The Early Owego Antique Center is a multi-vendor marketplace of quality antiques in the heart of downtown Owego, open from 10-6 every day except Tuesdays.
Here’s a picture from the May “meet the dealers” event. We had a good turnout, but unfortunately didn’t remember to snap a picture until some folks had left, but here are some of our wonderful dealers!
May Art Walk Events: “Spring Fling” at the Early Owego Antique Center
Friday May 17th
6:00 – 8:00pm Meet the Dealers
6:30 – 8:00pm “The Royal Blues” big band
Saturday May 18th
2:00 pm – Dr. Christopher Wright lectures on ““Earliest Forms of Photography with a display of Period Cameras and Lenses”.
MEET THE DEALERS: The EarlyOwegoAntiqueCenter will be holding a fun and fact filled “Spring Fling” on Friday, May 17th and Saturday, May 18th. The fun part begins on Friday evening when everyone is invited to “Meet the Dealers”. We are a multi-dealer antique and collectible sales room hosting over 80 dealers. Our gracious and competent staff is in charge daily, the dealers coming and going as need be. But on Friday evening the 17th, we have invited all of our vendors to be with us and you to explain their areas of interest, talk a bit about pricing and valuation trends, answer your questions and take note of your wants. We have even asked that each dealer offer a favorite hors d’oeuvres, beverage or snack. Come see how that works out…we expect some surprises!
MUSIC: Our May Art Walk musical performance will be “The Royal Blues” Big Band. Known locally and further afar, this select group of 17 dedicated musicians enjoy playing all types of music from Glenn Miller to the Beatles. If you like your music just loud enough, a little brassy, (4 Trumpets, a full complement of Saxes plus a Trombone, French Horn and Baritone) with keyboards and percussion, this Band is for you! And all under the Direction of Don VanScoy, Conductor. “The Royal Blues” will perform without interruption from 6:30 pm until 8:00 pm. On the Mezzanine, dancing invited!
LECTURE SERIES: On Saturday, May 18th, the Early Owego Lecture Series continues with a presentation by Dr. Christopher Wright on the “Earliest Forms of Photography with a display of Period Cameras and Lenses”. Dr. Wright holds many Degrees, including a Doctor of Divinity and has had many occupations. Originally an Academician, he tired of the 100% scholarly life and purchased a farmstead and went to homesteading. Not that unusual, except that Dr. Wright, at 64, is the nation’s oldest living survivor of Morquios’s Syndrome, a rare connective tissue disease that is severely disabling. As his disease progressed, he was forced to give up his beloved music and was led toward photography.
Doing nothing half way, he has single handedly revived the chemical and physical processes of most of the known very early photographic techniques. He is a Consultant to the Getty Museum’s “Project for the Preservation of the Traditional Chemical / Wet Darkroom”, the owner of “Visions in Silver Photography”, specializing in Large Format Fine Art black and white images, and the author of “Still Life-Still Living”, a collection of his photographs and essays describing development of spiritually-based aesthetics.
Dr. Wright will offer his talk and presentation of equipment at 2:00 pm on Saturday, May 18th at the AntiqueCenter. You will not want to miss this fascinating individual who has truly overcome adversity through photography.
For more information call (607) 725-6833.
We have a new Featured Item in the front showcase at the store, thanks to our colleague Bob Kneeland:
British Royal Naval Officer’s Sword, ca. 1850 (?)
Our Featured Item was found in the State of Maine, where a family had possessed it since before 1900. We believe it to be a British Royal Naval Officers Sword of the late Georgian to early Victorian Era, of the 1827 Pattern. The folding side of the hilt made it more comfortable to wear. This example does not have a hole in the folding guard, which dates the sword to 1850 to 1855. The blade measures less than 30 inches which also argues for early production, when close combat between decks could still occur. Later examples have blades over 30 inches long. The 1827 Pattern was used until 1929, when a straight blade design was adopted. Our sword was made or marketed by a builder or outfitter from Leadenhall Street, London, as the base of the blade is so marked.
How did this fine English Sword find its way to Maine many years ago? If it could only talk. Remember that England was an ally of the Confederate States of America during our Civil War. This was for many reasons, not the least of which would be to sell things, basic commerce. The South did not have much manufacturing capacity at the time, having depended on the North until the war began. They certainly didn’t have the skilled labor, materials nor time involved to build fancy officers swords in any quantity. So, among the hundreds of other items England exported to the South were Officer’s Swords. Was it brand new or used at the time? We’ll probably never know. Bob Kneeland, our colleague who brought it here, believes it was taken off the body of a fallen Confederate Officer in haste, hence no scabbard, and carried back to Maine as a trophy of war. The folding guard does not have a hole in it, which helps date the sword to between 1850 and 1855. The hole, if there was one, would have engaged a pin on the scabbard, a feature known to “on occasion make the difference between life and death”. We hope someone more knowledgeable about swords will explain this to us.
