Regional furniture heats up Original York Antiques Show

YORK, Pa. — Just like the U.S. mail, no wind, rain, sleet or snow stopped the dealers and shoppers at Melvin “Butch” Arion’s 156th Semi Annual York Antiques Show & Sales, Jan. 28-30, 2011.

“We had an excellent show, even with snow and cold on the first day. There was furniture going out, more than we expected, the attendance was great and the comments from [the dealers] were generally good,” Arion said. 

For 78 years, this event has been a showcase for the painted furniture famous in this area, especially the folk-paint decorated and faux-grain paint pieces. Many of this weekend’s exhibitors were showing the best of their collections of just such works.

Steve Smoot had a corner cupboard in its original faux grain paint, showing only minimal wear. Harry B. Hartman, exhibiting with Oliver C. Overlander, both from nearby Marietta, Pa., was showing an early hutch in its original red grain paint. 

Many exhibitors who are not from the immediate area are constantly looking for the kinds of painted pieces that originated here in order to offer them at this twice yearly event.

Noonmark Antiques of Moorestown, N.J., was showing an early three-quarter bed in a faux grain paint, which resembled flame grain or crotch grain mahogany from the early 19th century.
Joseph Lodge was among the exhibitors with paint-decorated furniture just slightly younger. His set of six side chairs was in the Regency/ William IV form with overall paint and floral decoration, all in excellent condition.

Other dealers were showing painted pieces with a heritage other than Pennsylvania. B. Hannah Daniel Antiques of Athens, Ala., offered large apothecary cabinet, which in red faux-grain paint, was typical of its New England roots. It was signed by its maker and noted as from Chester, Vt.

Newburgh, N.Y., dealers Karen and Dan Olson found painted furniture from their region was selling well. A yellow painted cupboard, similar to a Kas of the Hudson Valley, was sporting a sold sign before show’s end, as was a painted primitive hutch that appeared to be of New England origin.

The show is also a popular source for early folk art and even some early outsider art. Thomas Longacre of Marlborough, N.H., showed several pieces, but his Noah’s Ark on a spiraling wall display was attracting a good deal of the attention. Priced at less than $500, the collection was in good paint and included Noah and his wife, all in miniature, each piece smaller than a quarter.

A Queen Anne/Victorian house, just right for the small dolls and furniture in the last quarter of the 19th century, was offered by Donald and Verna Stump from Sinking Springs. Rather large for a child’s toy, at nearly 4 feet wide and about 3 feet tall, the details inside and out were very well executed, showing replication of a variety of building material and design elements. The doll house, which was in very good condition, was priced at $19,000.

Alongside the Pennsylvania heritage antiques, there were still many dealers offering traditional pieces. Jane McClafferty of Stamford, Conn., showed some of her collection of early porcelain and fine hardwood furniture. Bruce Rigsby of Lancaster, Ky., offered his writing-arm Windsor chair for the first time. A combination of furniture, fine art and folk art was on display by Michael Whittemore, now of Punta Gorda, Fla. Fine art from the Hudson River Valley, along with both primitive and fine hardwood furniture  were offered by Mario Pollo of Bearsville, N.Y.

Arion produces The Original York Antiques Show twice each year, with Labor Day Weekend in early September as the second opportunity. Most of the dealers do both shows. For all the years Arion has managed the show it has been a full house, 96 booths strong since 1996.

For more information about future shows, call Arion at 302-875-5326, or visit the show’s website.

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