Liberty Antiques Festival, Spring 2013

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.





Filed under Shopping

19 responses to “Liberty Antiques Festival, Spring 2013

  1. So many delightful things! My mind is blown by the suitcase! You come across suitcases that once had such a wonderful contraption in them, but over the years pieces got lost, or broken, so I never FULLY understood! Now I do! And I NEED something like that now!


  2. Divine Enid bag and those blow up boot supports are a hoot.


  3. I’m amazed those boots supports have lasted so well for so long and once-upon-a-time I would have “died” for the Skipper doll case. Isn’t that suitcase with the paper frocks fascinating and I would quite happily skip home with all the Edwardian/20s slips and frocks in the lovely pastel booth.


  4. Wish I would have been there with you! What fun. And I absolutely love the tree with the hats. xo


  5. Thanks for the vicarious trip to the Liberty Flea Mkt…I pretended I was there enjoying the sites with you. Wish I would have known about Liberty…It would have been a great day trip. I too, loved the little red Cushman. Thanks for sharing all the pictures.


  6. Oh, so many wonderful things! The paper dress in the suitcase is so interesting to see. And the boot supports are so funny! (You can use a pool noodle cut in half nowadays for your tall boots.)

    My favorite is the McCall’s pattern book page! I never knew they did that with some of the old patterns! Why oh why did they not think to print the movie photo on the envelopes too?? That would be such a major selling point today. (I’m kind of surprised they don’t still try to do this so “officially” since they make patterns that are obviously knockoffs from movies or famous events like the Royal Wedding, but it’s probably about not wanting to pay for the rights.)


    • I learned that McCall’s did this when I found a feature in the McCall’s magazine, with photos of Audrey Hepburn from the film along with the patterns. I started looking for the four designs, and was shocked to learn that the envelopes were not marked in any way, except to say they were designed by Givenchy.


  7. I love vicariously antiquing through your blog! The paper dress is so awesome.


  8. Sigh. I wish I had been there. with a lottery win. xxx


  9. Lisa

    Wow- so much Great stuff. I have a pair of the boot supports in their original box, but have never blown them up. The kidney box is my favorite.


  10. Looks like a wonderful show! My favorite things: the Glencoe Mills samples, the kidney plaster (!!) advertising box/thingy, and the farm shoes ad.


  11. Teresa

    This looks like such a fun event. I love those boot supports!


  12. Karen Antonowicz

    Fabulous post. I really enjoyed it!


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