Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Day at Brimfield

Yesterday, three womenfriends and I spent the day at the Brimfield Antiques Fair. As we drove down, we made fun of Brimfield's hokey old-fashioned web site and hatched a collective plan to open a gourmet donut shop slash consignment vintage furniture store in Back Bay.

The weather was perfect, the crowds weren't bad, and the food was as unhealthy and inviting as ever. We munched on apple fritters, blueberry muffins, and hot dogs with sauerkraut. We slathered on sun-block and perused a staggering quantity of stuff, finding hidden treasures among the junk. Among our purchases: a large American flag with embroidered stars and a pole, an ornate, hand-painted Lenox dinner plate from 1926, a 1970s "Emergency" board game, blue-and-white tea towels printed with morning glories, and three handcolored antique German maps.

For almost as long as I've been going to Brimfield (an embarrassingly long time), I've been hunting for colorful litle tropical bird pitchers from 1920s or '30s Czechoslovakia. Often we go home without having spotted even one. One this trip, I found one in one of the very first tents we explored:

I didn't buy it because I already have 26 of them. But it was a steal at $18 and very cute.

If you like blue-and-white floral transferware and Egyptomania, you'd have been in luck. For the first and only time in your life, no doubt. But again, I passed. Even the dealer said it was ugly:

As we walked in umpteen sunny, dusty fields, it was pleasant to come across this shady garden shop, which offered colorful potted flowers and herbs, statuary, outdoor furniture, and homemade herbal products, including moth-chaser sachets.

The dealers all seemed to be in good moods. For the first time in a long time, it wasn't pouring or cold or so windy that tents were blowing over. Business was brisk; we had to wait in line to bargain and buy.

This doll appears to be wiped out from too much traipsing:

You may wonder how you survived without a hand-painted Austrian floral dish with a shiny gold lobster handle ($75). It was on the Quaker Acres main drag if you need it. We already have all we need, or I'd have snapped it up.

The following display stumped me: very old, very used sporting goods mixed in with badly beat-up band equipment. Ah, someone has liquidated a high school:

So this is where tubas go after they die:

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