After a two-hour drive, we arrive at the market around 9 a.m. on Saturday. It’s a gorgeous day—sunny, but not too hot. I have my comfy sneakers on and my big barkcloth bag to hold my purchases. And we’re off!
My first stop is at the booth of a Mennonite woman—the same one as last year. She hangs a clothesline between two trees behind her tables and displays the old quilts and quilt tops that she has for sale—very eye-catching! It worked in my case and I make my first purchase of the day—an incredible quilt top in a design I haven’t seen before—green background with open white flowers and golden yellow centers. Daffodils, don’t you think? I also pick up some buttons and vintage kids valentines at 25 cents each.
I find two vintage silver mesh purses for my collection (which I’ll write about one of these days). I could have bought 20 of them—everyone seemed to have them this year. But I settled on two in unusual styles that I don’t have—one with a drawstring top and the other with a ring for looping over your finger (yes, it's that small!). It's badly tarnished but should clean up fine.
As I make my way from booth to booth, I buy a couple of aprons, some feedsacks, printed towels with cherries, and lots and lots of buttons. One of the things on my list for the day is vintage eyelet (to make sachets) and I find some nice pieces that will work perfectly. I also spot some beautiful vintage slips and skirts with amazing eyelet hems, but no way would I be able to cut them up!
I discover an incredibly cute towel with a red-striped border and appliquéd and embroidered bonnet girl in a pile of linens. Even though I know it’s not, it seems very French to me.
My most fun find of the day is this funky painted mirror for $8. I’ve been loving these little cutout scrollwork shelves lately and this is just 12” tall so I’m sure I’ll find a place to hang it. I think it will be perfect with a candle to reflect back into the mirror.
I see a gorgeous Noritake tea set but one of the cups is missing and the seller wants too much for them, so I move on. I knew I could go back if I really wanted them. I’m glad I didn’t. Because, on the way out, I spot another Noritake set—this one for coffee. It’s the most amazing shade of blue—cerulean maybe? And the set is complete. It’s marked $85 but she offers it to me for $45 since she doesn’t want to pack it up and cart it home again. Sweet! If anyone recognizes this pattern, please let me know what it is. All I’ve been able to discover from the mark on back is that it’s pre 1953. (Updated to add that China Replacements.com calls the pattern Mystery #170, which is their way of saying that they don't know either. Apparently it came in lots of colors. They sell a replacement cup with saucer for $14.99; no idea on the coffee pot or creamer and sugar bowl. So, I'm guessing the set is worth at least $150.)
It's now 1:30 and we're starving and just about out of cash, so we hit the road for home, stopping at a nearby restaurant for lunch. I had tentatively planned to stop at a couple of places in Kutztown, but it was getting on into the afternoon and we decided to save that for another trip. I’d have to say that this was the best year of the three that I’ve attended this market. More of the kinds of things I was looking for. Perfect weather. Less crowded which was not so good for the sellers but great for me!
I should mention that this flea market is open every weekend from April to October and most of the sellers come every week. They might bring extra linens and textiles for this theme weekend, but they often have those things anyway. So, if you're in the Allentown/Reading/Philly area, it's definitely worth the trip on any weekend.