The Best of Brimfield

I spent the week during the fall session at the Brimfield Antique Show, and here are my favorite finds:

The first item that greeted me as I walked from the parking lot to the grand market called Brimfield was this sexy Betty Boop. My wife asked how in the world she made it into the Best Of list. Maybe she wasn’t the best, but she was my first. WorthPoint’s Worthopedia lists a newer, less charming version at $300. The version I fell for was being sold by LOOT, www.loottheshop.com.

I was sitting across all day from this booth (Carol Lyn Brevard, brevardestates@gmail.com) that had beautiful stuff. This chest was the highlight and was unusual because of its size–half the size of the typical traveling trunk, yet not very small. It had exceptional features and color, which explains why it’s more than the ones I found on WorthPoint’s Worthopedia. The enclosed tags may provide a better sense of its value…but I was unable to find any more information myself.

This item only caught my eye after getting into a conversation with Robert Kiosk of Kiosk Antiques (kiosktwine@gmail). Collector Nanci Thompson was with us, and solved the mystery as to why there was a hole on the bottom of this beautiful cup. It looks like Haviland France but actually must be Haviland of Limoges, France, which goes for a lot. I asked Robert how long he has been coming to Brimfield, and I got the same answer everyone told me: “Oh my God, 20 years or something…”

In the back of one of the fields were these two objects coupled together, and they piqued my interest. I couldn’t help but wonder who is shopping tent after tent of mostly knick knacks for half a mile, and is going to come to the end of the road, and slap down four or six grand for one of these two items. Gregg Kaufman, greggethan75@gmail.com.

One of the guilty pleasures of going to Brimfield is perusing the tents of cheap stuff like water buckets and lawn ornaments. I try to resist, but it’s eye candy as one can see from this photograph. Sztojka Jozsef, dealer in Hungary, kilosjozsef@gmail.com.

First Gary showed me a cement replica of Einstein’s brain when I asked what was the item in his booth he was most excited about, but I was unimpressed. Then this colorful trio caught my eye, which I think totally captures my friend’s style to a tee. Surely, one of these three items is a must buy for everyone! Those sneakers and that color don’t come up that often. The Ben Cooper Adam West Batman mask, even less. Gary Sohmer (former Antiques Roadshow icon), wexrex@aol.com, www.allcollectors.com.

I shared a booth where I signed copies of my new book (The Illustrated History of the Snowman), and keeping me company for two days was this choir. For two days I heard their story and listened to buyers’ reactions, “But Mom, we’re Jewish.” “I don’t care, I love them.” Everybody wanted to take pictures with them, but nobody would pull the trigger and buy. And Nanci Thompson of Briarbrook Estate Auctions and Appraisals (hilda4@cox.net), the owner, couldn’t go any lower. She knows how rare and valuable they are. $100 each is a steal.

My personal favorite find: an oil painting on board of a ship. While it’s unwise to purchase a painting unsigned and undated, I fell in love with the painting. $45, originally marked $60. Patricia Ann Breame Antiques, 207-674-3241


Bob Eckstein is a New Yorker cartoonist and New York Times bestselling author. His new book, The Illustrated History of the Snowman and postcard boxset of his bookstore paintings both just came out. To enjoy more of his artwork go to www.bobeckstein.com or follow him at @BobEckstein.

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