Tag Archives: Charlotte Metrolina Flea Market

Metrolina Antiques Flea Market, Spring 2014

Last weekend was the first big seasonal market of the season, the Metrolina in Charlotte.  I’ve been attending this show since 2003, and it is a good case in how the selling of collectibles and antiques has changed over the years.   This show has gone from being one that took all day to see everything to one that can be adequately covered in four or five hours.  On the other hand, the items are, for the most part, of a higher quality, with less junk and more real vintage and antiques.

I’ll admit that I miss the old days of prowling through boxes of ratty this-n-that only to pull out a wonderful vintage novelty print textile.  I miss the rows of part-timers selling out of the backs of their trucks.   And I really miss some of the long-time vintage clothing sellers from the Mid-Atlantic who don’t bother to make the trip south any more.

The key to success in this era of reduced opportunities is to get to know the great vendors who are left.  That’s Nanette of Wintergreen Farm hiding behind her display.  She has become a valuable source for me.  She knows what I like and in her own buying trips is always looking for sportswear for me.

This time she had some of the niftiest 1940s hats, which of course you can’t really see in my photo.

Another advantage of a smaller show is that you have more time to really stop and examine the merchandise and talk with the sellers.   It seems like I always spot things I’ve never before seen, like these cute Little Dressmaker kits from the late 1950s.  The seller had a whole stack of them.

I’m not sure what one would do with these spools of Lurex, the metallic yarn that never tarnishes.

I had seen this print before, but I always enjoy it.  Dated 1898.

I loved these women skiers postcards, but they were priced a little out of my range.

I’d love to say that there was several yards of this wonderful nautical print, but it was merely a square on a quilt.

I love old pennants.  This one was $300.  I didn’t buy it.

Another plus to attending a smaller show is that there is time to stop at antique malls on the way home.  One of the newer malls in the area is the Catawba River Antiques Mall, which was recommended by Marge Crunkleton.  As you can see, the place is huge,  It is housed in an old textile mill, the Majestic Mill in Belmont, North Carolina.  Opened in 1910, the Majestic Mill was a cotton spinning facility which made fine yarns for stockings and other fine uses.  Imagine, if you can, the 10,944 spindles that operated in this mill.

Though not fully occupied, this mall shows real promise.  I found lots of things there that were interesting.

One dealer had quite a few of these WPA costume prints.  They were part of the Museum Extension Project, in which workers assisted museums with various tasks.  These were educational prints intended for museum programs.

Marge has a wall of her lovely heads, as well as her small sculptures and dolls.

This was a funny little find.  It is a comic book that demonstrates basic sewing techniques. Note the name of the author.

I suppose this is a clothespin bag, as the seller had on the tag, but it’s a funny print for a homemaker to have chosen.

There was a nice selection of feedsack fabrics.

This hangtag was on a pair of mid 1960s Quarter Deck Pants from White Stag.

This fabric was actually part of an apron.  I’m not a cat fan, but boy, did I ever love the print!





Filed under Shopping

Season Opener

Last week was what I consider to be the opening event of flea market season – the Charlotte Metrolina Flea.  That’s my name for the event.  The official name – The International Collectibles and Antiques Show – sort of makes it seem a bit grander than it really is.  Not that there are not lots of collectibles, and even antiques, but this is truly a mix of the highbrow and the lowbrow.

My favorite thing this time around was not even for sale.  It was the clever reuse of a vintage travel trailer as a portable store.  It’s called The Go Girl Shoppe, and it was just the cutest thing there.

I was a day later than I like to go due to rain on Friday, and when that happens I tend to obsess over what the people who were willing to wear rubber boots and carry umbrellas found and bought while I was home warm and dry.  And invariably some sadistic dealer has to tell about all the fabric he sold for $1 a piece the day before.

It was a good day to find vintage patterns.  It almost made me wish I was  still selling them.  I said, almost

This 1940s stunner was found in a stack of 1960s patterns.

I was almost hypnotised by this paint-by-number Pinkie.  I realized that it was the lack of pupils in her eyes that drew me in.

This is Scarf Mountain.  I didn’t look through them all, as I encountered this vendor back in November and I didn’t have the energy to plow through the pile.  Maybe I should have, because this is where I found a lovely 1960s Liberty of London scarf last fall.

Lots of great petticoats in this booth.

This fabric was part of a major ad campaign by Springs Mills starting in 1947.  The sexually suggestive nature of the ads made them controversial.  Today we’d be more shocked by the sexism and racism implicit in the the ads than the images themselves.  It’s an interesting bit of textile history that today is more relevant as social history.

The company actually had Cole of California make the fabric up into various items of clothing.  Scroll down to see the ad where this fabric is shown.

And, just for fun, here’s one last look at the Go Girl Shoppe.


Filed under North Carolina, Shopping