Hope everyone had a great Holiday! I was up in Vermont visiting my family and got to browse through my mom's antique shop for fun and funky stuff to put into my booth at the Rhode Island Antique Mall. Actually heading down tomorrow (12/29) to rearrange and add in about 30 new and estate fresh items. I bought this awesome 50's Tobacadoir sign at an auction recently in Massachusetts. Auctioneer Arthur Crisafelli http://www.aacauctions.com/. has some great Monday night sales in Medford, MA. This sign came directly from an estate attic with some of the most wonderful things I've seen sold at an auction in recent years. So many of the items were rare and in pristine condition. I bought another sign that was likely done by the same maker for a Habadashery store and some of the most wonderful smalls. This is a great time to hit auctions and shop antique stores because we're through the holidays and a lot of dealers run specials during January to clear out merchandise and get cash for the start of the new antique season. The start of the season varies depending on what part of the country you're in. For us in New England, the adopted official start date is the Brimfield Flea Markets that happen the second week of May. I know many of the dealers at the RI Antiques Mall will also be doing January sales. Those sales vary by booth in both duration and amount, but you can usually count on 15 - 25% off at least. It's also a great time to make an offer for something that you want. Dealers are most willing to negotiate on pricing during the first couple months of the year because they want cash to invest in new stuff that will start coming up at auctions, shows and shops. I'm putting in a rare and wonderful bakelite dice bottle opener into my booth tomorrow as well as this very rare bakelite dice cage that must have been used for a game. The green base and gold and red post are all bakelite and in 40+ years of antiquing I've never seen one like it. This came from that same estate auction and is so fresh to the market. From my mom's shop I got 3 of the cutest pairs of kids cowboy boots in their original boxes. It looks like these boots were worn once or twice and then put right back into the box. At $35 each, they're a steal! I picked up another 15 items that came directly from a picker who still gets into old homes. I was searching auction websites recently and noticed that Archie and Josh Steenburgh, http://www.steenburgh.com/ have a great sale coming on up January 7th at Alumni Hall in Haverhill, NH. Archie and Josh usually put their best sales in Alumni Hall so you know the stuff will be good. I actually bought my first antique from George Clement who was an old time auctioneer in the Haverhill area and Archie started as an apprentice under him. Oh, the sales they used to have!!! George hooked up often with a guy named Harley Kaiser from Wells River, Vt. and they had some of the most amazing sales you'll ever want to see at the town hall in Wells River. If we only knew then what we know now we would have bought everything sold and held onto it! I remember once buying an awesome ladder back chair with original seat and paint and one of the fanciest finial detailing. We paid $42.50 and the crowd was gasping because it was such a high price. That chair still sits in my parents house in Vermont.
So, check out those shops, auctions and shows in the next few weeks and I can assure you you'll come up with some reasonably priced treasures. Happy shopping!