Reviews and photos by Madelia Hickman Ring
SCHOHARIE VILLAGE, NY – When work assignments require travel out of town to remote locations, hopefully an easy commute, in good weather. If we can discover some of the local flavor, so much the better. This was the case on Saturday, September 25, when we headed north for the 45th annual ‘Antiques in Schoharie’ fair, a two-day event (including the next day, Sunday, September 26) presented by the Schoharie Colonial Heritage Association. for the benefit of – and preserved – at the Schoharie Valley Railroad Museum and the Palatine House Museum from 1743. The show’s canteen kitchen offerings, made locally by volunteers and sold to benefit the organization, are mentioned in the presale promotion so there was, at the very least, the promise of something tasty.
Usually held twice a year, this was the first show held in person since Covid-19 required the closure of both 2020 editions and the spring 2021 edition. The show is directed by Ruth Anne Wilkinson, whose family is at Schoharie for five generations. She was so happy that the show could take place for the fall edition that she “was so excited that I called all the dealers myself”.
âIt was an absolutely fabulous show,â said Wilkinson, speaking with Antiques and Arts Weekly after the end of the show. âWe got praise from the people who came. Everyone loves the location and the opening of the (railway) museum is an added attraction. Most of our dealers have come back, but we have had a few new ones who want to come back. We sold all of our food, which we never do, and had about 350 more visitors than usual. It was a shock that so many people came out after Covid, but surely they didâ¦ and they were buying! One dealer who has been with us from the start said that in the 45 years he has done this show this has been the best yet.
Wilkinson owns Generations, A Consignment Shop, located within walking distance of the Railway Museum and Exhibition Grounds; she also had a stall in the dairy building where she quickly sold a variety of things, including coats and furniture from an 18th century house in Schoharie that had arrived just before the show (one coat had a tag sold moments after the show opens).
âI sold furniture all weekend. As you know the furniture has been really slow lately so that was great.
Wilkinson said most of the dealers are from New York state, although she has a few from Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania. She also noted that she believed most of the buyers were from New York State, especially the capital region around Albany.
Lynn Chrin, Partridge Hollow Antiques, lives a short drive from the Canadian border in Milton, Vermont. She specializes in chocolate molds and attributes her love for them to her early childhood who grew up in Hershey, Penn. Browsing her shelves of shiny molds, which takes up less than half the space of the Creamery Building booth she shares with her husband’s Victorian silver offerings, is an education in the molds themselves. When asked what was the rarest piece she had brought, she didn’t hesitate to point out a solid three piece turkey mold that had been made by Epplesheimer in New York for just one year, in 1920. She had discovered it in Pennsylvania in June and said it was one of only five she had ever dealt with in her career.
Although Chrin didn’t sell the turkey mold during the show, she did find a buyer for a $ 900 German teddy bear mold, her best seller.
âIt was a really good show,â she said, forwarding us after the show. âWe were very happy that attendance increased because people were worried. We send cards to our local customers and around 85% of them have shown up and bought from us.
Gail Wilkins was next to the Chrins and specializes in early American decorating accessories and painted furniture. A painted Scandinavian blanket box was prominently next to several textiles that had been hung on the wall, including a crazy quilt that she had found locally around 30 years ago but had just released for sale. A children’s rope bed that Wilkins had found in Maine was complete with a rope key and was filled with colorful cotton quilts and blankets.
âWe had a great show and a lot of the dealers heard that the show was a big hit for them too,â Wilkins said after the show. âWe sold a large hooked rug, a wooden and iron sign, a painted blanket box and many small decorative items. We were happy to sell to new and existing customers. There were strong sales for us, and it was a well-organized show. “
The last dealer to be exposed in the dairy was Richard Greene, who was making his Schoharie show debut. The Providence, RI, fine art dealer had framed – not framed – works in a variety of mediums, but he was careful to point out the exaggerated artistic and handcrafted background of the portrait of a young girl he found. at auction. He said it wasn’t signed, but he thought it was from England, around the 1920s.
Greene also had a box of prints, all with archival rugs, which he said a lot of people enjoyed browsing and was an easy way for potential clients to engage, with resulting sales.
âLike every dealer I know, I really like the buying aspect of a dealership. I got to my booth early and took the time to walk around the show, thinking about birthdays and holidays. I found a number of gifts for family members that reflect their individual interests and thought “what a nice and civilized way to shop for Christmas unlike big box stores.” I would add that I managed to find neat little items at modest prices. The Schoharie salon had a lot of great little antiques.
Jim Loudon, from Oneonta, NY, was also exhibiting at the show for the first time. Loudon, a railroad historian, is particularly knowledgeable about railroad history in New York State and is a co-founder of the Leatherstocking Railway Historical Society at the Charlotte Valley Railroad in Cooperstown, NY. He wrote several books on New York State Regional Railways, all of which he had for sale at the show.
Bob Mock was installed in the weigh station and had been busy for the first hour of the show; several labels sold were spotted at the Mockingbird Period and Decorative Antiques booth in Niskayuna, NY.
In the Mill Building, new salesmen Soheil “Sammy” and Farrah Sasanian of Soheil Oriental Rugs had a colorful setup. Sammy said he did the show because it came at a good time for him and, after making sales, said he was happy with the way he did and would come back.
Among the antiques for which Schoharie is perhaps best known are the painted blanket chests – usually in a blue-green hue with floral decoration in the center of the facade, borders on the sides and the couple’s initials. who originally owned them. So, it was nice to see that Rexford, NY, Willow Springs Perennial Antiques dealer Nancy Douglass had one. It had the initials “J&G” on it, as well as a large inscription on the back that said “Jacob Cass / Knowersville / Albany Co. NY.” She had found it recently in New Hampshire and it was the first time she had shown it. While she was interested in trading, at the time of publication it was unsold.
âThe show was really lovely and we had very good attendance. The customers seemed extremely interested, and it’s always nice. It’s a small show but in such a beautiful setting; it’s one of the shows that I love to do. I sold to all the new customers, which is interesting. I sold several pieces of Staffordshire to a lady who always comes to the salon but has never bought me before. My bucket bench was sold to a customer in New Jersey, and a couple bought a cow weather vane.
The dates for the spring show have yet to be set, but Wilkinson believed it would take place, not in March as he always has, but in early summer, and in the same location as the show. fall. More information will be announced at www.schoharieheritage.org.
Coverage of the show would be incomplete without a visit to the canteen to see if the hype over the menu offerings was justified. We are happy to report that a slice of raspberry pie was delicious and hit the spot before we got home.
It’s hard work, but someone has to do it.