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posted: 2/14/2013 12:53 PM

Shared love of antiques draws couple together

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  • Chuck and Mary Springob of Sycamore have a house, and barn, full of antiques.

       Chuck and Mary Springob of Sycamore have a house, and barn, full of antiques.
    Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

  • One room in the Springob home is decorated solely in red, white and blue.

       One room in the Springob home is decorated solely in red, white and blue.
    Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

  • Antique toy blocks spell out the couple's last name on a shelf.

       Antique toy blocks spell out the couple's last name on a shelf.
    Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

  • An antique desk at the Springob home has special meaning for Mary; it is a family heirloom estimated to be more than 200 years old.

       An antique desk at the Springob home has special meaning for Mary; it is a family heirloom estimated to be more than 200 years old.
    Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

  • A massive free-standing closet in one of the bedrooms is so large, it had to be brought in by taking out a window.

       A massive free-standing closet in one of the bedrooms is so large, it had to be brought in by taking out a window.
    Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

  • Chuck and Mary Springob's 2-acre property in Sycamore features a barn, where they store and fix antiques. From time to time they hold barn sales, where customers can browse for items.

       Chuck and Mary Springob's 2-acre property in Sycamore features a barn, where they store and fix antiques. From time to time they hold barn sales, where customers can browse for items.
    Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

  • An antique bean bag game, a possible precursor to the modern bags game, hangs on an upstairs wall.

       An antique bean bag game, a possible precursor to the modern bags game, hangs on an upstairs wall.
    Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

  • Chuck and Mary Springob of Sycamore in their dining room. Their entire house is furnished in antiques.

       Chuck and Mary Springob of Sycamore in their dining room. Their entire house is furnished in antiques.
    Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

  • Chuck and Mary Springob of Sycamore have a house, and barn, full of antiques, including these game pieces, which were an anniversary gift to Mary from Chuck. The Springobs are relative newlyweds, having married in November 2011.

       Chuck and Mary Springob of Sycamore have a house, and barn, full of antiques, including these game pieces, which were an anniversary gift to Mary from Chuck. The Springobs are relative newlyweds, having married in November 2011.
    Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

  • The couple's collection of globes is extensive. "I love globes," Mary said.

       The couple's collection of globes is extensive. "I love globes," Mary said.
    Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

 
 

When antiques dealers Chuck and Mary Springob met, they had a combined eight storage units between them. So it only made sense that when they decided to marry, they needed a large house. With a barn.

"We loved the barn, but the house needed work," said Chuck Springob of the 19th century yellow farmhouse in Sycamore they bought in August 2011, just prior to their marriage in November.

"The original part of the house was built in the 1860s; the later addition, probably in the 1880s," Chuck said. "We needed something big; we have a lot of stuff."

"A lot of stuff" is an understatement, as the five-bedroom, two-story home is completely furnished in antiques, primarily of the primitive style. The home's country farmhouse decor reflects the era in which it was built.

"We like early 1800s through 1850s furniture," Chuck said. "But we collect everything."

"I like quilts, Ironstone china, toys, globes and antique teddy bears," Mary Springob said. "You get into certain things. We really like painted furniture."

The items that don't fit in the house are a short walk across the yard in a large barn, where the Springobs clean and repair their finds from area sales and auctions. From time to time they open it to the public and have a barn sale. Other times they pack up their wares and head to shows, as they will the weekend of Feb. 16-17 at the Northern Illinois Antiques Dealers Association's 53rd annual Antiques Show in Loves Park, near Rockford.

The Springobs are members of NIADA and the Chicago Suburban Antiques Dealers Association. They also help organize the Sunday at Sandwich Antiques Show, which will run one Sunday a month, May through October, at the Sandwich Fairgrounds.

The couples' love of antiques is what drew them together.

"We met at Third Sunday Market in Bloomington (Illinois)," Chuck said. The two were both selling at the show, and Chuck admired a bench Mary was selling -- along with its owner. He bought the bench, they began dating, and within a few years, the bench played a role in their wedding.

"We do a show at Blumen Gardens in Sycamore," Chuck said. "I sold the bench to the owner of the shop. When we got married, we knew that's where we wanted to have it."

Although they both spend a lot of time buying, fixing and selling antiques, Chuck also drives a truck for a waste management company.

"We know people who sell antiques for a living, but you have to work really hard at it," Chuck said. "You can't just dabble in it."

Their own collection consists of a variety of pieces that have one thing in common -- they are all well-loved and used every day. One of Mary's favorite pieces is a cherry desk in the dining room.

"It's at least 200 years old," she said. "It's a family piece; it came from New York."

Another favorite is a colorful wooden game board now displayed in the living room.

"I got it at an auction in El Paso, Texas," Chuck said. "I think I paid $7 for it." He now estimates its value at $600. Heading upstairs, in the guest bedroom a visitor will find the biggest piece in the house -- a 7-foot, 8-inch tall, eight-door blind-front cupboard. It's as big as a closet, and the Springobs couldn't get it upstairs the usual way.

"We had to take a window out to get it in," Chuck said. "It's too tall for the main floor."

In the kitchen, a large Pennsylvania Dutch cupboard takes up one entire wall. Chuck had thought of selling it, but decided to keep it. He estimates its worth at $4,600.

"With modern furniture, you're not getting the quality (of antique furniture)," Chuck said. "A laminated table will last you maybe 10 years. An antique is not really that much more than a new piece."

"At an antiques show, you can find well-made stuff that will last your lifetime, and then some."

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