I'm back from the Brimfield Antiques Show (the largest antiques show in New England with 5,000 dealers from all over the country). I had to keep my visit to one day this time, and it poured from lunchtime on, but it was, as usual, wonderful.
Also, as usual, I had good company: My closest friend for 30 years, Marianne, there in the pink boots standing next to me, and her Mom, who knows pretty much everything you need to know about antiques cause she's been buying and selling for years. How many years, I'm not going to say, but I will tell you one thing about Marianne's Mom: No matter how young you are, I dare you to try to keep up with her at Brimfield.
Things to love about Marianne and Brimfield: She's a speed shopper, and I don't like to dawdle either; she's got a great sense of direction, which means she remembers where we bought stuff and that comes in handy when it's time to pick it all up; she's not scared of a strong martini (which has nothing to do with Brimfield, but I do like that about her); and she's not afraid to wear pink boots.
Plus she knows what I mean when I say: "Where's that guy's booth, the one who had those things?" And she generally keeps me pointed in the right direction and wipes the drool off my chin...
We got a boat-load of stuff, which is to say two vans full. Full, as in we had to tie our little cart to the roof of one to get it all home. Marianne found a lot of fun stuff for her shop, a home furnishings consignment store in Wakefield, RI, called Consignments Ltd.
I didn't set any records for purchases, being there only one day, but I did what I could to stimulate the economy. I'll give you specifics later.
As you roam the many fields of Brimfield, you catch snippets of information from the dealers and you notice themes.
This year, topics of conversation included:
- The number of European buyers (up) thanks to the value of the dollar (down).
- The price of gas (up). Dealers come from all over the country, carrying heavy loads, so gas prices hurt.
- The price of gold and silver (up), which was good or bad, depending on whether you were buying or selling.
Another Brimfield phenomenon: Every year we notice an influx of a particular item. For instance, after the war started, a lot of dealers were selling vintage war posters, or reproductions of them.
In recent years, for whatever reason, lots of monkeys...statues, paintings, old stuffed ones. (How many times can you say: "Marianne, look, isn't this your aunt? I see the family resemblance" before she decides to let you try to find your way back to the van by yourself.)
This year, the theme was nudes. Paintings, sculptures, little ivory doo-dads, glass etchings...
Was going to take photos to show you what I mean. But I found myself standing there staring at the various nudes, trying to decide whether to take a photo, wondering how odd I would look doing that, and then realizing by then I was really standing there too long, and would definitely get noticed as the woman with drool on her chin who stares at nudes...and then takes photos of them. So I decided to pass.
Next time you get out of the shower, take a look in the mirror. You'll get the idea.