Atlantique City Show Producer Eric Bradley is on the scene:
The May Brimfield Antiques Shows are considered ground zero for the entire trade.
One of the best kept secrets once again delivered the goods. On the north end of Route 20 is a great show with just over 300 dealers. Brimfield Acres North is only open from 1 to 5 p.m. on opening day. Dealers get just a few hours to set up before the public rushes in. The opening compliments the opening of a different show called Dealer’s Choice located directly across the road. That show opens at 11 and dealers are under strict orders to not sell until the gates open.
What makes Brimfield Acres North so great is the depth and variety of merchandise found among dealer’s merchandise. Dealer’s make it a fun show, too. It’s not unusual to find a dealer who specialzes in one thing but who sets up at Brimfield Acres North to sell the odds and ends discovered in a life of treasure hunting. For instance, Vermont dealer Stephen Thomas specializes in woodblock prints and fine art. That didn’t stop him from splaying out a large assortment of high quality smalls on Tuesday. He wasn’t particulalry concerned with getting top dollar, which made for fun shopping for the few thousand dealers and collectors that passed by his booth.
At this show, $20 can get you a woven jar from the mid-1800s or a rare Civil War-era bronze featuring the likeness of Abraham Lincoln marching down a trail can be found for $1,800.
Brimfield Acres North, like most every May event, featured better quality and variety than the July and September shows. Today marks the opening of another Brimfield standby: Heart-O-the Mart and New England Motel shows. Both offer a tempting mix of flea market finds and investment grade antiques.
All it takes is time to walk the fields.