The Early Owego Antique Center will again host special events in conjunction with Owego’s Third Friday April Art Walk, happening Friday, April 19th. Beginning at 6 pm, local historian and retired Newark Valley High School Librarian Ed Nizalowski will showcase one of his “other” talents. Ed was trained in flute at the Crane School of Music, but ultimately received a degree in English. Fast forward to today and Ed is again enjoying playing flute and saxophone, especially improvisation with either instrument.
As Ed says, “I certainly have preferences when it comes to music, but I don’t make a lot of distinctions when it comes to my listening tastes or what I like to perform or elaborate upon. I love the flute music of the Baroque. The rigid barriers that many people have erected between classical, jazz, folk, popular and other forms of music need to have more flexibility. I feel comfortable flowing from one to the other and putting my personal interpretation into the outcome.”
With such an expansive view toward music, we think the evening should be full of surprises. Ed will perform on our Mezzanine Gallery from 6 to 8 pm.
The next day, Saturday April 20th, Jack Shay the Author of “Bygone Binghamton” will give a presentation at 2 pm.
Author Jack Shay, Vestal NY, in collaboration with Betty Casey, Endicott, NY (formerly of Susquehanna), and Tom Townsend, Binghamton, NY, spent thousands of hours researching material and interviewing people who were connected to places within a 30-mile radius of Greater Binghamton. This is the most comprehensive history of the area published to date. “This has been a labor of love,” said Author Jack Shay,who spent the better part of the last four years researching and writing the book. “I ended up with so much material that the publisher had to separate it into two volumes,” said Shay. “This project was first conceived when newspaper assignments led me to gather reminiscences from septuagenarians and octogenarians, but for a variety of reasons it was put on hold for nearly 30 years, said Shay.
While centered around Binghamton, Jack’s book contains many Owego area insights and topics. He will share those and others with us. His talk begins at 2 pm on Saturday the 20th and will prove to be entertaining for the old and enlightening for the young.
Have you seen the new addition to our entrance? It’s an entirely handcrafted sign:
It’s hard to see behind the window, but this sign has some real depth:
We recommend visiting the Center to see it for yourself! Here’s the accompanying label:
The sign above our main entrance was crafted for us especially by
our friend of long-standing, Tim Tarbox. It is an exceptional example
of the sign mechanic’s art.
Utilizing common hardware store materials and basic woodshop
techniques, Tim has captured the feel, if not the actual texture, of a
19th-century commercial staple—the florid and regal eye-catching
Tim began by designing our store logo, found on most of our
advertising, and hand-painted on aluminum plates affixed to our
sidewalk-level exterior doors. That script is an adaptation of another
he created for us in 1985 that appeared on a diesel locomotive. What
hangs above is the result of us asking the question—“what did the
Early Owego script look like before you modernized it?”
The pleasing result was entirely conceived, sculpted, mounted,
and painted by Tim. Each letter was created by hand using power
tools found in most home workshops. In the hands of a true artist,
those tools, plus skill and inspiration, have been used to create an
outstanding example of signcraft.
From the first decisions as to scale, placement, and form to the final
selections of color and hue, the artist has executed complete control
over the object, right down to the hand routing and assembly of the
various moldings that frame the piece.
Tim has produced many excellent signs for us, including this one for Blaze Coins. Find out more in our next blog post!
We’re building on the success of last month’s live music and historical lecture with another weekend–March 15th and 16th.
During Downtown Owego’s regular third Friday Art Walk from 6PM until 8PM on Friday, March 15th, we will feature the rock cover band “Phillips Head.” Sporting local talent that you may recognize from their legitimate day jobs, “Phillips Head” promises to rock the old Newberry’s Grand Stairway Music Space with their own brand of covers of many favorites. Phillips Band member Dean Smith says their performance will be tailored to the venue and crowd, whatever that means, seeing as how it is a Rock Band playing in an Antique Store.
