Purchase Story

Show Benefiting Kerr Memorial Museum Shines in 15th Year

Oakmont Antique Show, Oakmont, Pennsylvania

The 15th annual Oakmont Antique Show was held Saturday and Sunday, March 9 and 10, with a preview party held on Friday night, at the Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pennsylvania, and though the dealers are only 25 strong; there is nothing “only” about this show—be it the location, the participants, or the merch available for purchase.

Let’s talk location. The Oakmont Country Club was established 116 years ago in 1903 and is regarded as the oldest top-ranked golf course in the United States. Think Augusta. Think Pebble Beach. Then think Oakmont. Pretty lofty accolades considering that Oakmont skirts the snow belt. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987, the club is tucked into the Plum and Oakmont suburbs of Pittsburgh.

Truly tucked in.

Driving to the location, attendees found themselves in the tiny burg of Oakmont, climbing up a hill (no surprise there) in two-lane traffic. Single-family homes tightly packed together hugging the roadside as is typical of any Pittsburgh-area neighborhood made this driver question the ability of her GPS to locate a nationally ranked golfing mecca when suddenly the open gates of Oakmont Country Club appeared.

Forget the preconceived notion that the Oakmont Country Club would be found after a long drive in the country. This destination is front and center, a thriving among-the-masses landmark. To keep it in perspective, the Pennsylvania Turnpike separates seven holes (numbers two through eight) from the rest of the course.

Eric Lausch of Eric Lausch Fine Silver, Indianapolis, Indiana, holds two of his favorite pieces from his display, Old Sheffield plate wine coolers priced at $2695 for the pair.

Anne Hall Antique Prints, Sturbridge, Massachusetts, offered images galore, from chickens and moths to this collection of Verschaffelt camellia prints priced at $250 each. “These were originally issued by subscription in a book format,” Hall explained, and they are now wall décor ready.

The dealer space of Ligonier Antique Gallery, Greensburg, Pennsylvania, was filled with early furniture and colorful display items. The large pantry with reeded corners and reeding on the door hailed from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and was priced at $3600. The David Walkley (1849-1934) oil on canvas of a fly fisherman was $2750, while the commissioned embroidery from the Spanish-American War of an eagle with a glass eye and an American flag and featuring a painted ship on silk was $750.

However, once the threshold of the entrance has been crossed, the world fades away, and the beauty of the Oakmont Country Club shines. “The Oakmont show is the only non-golf-related event permitted to take place here,” stated Steve White of White & White Antiques, one of the dealer participants at Oakmont. “The show benefits the Kerr Memorial Museum, and the cochairs of the show are members of Oakmont. We are fortunate to have this beautiful, historical facility as the show’s location.”

Jan Shoop, Joan Stewart, and Diana S. Thompson, the 2019 antiques show’s cochairs, were on top of things from go during the event’s preview party held 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Friday, March 8. This was a catered, well-attended affair that kept the cochairs busy shaking hands, giving hugs, and directing attendees through the show.

And all for a good cause. The Kerr Memorial Museum, located on Delaware Avenue in Oakmont, is “a representative house museum of the middle class at the turn of the 20th century,” the show catalog stated, adding, “The Antique Show serves two purposes: to raise funds to maintain the house, allowing us to grow the museum for future generations, and to publicize who we are and what we are about.”

This Art Deco deer, cast and hand finished with gold gilding in its ears and on its hooves, wore a $3200 price tag and was offered by Haig’s of Rochester, Rochester, Michigan.

Advertising “Bickmore’s Gall Cure,” this trifold stand-up display is both colorful and in fantastic condition. It was priced at $675 by Ligonier Antique Gallery, Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

Beat That, a 22" x 29½" oil on canvas by Alexander Rosell (British, 1859-1922), was priced at $4950 by Patrick Hastings English Antiques.

So many paintings. One picture does not suffice; it doesn’t even come close to including all the loveliness in the dealer space of Patrick Hastings English Antiques of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The largest work on the wall, a view of Mont-Saint-Michel Bay in France by Alfred Clint (1807-1883), dated 1869, was tagged $9500.

Information, displays, and representatives of the Kerr Museum Junior Docent Program were also on hand. Dressed in period attire, the young people of the program serve as ambassadors for the museum while gaining knowledge of what it takes to sustain the house and collection.

