Monday, September 6, 2010
The Brimfield Antique and Collectibles Show happens three weeks a year and it has come to define Brimfield, Mass. As one of the largest outdoor markets of its kind, this show draws thousands from all over the United States and further to the 21 fields of antiques and collectibles along a nearly mile-long stretch of Route 20.
We have visited Brimfield for many years joining these throngs of people in search of special treasures we would resell in our antiques business or in many cases keep for our own collection - for at least a while. And each time we visited we always were sure to do so on Friday of the Brimfield week so we could visit what has come to be our favorite field - J & J. It is the largest field and we have always considered it the most special field.
Mr. Gordon Reid Sr. created the first outdoor Brimfield show with sixty-seven dealers exhibiting in a large field behind his home in September 1959. J&J Promotions holding their show on the original Auction Acres continue the 4th generation of their family operated show. From 1959 till the late 1970's Auction Acres was the Brimfield Show. Thanks to the Reid Family the Brimfield event has grown to 21 shows along a one-mile stretch on Route 20 in this small Central Massachusetts community.
We would usually attend Brimfield on Wednesday and visit several fields but Friday has always been our favorite day reserved for the J & J field. And as we would wander this field we would often think we should be here selling at this field. Several years ago we inquired and when we found out that setup was after 8 pm on Thursday night - in the dark - followed by a couple of hours of sleep in your vehicle before the 6 am opening we decided that was not for us. It usually takes us many hours to set up our booth for antiques shows - the quickest for a small outdoor show being easily 3 hours. So we have continued to attend Brimfield as a buyer not as a seller.
At the other shows we have participated in dealers talk of the great successes they have at Brimfield even with the present economy and many looking at our booth say you belong at the J & J field. So we inquired again about the possibility. Now the field doesn't open until 8 am. That is a plus for us - we think - will that make it more possible to do this show? In August after a frustrating summer of antiques shows with lots of lookers and compliments and not enough sales we decided we should give it a try. They had space for us and there were still tents available.
So here we are - Monday of Brimfield week - still deciding what we will bring to Brimfield. The tent is larger than we have ever had - 20 feet by 20 feet - big enough for 7 tables! The most we have ever had at past shows was 5 tables. Oops! Will need 2 more table covers! We will rent a van and now wonder will we be able to fit enough in the van to fill 7 tables? We would like to also bring some furniture. Packing on Thursday will be our first challenge. Do we have enough to sell - most definitely! I have had dreams / nightmares? of my bins full of Early English White Ironstone and Antique Haviland Limoges China jumping up and down saying - take me! - take me! - as if they were small children wanting to be chosen for a new adventure. And then the bins of vintage glass and other collectible china chime in. After all - this is a new adventure for all of us!
The next challenge will be the setup - in the dark. We will need some sort of lantern. Seems the promise of Hurricane Earl last week has wiped out the stores of such lanterns. Please restock quickly! We have decided rather than be there for 8 pm setup we will try to go to bed early - is it dark yet at 7 pm? - and get up at 1 am and drive to Brimfield for a 4 am setup - yes - still in the dark! Four hours til opening - how set up will be be by the 8 am opening? We will do our best and will probably be adding to our display for a few hours after opening.
The weather forecast is perfect! I can't remember a more perfect Brimfield week for weather. The excitement is building! Every thought seems to be Brimfield related. Can we really do this? Our girls think we are crazy - too old to be doing such! Sometimes we agree with them! But when something has been nagging at you for years don't you just have to give it a try?
Yes - We still plan on shopping at our usual fields at Brimfield on Wednesday. I am sure even that day will take on a new meaning since we will know we will be a part of this Brimfield adventure in just a couple of days.
On Friday this week Holly Lane Antiques will be seeing Brimfield from a new perspective - Selling at our favorite field - J & J - in Space E - 03 - near the front and the red barn. If you are at Brimfield please come by and see us and reassure us that we are not too old for this new adventure.
We will definitely bring our beautiful large collection of Early English White Ironstone and even include a few pieces from my private collection. We will have to be satisfied with a large sampling of our Antique Haviland Limoges China including a Chocolate Set, a Tea Set, and a rare Chamber Set and of course what remains of our Meadow Visitors - quickly dwindling! As always our booth will be accented with vintage glass, silver and English linens - and if there is room in the van some special pieces of small furniture.
We hope to see you at Brimfield!
Notes on our adventure will continue.....
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