Last weekend was the best time to be had in any cow pasture in the state. I’m talking about the semi-annual Liberty Flea Market, or properly put, the Liberty Antiques Festival. Hands down, it is the very best antiques and vintage show in my area, and so I’m happy to get up way before daylight for the drive.
In the past few years I’ve noticed that most flea markets and antique malls have gotten smaller. In fact, my report last fall on Liberty indicted a smaller show with fewer buyers. Not so this spring. It was the most robust show I’ve ever attended there (and I’ve been going since 2005), with more dealers and definitely more buyers. But best of all, the quality of items was up, but prices seemed to be stable.
I learned a long time ago that good markets are worth attending even if I don’t find anything to buy. Fortunately, I did make some very nice purchases, but even more valuable is the experience of seeing things that are new to me. The education at places like this can be priceless.
So here’s what I saw and learned on this trip. I’ll show purchases later.
This is a very poor photo of a lovely booth. The seller had some pretty 1920s and Edwardian dresses.
I admired this little collection of miniature hand cranked sewing machines.
I spotted this page from a 1959 McCall’s pattern catalog while looking through a stack of paper. What caught my attention was how this was a design of a dress that was worn in Tall Story, starring Jane Fonda and Tony Perkins. The movie was pretty much a flop, but there must have been enough buzz about it for McCall’s to do this tie-in. What really irritates me about how McCall’s handled this sort of thing is how the fact that is is the same dress Fonda wore in the movie is not indicated in any way on the pattern envelope. I know that people shopping for patterns in 1959 would have known, because the pattern would have been picked out from the catalog, but today the connection is lost. They did this with other movie tie-ins, including four designs Givenchy did for Audrey Hepburn in How to Steal a Million in 1966.
I did not buy these fabric samples because they were a bit pricy. I sort of regret it though, as they are such great examples of vintage North Carolina produced textiles. The Glenco Mill is long closed, and the former company store is now a museum.
Such a great graphic for an odd product!
I thought this paper dress showing the hanging and folding feature of this suitcase was just charming!
The tag said this little loom was a salesman sample. It certainly was complicated and detailed if that were the case.
There were a lot of Enid Collins bags, but this hot air balloon was the best.
With all the talk about Diana Vreeland recently, I was interested to see this poster for Dance, one of the last exhibitions she organized for the Costume Institute at the Met, in 1986.
Sylvia gives weight loss advice to the 1935 woman.
I loved this great little travel case for the Skipper doll.
This great advertising poster for work shoes features the cleanest farmer ever.
I wanted this really, really badly.
How about a pair of blow-up boot supports?
And finally, this has to be the most creative hat rack ever.