Junk Drunk at the 55th Shenandoah Antique Expo

Happy belated Mother’s Day to all you lovely ladies out there! Good thing my mama and I share a love of antiquing and all things rusty. We decided to celebrate our Mom-hoods by spending the day together at the 55th Shenandoah Antique Expo and Flea…one of our favorite events in Virginia. The spring show is always one of my favorite outdoor activities and if the weather is going to be nice, it’s always a good time! We usually get up at the crack of dawn and drive an hour and a half to get to the show on opening day as the gates open at 9am. We usually end up staying until about 2pm…because that’s how long it takes you to walk through all the tents, barns and buildings!! But if you do your roundup early, no worries…Staunton, VA is only about 10 minutes away, so you could continue your adventure by exploring that cute town!

Overall, I was crazy surprised by the amount of antique advertising. It was almost overwhelming. This was on my list during last years show when I walked away with a really cool turn-of-the-century builders sign from Richmond. The prices at this years show, however, skyrocketed! I would say prices started at $275 and went as high as sun. It was still exciting to see all the different examples of vintage branding and typography!


Another item that I was surprised to see in almost every booth, was some sort of steamer trunk. I actually have one of these in my own home as a coffee table…it’s a fun example of form and function…as you can actually use these for storage if it doesn’t smell of moth balls!


I’m thinking of using this as my new Facebook profile pic? Does it say, “Please, someone, I’m burning up out here…please hand me an ice cold coke”? Note to self, BRING A SUN HAT!!


Not as many vintage/antique toys as I expected to see, but these two little tractors were a great example of what you can unexpected find at this show. I hope whomever is interested in these purchases both of them as a pair!



I truly love anything unique, handmade and with an interesting patina or finish. This small cabinet/cubby almost functions as folk art, as it was definitely a one of a kind, handmade piece. You could just see how much this piece was loved and used throughout the years. I could see this piece used on a desk, in a laundry room, hung on a wall in a kitchen…again, I like items that are unique in form and also functional.


She’s sassy, she’s classy and she’s my mom! Here is she is striking a pose with some Vegas showgirls in the hot, hot sun!


I’m always surprised to see awesome examples of Arts and Crafts furniture at these type of events, which usually cater to early American collectors. Here we have a petite Gustav Stickley rocking chair, priced around $850.


Do you have a great room or a large entry way in your home? This early 1800’s faux grain painted armoire would be an awesome addition to your collection.


This particular dealer had their tent set up like an old general store. I loved the great display for antique rolling pins. I love collections that are groupings of different varieties of one kind of object.


More smatterings of antique treasures…lots of chests, dough bowls and needlepoint rugs.


Here I am in classic “junk drunk” mode. I think the lack of a cold lemonade, feeling overwhelmed by all the antique treasures surrounding me and the frying sun was starting to go to my brain.


This was another surpass, as I have only come across a few Arts and Crafts settles in all my years of antiquing. These are items you usually do not see in the south east. New Jersey or New York or California, you can probably find these all day long. I was lucky enough to come across one of these a few years ago at a local consignment shop…so it now sits in our man-cave/music room/office.


There are two outdoor barns full of dealers and treasures, located on the far side of the outdoor lot. I loved this busted ol’ step back cupboard. You could enjoy this piece as is, or break out the palm sander and some chalk paint to give it new life.


This was one of the pieces I was drooling at and wanted to stuff in our car ride home. It was a petite Arts and Crafts bookcase, but not made by any of the big craftsman furniture dealers. It was a handmade example and had a piece of old oak bead board for the backing of the cabinet. Absolutely adorable!


I sent this photo home to the Mr. to tell him that I bought this GIANT truck stop sign and give him a heart attack (I didn’t really purchase this, but wanted to). I absolutely LOVED the color and type on this sign. It was rusted in all the right places. Imagine this sign in a bar or restaurant. (I’m starting to think I need a career as a scout for props). One friend suggested I put it in the car by having both ends hang out of the windows, giving our car a set a wings. Good idea!!


