This article was published in the October 2018 issue of Maine Antique Digest, written by M.A.D. staff (10/12/2018).
Auctioneer Amelia Jeffers will be conducting the on-site auction of longtime Americana dealer and close personal friend Peter Chillingworth, pictured here at the Antique Center of Strabane in western Pennsylvania earlier this year.
On October 19 and 20 auction veteran Amelia Jeffers will conduct an on-site auction of the inventory and personal collection of Peter Chillingworth, longtime antiques dealer and show promoter, of Scenery Hill, Pennsylvania. Chillingworth is best known for carrying antiques and decorative accessories from the Federal period, with an emphasis on the region he has called home and where he has had a shop since 1961.
Jeffers reenters the auction scene a year after having left Garth’s Auctioneers & Appraisers, Delaware, Ohio, a company she co-owned and helped to run for more than 20 years. “It is such an honor to be approached by Peter and Cappy to conduct this auction,” Jeffers stated. “The Chillingworths are longtime friends, and I can’t imagine many more exciting reasons to jump back into auctioning than this. As everyone in the business knows, Peter has wonderful things, is an icon in the Americana world as a dealer, and is a very successful antique show manager. That he is offering a serious and extensive collection on site and absolutely just translates into a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved."
“Peter has been a student and a champion, not only for antiques and collectors in general but for preserving and respecting historic and decorative objects of western Pennsylvania. From vine-inlaid furniture to silver, glass, and artwork, it just made no sense to pull these objects out of their native region,” explained Jeffers on the choice to conduct an on-site auction. “Jim Frio and Shane Stack (personal friends and auction veterans) from nearby Wheeling [West Virginia] have signed on to help run the auction. I simply could not have gotten it done alone—their help sealed the deal.”
Chillingworth has served as the show manager of many longstanding shows, including two that he will continue to manage for the foreseeable future: the Brandywine River Museum of Art Antiques Show in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and the Oglebay Institute’s annual Antiques Show and Sale in Wheeling, West Virginia.
The auction will be conducted on the grounds of the historic house and barn Chillingworth shares with his wife, Kathryn (“Cappy”), in Scenery Hill.
Chillingworth came to the antiques industry honestly. “I had a great interest in antiques from a young age thanks to my mother. I started out portering for her in my teens when she managed a much-loved antique show held for years at the Episcopalian church in Indiana, Pennsylvania,” he explained. “When I got out of school, and in an effort to seek approval from my future father-in-law, I took a job at J.C. Penney in management. I lasted about eighteen months before I decided I did not want to retire as a J.C. Penney associate. So with my wife’s permission, and because she had a steady income as a schoolteacher, I left Penney’s and opened an antique shop in March of 1961,” Chillingworth continued. “And it has been open ever since; until now, of course. I’ve come to the realization that it is time to move on. I will still be buying and selling antiques but on a limited basis.”