Weather dampens Sandwich antiques market

SANDWICH, Ill. — Predictions of temperatures in the 90s and the threat of rain, along with high gas prices hampered both visitor and dealer count at the Sandwich, Ill., Antique Market on June 18. Sprinkles on and off during the Sunday show prompted one furniture dealer to say, “I’ve used up about four rolls of paper towels drying things off and am about to run out!”

“I’ve only missed two Sandwich shows in the last 15 years,” said Phil Taylor of Ottumwa, Iowa, who specializes in mission oak furniture. He added, “It’s a good selling market.”

Many shoppers stopped at his booth to admire an early 1900s L & JG Stickley couch, priced at $1,900. Also offered was a 1915 library desk with side panels made by Linbert of Grand Rapids. The original-finish desk could be in your office or home for $1,500.

Finely refinished traditional oak furniture filled the booth of Bill Freeman, Florissant, Mo. “I do all the refinishing work myself,” said the dealer, pointing to a turn of century country oak highboy with mirror and yoke priced at $550, and a 48-inch-tall quartersawn oak lingerie chest for $450. Freeman has been showing at Sandwich since the mid 1990s.

The mother-daughter team of Kathy and Lynsey Garette from Geneva, Ill., offered a pair of collectable 1950s designer Russell Wright chairs for $25 each and a large selection of vintage 1930-1950 picnic baskets and carriers priced from $15-$35 each.

If there was a prize for the largest collectable at the market, it might have been given to Tiffany Houchens, Springfield, Ill. A 7-foot-tall fiberglass advertising figure of “Taste-Tee,” the mascot for Tastee Freeze Ice Cream sold quickly for $700. The buyer, Carol Strauss, said, “I like the eccentric – it’s perfect for our horse riding area.” The dealer guessed the towering figure was 1950s vintage.

An eclectic mix of old and recent collectibles filled the booth of Michael Murphy, Aurora, Ill. A 1920s 10-inch-tall satin translucent light shade advertising Edison Service, with screen printed light bulb pictured on the shade, was priced at $550; a 1950 National New Yorker electric guitar, $1,500; and a tin 1940s Canadian Ace Beer tray, $45.
“It came from the meat packing neighborhood of East St. Louis,” said dealer Tony Lattanzi, pointing to a turn of century 26 inch by 16 inch wood wall hanging featuring protruding bull horns and a chipped edge mirror in the center, priced at $270. At the same spot, a 36-inch-tall hand hammered metal sailing ship on a cast iron post and base, made in Germany, could be taken home for $850.

Lamp collectors hovered around the booth of Marion Bryant, Woodridge, Ill. Of special interest was an Argand Lamp pair from Boston, made by Hoopers Co. The all-original 1830s brass lamps were marked $2,600 for the pair. Also gaining attention was a 24-inch-tall black onyx glass with gilded trim kerosene lamp, circa 1880, for $595, and an 18-inch-tall 1883 student lamp with green glass shade for $375.

Another lighting piece, a 5-foot-tall 1880s torchier lamp with cloisonne over bronze fancy Victorian finish, could grace your home for $4,000. The lamp was brought to the show by Bob Stanchfield, Marshall, Mich. The dealer also showed off a pair of good luck figures carved from walrus tusk. The familiar Biliken male figure was priced at $350 and the more scarce Miliken female figure at $450. Each measured 4 inches tall.

“That is one heavy advertising piece,” said Ray Mickelson from Dewitt, Iowa, pointing to a solid cast iron turn of the century 28 inch advertising figure shaped like the famous Case Farm Implement Co. eagle. He pointed out the fine detail in the 50-plus-pound casting and guessed it might have been used as a gate topper. The price? $3,250. Other advertising pieces included a framed display of three early Cracker Jack collectibles for $700.

Also from Iowa, dealer Betsey Dearborn from Fairfield, said she was proud of her Bauer art pottery midget creamer, just shy of 3 inches tall in rare orange color, priced at $200. Two collectable lamps in her booth included a 13-inch-tall cast metal elephant with metal shade for $125 and a 1930s Art Deco 14-inch-tall vanity lamp with porcelain figure of a woman, with original shade, for $245.

High ticket artwork filled a triple booth taken by first time Sandwich dealer Charles Tovar of Atlanta, Ga. In the center of the display was an elaborate framed oil on canvas featuring a pair of mermaids. The 36 inch by 48 inch 1866 piece was painted by German artist Wilm Kray and was termed in excellent condition and priced at $10,500. In all, the dealer displayed 69 different offerings ranging from fine oils to modern prints, priced from $200 to $15,000.

Tovar said, “I’m a bit surprised. We’re in the middle of a corn field and these customers are sophisticated and know as much about art as I do.” The dealer, who found out about the show from other dealers and trade papers, said, “I’ll definitely be back.”

Both Market Manager Jeanne Cappi and Assistant Manager, Barbara Hankes were working both sides of the aisle at Sandwich recently.
Besides getting all facets of the summer shows together, each has a sibling getting married soon, and since they work at the markets, they decided to shop Sandwich for antique plates to be used at both wedding receptions. Cappi said, “We knew most dealers would have one or two mismatched 10-inch plates in their booths.”

The next Sandwich Antique Market dates are Aug. 20, Sept. 24 and Oct 22 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. For further information call 815-786-3337 or