early Twentieth Century, shown under a Nineteenth Century sculptural wood fish weathervane, ex-Braman collection and ex-Austin Miller. The wood vane was twice the size of the copper one and had a gray painted, weathered surface.
Stephen-Douglas, Rockingham, Vt., offered a maritime coastal New England seaman’s chest with building painted on the front, a Pennsylvania corner cupboard of small size and two bowback Windsors, one an armchair and one with a writing arm.
A circa 1800 New England painted drop leaf table with a drawer at the end was shown by Claude and Sharon Baker Antiques of Hamilton, Ohio. An Eighteenth Century country apothecary, Chippendale, cherry and pine, had 27 drawers and on top a circa 1880–1890 Cushing cow weathervane, zinc and copper, was displayed.
The Norwoods’ Spirit of America, Timonium, Md., had several hooked rugs, including one with a fanciful bird in red, white and black on a black ground, Pennsylvania origin, and a selection of painted ice fishing decoys. An American ship portrait showed the Isaac Webb leaving the Port of New York for Liverpool, a watercolor by Lucius A. Briggs who worked in New Bedford and Boston. In the background of this picture is Trinity Church and Castle Garden.
Newsom & Berdan, Thomasville, Penn., had a Pennsylvania farm table in walnut, old surface with two-board scrubbed top, dating from the first half of the Nineteenth Century. It was fresh out of an Ohio collection and measured 34½ by 73 inches. A Pennsylvania Dutch cupboard, 12 panes over two spice drawers with lollipop ends, dated from the Nineteenth Century and had a yellow painted surface with blue accents over the original red. A black folk art doll, along with some other carvings, looked out from the glass case.
Peter W. Chillingworth, Scenery Hill, Penn., had many pieces of furniture, including a Sheraton drop leaf table with maple leaves and top and cherry and sycamore base, dating circa 1830 and from the mid-Atlantic area. A cherry and mahogany Sheraton chest of drawers, 44½ inches high, circa 1820, was from South Central, Penn. As usual, Cecelia Williams, New Market, Md., had the best selection of early lawn sprinklers, with the right tops and original paint, including a turtle, alligator, mallard, frog and duck.
Two rolls of carpet runners, uncut and unused, one with the original wrapper, were found in the basement of a general store near Kutztown, Penn., and were offered from the booth of Steve Smoot Antiques, Lancaster, Penn. Each roll measured 78 feet 10 inches. A fish weathervane, measuring 23½ inches long, was shown on top of a one-door painted jelly cupboard.
A two-pedestal-base pine dining table, 8 feet long, circa 1890, came from a home in Wheeling, W.Va., probably of local origin, was in the booth of Holden Antiques, Sherman, Conn., and Naples, Fla. A set of six closepin Windsor armchairs from the early Nineteenth Century, delicate design, original paint, were likely from Maine, and a Nineteenth Century child’s rocking horse measured 52 inches long.
Bertolet House Antiques, Oley, Penn., used a circa 1850 open cupboard, blue-gray paint, from the Northeast region to display a collection of ten stoneware pieces, all with cobalt blue decoration, and a grouping of four handled splint baskets. Dublin, Penn., exhibitors Jim and Victoria Emele offered a child’s fanback Windsor side chair, circa 1790, Pennsylvania origin, and an interesting Hepplewhite game table with checkerboard top that slides forward to reveal a tooled leather backgammon board. This piece dates circa 1806 and is English.
A 41-drawer cabinet that once held a variety of cures, dating from circa 1880, was shown by Thomas Brown of McMurray, Penn. The cabinet was once a fixture in either a drug store or a country store, and while the customer selected a product from the front, the salesperson gave the price from behind the counter off a list attached to the back that included cures for both the liver and the kidneys. Among the pieces of furniture was a Massachusetts sideboard in mahogany, circa 1820, 58 inches wide with swell front and fitted drawers.
Three wooden hoops, painted bright red, green and yellow, drew people like magnets into the booth of Cheryl A. Mackley, Red Lion, Penn., where shoppers found more childhood toys and some holiday treats, including four figures of Santa, including one riding a reindeer, and a Halloween witch holding a redware bowl. Five hearth brooms, with paint decorated handles, hung in a row on the back wall. American Sampler of Barnesville, Md., had a fine selection of doorstops, one of their specialties, including an owl, white rabbit, the different cats, rooster, squirrel and lighthouse. An unusual piece of iron was a figural gate weight in the form of a witch on broomstick, signed “J. Harm A Dam.”
