Member Blogs > Read'Em Again BooksMarket Warriors in DC - 24 July 2012

  • Wed, 25 Jul 2012 03:54:59    Permalink

    This past weekend I set up a booth at the DC Big Flea Market held at the Dulles Expo Center.  The name is a little bit deceiving as since it first started over fifteen years ago, this DAmore Promotions' show has grown from rather humble 'flea-markety' beginnings into the Mid-Atlantics Largest Antique Event with a significant number vendors offering rather up-scale merchandise.  I do the showsthere are six of them held each year in alternating monthsbecause they are near-by, the booth rent is quite reasonable, and the promoters bring in thousands of shoppers rain, shine, or snow and whether or not the temperatures outside are below freezing or over one hundred degrees.  Although there are over 600 booth spaces available at the show, the total number of dealers is somewhat less as many of us reserve a double-booth. I take a fairly nice selection things to these shows including unusual ephemera, about 250 books, and a small assortment of antique toys, games, and tobacciania.  Occasionally, I bring along a few other antiques that I have picked up here and there, and for this show, I had a beautiful handmade carpenters toolbox from the first quarter of the 20th century filled with hand-tools in superb condition.Carpenter's Toolbox. 1910-1935.  Handcrafted professional carpenter's toolbox with dovetail joints is approximately 33" L x 9" W x10" D. Three saws can be stored in the lid; there is a holder for a two-handed draw plane; and it has an inset carrying tray.  The box has only some minor wear, and all of its fittings, hinges, and latches are in nice shape.  The original leather carrying handle was replaced sometime in the past.  All of the tools have been very well cared for and are in exceptional shape. I can provide a list of the tools by make and model.  Please send me an email if you'd like more information.  $800.00
    On Saturday, an episode of the new PBS series, Market Warriors, was filmed at the Big Flea.  If you havent seen the show, it is the newest venture from the producers of Antiques Roadshow and features four different antique and art professionals who compete against each other on a limited budget ($1,000 total for use in two separate rounds) to see who can find the best buys as determined by net profit when their purchases are later sold at auction.  Around noon on Saturday, I had just finished thanking a couple who had purchased an extra-gilt first edition of Uncle Toms Cabin, when another customer in my booth told me I was being summoned by a man holding a boom microphone.  When I turned around, I saw the production crew filming one of the 'warriors,' none other than John Bruno (the distinguished fellow in sunglasses) of Flamingo Eventz, who was holding court for the camera team and discussing my tool box as a work of art.  I walked over, and we engaged in about ten minutes of banter about the box.  John seened quite interested, but we couldnt come to an agreement on the price.  I have it marked at $800 and was willing to sell it for $640 (a fairly standard 20% trade discount) but we didn't close the deal before he moved on. 
    About a half-hour later, a second warrior turned up; this time it was Miller Gaffney of Miller Gaffney Art Advisory.  An exceptionally nice copy of The Savoy Cocktail Book in one of my small display cases caught her eye.  We discussed it for a minute or two but there was no way I could lower the price enough that she could be able to complete the deal within her funding limit. Craddock, Harry.  The Savoy Cocktail Book: Being in the main a complete compendium of the Cocktails, Rickeys, Daisies, Slings, Shrubs, Smashes, Fizzes, Juleps, Cobblers, Fixes, and other Drinks. . . . New York, 1930: R. Smith. This is an exceptionally nice example of the classic cocktail book  compiled by Craddock, an ex-patriot American bartender, at the Savoy Hotel in London.  Second printing with the Baccardi Cocktail recipe printed in the text rather than included on an erratum slip.  Tight binding with sound hinges.  Clean pages; one page has a partially erased pencil mark, '8', in the lower margin   Crisp, bright, fresh color.  Gold foil cover is terrific shape.  Sharp corners and almost no wear other than several light shelf wear 'scratches' to rear board.   $1850.00
    Anyway, neither came back later so I still have both items for sale if anyone is interested.  20% discount to the trade, including carpenters.  Actually, I can do better on the tool box; it may well be a beautiful work of functional art, but it is also very heavy, and Id just as soon not have to lug it to another show.

    P.S.  I almost forgot, I dont know when the episode will air or even if any of my time with John or Miller will make it past the cutting room floor.
    P.P.S.  And, oh, here's a photo of the Uncle Tom's Cabin set that I sold.  It really was quite attractive with only some moderate wear at the spine ends.

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