Springfield Extravaganza sees 2,000 dealers, 20,000 shoppers at fall antiques show

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Susan Johnson of Athens Ohio was selling the early baskets at a rapid rate along with a collection of pantry boxes on the opening day.Susan Johnson of Athens Ohio was selling the early baskets at a rapid rate along with a collection of pantry boxes on the opening day.

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – The Springfield Antique Show and Flea Market Extravaganza at the Clark County Fairgrounds had  2,000 exhibiting dealers and more than 20,000 customers Sept. 15-18, 2011. “We are fortunate to have good weather that encouraged dealers to give us a new high for the September Extravaganza with dealers coming from Iowa, Colorado, Texas and all the eastern states to sell and also to be here to restock,” said Steve Jenkins, show manager of Jenkins Management.

Springfield customers “are dealers, collectors and also homeowners who made this their destination, knowing that most exhibitors are saving merchandise for this show as the first time out. One California couple has been here for the last four years using our shipper to get their purchases home” he said.

American Art Nuveau furniture which combined Victorian lines with later manufacturing techniques created styles like this parlor set found at Springfield Antiques Extravaganza.American Art Nuveau furniture, which combined Victorian lines with later manufacturing techniques, created styles like this parlor set found at Springfield Antiques Extravaganza.

Shopping the line begins 6 a.m. Thursday morning with dealers who open the backs of trailers, vans and pick-ups to show a small amount of their inventories to the early bird shoppers “picking the line.”  Only a fraction of the inventory can be seen at that time but there was quick selling among the hundreds who arrived early.

At noon that day, dealers moved into the buildings. Then at 5 p.m. dealers move onto the fields for outside dealers. Through all of this there were no restrictions on shopping, and there was a great deal of merchandise that changed hands. Admission was open to all for a $40 ticket good for the four days of the show. The general admission fee on Friday morning was $12 and reduced to $7 at noon.

What these customers found included very early painted pantry boxes from the collection of Susan Johnson of Athens, Ohio. Sales began as Johnson was setting up. At one point, transactions were taking place so quickly that a customer looked at three of the boxes, put two down, and another customer picked them up, purchased them and then eventually purchased the other box from the first customer. 

Gary Gordon of Burton, Ohio, sold Federal and Victorian era furniture including a four-drawer chest in tiger maple with decorative veneers and inlays, turnip feet and cut-out backsplash, circa 1820 with an influence from Sheraton style; priced at $900.
A 19th century children’s rocking horse with an unusual articulated base, all in original paint but missing some of the original mane and tail and saddle, at $795 was available from Depot Antiques.

Industrial antiques were available from numerous dealers. There were several factory carts, each made with six very rugged iron wheels and heavy hardwood bodies, showing years of handling at $450 each.

A wedding notice, framed in its day as a momento, from Sherry Spehar, Brighton, Mich.A wedding notice, framed in its day as a memento was offered by from Sherry Spehar of Brighton, Mich.

Sherry Spehar of Brighton, Mich., exhibits at Springfield for all nine shows annually in the Youth Building. Her collection invariably includes early small antiques. At this most recent show she had a collection of seven 18th and 19th century purses, two of which were Shakers. She also had a wedding certificate in calligraphy with water color decorations in an early frame.

An early 19th century jelly cupboard in walnut with some poplar under woods had been coated in shellac which turned an early red paint into a very dark maroon color. The piece was all original, including the hardware, from about 1820 and with an Ohio provenance. It was priced at $425.

Manufacturers of The Hydraulic Chair, used by dentists and barbers, was so proud of its pumping action, the maker named it so on the foot rest. Jeffrey Fath of Sugar Creek [Ohio] Antiques priced it at $1,800.

Dr. Bob McIntire, Tucson, Ariz.Dr. Bob McIntire of Tucson, Ariz.

Dr. Bob McIntire of Tucson, Ariz., was offering some very early sewing machines, made before they came with electric motors from the 19th century. Prices varied according to the rarity and condition but all were in good working order.

Sproules Antiques of Freeport, Ill., brought a big load of big furniture. There was a polychrome tall step back hutch; a dry sink, several jelly cupboards and a kitchen table and chairs. A Victorian tall cupboard in oak sold early.

That is the nature of Springfield, Jenkins said. “People come here to find great antiques and collectibles which are fresh to the market and at very reasonable prices,” he said. “That is what makes this such a popular show!”

Springfield is held on the third weekend of the month except in July when it is the second weekend. There is no show in December, February and June.

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