What I Got at Brimfield


Hi! Hope everyone had a good weekend! Sorry it took me so long to get back to you guys about my trip to Brimfield. I had a great time! Holy lots of stuff, Batman!!! It was a bit overwhelming. I think you need more than a day to really see the whole show. As it was, I was there from about 10:30am to 4pm and I saw only half of it. And that was walking down the center of each aisle and only venturing into the booths that caught my eye. Afterwards, I was exhausted. But came away with some good stuff and the desire to definitely go back again next year:)

I went by myself on Saturday. One of my friends had invited me to go with her and a couple of her friends for 2 days during the week last week (and sleep over there), but I couldn't get the days off from work. I could have also gone on Sunday, but since it was the last day of the show, I was worried that stuff might be really picked over. Plus one of the larger conglomerates of vendors (J & J) was not going to be open on Sunday. So, Saturday it was. Of course, when my alarm went off, it was P.O.U.R.I.N.G outside! I got up anyways and rechecked the Brimfield website. They made sure a bunch of times to say that the show is open rain or shine, and that often times its better to go in the rain because there are less people. Then I rechecked the local weather for Brimfield (I'm about 1 hour 45 minutes away) and it said there was only a 10% chance of rain for the morning. I decided to go for it. And was glad I did, there was no rain until about 3pm that afternoon and it was a light drizzle that only lasted for a bit. Yay!

I ended up getting 5 things. I haven't found places for any of them yet, but I took these photos to show you guys. I'll do another post tomorrow or the next day on just some of the cool stuff I saw but didn't buy.

I went into the show knowing I wanted to keep an eye out for metal wire baskets. Remember that one I saw at Target last week that I liked? Well, I'm proud of myself...I found one for less money ($20.00) that's a lot bigger:)

I took the above pic to give you an idea of scale. This basket is big, like 3 ft across by a couple of feet tall. It has a handle that latches on to the front, or that you can flip over and keep in the back. I love its silver finish sprinkled with rust. Its from an old slipper factory in some place like Malone, NY.

I think I'm going to put it in our office. Right now we have a very colorful plastic crate that holds all our paper to be recycled..newspapers, magazines, extra or left over invitation stuff, etc. Usually the crate is overflowing, because our trash guys only collect the recyclables once every 2 weeks. I think all that paper will look way more stylish in this new/old metal basket. (Plus my office/studio inspiration pics had a lot of silver in them...this would help add that to the space.) I could also use it in our family room to hold all the throw pillows P dumps off the couch onto the floor when he's lounging/watching tv. Kinda like this:

I also wanted to find a vendor that sold those old school letter/number press printing blocks (movable type). Score! (Of course, I totally didn't write down the name of the booth...oops.) But I found a guy that had trays and trays of letters and numbers in tons of sizes and fonts. He was really nice - if you were say looking to spell out the word "cat", he let you grab all the "C"s, "A"s and "T"s you could find, then put them together in different combination until you decided which C, A and T you liked the best. For pricing, he would lay out your letters end to end vertically (so the C on top of the A on top of the T) and measure them with a little tape measure...it was $2.00 per vertical inch.

I went with these numbers for our wedding anniversary, July 29th:) I'm not sure where I'll put them yet, but I love making little vignettes, so I can use these on the mantle, ledge shelves, sitting atop a pile of books...

I splurged on this map of Dublin County, Ireland. It's a page from an old atlas, copyright 1898 (this antique map vendor had all the other counties as well). P's family is from a small town outside of Dublin, his mom came to the states from Ireland when she was in her early 20s (she still has a great accent and says things like "knickers"!). He still has lots of aunts and uncles and cousins over there, we visited them 2 years ago when we traveled to and around Ireland (so beautiful!). Not sure where we'll hang this map yet (need to frame it too), but I think it'll be nice to have a reminder of the land where "our" ancestors came from.

