Purchase Story

The 46th Annual Hudson Antique Show: Snow Was a Blow or Maybe Not

Richfield, Ohio  

Strong snowstorms offset with 50-degree days equal winter 2018 in Ohio to date. A week before the highly anticipated 46th annual Hudson Antique Show, which is held the second Saturday and Sunday in January (this year January 13 and 14) saw a big storm, offset with a huge melt.

And as luck—or lack thereof—would have it, another big storm slammed northeast Ohio on Friday, the show’s setup day, and continued into Saturday morning and the show’s opening.

Connie Polce of Ponzi’s stands with a lovely Delaware River valley ladder-back side chair, 1720-40, wearing paint decoration; it was priced at $895. Of the miniature furniture pieces on display, the mahogany two-over-three-drawer dresser with a cutout base was $795; the small cupboard with two doors above and two drawers and a door below was $395; the circa 1800 Hepplewhite chest in mahogany with ivory pulls was tagged $895, and the mahogany tilt-top candlestand from the 1860s was $225.

These interesting pieces were found in the booth of Francis Crespo Folk Art & Antiques, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The oil on canvas landscape scene attributed to William Matthew Prior was priced at $950. Also found here were a 1930s folk art large-size cement garden frog ($395); a “Fresh Milk” hand-painted sign featuring Holstein cows by folk artist Bill Duffy ($375); a Trenton, New Jersey, pottery pitcher depicting a bulldog ($225); a folk art carved wooden life-size Indian head, possibly used as a countertop display in a tobacco shop ($495); and a circa 1930 colorful Northwest totem pole made to be an incense burner, found in New York City ($575).

Tom Brown Antiques & Art, McMurray, Pennsylvania, was busy selling a lovely work by American artist Edgar Forkner (1867-1945). A Glimpse of Lake Union, Seattle Washington (center), an 18" x 24" colorful harbor scene, found a new home as this photo was being taken. Seated on a chair right below this work is a mid-19th-century English miniature desk in oak with ball feet that was priced at $800. The large oil on canvas harbor scene is of Martinique island and depicts Saint Pierre with Mt. Pelée in the background before its eruption in 1902. This was tagged $2750. The circa 1780 New England tea table (at left) in its original finish was $1850. Also on the back wall hangs a very colorful 1930s penny table cover that was priced at $950, and below this sat a 1790 Eastern Connecticut four-drawer bureau with a well-molded top, all resting on ogee feet with a central plinth. This chest was tagged $2950.

This discussion of the weather and road conditions (which can be a bore, because everyone has to deal with weather, right?) is necessary to understand and appreciate the true grit of determined collectors.

Discussions about the effect of Saturday’s weather on sales found that while the number of collectors through the doors was down, those who thumbed their noses at Mother Nature and her 8" of winter fury came to buy.

Dan Freeburg Antiques, Wilcox, Pennsylvania, was eager to point out this quilted privy bag used to house scraps of clothes. The bag was then hung in the outhouse, ready to go for when, um, you had to go. Freeburg’s mid-19th-century Amish-made example hailed from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and was done in a basket pattern. This privy bag was priced at $995.

Showcased by Pratt’s Antiques, Victor, New York, was this pair of circa 1840 New York folk portraits by J. Stilson tagged $8500 for the pair. They measure 35" high x 29" wide. An early 19th-century Vermont dome-top trunk wearing paint decoration with base colors of mustard and salmon was priced at $2350, and it sat atop a solid blanket box painted red with black-painted panels with a pleasing cutout base and one-board top that was $1075.

“In Europe cookies of this size were often eaten like we eat cake, meaning it was sliced and served,” John H. Rogers explained when discussing this large cookie or springerle board offered in his dealer space. Rogers felt that the late 19th-/early 20th-century piece, priced at $350, is of German or Dutch origin.

When asked on Sunday to point to his favorite piece that he brought to Hudson, Mike Christy of Comet Lake Antiques, Clinton, Ohio, looked around his dealer display and said, “I sold most of my favorites on Saturday.” He explained, “Saturday never had a crush of people, but instead it was a steady flow throughout the day. More important, these people were serious buyers. They weren’t going to let a little—OK, a lot—of snow stop them from getting to this show.”

“I have to admit, I am very bitter about how the weather affected the show,” stated Steven Sherhag, the show’s manager going on six years now. “We did loads of advertising. I was on a radio talk show. We posted a walk-through video on Facebook of the facility, and we had about 2000 visits to the show’s website a week prior to its taking place. Our best gate for this show since I’ve managed it was around 600. I was expecting to reach the 800 mark. Instead, we came in just a bit over 400 attendees.”

This 1865 Joseph Liggett-made cigar-store Indian of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, retains its original paint decoration with the figure carrying a fistful of cigars in one hand and a bow in the other. The part of the bow on the figure’s body is painted, but then the part that extends beyond the figure is actually made of iron and attached to the piece near the Indian’s shoulder. This lovely folk art display item was priced at $19,500 by Axtell Antiques of Deposit, New York.