Hmmm. Getting young people involved and interested in history, their town’s heritage, the importance of the past, and community service all while exposing them to the beauty of antiques—well done, Kerr Memorial Museum.

Paul Polce, the show manager again this year for this Oakmont Country Club event, pointed out how Oakmont is a bit out of the ordinary where the sellers are concerned. “All the dealers are back from last year,” he pointed out. “That’s unheard of. I did need to fill one spot, but that was due to a last-minute cancellation because of illness in one dealer’s family. Dealers do well here and are eager to be a part of Oakmont.”

Rightfully so. The setting is stunning. I was told that the dealer displays were mainly set up in Oakmont’s ballroom, but the well-built, well-placed booths gave the illusion of strolling through the rooms and hallways of a grand home. The layout made sense; the booths were easy to maneuver, and the items up for sale were first-rate.

Brill’s Antiques, Newport News, Virginia, filled its booth with a variety of items, including a circular pine cricket table priced at $675, a circa 1780 English sideboard tagged $4800, an oak gate-leg table at $1150, and a circa 1820 American pine splayed-leg table with pinned construction that wore a $625 price tag. Three blue-and-white lidded porcelain beehive-shaped jars in a design similar to Blue Willow scattered throughout the booth were each tagged $450. The Shenandoah Valley Mennonite heart-of-pine blanket chest with turned feet was $1300.

Mongenas Antiques, Loveland, Ohio, always puts together an eye-catching dealer display. Of special note was the Black Forest hand-carved hall tree featuring two bear cubs and their protective mama bear, priced at $3995.

Some of the very best in the business: the dealers of the Oakmont Antique Show posed before the doors opened for Friday night’s preview party.

Harley Trice Art & Antiques, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, had a little bit of everything. The rugs included (on top) a circa 1900 Caucasian Kilim rug from Kuba, 5'6" x 11', tagged $6500, and a circa 1880 Seichur rug from Azerbaijan, 3'6" x 10', below, that was $5500. The circa 1860 oil on canvas still life with grapes by William Evans Dutton Stuart (British/Australian, 1826-1873) was $3600, while the circa 1890 still life of a hanging hare by Albert F. King (1854-1945) from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was $9000. The circa 1820 Salem paint-decorated rocker stamped “S.S. Howe, S Gardner, Massachusetts” was $2000, and the Sheraton mahogany and satinwood inlaid card table was priced at $4000. The circa 1825 blown and cut-glass compote by Bakewell, Page & Bakewell, Pittsburgh, was $1200.

When asked what he loved best in his booth, John Kroeck of Sewickley Antiques, Leetsdale, Pennsylvania, quickly pointed to this tiger swallowtail butterfly and parrot tulip image by Andrey Avinoff (Russian/American, 1884-1949). According to biographical information online, Avinoff was a Russian entomologist and the director of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History of Pittsburgh for 20 years, from 1926 to 1946. He established himself as one of the world’s greatest butterfly collectors and is also well known for his paintings. This work was priced at $3500.

Much thought went in to the dealer participants, with a focus on attempting to have “something for everyone.” Books offered by Kevin T. Ransom of Amherst, New York, were at the first booth to greet show attendees as they stepped into the venue, and many patrons immediately perused the selections at hand. Frank Shaia of Shaia Oriental Rugs, Williamsburg, Virginia, filled two spaces with his extensive array of rugs available at a variety of prices.

Artworks—prints, pastels, watercolors, and oils—were everywhere, with two dealer spaces making art their main focus. Anne Hall Antique Prints, Sturbridge, Massachusetts, offered beautiful 1855 Verschaffelt botanical prints for $250 each. Patrick Hastings English Antiques, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, filled a booth with outstanding artwork in a variety of sizes. Choosing one to discuss is rough, but who doesn’t love a spirited card game as crafted in oil on canvas by Alexander Rosell (British, 1859-1922). Beat That was tagged $4950.

Along with the artwork were wonderful examples of furniture from all eras—from the most primitive to the most fine—and a good number were “brown” furniture, which appears to be making a comeback. More on that in a bit.

