Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Old and the New

We went to an antique festival today. It was only the second such event I have attended, and just like last time, I walked away a bit confused. About two-thirds of the stuff was junk to my eyes, looking like someone cleaned out their basement, and decided to sell all their garbage at obscenely high prices. The remainder of the stuff was gorgeous, so nice that I won't say overpriced, even though the prices were mind-boggling. There was amazing hand-made furniture, spectacular stained glass, and some old muskets that caught SodaBoy's eye.

There were also beautiful, museum quality paintings from the 1800s, available for the bargain price of $60,000. They really were very nice paintings. As we browsed in awe, enjoying them vicariously (never for a fleeting moment even considering a purchase), the proprietor kept telling us to let him know if we saw one we liked, and he would cut us a really good deal. Very nice and all, but I suspect "a really good deal" on a $60,000 painting would still be light years beyond our budget.

In some ways, the pricing contrasts make shopping at such events more fun, if a bit draining. Finding something you like or need at a reasonable price can be a real challenge. We didn't buy much, but our few vintages purchases were well earned in mileage, at least. We hoofed that festival from end to end.

One other interesting bit of contrast was evident in the landscape. Location, location, location. This particular antique fair is a big event, held at the same spot every year. SodaBoy had been once a few years ago with his parents, and always wanted to go back with me. In the meantime, a new wind farm was built in the rolling hills just north of the festival grounds. It was delightful to be engaged in a celebration of the old while dancing in the shadow of the new.

Click on the photo to see the wind turbines on the hills above the Antique Fest.


BlackenedBoy said...

My birth-mother Anne scours antique shows and yard sales for a living, buying valuable item at dirt-cheap prices and then reselling them at their actual value.

It's not uncommon for her to acquire something for a few dollars and then get one hundred back for it.

Her parents were in the antique business when she was little, though, and so she's been an expert in this field for a very long time.

Nadine said...

I don't believe I've ever been to an antique festival, but the concept appeals.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

I LOVE seeing antiques.

I love SOME antiques (to have). Others are very impractical for actual use.

I never went to a festival, but have been to LOTS of shops. I have a dear friend who always goes to a big one in BARKTOWN. He loves and collects antiques.

Glad you had fun.