Never been to the Brimfield Antique Fair? Here’s a sampling of what you can find inside various Brimfield booths.
QUAKER ACRES | BOOTH #69
Susan Bates calls her booth “an oasis, a little touch of beauty.” A steady stream of people drop by to say hi on Brimfield’s opening day; with her little dog, Teddy, curled up on a stuffed sofa under the tent canopy, it’s like being in someone’s outdoor living room. “I have regulars who make this worthwhile,” she smiles. Last year, her cottage-type furniture, pretty plants, and stenciled boxes attracted a group of buyers for Ralph Lauren, who came by her booth twice. “I’ve sold to them before,” she says. “It made me very happy, very affirming, as I chose a soft palette of silver, green, purple, and burgundy for my summer containers.” On a scorching summer afternoon, it was a shady respite indeed.
(German Favorite Antiques)
THE MEADOWS | BOOTHS #92-100
Lothar Greiner surveys the stacks of beer-garden tables from Munich spread out beyond his tent. The only things missing from the inviting scenario are trays of foaming beer steins. This former D.C. resident has just moved back to Wiesbaden, Germany, all the better to fill the 40-foot containers of inventory he ships over each year, some of it destined for Brimfield. “Stuff flies out,” he grins. His Irish friends are in the adjoining tent behind his—establishing a mini-European Union in central Massachusetts.
An assortment of antiques at German Favorite Antiques, Booths #92-100.
MIDWAY | ROUTE 20
(opposite New England Motel Food Court)
“You can’t ever predict how the day’s going to be,” says Jon Magoun, a 30-year Brimfield veteran, whose card reads Ferocious Buyers & Sellers of Adirondack Boats. Behind him, vintage canoes and boats lie beached on green grass. “A few years ago we had four rainy days in a row,” he recalls. “Tommy Hilfiger comes through; we’re like drowned rats. He says, ‘I’ll take this side [of a double rack of canoes].’ A woman standing nearby gets nervous, and she says, ‘I’ll take this one.’ And then another woman comes along—I sold 10 canoes just like that.” Jon shakes his head: “In 20 minutes [the Hilfiger team] spent $23,000.”
Jon’s booth is located front-and-center on Route 20. “That’s a Chestnut Canoe from the mid-’40s,” he notes as he points to a pretty little boat with its sail raised. “I bought it in West Bath, Maine, the other day.” Has he taken it out? “I like to canoe, but I never have enough time,” he says ruefully.
Vintage boats at Magoun Brothers.
JOHN & CAROL McINNIS
HERTAN’S | BOOTH #189
(September booths #206–207)
Mounds of Eastern European linens are stacked alongside 19th-century country-home items, a dreamy bazaar from another time. Traveling from Cobourg, Ontario, east of Toronto, John and Carol McInnis have set up at Brimfield for a decade, building a reputation for fine linens. They return to Eastern Europe four or five times a year to replenish their stock.
“We’re constantly looking for new sources,” John says. The McInnises have dealt in antiques for 41 years—typically 18th- and 19th-century formal furniture— but for Brimfield they focus on country items. “Ten years ago, when we first brought linens to Canada, there wasn’t an enthusiastic market for them,” John recalls. “But here at Brimfield, it seemed as though every other person who stopped at the booth was asking, ‘How much?’ We follow the market as it evolves, but if you were to ask me for a used car battery from Eastern Europe, I’d bring you that, too.”
Fine linens at Hertan’s, Booth #189.
Woven baskets at Hertan’s, Booth #189.
WALTER M. FURPAHS
THE MEADOWS | BOOTH #216
If The Meadows is characterized by a hefty assortment of office, workshop, and factory furnishings and paraphernalia, then Walter Furpahs’ sprawling tents and king-size displays of reclaimed materials are the poster children for the industrial-décor movement. You’ll feel like Alice in this outsized world of giant urns, metal cabinets, reclaimed coffee tables, and massive mill carts, offset with a sizable collection of midcentury-modern lamps.
Hanging lights from reclaimed materials, Booth #216.
JUSTIN POMERLEAU & EMILY SAWICH
QUAKER ACRES | BOOTH #119
Wit and verve characterize this next generation of Brimfielders, a group of talented young friends in their twenties who’ve gathered under the banner “The Traveling Spectacular.” Justin and Emily, the new kids on the Brimfield block, first set up in 2013. This year they’ve expanded “and invited friends to vend with us,” Emily says. All together, they bring energy and an eclectic assortment of vintage clothing and memorabilia that draws clusters of people to their booth. “I like that Brown’s Beach Jacket action,” one was overheard commenting as he flipped through the clothing rack.
Vintage clothing at Vivant Vintage, Booth #119.
Vintage rollerskates at Vivant Vintage, Booth #119.