Field Notes

An amateur’s guide to scoring at Brimfield.


The Brimfield Antique Show has it all, from old-school slot machines to 10-foot Bob’s Big Boy statues. But with 19 fields and 3,000 dealers, the event—particularly this month’s installment, the largest of the three annual dates—can be a bit daunting for first-timers. Bob Wyss, author of Brimfield Rush: The Thrill of Collecting and the Hunt for the Big Score, now in paperback (Commonwealth Editions, $14.95), knows to navigate the sprawl, and boils it down for newcomers into a few simple steps.

*Familiarize yourself with a fairground map in advance—they’re available online—so you’ll know what to expect in terms of parking and layout. And no matter which field you hit first, don’t get tripped up at the entrance: While the best-looking goods will be closest to the front, they typically cost more, Wyss says.

*Prices are negotiable, but if you’re unsure what to offer, ask dealers for their lowest price rather than risk making an insulting bid. *To avoid mammoth crowds, skip the busier openings, such as May’s Antique Show and J&J Promotions—but be sure to stop by afterward, since those are two of the best. *It’s worth taking a personal day to shop Brimfield during the week. The fair starts on Tuesday, and many of the best pieces—and deals—are often gone by Friday.

>> 5/8–5/13, admission times and prices vary by field, Rte. 20, Brimfield, brimfieldshow.com.