Monday, February 1, 2010

Sometimes the Early Bird overlooks the worm.

A couple years ago, my friend Kelly and I wandered into the 6th avenue flea market late on a Saturday afternoon. My experience has been that most of the vintage sellers know what they have in New York, so it's rare to find a true steal. It's also an early bird's market. If you show up at 3:30pm, you're probably going to be greeted by picked over tables and sellers who are anxious to start packing up.

This particular afternoon, however, I lucked out. Among the balding tables, a brown leather shoulder bag caught my eye. I immediately pictured it carrying my books, phone, and iPod to work every day. But, of course, I was skeptical. "I bet it's expensive," I whispered to Kelly before asking the seller "How much?" When she said "fifteen," I made sure I hadn't misheard her ("Fifty?") and then quickly put the money into her hand.

It turns out I was right about the expensive part. It was a Brahmin handbag from Brahmin Leather Works in Massachusetts, and probably retailed for $300-400. The straps are a little worn, but the leather has aged beautifully, and you just can't beat the color. A little mink oil brightened it right up.

Even though I haven't come across a bargain like that since, now I'm a little more optimistic when I pass a flea market after a late brunch.

(Bag photos: © Littlehouse of Style)


Stéphanie said...

I adore !

Style Artisan said...

As a former antiques dealer, my advice is to never make assumptions. Dealers pick up things all the time, especially from other dealers, so sometimes they don't even have an item at the start of the day.

Also, I have gotten some tremendous bargains at the end of the day. Having set up at shows before, there is always an incentive to sell something so you don't have the chore of packing it up. Or, sometimes a dealer needs gas money, or money for dinner.

That's the fun of it, really. You just never know when the magic will happen and you will find a treasure like this. Great score!

Jade "Purple" Brown said...

that was such a great find, it teaches you that you really have to look out for fabulous finds!