Mrs. Ruth Bryson was a widely distinguished antiques dealer and collector in Quarryville, Pennsylvania. Her expertise was unmistakable, noted by the exceptional personal collection of antiques she leaves behind following her death in July 2017. On Saturday, April 14th Pook & Pook Inc. will exhibit and share her private collection with an auction of unparalleled quality, comprising of just over 300 lots in their sale, The Ruth Bryson Collection, Quarryville, PA.
Born in 1929 in Quarryville, Pennsylvania, Mrs. Bryson was the daughter of the late Ira and Okie Shumate. She was a 1952 graduate of Lebanon Valley College and two years later married Jack Bryson, a native of Ephrata, PA. The couple soon moved their growing family to New Jersey. Mrs. Bryson began her career in antiques setting up booths at antique shows in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It was something she wanted to do, always having had a love of antiques. Her husband, whom she described as a “very supportive driver and porter,” learned about the wide world of antiques alongside her and helped turn her passion into a business.
Opening a shop of her own was always a goal she aspired to accomplish. In 1982, as Jack approached retirement, the family purchased a property in Quarryville on Route 222. “It was good living in New Jersey,” Mrs. Bryson once said, “but there’s something about Lancaster County that’s always a draw.” On weekends, the Bryson’s began restoring the farmhouse and the three-story 1840’s barn to fulfill Ruth’s dream. Ruth’s lifelong goal had been realized; the hard work had paid off it and was time to share her passion for collecting with her community.
In 1986, Country Lane Antiques opened for business and the lovingly restored property became a haven for Ruth’s top-shelf collection of Pennsylvania German folk art. Covering two floors, the old farmhouse was stocked full of blanket chests, baskets, schranks, paintings, coverlets, corner cupboards, chairs, candleholders and tall chests.
Ruth believed that quality counted when it came to antiques and tended to favor the sturdy, large and colorful furnishings of Pennsylvania German craft, especially those made locally in Lancaster County. The items represented in Pook & Pook Inc's (04/14) sale embody the very best antiques Lancaster County has to offer, with lots encompassing every nook and cranny of Pennsylvania Dutch country culture including fraktur, samplers, folk portraits, weathervanes, and stoneware with a myriad of enchanting and unexpected examples in between.
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