I always think of the first weekend in April as the beginning of flea market season. That’s because this weekend is the Metrolina “Spectacular”, the biggest show of the year at the North Charlotte expo center. The first time I went to this market, fifteen or so years ago, it was truly spectacular. It took every bit of a day to barely cover it all. There were ten or twelve excellent vintage clothing sellers.
For the past six or seven years the show has been shrinking. What used to take eight hours to see now can be done in five, and the latest show was the smallest yet. Most of the vendors I spoke with about this blamed the economy, and a few grumbled about the management of the show. Whatever the cause, there was less to see, and less that I found to buy. And that’s really the bottom line. There was a good crowd of shoppers, but if they aren’t buying, then the sellers are not going to be successful.
I’m sure there were a lot of people like me. I’ve learned that I do not have to own every great thing that I spot. A trip to the flea market is as much an education as it is a buying experience, and these days, the education seems to be the biggest part of it.
Most of these photos were taken yesterday at Metrolina, and others were taken recently at various vintage venues.
I thought this camping cook chest was interesting, but it was so heavy! The contents were aluminum, but that didn’t seem to help much. To be used only for sites one can drive to.
I guess women in skimpy bathing suits have always been used to attract attention in advertising and on magazine covers.
All right, I’ll admit that I almost bought this golf themed handbag.
This was probably the most interesting thing I saw all day. These are photographs that were colorized with red. The young woman is a fencer, and the theme extends to the frame. The seller said it came out of an estate in Tennessee, and she did not know the woman’s name, nor the date, but I’d say 1905-1914. The fading is unfortunate, and was caused by sun exposure and the fact that the photos were backed with wooden slats.
Just in time for Easter was this fantastic store poster. Pre-Easter sale at Calahan’s Women’s Wear, the latest spring modes just out.
I found a small example of Springmaid fabric – the one that was made after a controversial ad campaign by the company.
One seller had quite a few athletic letter sweaters. This one was just full of the owner’s “trophies” including a very unexpected National Honor Society patch.
And if one was in the market for a Pendleton shirt, they had a terrific selection.
This is an example of Chimayo Weavers work, something I don’t see a lot of here in the Southeast.
And, yes, there were Scotties. I was able to look, admire, and not buy.
This fake Louis Vuitton cardboard suitcase was covered in fake stickers of questionable taste.
Excuse the terrible photo, but I did have to share this one of an antique garment drafting machine. I have no idea of how it worked, or if it were complete, but I loved that the instruction book was not lost.