Antique Spectacular ends today in Rock Island
By Doug Schorpp
Gwen LeFevre of Stockholm, Wis., says it takes time and effort to be a good bargain shopper for antique items.
She should know. She does about 20 antique shows a year. That includes this weekend’s Antique Spectacular at the QCCA Expo Center in Rock Island that concludes today.
About 65 dealers are on hand, selling various antiques and collectibles, including primitives, toys, clocks, silver, glassware, pottery, postcards, books, jewelry, paper, vintage clothing, textiles and lace, quilts, all eras of furniture, silver pattern matching, country, and more.
Her specialty is Americana and textiles. She started collecting in the 1970s.
“One thing that I learned in this business is that nothing is predictable,” she said. “You never know what is going to sell. You have to bring a cross-section of what you have.”
Some of her most unique items include a wooden salt container that hangs on the wall and dates back to 1780. Inside, there is a tin liner. The salt was stored inside and dropped down to a small drawer from which the baker in the house would retrieve the salt for baking. Her price is $395.
She also was selling an 1800s card container made out of burl wood, various button baby shoes dating back to 1900 and even a hand-carved Norwegian tankard, or large drinking cup, that dates to about 1890 to 1900.
“There are a lot of bargains, but you have to know what you are doing, and look,” she said. “And it takes a lot of reading.”
Frank and Carole LoPiccolo of Chicago have been in the antique and collectibles business for 40 years. They sell a myriad of things, from restored telephones, discontinued Toby mugs, pewter ice cream molds, tin chocolate molds, and extensive brass collection and coronation memorabilia from Queen Victoria to Elizabeth II.
Their large booth kept busy Saturday with interested customers.
“Business goes up and down, but we still have the same excitement,” Frank said.
Shirley Beck of Mediapolis, Iowa, had plenty of help in her booth. Her son and daughter-in-law, Allen and Michele Beck of Davenport, also were on hand to help sell items ranging from jewelry, tobacco canisters, and lots of old advertising posters. Those included Nehi soda, Finck’s Red Bar Overalls, Rinso detergent, Carlings Ale, Hires Root Beer, Granger Pipe Tobacco, Lithiated Lemon Soda, and Pepsi-Cola and Coca-Cola.
Shirley says she collects them “one sign at a time from auctions or whatever.”
Her collection also has various business calendars, from a 1916 Bettendorf manufacturing calendar featuring the rail car company that the city was named after, and also John Deere.
Bill and Mary Anne Pritchard of Davenport, enjoyed their afternoon at the event.
“This is a quality show. That’s something you see fewer and fewer of,” Bill said. “There is a wide selection in here and professional dealers.”
He purchased a 1920 oil painting a Metlach beer stein, circa 1910.
How long have they been collecting?
“We are too old to be collectors,” Bill said.
“We are selective collectors,” Mary Anne added. “We have to be wise because we are running out of space.”