Last week, while Ken and Ned tore apart my space in the Hudson Supermarket
(www.hudsonsupermarket.com), I, who am so easily bored, wished for something
interesting to do while I waited for my turn : to put it all back together again.
I looked around, sighing, till I spied patina. I love patina. Endlessly fascinating,
patina, with its layers, textures and colors, never lets me down. Here are some of the
patina-rich objects which were moving this way and that in my booth….
Above, a rusting farm thing, posing as a sunflower and an appealing tear in a canvas-
covered trunk. I guess this kind of beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And since, in this
instance, I am the beholder and I am alone, no one can dispute my claim.
Layers of paint on a diminutive (6″ x 6″) radiator cover and more farm things. Sometimes
I wonder what I would sell if it weren’t for farms and factories.
Above, left, is my favorite thing from July Brimfield, a zinc cupboard (no, not a fridge!)
from a defunct silver manufacturing company in Pittsburgh. The photo (below, left) is a
close up of the round industrial table in the photo (above, right). Hard-packed sludge…
ya gotta love it. (I am alone, no one can dispute me!)
I have a passion for these roof drain caps (above, right). The shape, the color, the wire.
Apparently, not everyone shares my enjoyment, as these sturdy little gems were usually
tossed in the garbage, making them difficult to find. My pickers in Pennsylvania, who have
the most discerning taste, had this nice bunch of 15 in their barn.
Linen-covered French books (above) all in a row. Pretty toppers for a rustic work table.
I used them in my last blog to display my Vichy baskets. Today, when I was taking more
Vichy photos, I wished the books had been safe at home, instead of in Hudson where they
were at risk of being sold! I know that I have to let people buy my stuff. But, I don’t have
to like it.
Big cabana pins and a vane with peeling layers of old paint. I have hundreds of pins in both
Hudson and Bournebrook. The staff in both centers say that all day long they hear the
swoosh, swoosh, swoosh of the pins being pushed back and forth as customers look for the
one with a favorite number. Grain sacks, of course, are central to any discussion (of mine!)
about patina with their many weaves and beautiful old repairs.
Time spent admiring patina is never wasted.
One of the things that I love about Brimfield is seeing old friends, many of whom started out
as, and remain, favorite dealers. A Wednesday treat is seeing Jackie Lantry of Bliss Farm
Antiques who sets up in the third pavilion in the New England Motel field. Although mainly
a purveyor of wonderful French antiques, which she shops for right at the source, it was the
German grain sacks that pulled me into her booth the very first time.
This time, she brought a fabulous collection of diminutive straw baskets (above), each
containing a glass to hold the health-giving Vichy water that, since 50BC has been luring
those seeking to “take the cure” to Vichy, France. The backdrop in these photos is of old
French linen-bound books and French linen cloches, more of the treasures that went
straight from Jackie’s booth to my truck. Not shown here is the lovely daybed, one of many
special pieces of furniture I have been lucky enough to snag from this friendly and fun
dealer over the years.
I had a few little straw things of my own (above), the Vichy basket on the right a previous
purchase from Jackie.
Because she loves history and loves what she sells, Jackie is among that vanishing breed
of dealers who really knows what she sells and, even better, has the gift of telling the
stories in such a compelling manner that, in spite of heat and other many distractions, I
remember them later! The baskets (above) in the photo on the left, with the tops that
slide open on their leather straps, are better, have more value, than the ones on the right
with the hooks. But, in the photo on the right, the cork lining in the open basket on the
left, makes it the best of that bunch.
Blown glasses are best. Colored glass is better than clear. An etched Vichy label (above)
is better than one painted on (below). The numbers on the back side (photo above, on
the left) would allow just the right amount of water to be consumed according to a
Victorian doctor’s orders.
I am certainly willing to overlook this clear, painted-labelled glasses’ lesser value in favor
of the charm of its cute little handle!
My collection is beginning to be quite abundant, thanks to Jackie’s French sojourns. But,
maybe just sitting here looking isn’t enough. Maybe I should be asking Jackie to bring back
a case of that Vichy Water on her next trip to France. Taking the cure might be just the
thing for breezing through the crazy heat and humidity of Brimfield in July.
–If you feel the need to take the cure, the antique cure that is, it won’t be necessary to
go all the way to France. Take a quick, easy trip to www.blissfarmantiques.com instead.
–If I were the betting kind, and someone asked what one word described July Brimfield
to most people, I would have to put my money on “hot.” Or maybe “humid.”
–But, I am going to take the high road. I won’t complain, at least not now that I am
luxuriating in my air-conditioned house. Besides, I came home with two truck and trailer
loads of exceptionally fabulous stuff, saw old friends, made some new ones and was so
impressed, once again, with the good humor and kind hospitality of the dealers.
–In addition to the things that they brought to sell, bottles of water, sandwiches, ice-
soaked towels, a chair in front of the fan were proffered. These offerings, many times made
by dealers I had never before met, were gratefully accepted… and not only refreshed my
body and spirit but added to my store of experiences that reinforce my belief that
people are good.
–As I sit here now, thinking and writing , I realize that I’ve changed my mind. The only
word that I could put my money on to describe Brimfield would be “gracious.”
—This is the end of another incredible week of doing what we love in one of
our favorite places, Brimfield. And, as usual, there is only one thing that I
wish I had been able to do…take photos of the beautiful, the outlandish and
the wonderful things I saw. Continue reading
Ken and all the best guys load up/lug our trailer at Brimfield.
Four truck and trailer loads went home this time.
We will miss Brimfield with all its enticing stuff, frantic excitement
and the world’s best buddies! Till next next year…..
The truck and trailer are unloaded, the big stuff has melted into the barns and the smaller things lounge on the porches to be sorted and disbursed to the house, Bournebrook and customers who are waiting, I hope, patiently. I wonder who I am, where I am as I work my way back to real (?) life, so different from crazy, frantic, wonderful Brimfield World. I’m glad to be home and wish I were there all at the same time.
I love every minute of Brimfield and my war stories tend to be ones that describe friends, great deals and good times (even the guy who gave my husband, Ken, a price of $2500 on a table and me…lagging less than 30 seconds behind…a price of $3000 made us laugh. We just can’t see the point of choosing unhappy over happy. And, let me just say that, at $2500, the table was $2000 over our price range anyway!)
I have to say, however, that I couldn’t run fast enough to avoid all of those other, negative kind of war stories. Some people thrive on grabbing the ear of any unsuspecting passerby to describe, in unattractive detail, the misfortunes of their lives, the lack of money, the ones who done them wrong. They don’t know how much they are negatively affecting their own lives and attracting more unfortunate situations. Not to mention how they bring everyone in their path down. I have decided that enough is enough! I have a plan for Brimfield in September….
My textile dealer/friend, Sharon and her partner, Susan, have developed a fabulous line of colognes made from essential oils and crystals that are meant to affect changes in your system that allow you to attract clarity, happiness, prosperity, love, etc. Come September, I am going to copy the department store perfume girls and just spray Sharon’s happy formula on anyone who looks, talks or acts in any way unhappy! I will have a CD in my pocket playing that old