Purchase Story

No Frills, with Honest-to-Goodness Antiques

Heartland at Hilliard, Hilliard, Ohio

Things didn’t go exactly as planned for Jennifer Sabin during a canoe trip near Nelsonville, Ohio, last summer. As one of four people in two canoes, she found herself dunked in the river twice that day. Both times rapids had moved her craft under some trees, where another occupant accidentally swamped the vessel while trying to avoid low-hanging limbs. That was enough. Sabin switched canoes and paddle buddies. Not long after that, the other canoe once again moved toward the shore and swamped, but this time it became lodged against a tree by the fast-moving water and couldn’t be maneuvered free. Having escaped a third soaking, Sabin offered to get help. She and a 12-year-old in the canoeing party hiked through the woods, found a road, flagged down a car, and made it back to the rental company to report the stuck canoe.

Tiger maple cradle, $275; Shaker Mt. Lebanon #0 rocking chair, late 1800s, $1500; folk-decorated blanket chest, $595; blanket chest in brown paint, $425; cricket table with drawer, $695 from Kay Puchstein of Frankfort, Ohio.

Wooden sign, “All Haircuts 25¢,” black ground with white letters trimmed in red, $275; iron fretwork in white paint, $250; coffee bin, $385; wooden keg in ivory paint, $95 from Dan and Debbie Schrum of Granville, Ohio.

Miniature smoke-decorated blanket chest attributed to Coshocton County, circa 1830, $3200; bird’s-eye maple stand attributed to New England, early 19th century, $1450; toleware bread tray, floral and swag border, $380 from Ernie Slucher of Lewis Center, Ohio.

Clear glass jars from Brenda and Mel Evans of That Old Log House, Tiffin, Ohio. Front, left to right: “Franklin Caro Co. / Richmond VA,” embossed stopper and jar, $120; blown sweet meat jar, $50; candy store jar with bulbous body, $85. Back, left to right: apothecary jar with swirled stopper, $145; large jar with pineapple-shaped stopper, $250.

Paint-decorated mule chest with two drawers, $995; pewter capstans, $895 the pair; Delft bottle, 18th century, $595; flame-stitch lady’s pocket, $725; pewter charger, $150 from Sandy Otto, Scherre Mumpower, and Sharon Severt of Patriot Antique Shoppe, Tipp City, Ohio.

Hooked rug lettered “Welcome,” variegated ground, mounted, 18" x 38", $175 from Valerie Vavruska of Stow, Ohio.

Thus ended her water adventure days. Sabin, who is frequently active outdoors, had had enough. “I’ve decided to stick with hiking,” she said.

Sometimes a person has to know when to give up. Then again, there are times when another try is worth the effort. The latter proved to be the case for Sabin at her latest antiques show, Heartland at Hilliard, held August 25 on the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Hilliard, Ohio, just west of Columbus.

Sabin had been on the fairgrounds before and had gotten a little wet in the deal. Having successfully managed the Heartland Antique Show in Richmond, Indiana, for more than a quarter of a century, she decided to try a new concept—Antiques in 2 Barns—in Hilliard in September 2016. Knowing the large number of sellers who set up 35 miles away at the semiannual Extravaganza held by the Springfield Antique Show and Flea Market, Sabin had experimented with a one-day market on a Wednesday—the day before dealers began to unpack at Springfield. In theory, some sellers heading to Springfield would participate in her show, while others would stop to shop the event. Add to that a crowd of buyers heading to the Extravaganza, and it seemed like a logical plan.

Named for the two pole buildings in which the show was held, Antiques in 2 Barns had room for 50 dealers. Forty came. And there were fewer buyers than anticipated. “I don’t know what to think,” Sabin said at the time.

Nearly two years later, however, she was ready to try it again. This time, however, there were changes. The most noticeable was a new name, Heartland at Hilliard, which allowed her to tout both her brand and the location. More importantly, there was a date change. The middle of the week clearly didn’t work, so Sabin slid the show to a Saturday, no longer riding the coattails of the Extravaganza, which wouldn’t be held for another three weeks.

As with Antiques in 2 Barns, Heartland at Hilliard show had room for 50 dealers. Thirty-five came. Sabin seemed disappointed but resilient. “I had wanted fifty, but maybe it’s a thirty-five-dealer show,” she said.

By all appearances, the crowd was better the second time around at Hilliard. There was even a decent line for the show’s opening. However, it was almost strictly a morning crowd. Unlike buyers at the Heartland Antique Show in Richmond, where shoppers continue to walk the aisles well into the afternoon, Hilliard’s buyers came and went fairly quickly. The show, which opened at 10 a.m. and ran until 3 p.m., was largely done halfway through that timespan. When a heavy rain moved into the area after 1 o’clock, the chances for any late sales all but vanished.

