Last week we dusted off our trusty Radio Flyer cargo wagon, and set out for the great Brimfield Antique Show in Brimfield, Massachusetts.
For one week three times a year — in May, July, and September — this rural hamlet in central Massachusetts becomes overrun with thousands of antique dealers, specializing in everything from from 18th century primitives to Mid-Century Modern, with about every variety and sub-specialty you can imagine. So there are vendors who might just sell paper ephemera, or old maps, or framed original artwork, or clocks, or walking sticks and jewelry. There are dealers who sell imported antiques from Europe and, increasingly, plenty of dealers selling mass-produced, vintage knock-offs.
There is something for everyone, and we mean everyone — if you have the shelf or wall space. We went to Brimfield for several reasons. In no particular order:
1) It is always fun. Especially looking at the really wacky and intriguing stuff that’s for sale.
2) We often meet nice people and potential new customers.
3) We also buy things: either to use as practical tools in our factory, as visual props for photography, or funky old lamps in need of some TLC and new (cloth-covered American-made!) wire.
4) To be inspired by the unexpected new discovery.
5) The greasy midway food (just kidding!)
If you are considering a trip to Brimfield, It always runs Tuesday through Sunday. May and September are the best shows. The July show has fewer vendors due to the fact that it can often be brutally hot and shut down early in the day due to thunderstorms. So if you go in July, it pays to go early. Brimfield isn’t one show so much as 21 different shows, spread out over about a half mile along route 20 through the heart of Brimfield — a town which only has 3,000 year round residents, but hosts over a quarter million during show weeks. It goes on rain or shine, and is considered one of the oldest and biggest of its kind in the country.
We both wanted to buy lamps that the other was dubious about. We shall see which, if either, sells first! For the most part we were in total agreement about what to get and what to leave behind.
But. it’s always hard leaving some of those nostalgic old things on the field.
And always there’s a silly thing or two that we couldn’t resist.
We will post soon with what we did come home with all cleaned up and, of course, rewired with cloth-covered wire.