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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Out & About at the Georgetown Flea Market

Ever since I first lived in Washington one summer as an intern, I've been fascinated by the Sunday Georgetown Flea Market. Maybe it's the juxtaposition of the words "Georgetown" and "flea market"(two terms you never expect to hear in the same sentence), or, most likely, it's the bargain hunter in me just hoping to make that one great find. This weekend I dragged my visiting younger brother to check things out, and I have concluded that there are three types of flea-marketers:
1) People like my brother, who after 10 minutes of browsing, deadpanned "it's really fun being at this festival of useless things." Um, ok.
2) People like me, who envision that one day when Elle Decor is photographing my house (this is a dream, remember), the interviewer will ask about the origins of a striking piece in the room, to which I'll casually reply "Oh that? Well, I found it at a flea market ages ago!" People like me love the idea of a flea market, show up with plenty of optimism, but get a little overwhelmed when faced with all....that....stuff!
3) People like Eddie Ross, who are geniuses that can, say, zero in on a single plate or platter amongst heaps of cast-offs and transform it into the focal point of their collection.
As I work on sharpening my skills to Eddie Ross-like proportions, let's take a tour of the Georgetown Flea Market!

Lots and lots of art- some great, some not so great. However, if you're looking for interesting pieces to add to a focal wall, a flea market is a perfect place to add to your collection.

There is a silver seller- above- that has the most fabulous wares- everything from little trays and coasters, salt and pepper shakers, flasks, cigarette cases, vintage cocktail rings, etc.

A close up of sterling odds and ends.

The large items here are boxes engraved with various signatures. I'm sure they have quite a backstory.

More and more silver- I cannot even begin to know what some of these items are for!

Tons of silverplate cutlery for bargain basement prices.

Vintage linens.

If I had a lake house, I'd love this antique decoy.

Flea markets are a great source for vintage maps, which I cannot resist. For cities, states, or countries you know particularly well, it's interesting to look at a 18th or 19th century map and see that some of your favorite streets and cities didn't even exist yet.

I bought some prints very similar to this at the Georgetown Flea Market years and years ago- they're from a book of patterns with different themes- Chinese, Indian, etc. Glad to see I could still find more!

I really, really wanted to take these ram horn candlesticks home. The woman was asking $80 for them (which I thought was pretty reasonable to begin with), and I didn't even try to bargain because I knew I had no place to put them. In comparison to these ram horn candlesticks on 1st dibs, they're a total steal!

More antique prints- my favorite things! I love the lizard, bugs and other creepie crawlies! How perfect would those be for a little boy's room?
What kind of flea marketer are you? A little brother, and ambitious dreamer, or an old pro? What's your favorite flea market find you're particularly proud of? Share with us!


Anonymous said...

I'm the ambitious dreamer. Embarassing story - but I have had the joy of buying a gorgeous "antique" urn, taking it home, turning it over - and seeing a Pottery Barn sticker on the back. I'll be making this post anonymously. :D :D


I'm not a big flea'er but I do love the Georgetown one. There's always such beautiful stuff there!

Dickie said...

I'd fall between "Ambitious Dreamer" and "Old Pro." Just this Sunday we were at the Eastern Market Flea Market and found an 1850's tool chest.
While the lock hardware was gone, the iron hinges and handles were in great condition and the wood was heavy in this 2x3x4 piece.

Even the step detailing and base was so nice I told WJR that it looked a bit like a sarcophagus. Originally priced at $85 the vendor, w/o even asking, went to $65! $65! You can't even buy the lumber for that. Great Deal.

Alicia said...

I iss them every weekend here in AZ. they just don't exist. I'm trying to convinve my mom to road trip to the Rose Bowl & Marburger Farm in October, but nothing beats my Ann Arbor in its heyday before the recession & my East Coast first loves of my working for the dealer days.
Im a stay all day girl, savouring every last booth.

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