Early American Antiques, Canfield, Ohio, offered a Queen Anne curly maple tea table in its original surface for $2950, while Ligonier Antiques Gallery, Greensburg, Pennsylvania, featured a circa 1810 Lancaster, Pennsylvania, cupboard or pantry having reeding on the corners and door and large “H” hinges, priced at $3600.

White & White Antiques, Skaneateles, New York, brought a circa 1760 four-drawer Chippendale bureau made of walnut, chestnut, and white pine, possibly Connecticut, priced at $3795. The 33" tall case sat on an ogee bracket foot base.

Judson and Karen Fults of Signature Antiques N Art, Lakeview, Ohio, offered a 1790-1810 walnut Chippendale chest with four graduated drawers with ogee bracket feet and a molded lip; it came from sale of the Peter Chillingworth collection in October 2018. Thought to be wearing its original surface, the chest was tagged $3450.

Promoting interest in brown furniture is Karen Fults’s forte. “I try to point out to the millennials, who tend to buy flat-pack furniture from Ikea, the joy of buying old furniture as opposed to new, that purchasing antiques is the ultimate way to ‘go green,’ and I feel the younger generation is coming back to antiques,” she added. “They love seeing the wood grain and are especially attracted to curly maple, but any kind of visible wood grain is a draw. I try to instill in these younger people how ‘earth friendly’ it is to buy older furniture, and how by doing so they are in fact becoming a caretaker of something with a history.”

Going green by buying brown at an antiques show held at a National Historic Landmark run by an organization teaching the importance of our past to the next generation. Yep, the 15th annual Oakmont Antique Show was the complete package.

For more information, visit (www.facebook.com/oakmontantiqueshow) or (www.kerrmuseum.com/antiqueshow).

The sum of $3000 was needed to take home this Scottish tall-case clock featuring hand-painted images representing the four seasons on each corner of the clock’s face, the image of two lovers about to duck under a plaid blanket, and the inscription “Come Under my Plaidie,” which is actually the name of a Scottish folk song. Listen to and read the lyrics at (www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sl8QHuM0xpc). This clock was offered by Rush Antiques and Rush Appraisals, Van Dyke, Michigan.

Ponzi’s Antiques, Trumansburg, New York, the dealer space of the Oakmont show’s manager, Paul Polce, had some wonderful items, including these smalls. The set of four circa 1920 painted figures of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, Buster Keaton, and Charlie Chaplin was tagged $1695. Equally as charming and probably from the same era was the carved and painted horse and police officer priced at $1795. The English Hepplewhite miniature chest in mahogany and wearing an old finish could be had for $695, while the price for the stacked pantry boxes varied per box. At top the oval green example was $295, as was the round green box below; the round blue-green box was $475; and the largest box on the bottom, in gray over red paint, was tagged $395.

Early American Antiques, Canfield, Ohio, offered a square-top Queen Anne curly maple tea table for $2950, a hooked rug featuring cats for $1200, and another hooked rug (partially shown) of a horse and driver for $450. Artwork included a folk art work of a horse titled Jenny found in New York state that was priced at $650. A pair (one shown) of French metal bistro chairs was $475 for the pair, and the Pittsburgh store tin on the table was $1350. It is labeled “SP Armstrong Wholesale Grocer, 41 S. Diamond St. Allegheny, Pa.” and was for ten pounds of ginger.

Paul Haig, proprietor of Haig’s of Rochester, Rochester, Michigan, stands with an 1890 Anglo-Indian miniature desk decorated with ivory inlay. Made in India for the British market in 1879, the desk was priced at $7500.

This trio of timepieces was offered by DoveTail Antiques, Williamsburg, Virginia. From left to right: an 1895 Ansonia Clock Company “La Rochelle” Royal Bonn (German) porcelain clock was $1495; a circa 1900 crystal regulator Japy Frères & Cie brass clock was $1695, and a 1904 Ansonia Clock Company “La Gard” clock with a Royal Bonn porcelain case was tagged $995.

Show manager Paul Polce greeted visitors to his booth while standing next to a circa 1820 Federal country New England paint-decorated dressing table in a nice small size and unusual paint scheme. The table was priced to sell at $1295.

Originally published in the June 2019 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2019 Maine Antique Digest

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