The most common question I am asked by people who buy Sky Lark House items is: “Where do you get your inventory?”. I wrote a post HERE and HERE summarizing some of the places I routinely visit. However, I am so looking forward to 2022 and to re-visiting some of my favorite antique and vintage markets. Often times, you have to plan waaay in advance to attend these markets. They usually occur in the height of summer and fall when there are a million other things going on.
In January, I usually plan major events for my entire year. Yes, you heard that correctly. I plan out my events for the entire year. If I don’t block them out now – then I will miss them or be too busy to attend. One of the things I plan for is to attend some key antique or vintage markets.
The purpose of this post is to share with you some antique and vintage markets I routinely visit to find inventory. You also might want to add them to your calendar.
Brimfield Flea Market
Dates: May 10-15, July 12-17, September 6-11
About the Market
Most people have heard about Brimfield Flea Market which is located in Massachusetts. Three times a year, the Main Street in the town and the fields (I do mean expansive FIELDS) are converted into an enormous market where for 6 days- you can buy all sorts of vintage and antique items. This is a spectacular event and I look forward to it all year. Brimfield is held in May, July and September. If you want to find the best stuff – then definitely go early during the first of the 6 days. On the other hand, if you want to find the best deals – then visit on the last day. Some of the top designers in the industry shop Brimfield and for good reason.
As indicated, you can buy vintage European wares, early American antiques, Boho chic poufs and Moroccan rugs or even just some old collectible tins. This market literally has everything. Here is some advice – bring cash and a cart with wheels. Also, you will be doing a lot of walking so wear sturdy and comfortable shoes. One time Mr. SLH and I walked more than 9 miles in one day.
What I Buy
When visiting Brimfield, I tend to buy European wares. Specific examples include, antique hemp sheets to use for upholstery projects, vintage French cutting boards, old English advertising containers, antique bottles, antlers, and any piece of furniture that is reasonably priced and appeals to me. I also have purchased enamelware, and vintage gardening tools.
Madison Bouckeville Antique Fair
Dates: June 3-5, August 15-21
About the Fair
Madison-Bouckeville Antique Fair is another one of my favorite markets. It is held in the towns of Madison and Bouckeville which are in upstate New York – during the months of June and August. There is always a great turnout of dealers and there is always good inventory to be found. This is another event where you will do a lot of walking. Similar to Brimfield, dealers set up their booths in large open fields. There is an excellent variety of wares sold – but most of it is American. Mr. SLH loves to visit this fair because they always have a great selection of antique and vintage automotive signs. This is also a market where you will want to bring cash and some good walking shoes. For whatever reason, whenever we visit the fair, it always rains in the morning. So you may want to be prepared for a little rain. Similarly, your footwear should be able to withstand muddy fields and puddles of water.
What I Buy
This is one event where I almost always buy furniture and usually multiple pieces of furniture. For some reason, I have good luck finding dressers, tables, wardrobes, cupboards, stools and benches. It is also a great event for finding ironstone, butter pats, vintage flags, baskets, and architectural salvage. One time, I bought a camel saddle at this event. No kidding. I don’t even own a camel.
Round Top Antiques
Dates: Jan 21-22, Mar 28- April 2, Oct 24-29
About the Show
If you haven’t been to the Round Top Antiques Show in Texas – you may want to put it on your bucket list. Yes, I realize that Texas is quite a distance from New York. Trust me when I say – it is totally worth going to this massive show. Like Brimfield – there are a series of dealers who set up “shop” in a specified field or location. This show is massive and has some of the best quality antiques I have ever seen. Having said that, the prices here are higher but you will most definitely get your moneys worth. Also, you will need tickets to attend the event so you may want to purchase them in advance.
Well known designers attend Round Top Antiques Show every year – you will see pieces from this event on Chip and Joanna’s show Fixer Upper. There is an extensive selection of premium European furniture. There are massive barn doors and chandeliers that are for sale. Y’all this is Texas and everything they sell is just bigger. Heck, you can even buy an antique log cabin in Round Top. Due to the higher prices and larger pieces sold, many dealers will accept cards or venmo or paypal or square. However, cash is still the preferred method of paying for items – particularly smaller items. One piece of advice – Texans wear cowboy boots for a reason. When you go to the show, please wear closed toe shoes because there are fire ants in Round Top. Also, Texas can be HOT so make sure you stay hydrated.
What I Buy
This is a show where I generally will pay more to buy things that are more difficult to find. This includes European antiques like French canning jars, dough bowls, Cafe au Lait bowls, or other small items. I also will buy European grain sacks and light fixtures. I have had good luck finding vintage wooden signs that are hand painted. Having said that, there are other random items that I will come across that I will buy. One time I bought an entire stack of sheet music from 1912 for $10. It was like winning the lottery.
Route 127 Yard Sale
Dates: August 4-7
About the Sale
The Route 127 Yard Sale is known as the “world’s longest yard sale”! It is 690 miles long and includes 6 States. I have not yet been able to visit the Route 127 Yard Sale but it is definitely on my bucket list. From the video footage I have seen, you can pretty much buy anything during this sale. Old cars, DVDs, antique toys, ironstone, old shutters, old oil cans, engine parts, sets of vintage dishes, ironing boards and more. This is definitely a “hunting for treasures” type experience. It’s sort of the opposite of Round Top. If you like a great price and like the thrill of the hunt, this yard sale is for you. Many people drive along the route for several days and fill their truck/van/car up as they go.
What I Buy
I have not yet had the opportunity to shop this yard sale. However, when I go, I anticipate I would focus on looking for the usual antique and vintage items that I keep a list of in my head. I would be particularly open to furniture assuming I had a vehicle that had room to transport it. I am always on the look out for primitive finds, antique frames, antique books, yellow ware, old American flags, cast iron urns, mercury glass, and architectural salvage.
While I won’t be able to attend all these Antique and Vintage markets this year, I am hoping to at least attend a few that are closer to home. Alas, no Round Top for me this year. So, if you are able to attend any of these Antique or Vintage Markets – please let me know how you liked it. Also, I would love to see any photos of the things you bought.
Here are a few other Antique or Vintage markets that I also like to attend. They are located in various States. If click on the hyper link there is more information about the events offered.
Wouldn’t it be fun to take 6 months of the year and do nothing but drive to different States to attend these events? If this is your idea of fun too – we should definitely be friends.