It has been a few years since we have attended a July Brimfield. When we lived in Massachusetts, I would still make the drive down, as it was all of about 45-50 minutes away. Since moving to Maine, however, with the boat ride, drive, hotel, etc., we have been less inclined.
And, this works in combination with the fact that the July show is much smaller than May or September. It is usually hot, humid, muggy, and that precipitates a smaller crowd, which precipitates a smaller dealer turn out, which precipitates a smaller crowd, which precipitates a smaller dealer turn out.
And, so it goes.
Still, there are a fair amount of dealers that turn up, and whilst smaller there are a group of dedicated buyer/collectors who make the trip.
And, so, with the wine shop being taken care of by a stellar crew, the lovely and I stole away for the opening day of Brimfield.
And, the aforementioned cycle of less dealers leading to less buyers leading to less dealers, was pretty apparent. One particular field that might take you an hour or so, if you were hustling, was completed in half that time. And, I was meandering, as it appeared as though there were no other corkscrew collectors present.
Still, there are dealers walking the fields that know a good corkscrew when they see one, and so one does have a fairly decent pace.
Oh, did I mention that rained for the first 5 hours of the show?
When I got there, it was pouring. I hopped in a taxi from where we were staying, with the lovely planning to arrive a bit later than 5 am. I had borrowed an umbrella from the hotel, and began my trek across the fields. Word from various dealers was that it was supposed to let up around 10. It did, now and then; until the next could burst and deluge.
Of course, with the lower dealer count, lower buyer count, heavy rains, many dealers chose to keep their tents closed, and presumably stay in bed, until the rain abated.
Still, there were a corkscrews to be found, although with fewer dealers, inevitably there would be fewer corkscrews.
A Clough here, a few wire cork retrievers there, I had picked up a few items by the time the lovely was supposed to arrive. And, then literally as she was pulling into the parking lot, and I was in the adjacent field, I ran across a Syroco Indian (just the head version) for the nice rainy price of 15 dollars.
With the Indian now in my backpack, and the lovely bride walking the fields with me, things were looking up.
After lunch, we headed to Dealer’s Choice (which opened at 11:00). By now the rain was over, but with the sun coming out, and temperatures heading towards the 80’s, it began to be muggy, humid, and you could hear people (that were complaining about the rain an hour ago) getting a little vocal about their new discomfort.
But, the sun was out, we are in the fields antiquing, and we were finding… well… stuff:
Beyond corkscrews, we were also on the hunt for a few other items. So, with the lovely heading one direction in a field, and I heading the other, our respective phones were buzzing back and forth with images of midcentury coffee tables and barrister cases; both of which are potential additions to the corkscrew room.
There were a couple of contenders, but nothing was exactly right. The hunt continued.
Did I mention there was stuff to be had?
Following the 11:00 field, we reconvened and headed over to the last field of the day.
And, as it goes in July, the dealers were sparse, but hope springs eternal.
I passed on a deal for two pair of ladies legs. One pair was the half flesh half stocking variety, the other more interesting as the stripes were red and black. The asking price for the two pair was steep. I offered big for just the red and black, but the dealer was only going to sell them as a set.
I have a feeling they will be available in September, and will try him again.
Having exhausted the fields for the day, and having (according to my iPhone) traipsed some 14 miles, we called it a day.
Half a dozen corkscrews, no midcentury coffee tables, no barrister bookcases…
The next morning, the lovely hit the gym, and I headed back to the show. We were actually going to be heading home that morning, but I stole away for the morning opening.
At 6:00, I made it through the appropriate gate, and preceded to peruse the various dealers’ booths. Again, less populated than the May and September, but attendees and dealers were in better spirits, as there was no rain, and temps were lower.
Alas, no corkscrews were to be found.
Knowing that we had a long drive back home, I decided I would skip the next field (opening at 9:00) and head back to the hotel to pick up the lovely, and begin the trek back to Maine.
Walking through a field on the way back to the all-terrain-corkscrew-pursuit-vehicle, I wandered past a tent where a dealer was unpacking, I asked about corkscrews, and he said did indeed have one.
Reaching from under a couple of boxes resting atop a Mies Van der Rohe Barcelona chair, he pulled out the corkscrew and handed me an 1892 Becker decorative split frame.
A little cash (very little) changed hands, and I was again on my way.
And, with that last purchase, a fun, albeit wet and muggy, Brimfield adventure came to a close on a pretty high note.
Shortly thereafter, the lovely and I were back on the road and heading home, with much of our conversation revolving around our next corkscrew adventures…
Planning for the September 2017 show has begun, and even plans for 2018 are being set forth.
You never know what will turn up.