Yes, Ben Franklin greatly respected the American wild turkey, as did apparently J.D. Belcher, the artist who created this folk art beauty. Full of color, this oil on board painting was priced at $645 by Michael Whittemore of Punta Gorda, Florida.

The large dovetailing of this 16-drawer apothecary is impressive. Mike Christy of Comet Lake Antiques offered this 40" tall chest for $995. Also seen here is a lovely sugar chest painted to look like tiger maple. Having dovetailed construction and its original keys, this chest was tagged $1500. Christy purchased the chest at a Cincinnati, Ohio, house sale.

“He’s my favorite,” Cindy Robinson of As Good As Old stated while pointing to the whimsical 31" long buck-toothed beaver weathervane priced at $15,000. It has a herringbone-like detail to its flat tail, and Robinson felt this weathervane was custom made, as the beaver form is not found in the catalogs of the popular commercial weathervane manufacturers. The large-size sewer tile bull was tagged $3000. Hand molded, the bull features wooden feet and horns.

Sherhag was disappointed but completely understood why many opted out of attending. “There was ice if you were coming from the south. There was lots of snow if you were driving in from the north. I had so many texts and e-mails from great customers who love to come to this show and buy. They were contacting me, apologizing that they just couldn’t get there.”

Like Sherhag, avid collectors whose plans were squelched because of the weather were equally disappointed with the snow. The Hudson show is known for being an antiques enthusiast’s dream. Dealers hold back specific pieces purposely to present them for the first time at Hudson. The amount of furniture and decorative items that sold on Saturday and Sunday, despite the weather, proved that the show, once again, lived up to its reputation.

“But it could have been so much better,” Sherhag pointed out. To get a feel for what was for sale at the show, visit the show’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Hudsonantiqueshow) and click on the numerous videos Sherhag posted.

Yes, January weather is always an unknown in Ohio, but another factor also came into play for the 2018 edition of the show. This year’s show had moved from its Hudson, Ohio, Clarion Inn location down the road a piece to the Days Inn in Richfield, Ohio.

Sherhag was not behind the move. The former facility was. “The Clarion, outside of Hudson where we held the show in the past, sold to new owners, and despite what they had said, the management fired all the former employees and told me I could no longer hold the show there. And I was told this in September.”

Cue major scramble to find a new venue, and Sherhag was getting a bit antsy. A call from a former Clarion employee resulted in the solution. “An employee who had been let go and knew of my situation contacted me to say she had just been hired at the Days Inn in Richfield, Ohio, [and] that I should come check it out, and thankfully everything fell into place.”

Fortunately this new venue was a winner. Yes, some dealer spaces were a different dimension than the norm, and they at times appeared to flow into each other in certain areas. Some dealers who had space near doors into the hotel had to contend with the brisk slap in the face from the outdoor temperature (in the single digits) when the doors were opened. But the flow of the show was better and more coherent at this new location, in my opinion, meaning that I didn’t get that “now where am I?” feeling while shopping the dealer spaces.

“I had lots of compliments from both dealers and shoppers about the look of the show, saying it’s the best that it’s ever been, which was in part the new venue, but mainly because of the fantastic dealers who went all out filling their booths with wonderful things,” Sherhag stated.

The Hudson show is a great kick in the pants to winter. People are eager to get out and shop once the holidays are behind them, and the dealers who participate at Hudson do a bang-up job of filling their space with pieces that elicit gasps, widening of the eyes, and smiles.

For more information, go to (www.hudsonantiqueshow.com).

Leatherwood Antiques, Sandwich, Massachusetts, offered this folk art grain-painted box that came from the home of New England sea captain Francis Gorham. The small box features a hand-painted compass design on the lid and painted rope trim and hinges. It was $950. The half-hull model was $1950, while the turned wooden bowl of Norwegian origin, decorated with a phrase that when translated reads “Welcome Friends to my house / Now you’ll drink merrily pass around,” was tagged $1500. This dealer also offered a mechanical bank of a mother eagle and eaglets in its original paint for $1100. When the bank lever is engaged, not only does the coin deposit, but the eagle squawks. The French carved rooster finial was $950.

This folk art stack of books is actually one unit, and the pages can be pulled out as drawers. It was offered by Stephen-Douglas Antiques, Rockingham, Vermont, and Walpole, New Hampshire, for $2800. The stack sits atop a small single-door primitive cupboard in gray/white paint that was tagged $575.

The dealer spaces of Nancy Fishelson and Robert Perry Antiques, both of Orchard Park, New York, melded together at this Hudson event. Nancy’s signature whitewash elements included an 18-drawer apothecary priced at $2400, while the 19th-century Windsor side chairs were $1300 for the pair. The banner weathervane behind the chairs was $475, and the grain-painted blanket chest featuring the initials “MP” and an interesting scalloped base was tagged $950.

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

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