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Oglebay Institute’s 60th Annual Antiques Show & Sale

Susan Emerson Nutter | April 4th, 2014

The miniature writing desk featuring four interior cubbies and fantastic inlay work was 18th-century Italian ($6500); the miniature desk/stationery box having ivory decoration could be had for $2200. Both were offered by Paul Fischer and Dannie Chandler of Indianapolis, Indiana.

Sold out of the booth of Sorisio’s Antiques, Leechburg, Pennsylvania, was this 1810-20 New England Hepplewhite Federal cherry candlestand, which sported a one-board top and thin band inlay. A set of six (one shown here) bootjack splat chairs was still available for $1250. The 1830-40 seats wore their first finish, a putty color with a rose design and black outlining with yellow highlights.

Bob and Danni Mencer of Country Cupboard Antiques, Shelocta, Pennsylvania, have attended the OI show for the past four years. They had these two wooden postcards for $48 for the pair. Each was decorated with a hand-painted scene and had a canceled stamp with return addresses from “New Orleans, LA.”

This assembly of musical instruments on display in the booth of Thomas Queen of Columbus, Ohio, had a graphic appeal. Starting at left, the make-do banjo was $195. It had a factory-made body, but its neck had been handmade and added later. The fiddle wearing mustard paint, priced at $550, was from Pennsylvania and wore the maker name “Felix.” Next in line was an early mountain banjo from Georgia priced at $1250; the dulcimer was $165; and the homemade guitar was $165. Then a fiddle made from a cigar box, complete with crescent-shaped sound holes and hailing from Missouri, was priced at $450; another dulcimer, this one constructed of cedar, was $195; and the last instrument at far right, a zither, the ancestor to the dulcimer, was tagged $250.

Fleshman’s Antiques, New Market, Maryland, put together this vignette of smalls including a rosewood tabletop china cabinet with shaped columns flanking two glass doors and a lower drawer ($495); a folk carved wooden turtle stool ($295); a miniature oak sideboard with decorative carving, a high shelf, and mirror ($395); a doll cradle having dovetailed construction ($125); and a doll bed having a tall headboard with a painted scene ($250).

Ken and Jan Silveri of Hawks Inn Antiques, Hamburg, Pennsylvania, had a 10' long farm table with a foldable base for $725. The wheelbarrow was $895, while the pedestals with triangular tops were $350 for the pair. The child’s paint-decorated rocker at left was tagged $150.

The stack of stools in front of John Cooper’s deer towel rack included, at top, a small red-painted stool found in the Shenandoah Valley area ($195); a scrub-top bench with a blue base ($175); and another Shenandoah Valley bench painted yellow with a circular decorative pattern created via holes cut into the bench ($245).

Wheeling, West Virginia

When a show has been around for 60 years and has been a continued success, there needs to be some recognition. Oglebay Institute’s 60th annual Antiques Show & Sale, held April 4-6 at Wilson Lodge at the Oglebay Resort, Wheeling, West Virginia, got a well-deserved pat on the back this year. Not only was the number of dealers up at 53, but also the crowd of buyers that made a point of attending was impressive.

Show promoter Peter Chillingworth of Scenery Hill, Pennsylvania, has been in charge of this annual fundraiser for the Museums of Oglebay Institute since 2000. The Oglebay Institute (OI) show is not only the largest but also the longest-running antiques show in West Virginia. According to Chillingworth, it is actually one of the oldest shows in the country, as well.

Oglebay Institute museums director Christin Byrum said hallmarks of the OI show, such as quality merchandise, expert dealers, and a diverse inventory with items in every price range, are what keep people coming back.

Two floors of the Wilson Lodge, a gem of a structure itself, house this event, which showcases the wares of the carefully selected dealers that represent more than ten states. There is always a waiting list to get into this show because dealers know they will do well, and that a crowd that appreciates what is being offered will attend.

Stella Boldrick and Paula McClure cochair the event. “One of the perks of shopping a well-established antiques show is that it takes the risk out of buying,” McClure said. “Our dealers select their stock carefully and weed out the junk so buyers don’t have to.”

Richard and Jan Wilks of Keystone Antiques, Chagrin Falls, Ohio, were busy when the doors opened on Saturday. Found in their dealer space were several pieces of country furniture including a pine server with a simple backsplash sporting a nice cutout shelf, 40" high overall and priced at $895. A Chippendale country armchair with a splint seat was $350, while a three-drawer pumpkin pine chest of dovetailed construction with snipe pulls and high feet was priced at $850. A circa 1865 appliquéd Rose of Sharon quilt found in the state of New York could be had for $685. The quilt was an interesting 73" square.

