Friday, September 19, 2014

DC Big Flea

Last weekend, I went to the DC Big Flea, which is a huge flea market that is held several times a year at the Dulles Expo Center.  For the low, low cost of an $8 admission fee, I went with my friend Amy to peruse all the glory.  We didn't have to pay for parking; and, unlike most flea markets, it was 100% indoors which was awesome considering it rained aaaall day on Saturday.

Although Briana and I have big aspirations to go to the Scott Antique Market in Georgia as a part of our Cousin Bucket List, most of our second hand adventures have been limited to Habitat and Goodwill.  So, I was really excited to go check out the DC Big Flea, because I originally thought I would be getting a larger variety of goods for flea market prices.

What I didn't realize was that "flea market" was a blatant lie and there would be no rock bottom deals. What there would be is tons and tons of beautiful antiques in excellent or mint condition with decent but not cheap prices.  When I say tons, I mean TONS...rows upon rows of fantastic furniture, home decor, and oddities.  Heaven.on.earth, my friends.  There would also be many specialty vendors selling only fur coats and estate jewelry or booths containing niche items...like these hat pins, a massive and creepy collection of Hummel figurines, book pages from the 1800s with hand colored artwork, and Victorian linens and dresses.


FYI - This is only about 15% of the Hummel booth.



I also found a few items that had been upcycled, but not necessarily in a good way.  Check out these sweet shell pieces.


Another upcycled piece, that was really interesting and neat, but I'm not sure how likely it would be to wind up in someones home.  I present to you a chicken incubator turned kitchen island?


When I first spotted it, I couldn't for the life of me figure out what it was...and when I did, I wasn't sure you Posh Purpose readers would believe it, so I took a photo for evidence.



 There was also quite a few beautiful pieces of furniture, BUT I was really displeased when I investigated further and found that they often didn't have dovetailing but did have a $2,000-$5,000 price tag.  I feel there should be a rule that you can't call it antique if it does not have dovetailed drawers.

Beautiful design.  No dovetail.  You are so pretty though, that I ~may~ forgive you...but only if you ditch that creepy mannequin head.

This beauty was only $375!
There were also a number of just flat out fun, cool, and interesting pieces that I'm not sure I would ever want to own, but I had so much fun checking them out!

Refinished parlor furnace..so you don't get a chill whilst darning your stockings.


Beautiful and FUNCTIONING gramophone!

There were also a number of booths with with newer items like these IItala candle holders from the 1960s.  These ALMOST came home with me; but, after making a larger purchase, I had to pass (even though I'm having a serious case of regret about letting them get away).




Finally, there were scads and scads of beautiful glass and dishes and estate jewelry.  We found Baccarat decanters for $350 and $500 which sell for $500-$1,300, Fenton glass, hand painted oyster plates, and Tiffany, David Yurman, and Chopard jewelry. I also tried on a diamond ring for fun while another lady tried on a 1.55 carat diamond ring...probably for real.

I'm really glad my friend Amy went with me, because I'm not too sure Mr. 3 would have made it.  It was soooo overwhelming.  If I had bought nothing, this was totally be a $15 Happiness post.  I had the best time looking around and talking with the vendors.  It was also super easy to get around the expo center and it wasn't too crowded.  We were there for four hours, but we didn't see everything.  I've decided that I could spend one whole day just looking at jewelry and then go back the next to look at the other vendors (I said there were scads!).  The $8 admission was also actually good for two days, so I could have gone back Sunday.  Everyone was super friendly and willing to negotiate on price.  I only had one vendor that said she couldn't do any better, which I knew to be true for the particular item based on my Ebay recon.

If you haven't been to the DC Big Flea, I highly recommend you check it out!  Even if you have no room for antiques, it's a great resource for Christmas gifts!  If you don't live in the D.C. metro area, there are also shows in New York City and Fredericksburg, VA.  The next show is in New York, September 27-28th and then again in D.C., November 8-9th.

Check back on Monday when I'll be sharing a couple of my purchases!  Have a great weekend everyone!