The next day, on Saturday March 16th, local author and historian Jerald Marsh will speak
at 2 PM on “Civil War Soldiers of Tioga County.” Marsh is the author of the recent
book “The Brotherhood of Battle- The Civil War Soldiers and Families of Newark
Valley, NY.” Many local families, after purchasing the book, are discovering ancestors that fought in the Civil War, often quoted in their own words or the words of their fellow soldiers. The Author’s talk will be illustrated and will highlight a few soldiers in particular and Tioga County’s contribution in men to the war effort in general. Copies of the book will be available for sale, signed by the Author if you wish.
The fun in Owego continues on Sunday, March 17th with the Owego Elks Emporium opening at 8AM for browsing the offerings of over 40 dealers. As always, our doors open at 10 AM that same day.
If you or someone you know would like to provide entertainment for the upcoming Art
Walk monthly Friday nights, or could speak on a topic of local or regional history or
a particular area of antique collecting for the following Saturday, please contact Early
Owego owner Jim Mead at (607) 725-6833.
Did you stop and see our Featured Item right inside our front doors? You don’t want to miss it…
Let’s get a closer look. It’s an original document from 1787 signed by Henry Knox and George Washington.
The diploma reads:
Be it known that William Barret Esquire of the Commonwealth of Virginia is a member of the Society of the Cincinnati; instituted by the Officers of the American Army, at the period of its Dissolution, as well as to commemorate the great Event which gave independence to North America, as for the laudable Purpose of inculcating the Duty of laying down in Peace Arms assumed for public Defence, and of uniting in Acts of brotherly Affection and Bonds of perpetual Friendship – the Members constituting the same. In Testimony whereof of the President of the said Society, have hereunto set my Hand at Mount Vernon in the State of Virginia this First Day of March in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty Seven and in the Eleventh Year of the Independence of the United States.
By order, HKnox (signed) Secretary
G Washington (signed) President
What does that mean? William Barret was a Revolutionary War captain and this diploma commemorates his service and admits him to the Society of the Cincinnati. Much like modern veterans organizations, the Society – founded in Newburgh, New York in 1783 by Continental Army officers and still in existence today – dedicated itself to perpetuating the memory of the war and of the officers who fought in it. Barret (1756-1815), from Louisa County, Virginia, served in the regiment of the 3rd Continental Dragoons under the leadership of Colonel George Baylor.
Henry Knox and George Washington signed this certificate at Mount Vernon in the same year as the drafting of the Constitution and the founding of Owego. Note that Washington signed as the Society’s president, but he was not appointed President of the United States until 1789. Like the signers of the fateful Declaration of Independence adopted eleven years before, the members of the Society “solemnly pledge[d] to each other our Sacred Honor” and affirmed their faith in American democracy.
And make sure to visit us and see this piece of history for yourself!
The Early Owego Antique Center is officially OPEN! We couldn’t be more grateful for the wonderful response we’ve received from visitors and well-wishers. If you haven’t yet stopped by, we’re open every day but Tuesday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Here are some highlights from our first few days:
Above, the ribbon cutting on Thursday morning. Bill Moon, the longest-serving manager of the Owego J.J. Newberry’s store, cut the ribbon assisted on the right by Bonita Atwell, one of the managers who helped close the store in 1996.
On Friday evening we stayed open late with other local businesses as part of Owego’s monthly Art Walk. The Grady Girls of Ithaca provided lively Irish music.
Saturday afternoon brought a fascinating lecture by local historian Tom McEnteer on the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign of 1779 and the history of Native American groups in our area.
Below, the Early Owego Antique Center in action.
Of course the work continues and we can’t wait to share new improvements as they occur…
Things are moving along very quickly as we prepare for our opening this week on February 14th… if you haven’t seen our schedule of events for the weekend, click here!
In particular, the second floor is looking very different than the last time we covered it on the blog.
First off, we have an eye-catching sign directing customers up the stairway, thanks to local sign painter Tim Tarbox:
We also filled the red square with the sign that was originally in that spot. Its size was cut down after it was removed from the store but we are happy to put it back in place:
The floor was carpeted by our Lake Street neighbors Awhaga Paint and Floor Covering.
There are still spaces available in this mezzanine gallery. Contact Fran if you are interested.
We hosted a meet-and-greet for our vendors recently and can’t wait to open the doors in just a few days!
You may remember this chandelier from our first post, Revealing the Grand Stairway. With all the work happening on the second floor (and more to come), it was time to clean up this light fixture with the help of a sturdy ladder:
After scrubbing off the years of dust and discoloration, we replaced the lightbulbs and reattached the freshly painted blue shades.