From Gray to Blue to Epic

On Wednesday, the skies were gray when I headed to Brimfield, and then by 10:30 the clouds had broken, the sun had come out, and suddenly the corkscrew gods were shining upon a small table amongst some midcentury modern furniture and some assorted items.

Now, before I tell you about the corkscrew, I will add that finding a corkscrew at a flea market, antique market, estate sale or similar, is hugely satisfying. The late Don MIschke created a fantastic collection that way, never going online to make a purchase. Of course, before the Internet and eBay, that IS how it was done. EIther into the wild you would venture, or to auctions (like Christie’s) where corkscews were presented before you, and to your fellow collectors.

And, venturing into the wilds of Brimfield is not for everybody. Pre-COVID during the May show, I usually put in about 13-15 miles going from booth to booth, field to field, and dealer to dealer. The following day it is more likely 10-12 miles. And, it is a hour ferry ride and a 4+ hour drive to get there. Tolls, gas money, hotels or airbnb costs, parking fees, entry fees…

It is an investment, both in time, wear and tear, and money. And, on those days where you don’t really find anything noteworthy, you hope for a better show tomorrow, or in July, or in September. And, there is always next year…

And, as disappointing as this year’s Tuesday rainout was, I am already booked for the next show in May.

There may not always be super finds at Brimfield, but there ARE ALWAYS corkscrews to be found.

And, while the story goes, that Tommy once drove from Chicago to Pennsylvania for the Renninger’s Antique Show to come away with nothing but a Chip Chop, on the first day of one Brimfield show, he found a mini mother of pearl pair of legs within the first hour–for a song, mind you.

And, that is why we put in the miles: miles driving, miles walking, miles hunting…

You just never know what will turn up next…

…which brings me to a table near the exit of the Heart of the Mart field at Brimfield on Wednesday.

As I approached, I spied a corkscrew laying on a table, and it looked weirdly familar. I asked how much, as I picked it up, and they named a price.

I handed over a bit of cash, and headed for the next booth, pausing briefly to snap the photo that follows, and quickly turned to an internet search to confirm my thoughts…

No markings on the piece, so it was all about the shape and the handle.

But, it is what I thought…

An epic day at Brimfield, but also a reminder, that when you go to an antiques show and find little, the corkscrew gods may be shining upon you at the next one, or the next one, or the next one.

Persistence. Determination. And, the simple law of averages:

The more you look, the more you are going to find.

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