By SUSAN BLOWER
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — While giving lessons on history, the Hoosier Antiques Exposition will make history this year at its 44th annual show on Friday, April 19 to Sunday, April 21 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.
Beginning in 1969, the Hoosier Antiques Exposition is now the oldest continually running show in Indiana, say its owners, and they believe there are good reasons for that.
“It was one of the top shows in the country to begin with. People are familiar with the show since it has been there so long, and it is one of the few true antiques shows left in the city (Indianapolis),” said co-owner and show manager, Shawn Hastings.
Just as its name suggests, the Hoosier Antiques Exposition will highlight Hoosier historic roots in glassware, as well as paintings by Indiana artists.
Known for its top-of-the-line glassware, the show will feature Greentown glass this year. The glass was made in Greentown, Ind. by the Indiana Tumbler and Goblet Co., which operated from 1894-1903. A unique glass molding press machine used to make Greentown glass will be on display at this year’s show. Experts on Greentown glass will demonstrate how the press machine operated.
Members of the National Early American Glass Club will come from all over the country to give talks on Greentown glass and Duncan glass at noon on Friday and Saturday. Along with a large display of Greentown glass, three other Early American glass will be displayed: Duncan, Early American pressed pattern glass, and small glass toothpick holders.
Certain antique glassware has spiraled in price over the last 20 years, said show co-owner, Tom Neale.
“A Greentown glass sugar bowl just sold at auction for $4,000. Some 10-20 years ago, it was probably $700. So it is way up, while other glass pieces are on a slower pace,” Neale stated.
“You could – if you’re lucky – find one of these pieces at a yard sale or flea market, but you will always find quality pieces at an antiques show such as ours,” Neale said.
Neale said glassware from $10 to $1,000 will be for sale. Drinking goblets from the 1890s can be found for $10, while art glass and historic glass can go into the thousands of dollars, he added.
Guests are welcome to bring items from home for a free appraisal from dealers, who are experts in their field. An Indianapolis-based expert also will appraise at no charge. A wide variety of items will be for sale in more than 75 large booths, including paintings, silver, jewelry, porcelain/china, furniture, clocks, toys, and Tiffany glass. Neale estimated there were about 10,000 items for sale.
“Our dealers are helpful. People come mainly to learn from them, as well as see and touch the pieces,” Neale added.
Hastings is proud of the crew he has assembled for the show.
“These are not run-of-the-mill goods. We have the best art glass dealers in the country, specialists in flow blue china, and a top toy dealer in a huge booth that includes whole construction sets,” Hastings explained.
“We are best known as a glass show, one of the best in the country, with a lot of pattern glass. People sometimes buy pattern glass for wedding gifts,” Hastings added.
Admission is $7, while kids 12 and under are free. Group rates are available. The location is Expo Hall at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1200 E. 38th St., Indianapolis. Show times are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. No early buyers will be admitted.
See www.hoosierantiqueshows.com for directions and other details.