So, the lovely and I headed off to Brimfield earlier the week for a one day visit to the show.
The September show, actually starts the Tuesday following Labor Day, and Labor Day is kind of the end of the vacation season in Maine, so heading south on Labor Day for an antique show that starts the following morning can make for a very slow drive.
Last year, I did just that. I headed south, and then west, on Labor Day and traffic on the highway was and a stand still. I chose to take route 1, and hit a few antique stores, but this route was also stop and go, and it literally took me an hour to traverse a certain 3 mile section. Fortunately, I knew of a detours, and got out of the mess, and eventually hopped back on the highway a bit later on where it was smooth sailing from then on.
Having had that experience, we decided on a different plan. Head down a day earlier, and grab a hotel in Portsmouth, NH…this would make for a shorter drive the following day, and we would have avoided those last day drivers. The following morning, we discussed how making the usual drive down to Brimfield wasn’t very desirable, having just done it in July, and more recently for a trip to visit friends. So, we took another option, we meandered east through New Hampshire, and then after a lovely lunch in Keene, took backroads south that literally dropped us into Brimfield where dealers were setting up.
Knowing that we would begin the hunt in the morning, we started heading to Sturbridge where we had a hotel, but hit a few antique stores along the way. I almost never go to these stores, as we are usually staying further afield. At one shop we did pick up a Warner’s Safe Cure Clough Medicine corkscrew, and passed on a few others.
On Tuesday morning, in the wee hours, I got ready for the day, and headed off; the lovely would be joining me at a more decent hour. And, I made my way through the fields with flashlight in hand.
An H & B direct pull was the first corkscrew of the day, followed by a similar unmarked version. A small folding bow came paired with an interesting 1881 patented folding button hook. After another cup of coffee, I was off again and found a marked Chinnock patent frame corkscrew. This too came as a pairing–I picked up one of those Williamsburg Brass frames with it, and while the Chinnock had a price tag of 25, the dealer offered both for 20 dollars. The Chinnock was the better of the two, or course, and smokin’ deal.
Somewhere along the way, there were a pair of Noyes patents; both marked with the patent date rather than the Green River Whiskey mark.
It seemed like everything was coming in 2s…. Could there be two Frarys laying around? Two Blakes?
At 8ish, the lovely texted that she was in the fields, and I headed over to meet up with her. We meandered around, finding a few treasures. She picked up a deco jigger, and we searched the dealer’s booth, as he swore there was a corkscrew somewhere amongst his wares.
No corkscrew was found.
We headed off looking for corkscrews and display cases, and other various items in which we are in need.
As the time was heading towards 11, the lovely was on her way back to Maine, as she needed to pick up Philos from boarding, and I was going to hit the last two fields (we had two cars, for those wondering).
At Dealer’s Choice, there were a couple of corkscrews, but nothing that exciting. I did pickup a bobblehead Anri stopper for a fair price, and toyed with splurging for a midcentury coffee table, but eventually passed.
As the 1:00 field opened, I knew there would be corkscrews, as there is always one particular dealer that has them. That said, he often has a high price on the corkscrews within his possession.
Instead of heading over to his booth immediately, I meandered the aisles, ever hopeful. A grapevine there, stag handle with sterling caps here; both overpriced. I made the rounds. Then, I hit the aforementioned dealer’s both, and there you had it. A pair of legs.
Not a pair of legs, but a pair of a pair of legs. One was a half flesh version, the other stripes. I was offered both, but when it came down to it, I only really wanted one. And, this time he really wasn’t pricey given the rarity of this particular striped version.
I offered a little less than he was asking, and he came down a bit. Then I offered a partial trade, as I brought a couple of nice corkscrews with me. No deal there, but I now know what he is looking for. But, in the end reached into my pocket and paid his (reduced) asking price.
With the legs in my pocket, I headed off to continue the hunt, but I also had about 15 minutes before I too had to head off and make the drive back to Maine.
I did manage to hit the entire field, and was back in the truck by 2… And, after a bit of traffic in the beginning of the trek back to Rockland, the rest was pretty much smooth ride.
Not a bad haul for one day in Brimfield. And, while I am sure there were other corkscrews put out for sale on days 2 through 6, it was certainly worth the the drive.
The treasure of the day was definitely the red and black legs!
We have already booked a house for the May Brimfield Antiques Show!
You never know what will turn up next!