Longest-running antiques show continues in area

OBSERVER Photo by Tonja Dodd. Johnathan Courtis of Lakewood shows off two Oz books he purchased at the Westfield Antiques Show Sunday in Eason Hall.

WESTFIELD — Westfield has hosted the nation’s longest-running antiques show.

Twenty-four antiques dealers sold their wares at the 79th annual Westfield Antiques Show & Sale in Eason Hall Saturday and Sunday. Westfield’s own historic building, Eason Hall has been the site for all shows, starting in 1938.

Antiques and vintage enthusiast Jonathan Courtis was pleased with a purchase he made at the show and sale. Courtis of Lakewood collects the Oz book series that was started by L. Frank Baum in 1900. Courtis picked up a dozen or so of the early edition books to fill in his personal collection. He got the Oz book bug after watching the original MGM “Wizard of Oz” film and shortly thereafter finding the books at a flea market with his parents as a youngster.

John Paul Wolfe, show manager, chooses dealers from around the region in hopes to get a variety of high-quality product. This year, out-of-state dealers were from Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Many dealers from Western and Central New York, as well as Westfield, also exhibited.

Wolfe stated that bringing dealers from various parts of the region showcases a broader perspective on antiques that patrons may not otherwise see. Wolfe proudly stated that local Westfield antiques stores benefit as well and have banner weekends because of all the antique zealots who come for the stellar show.

Rosemarie Riddell of Webster has been in business since 1976 and has been coming to the Westfield show since 1993. She primarily offers jewelry and decorative arts.

She appreciated all the vacationers that came to the show, many of whom have become annual recurring customers of hers.

Patron Linda Kardos of Stuart, Florida found many treasures to add to her newly purchased condominium at Chautauqua Institution. She found an exquisite tablecloth for her front porch table and an American Reverse Painted mirror perfect for a nook at the condo. This was the first time she had been to the show and came along with longtime patron and friend, Judy Katz of Buffalo.

Dealer Deborah Fisher of Lebanon, Ohio noted that the Westfield Antiques Show is “a lovely show” that she has found to be very successful for her business. Fisher offers 18th- and 19th-century high-country or Americana antiques. Her favorite finds include quilts as she feels you “can’t put a price tag” on the amount of skill, time and love that go into such pieces.

Another Americana dealer, Bob Stutz of Dovetail Joint Antiques, was thrilled to be at the show for the first time. According to Stutz, this show is very well-known in the dealer circles and he has been requesting a booth for several years. Stutz attends 40 shows a year throughout the Ohio Valley region. He sells many collectibles such as Toby Jugs by Royal Doulton and Beatrix Potter storybook figurines.

Stutz stated that people treasure these items because they are “something of high-quality that add color and charm to one’s home.” He went on to explain the China is classified as “collectible” because production of new items is discontinued. These two lines are special too because they are completely hand-painted and made in England.

Westfield is known for its history and the perfect location for a summer show, centered between Chautauqua County’s two largest lakes and tourist activity. Westfield is also the hub for the show host and benefactor, the Chautauqua County Historical Society. The McClurg Museum located in the center of the village exhibits many artifacts and treasures for the historical society.

The 24 dealers at the show offered fashion, dishware, art, jewelry, furniture, dolls and books, among many other relics.