I’ve been attending the big outdoor antiques show at Liberty, NC since 2005, and in those years I’ve only missed the show one time. That’s because this antiques show is good. In the past few years I’ve reported that the festival was shrinking, with fewer vendors, but I’m happy to say that this spring’s show seemed to be the most robust in years. I’m hoping that is a sign that the economic recovery that began in 2010 is finally making sellers, and buyers, more confident.
Not only were there more vendors, it seemed as though there were more buyers. In years past I’ve noticed how the majority of buyers seems to be in the plus 60 demographic. This time around I saw lots of younger people out looking to build collections. It’s a cheering thought.
Still, one woman I talked with, older than me, was lamenting the state of things, saying I’d missed the golden years of Brimfield. That may be the case, but I still managed to see so much great old stuff here at Liberty, and I even added a few prime pieces to my own collection. There will be more on that later, of course. For now, here are some other items of interest.
The days of stumbling across big stacks of vintage fashion magazines seems to belong to the past. I spotted only one, and as luck would have it, I already have this issue of Vogue in my collection.
Continuing with the doggie theme, I spotted a salesman’s book of textile samples, got all excited only to find that the swatches had been removed and the book reused as a scrapbook. There were some adorable Scotties in it so that made me feel a bit better.
A lot of clothing dealers don’t like to do outdoor markets, but Liberty has a few that are always there, regardless of the weather. It was warm and dry this weekend which made looking even better, as some dealers only bring textiles if it is dry.
It seems like there are always a few great old dressmaker’s dummies. This one with the bustle back was the oldest one I saw at the show. (And check out the Serro Scottie camper!)
This was a new-to-me item – a homemaker’s workbook. All aspects of keeping a 1935 house were covered, from sewing to laundry to cooking. My guess is it was used in home economics classes.
This Kickaway box held underpants for little girls, but the company also made knickers for gym wear. I have a pair in my collection.
Great old poster for Indian motorcycles had a great (big) new price tag.
These double knit poly bells made a stunning display! Seriously, these are some of the best I’ve ever seen for sale, and all dead stock.
These are probably the oldest roller skates I’ve ever encountered, and only the high price tag kept me from buying them. The wheels are made of wood, as are the soles.
I’ve also noticed that the Liberty show is attracting more sellers of country antiques. There were lots of old rustic furniture, handmade baskets, and North Carolina pottery. This is not really my thing, but sometimes these dealers have great older textiles, which makes for a good learning experience.
All in all, it was a very good day!