Bronze plaque by John P. Klassen (1888-1975), depicts a six-horse team pulling a plow, referencing Isaiah 2:4, “They shall beat their swords into plowshares,” about 15" x 36", $2900 from Todd M. Miller of West Alexandria, Ohio.
Cornucopia basket with traces of old blue paint, 15" long, $70 from Jacque Bradford of Indianapolis, Indiana. It sold immediately after being photographed.
Nineteenth-century homespun doll and children’s clothes, including a small doll dress priced at $90 and the largest dress at $397, from Jack and Kathy Newman of Everlastings-Harvesting the Past, Wake Forest, North Carolina.
Pine table with a 79" x 37" scrub top on a red-painted base having turned legs, $2950 from John and Ellen Williams of Troy, Ohio.
Redware and stoneware, $395 to $795 from Jerry Tebbano of Dutch Hollow Antiques, Aurora, Ohio. Tebbano said he was having his best year in the antiques business.
Clam shucking tool, $248; clam or oyster basket, $350; tin shorebird decoy, $170; and butter carrier, $375—all from Bill and Karen Hopper of Red Rooster Two Antiques, Vincennes, Indiana.
by Don Johnson
An hour after the start of the Ohio Country Antique Show, held October 20, 2012, in Wilmington, Ohio, promoter Bruce Metzger grabbed his camera and started walking the aisles. “I concentrated on things that had a ‘sold’ tag on them,” he said. “There was no shortage of that.”
Most of the 52 dealers at the show seemed to have a good start, and there was a common denominator among the sales—old paint. Not that Metzger was surprised. When it comes to buying trends at Ohio Country, paint is usually in the mix. “That’s something you can count on,” he said.
In Metzger’s early walk through the show, the sold merchandise included a double-size meal bin, a one-drawer stand, and a coffee box, all in early paint. “That’s just the way it is at Ohio Country,” he added. “Paint is strong.”
Joseph Jarvis of Jarvis Antiques, Georgetown, Kentucky, had the quintessential piece—a homemade sign-painter’s box in original paint. The box had “Signs” lettered in different designs on the front and back, while the ends each had an “S.” Tagged $975, the box sold by midday.
Early in the show, Bruce Rigsby of Lancaster, Kentucky, sold a small sawbuck table in olive green dating to the late 19th or early 20th century. Jacque Bradford of Indianapolis quickly found a buyer for a 15" cornucopia basket, the wicker showing traces of old blue paint. The basket was tagged $70.
Rose Cheap of Period Antiques, Scottsburg, Indiana, noted that smalls remain in demand. “If it’s painted and not a usual color, it will sell,” she said. There are exceptions, she added. “Game boards are slow.”
More than just paint was moving. Dan and Debbie Schrum of Granville, Ohio, had barely set out a carved stone figure of a man when it found a buyer. On a base made of foundation stone, the sandstone sculpture depicted the head and shoulders of a man wearing a hat. Created by Randy Guyette in the 1980’s, the carving had a timeless folk art look.
Among the early sales of Jim and Donna McCormick of A Little Something, Hagerstown, Indiana, was an 1846 show towel with two verses. Stitched by Mary Rankins, the towel pictured peacocks, potted plants with birds, flowers, and trees. The verses read: “Mary Rankins hand and thread/ Here is my name When i am dead/ When i am dead and in my grave/ And all my bones are rotten/ If this you see o think on me/ Or else i shall be forgoten [sic]” and “Mary Rankins is my name/ The rose is red the leaves are green/ The days are past Wich [sic] i have seen/ Remember me.”
Donna McCormick noted that it wasn’t just smalls that have gotten attention lately. “We have had an uptick in furniture,” she said. Merchants across the floor agreed—furniture has enjoyed a bit of a comeback. “Furniture is starting to pick up,” said Claude Baker of Hamilton, Ohio. He added that other items drawing second looks from buyers included folk art, better weathervanes, and early folk portraits, especially of children.
Dealers weren’t the only ones talking about furniture. “I had two shoppers express to me that they wish there had been more furniture there,” said Metzger. “It’s been a really long time since anybody said anything like that.”
While brown furniture was more abundant at the 70-dealer show in April 2012, few pieces were offered this time around. “In the spring show, there was a lot of brown furniture that sold,” Metzger noted. “Some of the dealers who really sold a lot of that kind of furniture at the spring show were not at the fall show. It’s kind of hard to say, if they had been there, would the brown furniture have sold as well?”
Furniture and paint aside, maybe the best impression of Ohio Country was offered by a shopper overheard talking to a friend. Her description, albeit a bit generic, might have been on the mark. “I run through, and if it’s a ‘Wow,’ I buy it,” she said. The paper bag in her hand was an indication that she found something with that wow factor.
While the show remains well attended, it doesn’t draw the kind of crazy crowds that leave a person claustrophobic. But that’s OK. “Attendance still didn’t knock me out at the fall show. It’s not a huge number of people,” said Metzger. “I’ve come to accept that with Ohio Country that I am not going to get huge crowds of people because it’s a specialty show. Anybody who is an art pottery collector or anybody who is looking for jewelry, they’re not going to be at that show. The important thing is, you do get people who are focused on that merchandise and who want to buy that merchandise.”
Ohio Country returns to Wilmington in April. For more information, phone Bruce Metzger at (513) 738-7256 or visit (www.queencityshows.com).
Homemade pine desk, dated May 1922, the divided drawer with handwritten rosters of a 1923 baseball team and a 1925 track team, $485 from Tom and Rose Cheap of Period Antiques, Scottsburg, Indiana.
Early floorcloth, 58" x 46", found in Ohio, $795 from Kitty Saylor of Hamilton, Ohio.
Originally published in the January 2013 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2013 Maine Antique Digest