"Valentines & Easters Past"
A Free Exhibit at the
43rd Winter WADA Antiques Show
February 3 & 4, 2017
Waukesha (Milwaukee) Wisconsin
By: Debbie McArdle with David Eppelheimer
Folks familiar with the semi-annual shows produced by the Wisconsin Antiques Dealers Association, aka WADA, are familiar with dealers David Eppelheimer of Elves Antiques, (Grand Rapids, Michigan) and Scott Tagliapietra of Scott’s Antiques (Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin), both specialists in “holiday” antiques.
On February 3 & 4, 2017 David & Scott will host “Valentines & Easters Past” for those who attend the 43rd Winter Wisconsin Antiques Dealers Association Show & Sale at the Waukesha Expo Center. Attendees will be astounded to see the rarity, quality and variety of objects assembled by these top collectors. Both gentlemen will be on hand to answer questions and to share knowledge of this fascinating field of collecting.
Come see their collections!
To prepare us for the big event, David revealed how it all started for him:
“My Valentine collecting began thirty years ago with the purchase of three large, early 20th Century Valentines at a local estate sale; a fold-down shop with windows and doors that opened as the front was pulled down, a windmill, and an airplane. When the wings of the airplane were pulled open, two children popped up in the pilot's seat! It remains my favorite. On the back is written "To Billy, from Grandpa and Grandma". It dates from about 1930.”
David continues, “As a Kindergarten teacher I showed these elaborate masterpieces to my young students. Our theme for February was transportation. So I sought out Valentines featuring airplanes and blimps, sailboats and ships, and automobiles and carriages. Eventually, I shared them with the whole school by displaying them in a large hallway showcase. Though I retired seven years ago, I still return to share these gems of decades past in that showcase.”
Surprisingly, David has observed the most prominent color is not red, but light blue!
“I am fortunate,” David adds, “to have my mother's Valentines from her Valentine’s Day exchanges at school. However, these 1930's vintage tokens, though cherished, are not the focus of my collecting. Instead as I learned more about Valentines I sought earlier elaborate fold-outs, and I became interested in the pop-outs of the late 1800's and earlier ephemera . . . a term used for paper collectibles. Although many Valentines have survived because they can be easily stowed in a drawer or cedar chest, it is collectors who have been intrigued by the artistry, engineering, and ingenuity of Valentine makers of the past that have succeeded in preserving these delicate messages of love and affection.”
“Although my antique collecting began and continues to be with Christmas, other holidays caught my eye, as happens to many.” At an early date David noticed with each new year, Easter and Valentine items would appear in antiques shop windows as vintage Christmas decorations were packed away. “Easter items are mostly three dimensional compared to Valentines. Plaster and Paper Maché candy containers, celluloid rattles, and figures of rabbits, chicks, ducks and eggs were used in Easter baskets and as gifts of the sacred holiday. A candy container is a figure, such as a rabbit, whose body separated to disclose a space inside for treats. The head may come off, or a sleeve in the base could be slid out, but could be replaced to "close" the container. A figure that is truly a candy container is worth more than a similar figure that is not.”
Collecting Easter, Valentines and other holidays is a journey that can begin and be sustained with limited investment.
“Some of the most sought after objects are scarce mechanical Easter toys. Toy makers found an eager market as each holiday arrived throughout the year and Easter was no exception. Now worth sometimes thousands of dollars, these are the ultimate for collectors with resources to acquire them. Yet, collecting Easter and Valentines and other holidays is a journey that can begin and be sustained with limited investment because the beauty and charm of these treasures can be found in even the most modest examples. The imagination of the makers can be renewed in our own as we ponder the joy of those first recipients.”
EXPECT THE UNUSUAL! From vintage Valentines to antique cupboards, wander the three large rooms at the show featuring the Midwest’s top dealers from 6 states, each offering a choice variety of authentic antiques. The Waukesha County Expo Center’s Forum Building, 1000 Northview Road, Waukesha, WI 53188, is the home of this semi-annual event. Show hours are Friday, 10-8 and Saturday, 10-5. In addition to the good food customers have come to expect, a traditional Wisconsin Fish Fry will be served late Friday afternoon and evening so bring your appetite!
Also at the show, antiques (more than 100 years old) and vintage (50-99 years old) items will be collected by the Friends of the Wisconsin Historical Society for their biennial "30th Star Benefit Antiques Auction". Tax deductible receipts will be provided to all donors. The Wisconsin Antiques Dealers Association is proud to serve as the founding & continuing sponsor of this event and has donated the booth for collection of objects for the fund-raising auction.
The Wisconsin Antiques Dealers Association is a not-for-profit organization that produces two antiques shows annually. Your admission of $7.00 funds college scholarships as well as grants to Wisconsin historic and heritage groups. A $1.00 discount coupon for admission to the Antiques Show is available on this website under "Discount Coupon".
ATM on premises