Country Spirit Antique Show
A country spirit antique show brings out a crisp breeze that brings with it an almost autumnal mood. It’s better to be cool than hot, and the air smells sweet with just enough hint of new grass and vibrant green leaves.
Mark and Jill Mattingly founded the country spirit antique show in Arcola 13 years ago; it started with just one building but has since grown to house 50 dealers from 17 states, according to Mattingly.
At the show, visitors could find an array of antiques besides Americana and primitives. Some booths focused on particular categories like hooked rugs or textiles while others offered something for everyone.
Hooked rugs and textiles have become increasingly popular, particularly among younger buyers. These pieces feature hand-hooked designs that replicate early patterns, with some artisans even creating kits of dyed wool for creative individuals to craft their own rugs.
At the show, fiber arts and needlework was showcased. Items included quilts, dolls, weaving, toys and embroidery – with some vendors selling stitchery items like framed pen-and-inks or home-made soaps.
At the show, primitive glass was a prominent theme. On display were an array of bottles in both decorative and antique forms from Ross Swiechowicz of Marier’s Antique Flea Market in Palmer. He has been in the glass business for 43 years and offered an impressive selection of antique and vintage bottles.
He has been collecting bottles since he was seven years old, and he’s been selling his finds at his family’s flea market for years.
Swiechowicz offers a vast selection of glass and stoneware pieces, such as small containers for holding candles or oil can collections. He also specializes in old oil can collections and miniature bottles.
At the show, numerous local antique and folk artists showcased their creations. These artisans crafted hand-made lace, stitchery, as well as other home-made or vintage items.
Furniture was well represented in the show, featuring Chippendale-style pieces as well as other elegant late 18th and early-19th century neo-classical styles.
Another distinctive specialty was crafted wood furniture. Some displays featured intricate carvings and beautiful woodwork.