13/05/2012 § 1 Comment
Had a lovely time visiting the Brimfield Antique Show on Friday with Lani! Luckily, we had lovely weather to match. Unluckily, the week’s rain had kept away a lot of the other antique hunters for the better part of the week, resulting in a very crowded and lengthy drive in, but we didn’t let that get us down!
As to be expected of the Northeast’s (and perhaps the country’s?) largest antique show, Brimfield doesn’t really offer many deals. The Brimfield dealer is savvy, picky even. They know that somewhere, someone is wandering around in the fields that would be willing to pay their inflated prices, either because they don’t know any better or because they just don’t care about the cost. And for good reason, as the creative services and design teams of some of the biggest mainstream Americana brands (Ralph Lauren, Abercrombie and Fitch) regularly sweep through Brimfield looking for inspiration (and pay top dollar for it).
That said, going to Brimfield is still a lot of fun — there’s great food and even better people watching. There’s also some truly weird stuff out there. It’s definitely my favorite Brimfield pastime to play “Didn’t you tell me you needed _______?” In which the blank is filled in with the weirdest thing within sight, e.g, a Liberace pillow, a 5 foot-tall tea kettle, and the like.
Lani is excited for…
23/12/2011 § 2 Comments
Photos of the Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt, March 1949, at Badminton House in Gloucestershire, England. The Beaufort is one of the oldest and largest fox hunts in England. Founded by the 1st Duke of Beaufort in 1682, later heads of the House of Beaufort have all either hunted or occupied The Beaufort’s mastership, and the hounds, kennels and stables are still held by the family. The 11th and current Duke of Beaufort, David Robert Somerset, currently occupies the mastership of the pack and acts as its patron.
Two unfortunate things about these photos. First, the pictures are not captioned so I have no idea who is who — but I do know that the 10th Duke of Beaufort isn’t shown. Second, as the pictures are in black and white, you don’t get to notice the distinctive livery color of the Duke’s Hunt. Instead of wearing the traditional red, the huntsman and whippers-in wear green, while the subscribers wear blue coats with buff facings (you can notice the buff facings, though).
Aside from that, they’re really great. I especially love the ladies sitting sidesaddle with their top hats, and the servants navigating their way around the horses with their silver trays. Lovely. It’s no accident I’ve been finding myself looking for a beaver fur top hat of my own…
A lovely illustration of the Beaufort Hunt I found over at The Anglophile:
And a few images of the Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt today:
To learn more about the Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt, head over to their website here.
I’m also excited to mention that I’ve started my own club.
All other images via LIFE and Beaufort Hunt.
13/12/2011 § 5 Comments
Weekly on Sundays, the street Defensa in the neighborhood of San Telmo in Buenos Aires becomes a bustling marketplace where one can purchase almost anything. Automobiles are prohibited, vendors set their stalls in the streets and enterprising young people rove the crowds carrying boxes of homemade empanadas for sale. However, the most impressive attractions of the San Telmo market are the amazing antique shops and there are two in particular I wanted to share with you.
Gabriel del Campo was a rather surreal experience. There were so many interesting and immaculate items — from dolls to furniture to fur rugs to an extensive collection of luggage and trunks — and they were staged so beautifully, it felt almost like a museum. Albeit the kind of museum I wanted to live in. And while the exchange rate is currently quite favorable, the shop is well aware of the high quality and value of their items.
For example, a diminutive woman with an accent that sounded like she was from Hong Kong was noisily admiring a Louis Vuitton steamer trunk that was almost as tall as she was. When she asked the price, “18,000” was the answer. “Pesos?” she asked, which would have been a little over $4,000. “No, no. American dollars.”
For those of us who are not on Ralph Lauren’s scouting team and find ourselves without their unlimited funds, rest assured that Gabriel del Campo is an inherently satisfying exercise in antique inspiration and it is definitely worth a look around. Who knows, you might get lucky...
On the other hand, the tiny and adorable shop Antigüo Balcón, was a completely different — but much more lovely — experience. Run by owner Abel Neira for over 20 years, the shop is a dizzying jumble of all sorts of odds and ends and hidden treasures. Mr. Neira seems to somewhat specialize in a few types of items — namely cameras, musical instruments, fans and telephones — but truly, there is a little bit of everything crammed into this tiny space.
Mr. Neira was a delight to speak with. As he pointed out small treasures my untrained eye might have missed, we chatted about my trip and the best places to go in the city — quite like visiting an old friend with an amazing collection. At Antigüo Balcón, unlike at Gabriel del Campo, you can find amazing things that won’t require a second mortgage — or a first one for that matter — and you will consider your time with Mr. Neira as an added bonus.
Related: Field Notes: Buenos Aires, Argentina