Ground zero for the antiques trade starts Tuesday in the tiny town of Brimfield, Mass. It truly is the most impressive of all outdoor U.S. shows. The quality, variety, quantity and characters you’ll come across at Brimfield is unmatched. The event is comprised of 21 different shows.
In The New York Times today, owners of J&J Antiques Show make a distinction that is easy to overlook at the show. They should know. Brimfield as an antiques destination was founded by Gordon Reid, whose daughters Jill Lukesh and Judy Mathieu, still carry on the tradition. In 2009, the J & J Promotions show celebrated its 50th anniversary.
In a Q&A with the Times, Mathieu shares why each show should stand on its own, but as a part of a larger whole.
“Ms. Mathieu: What’s distressing is when they group J & J together with the other shows and call it “The Brimfield Market,” and it really isn’t — it’s many separate locations. It is not the Brimfield Antiques Show. It is the J & J Promotions show in the town of Brimfield.”
This is an important point. Over the years some promoters have allowed new items and reproductions to be sold at the show. These dealers lobbied to be placed near the front of select shows, just off Route 20.
Experienced collectors can spot the new items right away. If you’re new to the show (perhaps you’ve fallen in love with American Pickers or Pawn Stars) it’s important you ask questions before you buy. Unlike other shows, at which dealers may scowl if someone asks if their iridescent Tiffany compote is ‘carnival glass,’ at Brimfield, shoppers can let it all hang out. Often times, the show is used by veteran dealers to unload their ‘mistakes’ – items bought outside their usual inventory lines that must be unloaded to free up cash for more buys. As a result, the show is packed, packed, packed with unusual objects, weird discoveries and fun people.
Antique Trader will have post-show coverage online and in print. Be sure to stop by J&J Promotions‘ event, which opens May 13 and lasts until May 15.
More on Brimfield
- Brimfield: ‘Fields of Dreams’
- Brimfield antiques show is a social equalizer
- Brimfield vendor rate drops
- Once again, variety is the spice of … Brimfield
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