Antique Spectacular Ends Today
By Tamara Fudge
Looking for an oriental rug, gold watch, vintage postcard or antique Christmas ornament?
You’re in luck this weekend. Seventy-one antique dealers from nine states have set up shop at the QCCA in Rock Island for the semi-annual three-day Antique Spectacular, which concludes today.
Attendees can sign up for a special drawing to win a year’s subscription to Collector’s Journal or prizes from one of four local shops: Housman’s, The Cottage, Vintage Varieties and Fred & Ethel’s. Participating in the drawing will also put shoppers on the mailing list and receive a $1 coupon for the next local show.
Dealer Gary Jorgensen of Kansas City travels to about 40 shows a year and enjoys the Antique Spectacular here in Rock Island. “This is one of the best shows of its kind,” said Jorgensen, who has been in the business for about 40 years. “There’s high quality and reasonable prices.”
German pin cushion dolls, vintage perfume bottles, and marbles of all sorts are just a small part of what Jorgensen sells.
“This is a part time job that turned into a full time job,” explained Gary Pfeiffer of Sioux City. His wares included 1930s items such as a 6 inch tall Singer sewing machine, a toy wheelbarrow, and a toy tin jalopy by Marx with adjustable front wheels. He also has 1930s dishware from the Jewel Tea Company of Barrington, Ill.
Some of the dealers regularly sell at antique malls rather than travel every weekend to shows. Cheryl Johnston of Cambridge, Ill., participates regularly in the Antique Spectacular, but regularly sells in the Galesburg Antique’s Mall and looks forward to one opening soon in Geneseo, Ill.
Among her prized antiques for sale are a Stickley tea cart and a large bronze statuette/lamp signed by French Auguste Moreau (1834-1917).
Not everyone buys for themselves. On Saturday, Johnston sold a metal dollhouse to a woman who plans to give it to a neighbor’s daughter.
A carousel horse guarded the booth of Dick Taber of Durant, Iowa. “I understand it came from a carousel from Iowa City, from down by the river,” said Taber, who dates it to around 1910. He demonstrated an 1890 Symphonion music box, a heavy wooden walnut casing with 19 interchangeable metal disks of about 15 inches in diameter.
Taber specializes in children’s items, such as cast-iron toy stoves — “I’ve had about 75 through the years,” he said — and Big Little Books, with titles such as “Perry Winkle and the Rinkey-Dinks.”
The Antique Spectacular shows are produced twice a year in Rock Island by Kimberly Schilling. Her Melting Pot Productions now includes one Des Moines show and two in Council Bluffs, Iowa, each year.
Estimated attendance this weekend is 3,000 to 4,000.
“Our spring numbers are always higher than in the fall,” said Schilling. “People are always ready to get out and do something.”
If you go
The spring Antique Spectacular at the QCCA, 2621 4th Ave., Rock Island wraps up today, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission is $6 and parking is free at the QCCA.