And what Savvy Seeker blog entry would be complete without a photo of a ginormous pie safe. I love how big and chunky this one was…everything was big…down the knobs and feet. Great piece!


Overall, we had a great day just being together. I love that my parents get just as inspired by all the textures, colors and shapes of antiques as I do. Here we are, our little clan, stopping for a quick snapshot off of the Blue Ridge Parkway, overlooking the beautiful valley below. Hope you and your family had a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend!



54th Shenandoah Antique Expo, Part I

Hope you got to do something extra fun this past Mother’s Day weekend! This past Mother’s Day was extra special for me…not only was I celebrating my first Mother’s Day with little Sunny baby (well sort of…I’ve been a step-mom for 8 years now, so I feel that counts for something too!), but I was able to sneak away from work and hit the road to the 54th Shenandoah Antique Expo in Fishersville, VA! For those of you that might need a little reminder as to why I love this particular event so much, read my first entry about Fishersville.

The view early in the morning...cars lined as far as you could see...

The view early in the morning…cars lined as far as you could see…

I’ve been to this event several times before, but have never gone on the first day, as the gates were opening! Whoa! My folks and I parked and headed over to the parking lot area where hundreds of dealers were lined up, ready to wheel and deal with their treasures. It was a pickers paradise! One thing about going that early though…I felt as though I was in an episode of Nickelodeon’s Super Toy Run!! Remember that? Kids were given 5 minutes, a shopping cart and the opportunity to run rapid through Toys R Us, grabbing whatever toys they could. Seriously…people were definitely in a hurry to be the first to grab whatever collectible that was hot on their list.

The morning rush begins!

Grab your coffee! The morning rush begins!

It took my parents and I, 3.5 hours to make our way through the parking lot, two barns and expo center, to view everything that there was to see! That came out to 2.5 miles of walking!! What a great way to burn off that leftover baby weight! There was sooooo much to see…that you almost couldn’t see it all in one day (now I understand why they allow the early bird shoppers to have a 2-day pass!). I took so many photos, that I thought I’d break this post into two parts…here is just a taste of some of the things we saw…


Do you love English ironstone? These fine examples did not come cheap, but were in pristine condition.


Look at all of the layers of paint on this old cabinet. I loved the round feet and the layers and layers of paint almost seemed to tell a story. This was one of my favorite pieces from the show.


How about a sweet primitive chippy white hanging cabinet? This would be cute in a laundry room!


I saw more pie safes at this show than any show that I’ve attended in the past 10 years. Making a comeback? Did they ever go away?


How fun are these tramp art boxes? The dealer said these were from his personal collection.


Need some wheels? How about this cutie?


Or some retro pedal cars? I liked them in a group…


Is architectural salvage more of your thing? At first, I was admiring this Coca Cola button, but then I noticed these awesome antique shutters.


I’m a sucker for Mission furniture…and this solid oak mission lamp table was a STEAL at only $150.


Crocks, crocks and more crocks. If you collect crocks, then you need to come to this show. This beautiful cabinet had it’s original paint on it and sported a “sold” sign.


This dealer drove in from West Virginia and had some of the prettiest primitives I’ve seen a long time.


I love the original blue paint on this cupboard. Too bad that the top half is gone…I’m sure this piece was a base to something.


This beautiful white pie safe looks almost identical to the one I have in my kitchen. I love the delicate work on the metal tin screens.

So at the end of the day, what did I walk away with? I was on the hunt for some antique advertising to hang in my family room…and boy was there a lot to choose from. Advertising is soooo hot right now and almost every dealer had at least one or two pieces in their booths. Prices ranged from $150 up to $500 for most. I fell in love with the patina on this early 1900’s sign from a mill worker, located in Richmond, VA. I was able to negotiate with the dealer and walked away with a price I could live with (and not have buyers remorse!). My amazing father carried this giant sign for most of the time that we were walking around. I bet he was glad when we finally reached the car!!!


It’s a family affair…picking antique treasures that is!

Stay tuned next week for more eye candy from this awesome event!

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