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Bargaining the Brimfield Way

Behind The Scenes at Brimfield, The Largest Outdoor Antiques and Collectibles Market in the United States
Melissa Milgrom
From the Print Edition:
Claudia Schiffer, Jul/Aug 97

(continued from page 1)

"Anything military?"

"Any Japanese swords?" a woman begs, sounding like a 33-rpm record played on 78. She evaporates in a flash, but her echo, "Any Japanese swords? Any Japanese swords?" can be heard above the clatter, as she darts down the road.

"Fireman items?"

Nothing.

"Any Bliss dolls? Bliz dolls? Bliz dolls?" a woman with a German accent asks.

Nein.

"Lunch boxes? Lunch boxes? Anybody have lunch boxes?"

"Sorry, not here."

Finally, a man sights a late-Victorian cast-iron buffalo head, quite possibly cast by Alexander Calder's father, Alexander Calder. "This is totally out of my area," he says with a sigh, "but it is lovely."

Three times each year, tens of thousands of people from all over the world cram onto a one-mile strip of highway in the farmlands of central Mas-sachusetts. This highway pilgrimage is not based on spirituality; it is based on pure, unadulterated materialism. A quest for stuff, objects, things. Most antiques collectors know that Brimfield, Massachusetts, is home to the largest collection of outdoor antiques and collectibles shows in the United States. The elaborate recycling of wares that takes place at Brimfield is intense, especially among the dealers.


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