Tag Archives: Liberty Antiques Festival

Liberty Antiques Festival – Spring, 2017.

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!

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Liberty Antiques Festival, Fall 2016

The late September Liberty Antiques Festival has come and gone, and with it the year’s flea markets are pretty much over.  It’s a sad time but I have plenty of things to show and talk about, and I’m sure it will cheer me up a bit.

Above is a hooked rug, Scottie theme.  I took the photo, and tried to forget about it, but I could not, so hours later I made my way back to the booth, thinking that it had surely sold.  But it was still there, and the vendor even offered a generous discount.  So this one is now in my office.

I love seeing the contraptions that women have worn under their clothing in order to accomplish a fashionable silhouette.  One could sit, but not recline while wearing this bustle.

I thought this late Victorian tennis player was so lovely.  I especially like her hat.

Even if I were to not buy a thing, going to a market like this one is invaluable in the education department.  These old riding boots were way out of my range of knowledge, but it was fun to take a few minutes and study them.

I have to make myself take ten deep breaths when I encounter a nice grouping of vintage sewing patterns, especially when they are as great as these.  My new rule is that if there is no chance I’ll ever make it, then I cannot buy the pattern.  Still, I was so tempted by the 1920s one.

I was also tempted by this grouping of shoes.  It did not matter that I really do not need any 1920s sports shoes.  I stood there and tries to come up with a good reason to spend over $200 for these.  Common sense prevailed.

There are times when I turn down an object based purely on price.  In the 1950s when jet travel became available and people besides the rich leisure class could afford to travel abroad, handbags with travel destinations became popular.  I have several, but would have added this one as well, but I felt that it was over-priced.  These were not high quality items to start with, and it doesn’t make a lot of sense to put a lot of money into something that is already well represented in my collection.

This is about the oddest Collins of Texas bag I’ve ever seen.  It was made after Enid Collins sold the company to Tandy, so it is probably 1970s.

I loved this uniform, and I had to remind myself that I’m not a uniform collector.  I do think women’s uniforms would make a fabulous collection though.  Anyway, the seller did not have any information about the dress and hat, which were a set.  The hat and one collar have plastic sword pins, and the other collar has a Red Cross pin.  The dress and hat looked post WWII to me, and were in incredible condition.  I’d appreciate any ideas you might have about them.

This 1940s poster really made me want to shop in that store.

And finally, I really do need an aviatrix’s ensemble, don’t you think?

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Liberty Antiques Festival – Fall 2015

For ten years I’ve been going to the Liberty Antiques Festival.  I’ve always gone by myself, leaving my husband, Tim, at home with the dog.  But we are now dogless, our dear little terrier having left us after over eighteen years, and so Tim decided to see what it is that is so interesting that I have to go twice a year to a field that is literally in the middle of nowhere.

Unfortunately, the weather was dismal, with rain alternating with more rain, and so we spent a wet morning trying to visit all the vendors who were huddled under their tents in an effort to keep their treasures dry.  Still we had a really good time, and we both kept a sense of humor about the day, especially with so many great things to see.

The Ideal Velveteen illustration was a store counter ad that someone framed.  It was so pretty.

This booth is vintage handbag heaven.

One seller had several dozen feedsacks.  I love looking at them, trying to find unusual designs and novelty prints.  The one on the far right caught my eye.

How great is that?

I guess that this is proof that fashion has been used to sell almost anything!

I fell head over heels for this tea towel with Scotties.

There were few fashion magazines this time, but it seems like I always find something to stop and study.

Which is better, the hair tonic and head rub sign, or the doll hospital cut-out sign?

These adorable little children’s dresses were tempting.  I can’t help thinking that they were made for twins.

I suppose this is a Southwestern Native American souvenir piece, Navajo perhaps.

I could not help but imagine all the great stuff that had to have passed under that sporting goods sign.

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Liberty Antiques Festival – Spring, 2015

I’m back in the land of the internet, but with a new hard drive and new programs, so it is taking me a while to get up to speed. I know I don’t really have to say this because you readers are all very smart, but just as a reminder, ALWAYS back up your files.

As always, The Liberty NC Antiques Festival is always worth a trip.  I love it because many of the sellers there save their best for the twice-a-year show, and I always see new things and I always learn something.  This show was a bit light on clothing and textiles, which was a shame.  I think sellers are reluctant to bring them if rain is predicted as it is held outdoors.

And while there were not a lot of textiles, there were enough fashion related items to keep me happy.  For some reason there were quite a few vintage and antique dressmaker’s dummies, and even in the early hours of the show, most of them were labeled “sold.”

I took this photo, not because these spools are special, but because it occurred to me that those of you living in a place where textiles were not manufactured might not find them to be quite as ordinary as we do here in North Carolina.  I don’t think I’ve even been to a show in the piedmont of North Carolina where there were not piles and boxes of these old spools.

