As promised, here is the second half of the Connecticut adventure to The Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market-this is the good stuff! So we arrived around 8am to a sea of parked cars
in a large open field surrounded by rolling hills and trees. This place is huge-not Brimfield huge, but there are 55 acres with hundreds of tents and tables. Lined up in orderly rows and flanked by food trucks, it made for quite an excursion for the thousands of shoppers already rummaging and haggling for goods and wares.
As we keep attending more flea markets, antique shows and auctions, I am noting that this year’s trends are still holding strong: industrial, schoolhouse, old tools and of course, animals. Taxidermy,
metal work roosters,
deer old lawn ornaments (aren’t these two so sweet?)
and mounted deer heads
were all right at home in what once was vast alfalfa farmland. At this flea, there was not a lot of repurposing or repainting, everything was pretty much “as is”. With a few notable exceptions. One booth had many painted and distressed tables and cupboards. Nice work.
This amazing metal-work coffee table was created by Jepsen’s Restoration. He uses everyday items like signs and horseshoes and boxes and pipes and creates custom industrial works of art.
This hand-painted flag trunk
and this vintage decorated suitcase using old census listings were re-designed by Don S. Wing. Very well-crafted and vintage pretty.
So as we were strolling, Coach taps me and says “look, there are cameras!”.
Sure enough, a camera crew was running after a couple of contestants from the HGTV show Flea Market Flip! If you haven’t seen the show, Lara Spencer (the Lifestyle anchor for Good Morning America-an avid flea marketer herself and author of NY Times Bestseller I Brake for Yard Sales) hosts a televised flea market competition- two teams get $500 each to spend in 1 hour. Here, she was chatting with the vendor who had just sold a table to a team for the show.
Then, they repurpose their items to resell at the Brooklyn Flea Market. The team that earns the highest net profit wins $5000! We watched for a couple of minutes, then moved on, only to encounter Lara and her entourage chatting and laughing.
Back to shopping and not stalking the game show host. As I continue to work on styling my own shop at the Vintage Thymes Monthly Market, I notice that my eye is always drawn to groupings (must be my touch of OCD at work?). Trays of jewels sparkling in the morning sun,
Vintage brass pipes and faucets make an industrial statement
colorful license plates all in a row.
This collection of colorful circles-gears and wheels-is art in itself.
Anyone got a welding torch? I always wanted to look like Jennifer Beals in Flashdance with my own personalized welder’s mask.
Well, actually, I always wanted to look like Jennifer Beals. I did have me some rad leg warmers…
OK, back to the flea. This collection of broken statue heads was intriguing and I stood there thinking “what could I do with these?”, but nothing came to mind.
As was this collection of metal junk pieces. Tiny Monopoly tokens, vintage jewelry pieces, broken barrettes, metal tokens, little bits of everything and nothings. Looked like a miniature Armageddon in a bowl.
But I am really kicking myself for not grabbing some of these. I had seen a mirror once where they had glued all sorts of miniature items around the frame and then sprayed the entire thing white. That would have made a great conversation piece! This vignette caught my eye- not sure if it was the pretty umbrellas or the fake furs or the antiqued frames, but the pastel palette was pleasing to look at!
I always enjoy hearing the stories of where people acquired their offered items. We came upon this truck with piles of these beautiful art prints on heavy parchment paper.
The sellers said that they were cleaning out a shop in Nantucket and hundreds of these prints were hidden away in a back storage room. They had been there for years, yet the colors were so vivid and brilliant! Of course, a couple right before us grabbed the whaling print we really loved. Moving along, we bumped into the Flea Market Flip entourage again. This time with different contestants, and Lara had changed her outfit. It appears that they shoot more than one episode per shopping day? Surrounded by cameras-both the crew’s and onlookers’-they seemed to be having quite a bit of fun.
And then we found The Duke…John Wayne.
We never did get a chance to chat with the owner of this booth, but he appeared to have props-from an amusement park, perhaps? Menacing Jaws (he could definitely use some floss…),
pint-sized choo-choo trains
20 foot signs and larger-than-life-sized statues (this one looks a bit like Coach, don’t you think?)
He also had these amazing rusted wheels that came from a vintage coffee grinder from the Enterprise Manufacturing Company. Each wheel weighs about 20#-they must have been some giant coffee beans! Coach and I looked at them, discussed what we would do with them, and then walked away.
Word of advice-if you really want something at a flea market, buy it right away, because someone may come along behind you and scoop it up! In this case, we doubled back and a potential buyer was standing there negotiating with the owner for them! Coach swooped in and grabbed them-our prize for the day, along with this antiqued brass National Cash Register drawer faceplate. What are we going to do with them? You’ll have to tune it to a later blog post to find out. But for now, rest assured, we will be heading out again to the next big market in our own home state. No more Bates Motels for me!! Have a bargain of a day everyone! Susan