Tag Archives: travel

The Mercanteinfiera in Parma, Italy

Mercanteinfiera
Pietra Dura Tray

When most people think of Parma, Italy they think of cheese and ham.  But antique-lovers should re-evaluate and think of Parma as a twice-a-year destination for antiques, served up with an exceptionally good side of food!  That’s because twice a year, in the spring and fall, the Mercanteinfiera – the largest antique show in Italy and one of the largest antique shows in Europe – is held in Parma. Thanks to the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Fiere di Parma, the show promoter, I was invited to attend the Mercanteinfiera in October 2016 along with a group of antique dealers and interior designers.

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Antiquing in Brimfield

BrimfieldThree times a year – in May, July, and September – the small Massachusetts town of Brimfield transforms into a massive antique fair. Running from Tuesday through Sunday, “Brimfield”  is actually an agglomeration of twenty shows that take place in multiple fields and buildings throughout the week.  The shows stretch along about a mile of Route 20, a two-lane road that runs through the center of town.

I’ve been to Brimfield many times over the past dozen years.  Here is my advice on what to expect and how to have the best shopping experience.

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Secret Shopping Days at the Oakland Museum White Elephant Sale

White elephant sale
A Small Portion of the Art Department

The Oakland Museum White Elephant Sale is the mother of all rummage sales in the Bay Area. Now in its 56th year, the sale is a major fundraiser for the Oakland Museum of California and a major vintage shopping destination.  While I first attended the White Elephant Sale about 20 years ago, I only learned about the secret donor shopping days several years ago.  Admittedly it’s not that big a secret since, if you read their website carefully the information is there, but it’s buried several pages in and not broadcast on the home page.  Once you know about donor shopping days you’ll always want to shop during them.  I save items all year to donate to the White Elephant Sale just so that I can shop during donor shopping days.

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Weekly Antique Markets in London

London is one of the great cities in the world in which to go shopping for antiques and almost every day of the week there is an antique market in which to find them.  Here is a list of the weekly markets and my tips for shopping at them:

antique markets in london

Monday:  The Jubilee Market Hall in Covent Garden has markets every day of the week, but Monday is antique day. The market opens early (5am) but on my latest trip I arrived at about 9:00 am and many dealers were just starting to set up; from talking to several dealers I gather that during the early morning hours they are busy selling amongst themselves.  The items available are smalls:  silver, china, decorative objets, jewelry, clothing.

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The Best Antique Market in London: Kempton Park

best antique market in london
Exterior pitches

The best antique market in London isn’t actually in London and,  as a result, often isn’t listed in guidebooks or internet searches. But if you love antiques and are visiting London, you should make a point of attending the antique market held twice a month at the Kempton Park racetrack. It’s an easy train ride from central London so, do as the locals do, and head to Kempton in search of antiques.

The Kempton Park Market

Formally known as the Sunbury Antiques Market, but referred to by locals as “Kempton”, it is held on the second and last Tuesdays of each month, rain or shine.  TIP: be sure to check the calendar because the LAST Tuesday can be the fourth of or fifth week of the month.  About 600-700 dealers are located in a series of three indoor spaces plus outdoor spaces.

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Antiquing in the Bay Area: the Alameda Point Antiques Faire

Updated June 2015 to reflect new information 

Alameda Point Antique Fair

Alameda PointIMG_2557While this is no secret to anyone living in the Bay Area, the Alameda Point Antique Faire should be on the must-do list of anyone visiting the Bay Area who has an interest in vintage and antique goods.  Not only is it great for shopping, but this is also a market with a view:  the market takes place on an air strip at the former Alameda Naval Air Station and has a view of San Francisco, the Bay, and the giant cranes of the Port of Oakland as a backdrop.

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Maker and Muse, part 1: Exhibit and Book

Maker and Muse Exhibit
maker and muse
Child and Child tiara
maker and muse
Stained glass dome in the Driehaus Museum

I recently visited the exhibit Maker and Muse, Women and Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry at the Driehaus Museum in Chicago.  Curated by Elyse Zorn Karlin, author of Jewelry and Metalwork in the Arts and Crafts Tradition, the exhibit explores the multiple roles women played in the creation of early 20th century art jewelry as makers, patrons, and subjects.  About half of the 250 pieces in the exhibit are drawn from the collection of Richard H. Driehaus – founder of the museum – and half are on loan from other museums and private collections.  I was in Chicago to attend the annual conference of the Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts (ASJRA) which was focused this year on the subjects covered in the museum exhibition.  For my post on the conference click here.

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Antiquing in Texas: Round Top

Round topI’ve wanted to attend the big antiques fair in Round Top, Texas for many years and finally did so this year. Known as “Antiques Weekend” or “Texas Antiques Week”, both are really misnomers as the shows take place over more than a two week span (March 21-April 5 in 2015, the year I attended).

During this time period over 60 separate shows take place in several towns about midway between Austin and Houston, with the greatest concentration in the towns of Round Top and Warrenton.  I stayed in Austin and it was about an hour and a half drive.  The shows are mostly strung along a 10 mile stretch of highway 37.

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The Women’s Travel Fest

I’ve always loved seeking out antique markets while traveling but when I started going on buying trips for my antique jewelry business a few years ago this became the focus of my travels, and finding great markets became critically important. Unfortunately, I found much of the information online and in guidebooks to be poor.  So I decided to fill that vacuum and share my discoveries on this blog and make it a resource for antique dealers, collectors, and travelers with a love of antiques.

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Antiquing in Florida: Summary Post

I’ve written several blog posts about antiquing in Florida and have created this post as a summary with links to all of the posts. I’ve also taken this as an opportunity to update some information in posts that were written last year.

Antiquing in Florida:  Antique Row, West Palm Beach
antique row
D. Brett Benson  Jewelry
Antiquing In Florida:  Palm Beach
Deja Vu
Deja Vu
Antiquing in Florida: Thrift Shops of Palm Beach County
Thrift shop
Palm Beach Gardens Goodwill
Antiquing in Florida:  Lake Worth
BKG Antique Mall
BKG Antique Mall
Antiquing in Florida:  Mount Dora
Mount Dora
Renninger’s Extravaganza
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