Antique Spectacular fuels memories of simpler times

ROCK ISLAND — The minute Heather Kopp walked through the doors of the QCCA Expo Center Saturday morning, the hunt was on.

She and hundreds of others had their work cut out for them at the 18th Fall Antique Spectacular going on this weekend at the Expo Center in Rock Island.

“You don’t see this stuff at the mall,” said Ms. Kopp’s husband, Chris.

Like many other attendees, the Aledo couple has frequented the Spectacular over the years because of the quality and variety of the available items.

“(We) just like to look at the different antiques (and) anything old,” Ms. Kopp said.

Going through all of the items is the best part, she said. “That’s the fun of it, (the) picking,” she said.

Going in with an open mind and no real game plan seems to suit prospective buyers best.

“They have a big selection” with several vendors, said Sandra Haywood, of LeClaire. To make it through successfully, Ms. Haywood said she circles the room twice before she leaves.

While she never comes to buy a specific item, some of her favorites to collect include Flow Blue Dishes that have what she described as a blurry, pretty blue and white pattern to them. “Blue is my favorite color,” she said.

Ms. Haywood said she has become more interested in antiquing over the past seven years or so, but she has “always liked them.”

Antiques just have “a warm feel to them,” she said.

Antiques dealerMaggie Vincent, of Bettendorf, described the Spectacular and antiques shows as a whole as “a sharing type of experience.” She said she has been into antiquing for the past 30 years or so, and customers always want to tell her their stories.

The items are filled with memories, she said. Customers often stop at her booth and talk about the various items she has on display, remembering their mothers and grandmothers, she said. “They’re shopping for their childhood.”

That’s exactly what Ed Quartell of Davenport was doing while his wife, Donna, was off in search of pottery. He was scoping out antique toys.

They make you think back to the days when you would play with them as a kid, he said.

Wandering around and looking at the treasures lends the “opportunity to basically not worry about today and fall back into those times when life was a little bit slower,” and people weren’t in such of a big hurry, he said.

It also was a time when”people were more formal; their houses were more formal,” said dealerLynn Rehberger, Highland, Ill., of Antiques II.

“Possessions were hard to get, so they were prized, she said.

Ms. Rehberger has been a dealer for 25 years and became interested in antiques and their stories years ago because her aunt’s big, old house was filled with old things.

“Everything had a function,” she said, such as special dishes for salt and vases for celery. “It was a different time,” she said.

She enjoys talking with people, spreading and hearing their stories. It’s fun for her to watch customers on the hunt.

“It’s the thrill (of it),” she said. “They like finding the rare things.”

And when they find them at her booth?

“I’m so excited,” she said. “I made their day.”

The show draws hundreds of people each year for thefurniture, clothes, jewelry and accessories, figurines, art, pottery, stoneware, books, primitives, silver, glassware, china, toys, advertising, marbles, rugs and more.

Going to antique shows “is better than going to a museum because you can touch,” she said. “What a better way to spend a day than waltzing through and learning about history?”

By Laura Anderson Shaw,