Gloucester County Festival Of Antiques

The second annual June Festival of Antiques took place on the 14th at the Gloucester County 4-H Fairgrounds in Mullica Hill, New Jersey. The show was promoted by The Yellow Garage Antiques, also of Mullica Hill. Some twenty-five years ago there was a popular but short-lived show at the fairgrounds known as “Antiques at Mullica Hill” promoted by Don and Joyce Coffman. Three years ago Don and Joyce approached Steve Lipman and Tracy Dodge, owners of The Yellow Garage, and asked them if they would like to partner with them on another fairgrounds show. The four dealers came to an agreement and The June Festival of Antiques became a reality. With the untimely passing of Don Coffman, The Yellow Garage became the sold promoters of the event.

The 2008 edition of the show brought just under 100 dealers from all over the east to the Fairgrounds. Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina, Florida, Delaware, and New Jersey were well represented with dealers carrying merchandise from all categories and price ranges. Country and formal furniture from the 18th through 20th centuries was abundant throughout the show. Along with the country furniture, patrons found a bounty of Americana, including a large selection of blue decorated stoneware, redware, yellowware, baskets, quilts, weathervanes, folk art, samplers and lots of items in old paint. In addition, there was tons of jewelry, fine art, sculpture, lighting, Victoriana, glassware, china, ephemera, clocks, and more. “This was the buying opportunity of the year for the area” stated Lipman. “Like last year’s show, the crowd took advantage of having so many quality items in one venue. A few dealers were practically sold out by noon.”

Two of those dealers were Patrick Murray of Brick, New Jersey, and Steve and Carol Redler of Olde Country Antiques of Hightstown, New Jersey. The Redlers were set-up under cover in Pavilion One and sold both furniture and smalls. Likewise, Murray cleared out his inventory of country furniture, decoys and stoneware that he had set-up under a tent out on the lawn. Lancaster dealers Steven Smoot had a very good show, selling several big-ticketed items. Smoot said he would return next year. George Allen and Gordon Wyckoff of Raccoon Creek Antiques at Oley Forge, Oley, Pennsylvania, had another really good year at the fairgrounds and said they are already looking forward to next year’s show. New Jersey decoy specialist Dick Gove of Port Republic Decoys did the show for the first time and was pleased. He requested a bigger space for 2009. Similar comments were made by Marty Greenberg of Kingston, New Jersey, Mike McShane of Rehoboth, Delaware, and George Hawriluk of Centerton, New Jersey.

Gring’s Antiques of Ocean City, New Jersey, and Roger Crawford of Stony Run, Pennsylvania, reported excellent sales on a par with what they had done at last year’s show. Linda Grier of Langhorn, Pennsylvania, returned to her space in the second pavilion and sold very well. Other first time June Festival dealers of note were Keith and Diane Fryling of Green Lane, Pennsylvania, Susan Golashovsky of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and Lynn Oppenheimer of Langhorn, Pennsylvania.

The three pavilions had many quality dealers including Gary Promey of Atwater, Ohio, and Scott Brasseur of Prospect, Pennsylvania. Promey carries a wonderful inventory of high quality folk art and Americana and does many shows throughout the year, including The Greater York Show. He was scheduled to do the Antiques in the Valley show the following week. Likewise Scott Brasseur, who can also be found at The Black Angus in Adamstown, Pennsylvania, on Sundays. Brasseur commented that he liked the easy set-up and the one day format at a reasonable booth rent.

Boggs Boynton is the handle Rob Stevens gives his wholesale operation in Clarksboro, New Jersey. Stevens again had the front corner in the second pavilion and bought and sold well. Stevens also owns Stevens Antiques in Frazer, Pennsylvania, a high-end retail shop on The Mainline. Firehouse Antiques of Galena, Maryland, returned to the show as did Nancy Holleny, Denton, Maryland; Len and Mary Benson, Blackwood, New Jersey; Jan and Ken Silveri of Hamburg, Pennsylvania; and Martin Webster of Delhi, New York. The Bensons reported a sale of a galloping horse weathervane with Indian rider and Webster sold a colorful braided and hooked runner.

Carol and George Meekins, Country Treasures of Preston, Maryland, sent their son Robbie to the Mullica Hill show while they were in Farmington decorating a booth for Country Home Magazine. Robbie enjoyed the show noting his surprise in the interest in duck decoys in South Jersey. Coming from the Eastern Shore, Robbie hadn’t experienced the New Jersey version of the decoy frenzy which seems stronger than ever.

Lawn spaces were found in two main fields. Returning to the show from last year were country furniture dealers Todd Kibler of Country Antiques Two of Mullica Hill; Suzanne and Michael Cooke of Royal Port Antiques, Salem, New Jersey, and Cecilla Taylor of Oxford, Pennsylvania, to name a few. New to this year’s show on the lawn reporting good sales were Tom Keady of Blairstown, New Jersey; Nancy Fulton and Warren Moser of Point Pleasant, Buck County, Pennsylvania; Joe Bartolomei of Critter Run Antiques, Glen Mills, Pennsylvania; and Elliot and Barbara Klingman, Chester, Marland. The Klingmans were selling many country items from their home that had been featured in Country Sampler Magazine about a year ago.

Fine art dealer/conservator Chris Smith was set-up with many examples of 19th- and 20th-century works of art. Chris is native to the area and is mentioned several times in the non-fiction book “Brimfield Rush”. The book tells all about the big Massachusetts show and the dealers’ never-ending hunt for the “big score”. “Brimfield Rush” is a good read whether you’ve been to Brimfield or not.

“We had a great group of dealers, and an excellent gate. When you consider that this is only the second year for the show, I think we’ve exceeded our expectations. That said, we expect the show to grow and improve in years to come,” noted Tracy Dodge.

A portion of the proceeds from the show benefited The Harrison Township Historical Society. The group is in charge of the upkeep of The Old Town Hall which is located right next to The Yellow Garage Antiques in the Mullica Hill Historic District.

For more information, contact The Yellow Garage Antiques at (856) 478-0300, or go to www.yellowgarageantiques.com.

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