As it usually happens, the day before Brimfield starts, we drive down, get settled in some Airbnb that we have rented, it is often an early evening, as the how begins at daybreak the following day.
With the meetings soon to be upon us, construction projects, and a few other circumstances that needed to be addressed, in the weeks proceeding Brimfield, we opted to cancel our reservations, and we were going to skip Brimfield.
Still, as we got closer to the date, and our plans began to open up a little, I came up with a new plan. Since we would be on the mainland on the Monday before, I would get up in the wee hours of the morning on Tuesday, and drive down to Brimfield and get there for the opening.
We both that this was a fairly silly idea, but it is Brimfield after all.
So, with the alarm going off at 1:00 in the morning, it was coffee, shower, coffee, go… And, away I went. Driving the next four hours, and pulling into Brimfield with time to spare. I found another cup of coffee, and in short order parked, and was headed out on the hunt.
Given it was early, and dark, and September, the dealers were slow to open. Still, in that early first hour, I did pick up a couple of corkscrews. One a simple t-pull with acorn handle, and a few minutes later an interesting corkscrew with a coin in the handle, marked Aubock (for 8 dollars).
There were a few other corkscrews seen over the course of the morning, but these were a bit overpriced for what they were; Perille single lever, Mumford Patent (this was available in May as well, and is still with the same dealer for the same price) a fair amount of Williamsons and Cloughs, etc.
As the day wore on, and Dealer’s Choice was to open in about an hour, I ran into someone who had in his possession a collection of corkscrews. After a bit of a give and take, and given the price was a smoking deal, we made a smoking deal.
A little money changed hands, and these were now in my backpack: closed barrel perpetual with embossed barrel, a much less expensive Mumford patent, small French T marked Guinot, early Henshall with bone handle, and the two aforementioned corkscrews the acorn handle and the Aubock.
Not a bad morning! And, the drive certainly seemed worth it.
Quite pleased with myself, I headed over to Dealer’s Choice…
At Dealer’s Choice there were few corkscrews to be had, not over priced, not under priced, just few corkscrews to be had. Still, there would be another field opening shortly, and you never know what might turn up.
After paying my entry fee, and waiting for the appropriate time, I went through the gates, and at one of my first stops was discussing cork extractors with a dealer who historically has corkscrews in his wares. This time around he had a Tormey cork extractor; one that I have been after, and while his price was high, he is also someone that has yet another cork extractor that I definitely want. I thought, why not pay a little extra, and grease the wheels bit for a future purchase.
As I was counting out money, another collector, that I didn’t know, happened on the same booth, and asked if the dealer had any Aubock pieces.
I asked if me minded if I showed him the one I had just picked up.
The other collector was thrilled, and mentioned how much one had sold on eBay. I had told him I had seen the listing, and gave him a price. He grabbed his wallet and started counting out the cash. Coincidentally, what he was willing to pay for the Aubock piece, offset the extra cost of the Tormey.
After placing the Tormey in the backpack, I was once again on my way. There were a few more corkscrews about, most notably a celluloid mermaid, which was a very fair price.
And, having been up since 1 in the morning, and having walked about 14 miles in the heat and humidity, I decided to call it a day.
Fortunately, I did have a hotel room lined up, and headed for a much deserved glass (or two) of wine and an early dinner.
The next morning, I headed back to the show. A field would be opening at 6 am, and then another at 9. I would skip the afternoon field, as I wanted to get back home to Vinalhaven.
The morning field didn’t offer much, but I just took my time and hunted around. I did pick up an interesting pocketknife that looks like a Frary design but the blades were stuck closed and a Converse for a combined price of 10 dollars.
When the 9 am field open, the first booth I walked into had a fabulous champagne knife. The dealer deals in old tools, and I was quite pleased walking away with for 15 dollars.
I meandered through the rest of the field and did pick up some Anri stoppers for a fellow collector that wouldn’t make it to the show until Thursday. And, did eye a couple of Sterling and stag corkscrews which were a bit too much money.
Did I mention there were antiques other than corkscrews at Brimfield?
With a 4 hour drive ahead of me, I kept my eye on the time, and started the walk back to the car at 10:00.
Filling up with gas, I started the trek back to Rockland, and then hopped the boat to Vinalhaven.
A good day and a half at Brimfield, with a few goodies coming home with me.
But, Josef, didn’t you mentioned that the dealer had a collection?
Indeed I did.
These didn’t fit in the backpack, and were boxed up and put into the back of the xterra.
Okay… it was a stellar day and a half at Brimfield.