Jeff & Holly Noordsy, Cornwall, Vt., centered on the back wall a Nineteenth Century fireboard found and attributed to the Maryland/Pennsylvania border area. A New England or New York State decorated dome top box, circa 1830, had the initials “DPH” on top, with decoration in white and gold on a black ground. Standing watch at the back of the booth was a tall owl doorstop, Bradley & Hubbard, in the original paint.
Thomas Longacre, Marlborough, N.H., showed a rare iron footed combination candle and Betty lamp with flame tip decoration, Eighteenth Century, from the Ames estate, New Hampshire. A small Windsor tablet crest settee with scrolled arms, New England, circa 1830, green with yellow decoration, and a small, pine, one-drawer cupboard with carved double-bird crest, green painted, New England, dated from the late Nineteenth Century.
Take note that a good number of things Tom offered were small, probably as a result of the expanding space his wife Beverly is taking for displaying her important collection of early Christmas ornaments and feather trees. First it was a small end of a table, then it was her own display case, and at York it was the case and a bright red painted display rack that once held goods in a department store. At this rate, who knows when Tom will be dealing only in miniatures in order to have a presence in his booth.
James Wm. Lowery, Baldwinsville, N.Y., filled a large booth at the back of the show with furniture, accessories and some folk art, including a large painted onion lantern with red globe, a Queen Anne tea table of Connecticut origin, circa 1740–1760, with two-board top and pad feet, and a Massachusetts Chippendale highboy in walnut, original brasses, circa 1750–1775, measuring 66 inches high, 38½ inches wide and 21 inches deep.
Axtell Antiques of Deposit, N.Y., brought a Pennsylvania Dutch corner cupboard, pine with old red surface, dovetail construction, with spoon rack and dating circa 1800. Hanging against the back wall was an American broderie perse quilt, cut-out chintz appliqué, circa 1775, from Kennebunkport, Maine. Across a counter was a row of hog scrapers that went end to end, a total of 21, “which is only a small part of the number I have at home,” “Smitty” said.
A 5-foot-long harvest table with a single leaf and drawer, circa 1840, had lots of red painted surface remaining in the booth Joseph J. Lodge, Lederach, Penn., and on the back wall was a hanging cupboard with raised panel door, circa 1810, in vivid yellow paint. A paint decorated, five-slat ladder back armchair dated circa 1820, and a cherry corner cupboard was filled with redware and blue and white pitchers.
One of the most interesting things in the show, and a real stopper, was a massive pair of iron hinges on the outside wall of Sheridon Loyd’s booth. The St Joseph, Mo., dealer said, “The hinges came off the door of a Nineteenth Century firehouse in upstate New York and weigh about 50 pounds each.” They measure about 6 feet in length and have beautiful scroll work and flower decoration. A paint decorated Federal chamber table, with the original surface, circa 1830–1840, one drawer, was ex-collection of Mr and Mrs Jerome Blum.
James M. Kilvington, Greenville, Del., offered a South Jersey Pembroke table with cross stretcher, circa 1790–1810, and a New England two-drawer blanket chest, circa 1820, with blue painted surface. A watercolor showed the Ship Attanlanta of Baltimore by J. Wilcose of Baltimore, circa 1855.
Harry B. Hartman and Oliver C. Overlander, Marietta, Penn., had several weathervanes, including a small-size running deer, a nice pair of owl doorstops by Hubley, original paint, and a set of four plank-seat Windsor side chairs in yellow with a compote of fruit decoration on the back splat. The chairs surrounded an early hutch table that had room for eight for dinner. A small blanket box with two drawers on the bottom, ball feet, in maple, was shown by Mario Pollo, Holliston, Mass. Across the back of his booth was a 9-foot 8-inch cabinet that once held paper goods in a general store in Great Barrington, Mass. Six hat boxes with the original paper covering were stacked in the corner of the booth.
H&L Antiques, Princeton, N.J., had a display of furniture, including a circa 1850 jelly cupboard in old red, a two-piece cupboard in bittersweet and green from western Pennsylvania or Ohio, and a circa 1800 three-drawer blanket chest in old red paint. Perkins & Menson Antiques, Ashby, Mass., had its usual collection of old picture frames, in many sizes and colors, along with a large lithograph showing the “Tree of Liberty” with many eagles “perched” on the branches.
For additional information, Butch can be reached at 302-875-5326.