The weirdest/most random thing I got was this:

It's a wooden vice from the early 1900s (notice the lovely dove-tail joints, rusty iron bolt and humongous wooden screw). It's from an estate in Pennsylvania (my home state). These pics might be deceiving, it's pretty large...like a foot and a half wide and tall. I was not searching for a gigantic very old wooden vice...but I was on the look out for something sculptural and interesting that I could use on my mantle or in other found object type vignettes throughout the house (I guess I could always hang it on a wall too). I think it'll add a nice farmhouse/rustic vibe. This was sort of an impulse buy. I saw it, picked it up, thought it was cool and decided to get it...for $20. (Anyone know if this is the going rate for these or if I got screwed? Lol, no pun intended!)

The last thing I got was this really cool shade of blue/aqua Ball Mason Jar with a screw-on zinc cap. The color grabbed me as I was walking by this booth, so I went in and started picking up a bunch of the jars this guy had (all in this beautiful, subtle blue glass, just different shapes and sizes).

I didn't really know much about the origin of Mason jars or anything, but this guy started explaining some stuff to me. Apparently each glass jar has a number on the bottom of it (like a production mark). The 1 and 2 jars are pretty common. However, the 13 jars are not. See the bottom of my new jar?

Back in the old days of prohibition, these kinds of Mason jars were used to smuggle "White Lightning" (whiskey). The 13 jars where confiscated and destroyed first, since they were thought to be unlucky, so there aren't many of them left anymore. Cool, huh? The guy I bought this jar from bought his collection from the estate sale of an old gentleman who had managed to purchase 20,000 mason jars before he died!

{Who knew I had such good taste? Yesterday when I was catching up on blog posts, I saw Layla's about how she was updating her Lettered Cottage Home shop. I clicked over there to see what was new and found they are selling blue Ball Mason Jars too!!}

What do you guys think? Did I make out ok? I would totally recommend a trip to the show if you live relatively close enough. Even just for the people watching. And the fair food! Maybe next year we can get a group together to go!!


  1. Love all your finds!!!! Great job!

  2. Awesome finds! I have several blue mason jars, love the colour and the wavy old glass. They are in my ensuite bathroom post. Don't know about American antique prices, but that vice is way cool. Like you said, sculptural and utilitarian but very unique and large.

  3. I collect fruit fars - namely Masons and Canadian crown jars. I didn't know that about the 13 on them though. I'll have to check mine to see what they are. There is an antique shop here that sells three of them in graduated sizes for $6. You just reminded me that I want to try and grab another set before heading back to Canada.

    I love the wire basket you got! He sure is a beauty! I like the idea of using it for your recylables. So chic!

  4. I love all of your finds. The vice is awesome and looks so pretty against the white background. The mason jar is so yummy and pretty. You took beauteemous pictures! Great finds... Thanks for sharing!

  5. You got some very interesting and unique finds, I love the letters & numbers!

  6. Great finds! I love the old map and the letterpress blocks!

  7. I want to get maps of the states where I have lived. The more interesting ones are rather expensive, though. Someday....

  8. Thanks, everyone! Phew, good to know I'm not crazy and bought totally ugly things:)

    Elizabeth and Mandi - I was totally loving that blue Mason Jar glass. Maybe I should start collecting them now too?! Wow, 3 for $6? That's awesome, Mandi! You should def. get more. Now I'll know who to go to if I have more mason jar questions:)

    Teresa - P and I have been wanting maps of places where we've lived too. I think pulling them out of atlases is a great idea and probably cheaper than going for the large interesting ones. And remember, you can take anything to a copy center and pretty much make it any color you want, or all black and white, etc.

  9. I am completely jealous! Everything is awesome. That HUGE wire basket - I love it! And your wedding date movable type is so sweet. What beautiful treasures! I had no idea about the blue mason jars. I'm going to have to check mine out!

    Sounds like a great day despite the rain!


  10. great finds!
    and... ummmm hello? Letterpress blocks! To. die. for.


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