Brill’s Antiques, Newport News, Virginia, has been a family-run business since 1935, and when you’ve been around for more than 50 years, items begin making reappearances. Such was the case with a cherry two-piece cupboard with old wavy glass. The 1820-40 Pennsylvania piece looked familiar to Jerry Brill when he recently purchased it out of a home. It wasn’t until later that he remembered his father had sold the cupboard years ago for $7500 to the woman Jerry purchased it from after it did not sell at a house sale. A sign of the times perhaps, the cupboard was offered by Jerry at the OI show for $5200.

Other interesting items found in the Brill’s space included a huge cherry banquet table drawn out to include all five of its leaves. The 1870-90 table was priced at $1900. Sitting in the middle of the table was a Chinese export famille rose Canton bowl in the Rose Medallion pattern. Measuring 16" in diameter, the bowl was offered for $2900. A pair of 18th-century Delft birds on nests was on display for $2800.

Wooden items of interest filled the dealer display of Steven Sherhag of Canfield, Ohio. A carving of a shoe complete with a cat and three mice crawling in and out of holes in the shoe was unique and priced at $325. An early 20th-century bowling set found in southern Ohio was available for $495. The bowling ball was actually all burl and very heavy!

Sherhag also offered a children’s cupboard found in Perry County, Pennsylvania. Blind doors and a pie shelf added to its appeal as did its early blue-gray paint. It was priced at $695. A miniature slant-front desk, having attributes such as splay feet, five interior cubbies, and reeding and herringbone carving on the front, was tagged $1950.

John Cooper Antiques & Folk Art, Wilmington, North Carolina, made a point of directing attention to the Adirondack hunting camp towel rack carved in the shape of a deer’s head featured in his booth. With cream accents, including two hearts that flanked the mount, the towel rack was offered for $1395. He also had a blue scrub-top bench at $175; a 19th-century Ohio stand with splayed legs and a scrubbed top, in original red paint, for $550; and a stool, also painted red, that was found in the Shenandoah Valley, priced at $195.

Fleshman’s Antiques, New Market, Maryland, had a booth filled with furniture that included a tiger maple Empire sideboard with a cherry top and backboard ($2950); a two-piece walnut Federal period Dutch cupboard from Lancaster, Pennsylvania ($5500); a doll’s bed painted taupe with a landscape scene on the headboard and red and black stenciling ($250); and a rosewood tabletop china cabinet ($495).

Loads of interesting items were offered by Ken and Jan Silveri of Hamburg, Pennsylvania, but the item that was most interesting was a small composition doll. Jan said that these dolls came out of a warehouse in Europe. The Silveris bought 50 of them initially. The 1930-40 French dolls are dressed, have painted-on Mary Janes, are usually redheads, and their painted-on hair falls over their ears.

“We have had a couple boy dolls, and their feet are bare,” Jan stated. “Any time we put these out, they sell immediately,” she added. The Silveris continued to replenish their supply of dolls from the wholesaler. “I think we’ve purchased close to 1100 of these dolls,” Jan said. The Silveris still have some left. One that was at the show (see photo) was still available for $65.

Towering at just under 9' tall, a grain-painted cupboard housed in the booth of John Mickinak of Ligonier Antique Gallery, Greensburg, Pennsylvania, came with an interesting tale. It seems the cupboard had resided in the choir loft and was used to house hymnals in a New Alexandria, Pennsylvania, church. The choir gallery was original to the church, which was built in the 1780s. At one point in its history, the church was renovated, and the steps to the choir loft changed, and as a result, this massive cupboard was “room bound.”

“The only way the cupboard could be taken out of the choir loft was to, unfortunately, cut it in half,” Mickinak stated. Freed from its confines, the once one-piece, now two-piece, cupboard was priced at $2200.

The Oglebay Institute’s 60th annual Antiques Show & Sale also included three dealer booth talks on Saturday. Farhad Akar of Woven Rug Gallery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, spoke about Oriental rugs; Judith Keefer of Blue Diamond Antiques, Dearborn, Michigan, did a presentation on flow blue china; and Fern Larking Kao of Bowling Green, Ohio, who specializes in fine jewelry, couture, and ladies’ accessories, as well as hats, did a talk on women’s hats.

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The Oglebay Institute’s 60th annual Antiques Show & Sale was filled with a wide range of items from numerous categories. Cut glass included this decanter with grape panels done in amber glass, offered for $595 by Betsy and Ben Spencer of Granville, Ohio.

Originally published in the July 2014 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2014 Maine Antique Digest

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