Review and Photos by R. Scudder Smith
YORK, PENN. – Jim Burk and his Greater York Antiques Show & Sale thrived for many years, during what might just be called the good old days, including 1996 when his show ran for the first three days of November at the Memorial Building on the York Fairgrounds.
On day one, November 1, there was a steady rain and, in Jim’s words, as he stood at the front door of the building looking out toward the parking lot, “Looks like we will have a record crowd for opening day as the line stretches way out into the parking lot and it is a sea of umbrellas.” And it turned out to be a record crowd that started to line up at the door four hours before the noon opening. Hours on the first two days were noon to 8 pm, Sunday from noon to 5 pm. Admission to the show was $5 per person or $4 with a show ad, and this show was a benefit for the Y’s Men’s Club of the York YMCA.
There was a small area just inside the main entrance to the show, room enough for two dealers on each side. The Herrs of Lancaster, Penn., and the Cunninghams of Denver, Penn., shared the left, with a large showing of coverlets, and Ron E. Van Anda and Sandra J. Whitson of Lititz, Penn., on the right, with a collection of figural napkin rings, patriotic jewelry and interesting folk art. Just inside the large exhibition space, to the left, Wayne Pratt of Woodbury, Conn., set up a large booth filled with furniture, paintings, mechanical banks, folk art and a large collection of wooden hat molds that Wayne sold during the first hour of the show on Friday.
Thomas Pepper of Lewisburg, Penn., brought a touch of the Adirondacks to the show with a collection of fishing rods, a deer mount and rustic tables, while Samuel Herrup of Sheffield, Mass., offered a range of furniture from a New England Queen Anne drop leaf table to a Pennsylvania paint-decorated corner cupboard. The towns mentioned for the dealers are their locations in 1996.
Olde Hope Antiques, New Hope, Penn., showed a prancing horse weathervane and a set of six hoop back Windsor side chairs. Pat and Ed were in a very good mood as they had just been accepted to do the Winter Antiques Show in New York City the coming January.
Quilts were plentiful at York with a star pattern quilt in the booth of David Helfrich, Seven Valleys, Penn.; James Kilvington of Dover, Del., hung a basket quilt for all to see; Raymond Roberts, New Cumberland, Penn., showed a quilt with an eagle on a branch in the center of a quilt and an Amish quilt took center stage in the booth of Smith & Wanda Johnson of Lititz, Penn.
As the show opened a man was overheard telling his wife that “the red tags come up so quickly at this show so I am not going to run around as I have done in the past.”
One exhibitor gave us a call the Monday following the show to mention that “this show was busy from start to finish on Friday, and we were still selling on Sunday.”
So that’s how it was, 1996, in York, Pennsylvania.