Old advertising pieces often have a lot to say about fashion.  They also remind us that a pretty girl (with shapely ankles) can sell anything, including ice cream.  I liked this paper fan not only because it was local, but also because I can imagine it was given out as a freebie at a 1915 baseball game in Winston-Salem.

And there is nothing like a pretty girl in her underwear to sell corn medication.

I’m wondering how they kept those Chesterfields lit, and how she kept that hat from flying away.

Look carefully at this 1930s display and you’ll notice that the bottle of ginger ale is not part of the print, but is an actual bottle.  There is a little recess with a shelf and it is made to look like an icebox.  So clever, and quite pricey!

I guess I should have bought this great summertime picnic in the backyard print.  It was an apron.

I found this interesting scarf in a box of linens.  Can you tell that the butterfly wings are applied plastic “jewels” like were used on Enid Collins bags?   I was sure this was a Collins piece, but further investigation proved me wrong.

Vera Neumann, and an early piece at that!

The Lilly Purse by Tommy Traveler.  These were vinyl and cheap, but how cute is that display of them!

A 1920s pearl restringing outfit.

Mermaids always insist on real mother of pearl buttons.

Click to enlarge

 

The Parisian Dressmakers Formula by Mrs. L.M. Livingston, copyright 1876.  Note that this cost ten dollars, a lot of money in 1876.  Also note that it appears that the owner got her money’s worth, as it shows signs of being used quite a bit.  Anyone here ever used such a system?

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Liberty Antiques Festival – Fall 2013

Last weekend was my favorite regional antiques venue, the Liberty Antiques Festival.  It’s held in a large field under tents, and really does make for a great day of shopping and looking at wonderful old stuff.  As in years past, the festival does not quite live up to its promise of “No crafts or reproductions.”  There were several booths that contained antique-y stuff that was made to look old, and that’s a shame.

Still, the great majority of items were old, and there seemed to more dealers present than in the spring.  The crowd was a bit lighter though.  I’m not sure why, as it was a perfect day for out-of-doors antiquing.

The woman in the photo above made the deal of the day.  She bought two paisley shawls from the seller for $75.  They had a few little holes, but over all they looked great.

One seller had three boxes of vintage socks.  I loved the colors of these.

Lots of dealers had vintage Halloween collectibles.  I used to collect Halloween things before several books were written on the subject and the prices sky-rocketed.  I still love looking at it and I especially loved the big pumpkin, which is actually an apron.

This was a box of dead-stock swimsuits for little girls.  Note the Fuller Fabrics tag.

I should have bought this lounger, and probably would have been serious about it had there been two of them.

I usually don’t buy Seventeen (except for issues from the mid 1960s) unless they are dirt cheap.  These were $10 each, and while not terribly expensive, not worth it to me.

Love these great old ice skates!

This was a very interesting Edwardian dress.  Can you make out the beaded design?

Pretty creepy, no?

This attractive wool coat was labeled “Victorian,”  But it sure looks late 1930s to me.  The design on the front is very nice, and the price was attractive, but there were numerous moth holes.

This was a cute item – a booklet of cocktail napkins with anthropomorphic drinks.

This is a tin letter holder.  On the back was the date, 1923.  I really wanted this, but the seller was nowhere to be found and there was no price tag.  I meant to go back, but then forgot.

I can’t figure out why Acme used a brown boot in an ad featuring the Man in Black.

Meet Katie, the cutest salesgirl at the festival.

It’s always exciting to find a box full of miscellaneous old clothes.  In this case, I did not buy any of it, but there were some really nice items like that grey tweed.  It was a 1950s fitted jacket.

Nothing like a day on the farm!

 

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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.

 

 

 

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Liberty, Part 2

This was one of those trips where if I were still selling vintage clothing and patterns, I’d have filled the car.  When you buy only for yourself you tend to be a lot more cautious, especially when you already have so much in the vintage line.  Still, I bought some very nice things, but no actual clothing.

I keep reading accounts of places like Brimfield, and I get really jealous.  I do hope to be able to start fitting in more trips north, and I especially want to go to the Sturbridge vintage show.  But  on the other hand, because I collect North Carolina textile and travel ephemera, I’m always pretty much assured of finding some of these things in a North Carolina show.

I found the 1934 and 1935 issues of the Spinning Wheel, an annual publication of the NC Cotton Industry.  I also found a 1938 publication of the National Association of Hosiery Manufacturers.  These may seem like dry reading, but they are fascinating to someone who is always wanting to know more about this industry.

The fabric on the left is a 1930s rayon, and the floral is a 20s or early 30s chiffon.  They seller had two big bins of this stuff and I sure was tempted.

This is a 1939 sporting goods and clothing catalog from Von Lengerke & Antoine, Chicago’s answer to Abercrombie & Fitch.  I’ll be showing the contents a bit later.

October 1942 Harper’s Bazaar.  What more is there to say?

Seven copies of Fashionable Dress.

Aren’t these something?  I’m always on the lookout for great old sunglasses.

So, how did I do?

 

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