Despite a few setbacks, Heartland at Hilliard worked. From the start, Sabin promoted the show as a simple, no-frills event with honest-to-goodness antiques. The setting was starker than at Richmond, and booths didn’t incorporate walls or paper. The merchandise was typical of what could be found at Heartland’s June and November shows in Indiana: a strong mix of country antiques and Americana. There were a few exceptions that seemed out of place compared to the surrounding material. One booth had a considerable amount of costume jewelry. Another specialized in English Toby jugs and Beatrix Potter ceramics, causing it to stand out against the mostly American market. There was also a booth front and center that offered essential oils. The only outdoor booth, which mixed primitives with produce such as gourds, worked OK considering the season and the setting.

Salt-glazed stoneware. Left to right: jar with freehand cobalt leaf, $195; three-gallon crock with freehand cobalt leaf, $225; jug, E. & L.P. Norton, Bennington, Vermont, impressed mark, freehand cobalt leaf, $245; four-gallon crock, cobalt bee sting, $255 from Beth Pulsipher of Schoolcraft, Michigan.

Slant-lid desk in blue paint, interior shelf, $395 from Tim and Charline Chambers of Missouri Plain Folk, Sikeston, Missouri.

Blue-and-white coverlet, the corner block lettered “Delhi 1845” under a shield-breasted eagle, the border having willows and birds, $395 from Gloria Oviatt of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Tin street lamp embossed “C.T. Ham M’f’g Co’s / No 9 Globe Street” and “Label Registered 1886,” lamp 25½" high, overall 35½" high with wooden base, $425 from Tom and Mary Stream of Old Stream Antiques, Mt. Vernon, Ohio.

Box in grain paint, 6" high x 11¾" wide x 6" deep, $475; box in dark green paint with initials “A.H.W.,” 5" high x 9¼" wide x 5¼" deep, replaced leather hinges, $275; box with two sides lettered “Shawls,” slip lid, 10¾" high x 21" square, $495 from Linda Miller of Miller House Antiques, Carroll, Ohio.

For the most part, however, the merchandise held its own when compared with other shows promoted by Sabin. Veteran dealers Dan and Debbie Schrum of Granville, Ohio, took a slightly different approach at Hilliard, going with a theme of antiques that were primarily black and white, from a painted wood “Haircuts” sign priced at $275 to iron fretwork at $250. It worked. “We’re selling like crazy, so this is amazing,” said Dan, who by late morning had already sold two tables, a set of shelves, and a wooden carrier.

Another longtime dealer, Kay Puchstein of Frankfort, Ohio, brought her standard mix of unusual material, including a Shaker Mt. Lebanon #0 rocking chair from the late 19th century, priced at $1500, and a folk-decorated blanket chest having a naïve decoration of a two-story house and a tree, at $595.

New faces among the Heartland family included Ernie Slucher of Lewis Center, Ohio, who was set up for the first time at any show. What he offered, however, fit in with the best of the dealers. A smoke-decorated miniature blanket chest attributed to Coshocton County, Ohio, circa 1830, said to be one of fewer than ten known and the only one in a smoke decoration, was priced at $3200, while a 19th-century pine candle mold having cut-nail construction and holding ten tin tubes was $1900. “I’m pretty picky on what I buy,” he said.

Sabin remains particular as well. At the end of the day, she couldn’t say whether Heartland at Hilliard would be back. But after crunching the numbers, she has decided to hold the show again next August, dialing down the size of the event and keeping it to 35 dealers while offering more variable booth sizing. What she hasn’t done is give up on the show.

It’s a lot like that canoe expedition last summer. Sabin is still up for an adventure, but she knows that if the current is drifting the vessel toward overhanging branches, some corrective action needs to be taken.

For more information, phone Sabin at (843) 812-0282 or visit (www.heartlandantiqueshow.com).

Door reminiscent of Game of Thrones, likely Mexican or Spanish, thick wood with metal embellishments and hand-wrought nails, 63½" x 20½", $295 from Judson and Karen Fults of Signature Antiques N Art, Lakeview, Ohio.

Soap Hollow blanket chest lettered “LM / 1852,” attributed to John Sala of Somerset County, Pennsylvania, $1250 from Bob Bachmann of Bachmann Antiques, Newark, Ohio.

Hutch table with a circular top, $995; Windsor bow-back side chairs, saddle seats, $495 the pair; two copper fish kettles, 22" long at $395 and 30½" long at $495 from Nan Donovan of City Mouse Country Mouse Antiques, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Originally published in the November 2018 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2018 Maine Antique Digest

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