Within an hour of opening, the outdoor market was crowded.
John Rudie shows the $35 tip-up ice fishing pole from the 1950's. The short pole has a carved wooden body, twine string line, and a cork bobber.
John Atkin Antiques, Glen Ellyn, brought the circa 1780 painting tagged $495. A 1780-1820 mirror was $225; the photographic portraits were $55 to $150 each. The mahogany and walnut veneer games table was $185, and the brass candlestick lamps were $75 each.
Dealer Stephen Reid of DeKalb, Illinois, sold the 1850's walnut two-drawer desk tagged $325 shortly after opening.
Heather Higgins of Winnetka, Illinois, brought the wire plant stand ($395); the brass flowerpot ($35); and the 1870's cast-iron pedestal flower stand ($800). The cast-iron pineapple finials were $400 each.
Glen Ellyn, Illinois
by Danielle Arnet
We flatlanders already know that Chicago is special. But could the area be special in a different way? It has occurred to us that the return of two long-ago moribund Chicagoland antiques events does seem Lazarus-like. Maybe Chicagoland is resurrection central?
In this economy, what are the odds that an antiques show in Woodstock, Illinois, in April (see M.A.D.'s July issue) and Antiques on the Green in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, held the next monthboth once as dead as the proverbial doornailwould each come back to life and be hugely successful? It happened.
In both cases, committed organizers and enthusiastic dealers were the key to the revivals. For Antiques on the Green, it was Lee and Judy Marks, who have been Glen Ellyn residents for more than 40 years. They are also founding members of the Glen Ellyn Historical Society and dealer specialists in 18th- and 19th-century Americana, and they were organizers of the Country Folk Art Festival for more than 20 years.
A thriving fall show several decades ago, Antiques on the Green ended when volunteerism, the backbone of so many community shows, lost steam.
As experienced dealers and Chicago Suburban Antiques Dealer Association members, the Markses were obvious candidates to pull a rabbit-from-the-hat trick when the Glen Ellyn Historical Society recently brainstormed on how to cope with plummeting funding and donations.
After Lee Marks suggested bringing back the show, the response was, "We'll do it if you run it." Such are the rewards of a brilliant idea.
And so it happened that on May 26, 22 sellers, almost all local and nearby dealers, set up on the grounds of the Glen Ellyn Historical Society. Nine of the sellers set up indoors.
First settled in 1834, the picturesque village of Glen Ellyn, 25 miles west of Chicago, has been through several names. The current name, for a geographic glen and the Welsh spelling of the name of a landowner's wife, dates from the late 1800's. The present history center with museum is on the grounds of Stacy's Corners, named for a tavern and stagecoach stop built in 1846.
"It's a hinkey corner," a gas station attendant told us when we stopped to ask for directions. By modern standards, it is one strange intersection, and it is one with precious little parking.
But good humor reigned, and plenty of parking was available in adjacent lots. Helpful and upbeat volunteers directed those who were lost on where to find spaces. Everyone seemed to know everyone else, and it seemed to a visitor that the entire village showed up for the show. Lines to pay the $5 admission were no problem, as brief waits gave attendees a chance to catch up with neighbors. The paid gate totaled around 500.
Dealers appreciated the idea of a one-day show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., said Marks. "I feel we're going more and more in that direction," he added.
Admission included discounts at 15 local restaurants, discounts at the Stacy's Corners store, and free tours of the historic tavern and museum. The store enjoyed record sales for one day with many buyers saying it was their first visit. Marks hopes to see the store stocked with authentic antiques to boost year-round activity.
Quite a few attendees, including a couple from as far as Green Bay, Wisconsin, said they came because they spotted a show ad in M.A.D.
Show dealers moved everything from furniture to smalls. The Markses' booth sold a country dry sink; others did a brisk business in everything from Wedgwood to vintage garden furniture and north woods memorabilia. Dealers we polled seemed happy with the results.
A volunteer manning a fully stocked historical society tent could have used four arms. Selling goods donated by the community especially for the event, she was hard pressed to handle all the sales happening at once. An adjacent bake sale was equally busy. A shaded spot provided seating.
The only weak point, added Marks, was the paucity of available volunteers. The Markses spent three months talking the show up to scout troops and other likely groups, but in the end, it was the village Reliquarian women (an antiques study group), historical society volunteers, and docents working as tour guides who helped.
Lifetime volunteers, the Markses are committed to promoting the historical society. "We have a good educational outreach program partly manned by retired schoolteachers that goes into the schools," added Marks. "I think it's important to participate in the history of your community."
A major topic of the day was, "You're going to do it again?" The historical society has a newly hired director and the goal of rebuilding a period livery barn, and you better believe they will give it hard thought.
Contact the Glen Ellyn Historical Society at (www.glenellynhistory.org).
A buyer pounces on an Airex spinning reel from the 1930's. With original box, papers, and bag, the reel from Judy and Lee Marks of The Village Antiquarian, Glen Ellyn, sold for $65.
Folk art seller Ginny Henson of McHenry, Illinois, brought assorted greens in interesting pots. It was all catnip for buyers, and her booth was swamped. We spotted angel vine teardrop and dwarf maple in pottery bowls and aged strawberry pots, and for $42, there was a cypress in a Hampton basket. Moss and shells artfully topped off dirt in pots.
Mary de Buhr of Downers Grove, Illinois, brought these baskets that were artfully displayed on a twig stand (not for sale). We spotted a small green buttocks basket for $395; a rectangular basket, $55; a round basket, $195; and a northeastern basket with an oval opening, $125. The $995 freestanding shelf unit from Connecticut with a well at the top and original surface holds a firkin with no lid ($145) and a stained container with original sage paint ($525). The large bowls were $395 for the largest and $850 for the beehive version.