It’s What We Find There
inAugust 9, 2012 - 8:04am
Traveling full-time in our RV for the last 8 years has taught us where to find the best bang for our buck. While we have our favorite spots for ocean views and mountain vistas, simply the best area to find Victorian and turn of the century jewelry is New England! Of course these antique pieces can be found in the best antique shops in the large cities, but amazingly, they can also be found in the myriad flea markets held every Sunday in the small towns dotting the countryside.
Hollis Flea Market is on a country road near Nashua, New Hampshire and is an outdoor market with hundreds of vendors where we recently picked up several Victorian pieces including some nice coral pieces, hand painted porcelain pins, and a few cameos priced from $1 - $25. At Todd Farm near Rowley, Massachusetts we found a saphiret brooch for $17—woohoo!—along with some tiny enamel lingerie pins and Edwardian chrome brooches. We also added some agate and hand etched men’s cufflinks dated 1863 for just $3 a pair.
At the Milford Antique Show in New Hampshire we came across some lovely late 1800s operculum pieces, cameos, several carved ivory puzzle balls, and cut steel shoe buckles walking away for under $200. We visited flea markets in Taunton, Gardner, Lancaster and Raynham, Massachusetts with the same results. We meandered winding roads stopping at yard sales and estate sales picking up 100 year old bargains all along the way—and stopping for breakfast at the fabulous and famous Parker’s Maple Barn!
We drove up Route 1 from the New Hampshire border to Wiscassett, Maine hitting the dozens of flea markets all the way to Montsweag Flea Market. Of course the day wouldn’t be complete without a stop on the way back at Maine Diner near Wells for their award winning Lobster Pie! The drive in itself is pure delight and the bargains to be had at the flea markets just added more reward to the day—beautiful carved ivory beads, some unusual dangling earrings, 1920s Egyptian Revival pieces, and countless small Victorian glass and enamel pins and necklaces.
A trip to Downstairs at Felton Antiques, an antique mall in Waltham, MA or to the many quaint shops along the streets in Concord, the seat of the Revolutionary War, will give the new dealer ample opportunity to study these older pieces up close and personal and the collector many pieces to add to their collection. In fact, a recent trip to Waltham revealed an incredibly lovely woven hair watch fob, an extensive Victorian cameo and miniature portrait brooch collection, and dozens of lovely turn of the century whimsical and unusual stick pins. One of the oddest pieces was a huge carved celluloid monkey belt buckle over 3” tall and 6” wide when the two parts were clasped together—I am still kicking myself for not snagging that one!
We have found pieces from 1850-1910 all around the country, but the sheer volume and availability of these historical pieces at unbelievably low prices makes New England our favorite place to shop for Victorian and turn of the century jewelry—it’s what we find there!
Written by Cindy Brown
Cinsababe’s on Ruby Lane