Yesterday morning it was raining, and the umbrella toting buyers were still out and meandering around waiting for May’s to open. For those that have never been, May’s is a field in Brimfield where the sellers are not allowed to put their stuff out until 9 am. And, the buyers are not allowed into the field until 9 am. And, as the gates open, you have lots of anxious buyers going into booths that are practically empty saying things like, “do you have anything fountain pens?,” or “Any Mahjongg?,” or “Any old cast iron?”
And, while the dealers might be used to this practice, it occurs to me that if they are spending their time answering these questions, it slows down their ability to place items out for sale. Still, it doesn’t stop some of us from saying, “Do you have any old corkscrews?” To which they turn, look, and say, “Not this time, those things are getting impossible to find.”
Tell me about it…
Anyway, I dashed around the field sans umbrella, and checked out what corkscrews were available. And, is often the case at May’s there is a lot of viewing of the same stuff from previous days, as many dealers pick up after exhibiting in Dealer’s Choice for example, and then move to May’s on Thursday.
Of course, the interesting part of attending May’s, is that given that the sellers aren’t able to put their wares out until the opening of the gates, you really need to walk the field a couple of times as by the time you are down to one end of an aisle, more items have been unearthed and placed on a table.
As it happened, I ran into BT as I was walking the field, and we discussed that it was a little dismal with the exception of a Gorham bar set, and several sterling adorned stag handle corkscrews which for some reason command 400+ dollar prices.
Not that they really fetch those prices, but it is more often than not if any one of these dealers finds a corkscrew with sterling on it, they believe them to be of significant value.
In one booth, there was an interesting tusk with sterling end cap, and a Walker bell. “How much for the corkscrew?” I asked. The person with the booth, reached into the case and flipped over the price tag and uttered, “six ninety five.” Knowing they didn’t mean just shy of 7 dollars, I just shook my head, and made my way for the next booth.
That was the way the first 45 minutes was going.
However, as mentioned the other day, one find can turn your day around. And, while I knew I had to hit the road shortly as I had to drive back towards home and hop on a boat, I decided to make another quick tour of the aisles which I had already been through. And, on a table two corkscrews had suddenly appeared. They hadn’t been there earlier, as they definitely would have been snapped up by BT or I. So, I swooped in, grabbed them, and asked “What do you want for these?”
“I was thinking 25 for the pair.”
I handed over my money, and headed to the next booth.
Now, I didn’t really want one of the two, but he only wanted to sell them together. Still, the R. Murphy Boston signed wingnut/victor definitely made my morning. Not that I don’t have two different examples already, but it is a nice piece that is fairly hard to find.
Down the aisle at the end was a miniature folding bow for cheap, and a fantastic mechanical Anri stopper that the lovely bride has since claimed as her own. This too was acquired for very little.
I started heading back to the car, and saw an interesting knife with corkscrew that looks similar, but without the advertising, to figure 1487 on page 229 Ferd and Bert’s book on pocket corkscrews–I would provide a picture here, but apparently whilst making the drive home, said knife went sliding off the passenger seat and remains in the car on the mainland.
Finally, as I was heading out of the gate, I spotted a Zig-zag in the box. It is the more modern box, but the zig-zag carries a 59 on the back of the disc. And, the price was not bad, so I grabbed that too.
One hour and 15 minutes from the opening of the field and I was on the road, and heading for home. The rain diminished, and the drive was uneventful–always a good thing.
Definitely a successful Brimfield trip!
For those wondering, the deal mentioned the other day that I have been working on for some time at Brimfield, still remains in the works. Should it come to fruition, I will tell you all about it here. Perhaps it will happen at the July show! We can only hope.