by Jack Kelly
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Although dealer setup day saw pleasant temperatures and sunshine, Third Sunday Antique Market shoppers had to tiptoe through on and off raindrops on show day, Sept. 19.
“We came to shop, come rain or shine,” chortled one buyer as he walked onto the fairgrounds umbrella in hand.
While some dealers said the crowds were in a spending mood, others said “it was a slow sales day.”
Several auctioneers-turned-show-vendors, set up at the popular monthly event – all with music-related items among their offerings.
Ryan Wankel of Jacksonville, Ill., said he and wife Amberleigh are auctioneers, with his better half not at the show. But he did add that she earned the title of 2006 Bid Calling Champion in the state of Virginia.
Wankel showed off an unusual turn of century York & Son Mellophone, a silver-plated instrument similar to a French horn, complete with carry case for $450. Toy collectors stopped at his booth to look over his pressed steel Flivver Buddy L truck tagged at $775.
String instrument collectors were drawn to the booth of Vic Pevler, auctioneer from Danville, Ind., who displayed three electric guitars. Choices included an Ibanez base, circa 1980s, for $150; a Yamaha 1970s model with autographed picture of rock ‘n roll ZZ Top star Billy Gibbons for $400, and a 1980s Spectrum brand for $100. Others folks checked out his World War Two era reproduction Stradivarius violin priced at $150.
Setting up nearby was yet another auctioneer with more music related pieces, Eric Thielke of Crawfordsville, Ind., who pointed to a pair of 24-inch University Metal Speakers said to have been used by a guitar player who performed at a square dance hall in Dana, Ind., before passing away in 1982. The speakers, with the professionally painted name: Farmer Stultz Mountaineers, could be used again for $300.
“It’s a sign of the times” said dealer Ben LaBudde of New Harmony, Ind., with a nod of his head after selling a set of two 1894 “beautifully heavily decorated colorful cover medical books” to a young lady for a discounted price of $30. When the dealer asked if she was a pre-med student from the nearby Indiana University Bloomington, she stated, “Oh, no, I just like the yellow covers–they go nicely with my decorating theme.” Toy collectors and WWII buffs looked over his 120-piece war set produced by Marx for Sears, priced at $250.
Setting up next to LaBudde was Tom Svaste from Griffith, Ind., who pointed with pride to a dozen early Cracker Jack box kid’s transfers, complete with original envelope for $165. Younger collectors stopped to test ride his 1950s Davy Crockett plastic and oak rocking horse that could be “ridden home” for $75.
If salt and pepper shakers were your favorite, you could choose from more than 600 sets displayed by Bill Bates of Springfield, Ill. The 10-year show veteran said they ranged from $4.50 to $195 per pair, with the most unusual being a plastic Luzianne Mammy 5-inch-tall plastic set priced at $175.
Stoneware collectors hovered around the booth of Gary and Janet Guth of Washburn, Ill., with many admiring his 7-inch-tall 1899 Mason Fruit Jar crock from Union Stonewear Co., Red Wing, Minn., complete with original top, for $225. The couple also displayed a cast iron Dover egg beater, patented 1891 that could be displayed – or used – in your kitchen.
Also selling usable and collectable kitchen wear was Gil and Sue Axley of Morton, Ill., who have been setting up at the market for 15 years. The couple offered a table full of vintage cast iron skillets, pots and pans and other cook-wear priced from $15 to $145 each. Gil said one of the most interesting items in his booth was a 1901 hand-held metal punch used to prepare wooden phonograph needles, complete with a supply of actual wooden needles, all for $45.
Traveling from Davenport, Iowa, dealer Jim Milam showed off three Peoria Pottery early 1900s mugs, each 3 ½ inches tall and tagged at $125 each. Advertising collectors checked out his mint 10-by 10-inch stone litho tobacco crate label, priced at $65.
Two different pocket knives advertising Shapleigh’s knives were checked out by advertising and pocket knife collectors at the booth of Don and Cheryl Gwinn of Virden, Ill.
A 1950s wood-handle 3-inch-long “Every Boy” model could be popped into your pocket for $130. A 1 ¾-inch-long orange color celluloid-handled knife could be displayed at your place for $85. Don, a twelve year veteran dealer, said he looks forward to “regular customers” and called the September show “one of the good ones.”
If a prize could be given for shoppers who traveled the farthest distance to the show, it would have gone to the mother and father of Bloomington, Ill., shopper Juan Cavada whose parents arrived from his Chile. Cavada, a regular Third Sunday shopper, said he planned their visit to include a stop at the fairgrounds event. The plane ride from Chile took 15 hours and the couple found several items to take home. When asked if he enjoy the day of shopping, his father exclaimed, “Mucho!”
For some folks, the close of the day on Sunday did not complete their weekend’s work.
Dealer Jerry Krenk was spotted sitting on top of a 3-by 6-foot oak work table tagged “sold” while studying a road map. Krenk was checking different routes because he was about to make a delivery of furniture purchased at the show as he headed home to Schoolcraft, Mich. As he studied the map, one couple stopped to admire Krenk’s 1890s two-piece setback oak cupboard priced at $1,100. The dealer said he personally refinishes all the furniture at his shop.
As the September show drew to a close, market manager Mike Raycraft said he was pleased with the results. He noted this year marks the 24th anniversary of the popular attraction begun by his mother and father, Don and Carol Raycraft who remain active on the fairgrounds.
As the name implies, the Third Sunday Market runs on the Third Sunday of each month May through October, with a special winter show in Feb. 26, 2012.
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