For weeks I had planned an antique shopping trip with Drew to Madison-Bouckville (in Upstate NY) for Antique Week (their week-long antique fair/show). I was told it is similar to Brimfield and we had both heard it was fantastic. In fact, in June we went to the smaller and more manageable version of their show and did quite well. But this one’s a big show (advertised as New York’s Largest Antiques and Collectibles show) with over 2,000 vendors and dealers so our original plan was to take the van and spend 3 days shopping there. I have family in the area so we had very nice digs and wonderful people to stay with…what a great plan!!
😢😢oh dear…not so fast!
The first day we walked 6 miles and ended up finding 5 things–within 25 feet of each other! Prices were high, the quality was poor or what my knowledgeable antique friends warn me about when shopping for antiques — “projects” (which translates to lots of “refinishing and restoring”).
As I said, I did find a few things but certainly not much of a pay off for the time we spent looking.
I was so disappointed. My feet ached at the end of the day, and I said to Drew, “I want to give up and go home!” But being the encouraging person he is, Drew tried to convince me…in true Scarlet O’Hara spirit…that “after all…tomorrow is another day” and it would be better.
The next morning we got up and hopped in the van ready to try again but Drew paused at the end of the driveway. He looked at me and said “do you want to go to New Hampshire and Maine?” It was a funny moment because I was thinking the same thing but didn’t want to say it out loud because Drew would think I was nuts!! “YES!!”, I said, “LET’S GO!!”. I was SO relieved.
So, 5 1/2 hours later, we landed in Maine and went to our favorite tried and true places and in less than 24 hours, we drove home with a van full of great things…vintage paintings, tables, trunks, mirrors, textiles, and more. In this situation saying “no” to Madison-Bouckville was the best thing we could have done. The whole trip would have been a bust if we hadn’t followed our instincts. And the great news for all of you is…all the things we found in New Hampshire and Maine (which aren’t all pictured here) will in our stores this weekend. Most will be at the Barn but if you’re interested in anything you see here, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Even though some might think we wasted a lot of time for my “love of old”, I learned (or rather re-learned) two important lessons. The same lessons I often share with readers here.
1) Only buy what you love
2) Once you find a great resource…trust it and your instincts.
Believe me, in the end, it will pay off!!
~ Here are some of my favorite antique shops in Maine & New Hampshire ~
York Antique Gallery – 746 US Route 1, York, ME. My favorite multi dealer shop in Maine. Over 65 dealers; I always find things to buy here. Great quality and finds! This is definitely a “trade” secret.
Pillars Antiques and Decorative Arts – 125A US 1, Freeport, Maine
Gurley Antique Center – 581 US Route 1 Scarborough, Maine 04074
Parker French Antiques & Parker French West – 1182 & 1190 1st N H Turnpike, Northwood, NH 03261
Fern Eldridge & Friends Antiques – 800 1st NH Turnpike, Northwood, NH 03261