Reviews - What do customers think about Brimfield Rush: The Thrill of Collecting And the Hunt for the Big Score?
What a terrific trip to the greatest outdoor antiques show in New England! Jul 1, 2008
Well-researched, well-written non-fiction that tells a great story. We meet many of Brimfield's characters, as well as dealers trying to make a living in ever-changing conditions. The last few chapters deliver as much suspense as a good mystery.
Fascinating survey Sep 24, 2006
BRIMFIELD RUSH; THE THRILL OF COLLECTING AND THE HUNT FOR THE BIG SCORE is a lively survey of a massive outdoor antiques and collectibles show spanning over 20 fields along a one-mile stretch in Massachusetts. It attracts thousands of dealers and collectors yearly - but BRIMFIELD RUSH follows not only the event's history but the experiences of a couple's year at Brimfield markets. The morning's opening 'rush' serves as a fascinating survey of Brimfield's treasures and attractions throughout a spicy, dramatic account collectors will relish and recognize.
Diane C. Donovan California Bookwatch
The antiques business from the other side of the table Jul 16, 2006
If you don't live in New England or make a practice of frequenting flea markets, you might not be familiar with the name "Brimfield." It's not just a small town in south central Massachusetts; it's become an all-encompassing term (in both noun and verb forms) for the event that overtakes that region three weeks of the year. Author Bob Wyss has provided us with a look at Brimfield's history as well as the work that goes on behind the scenes. It's a view we casual visitors don't usually get or could even guess at. The emphasis here is on the dealers and the residents, and not the average walk-in buyer.
Chapters are arranged in sections chronologically by the flea market weeks: May, July, September, and the following May. Though the book begins with a couple in search of a human skeleton -- which they eventually discover and gleefully buy -- the focus throughout the text rests on two burgeoning art dealers, Rachel and Joe. Linked in a new professional and personal relationship, they face a number of challenges as they attend Brimfield to buy and sell items for their Pennsylvania art business. Joe is the risk-taker and Rachel the financial manager, and together they struggle to become successful at a work that is fraught with a variety of dilemmas. Should they merely collect, or buy and sell? How much should they reveal to an unsuspecting seller, since "a score has two sides, and for every winner there is a corresponding loser"? (p. 92) What's real and what is fake? And when will they become comfortable enough to stop moving from show to show and settle down in their own permanent gallery? They find most of their answers by the end of the book.
Wyss includes interesting side stories to the lives of Rachel and Joe, with glimpses at other Brimfield dealers, field owners and town officials. He details the town dispute with its police force in 2003, which resulted in the firing of all but the chief and which certainly contributed to a major silver theft in the field that year. He looks at the thrill of "the big score" in the antiques world, citing several cases that include the discovery of a rare copy of the Declaration of Independence behind an old painting bought for four dollars in Adamstown, Penna., in 1989. The piece sold for $2.42 million at Sotheby's in 1991, and was later bought by Norman Lear for $8.14 million in 2000. That score set the dream devoutly to be wished by anyone ever attending or dealing at a flea market or auction. Wyss also discusses the effect that eBay and other online opportunities have had on live auctions and flea markets. And even a knowledgeable dealer can mistakenly drink his way through a case of Bordeaux before learning that the going rate for it is $1000 a bottle.
I read this book in the middle of a Brimfield week, and it gave me a new perspective on the event. This time I saw more paintings than I'd ever noticed before. I caught saw PBS's Antiques Roadshow personality Gary Sohmers charging down a path, dressed just as described in the book. I understood that a "big score" could still be gotten by a visitor or dealer. And I realized that the "Brimfield Rush" is not just the frenzied way that customers enter the fields at the opening bell. It's that feeling that permeates your very own nervous system when you buy something you know is wonderful.
Brimfield Flea Market Jun 28, 2006
Bob Wyss has given us an exciting, insider's look, at the biggest flea market in the world. As someone who purchased his first antiques, 33 years ago at the Rose Bowl Swap Meet, this book has rekindled my interest in the antique trade. "Brimfield Rush" is extremely well researched and gives you the background you need to venture out there and make your first deal. The reader is taken for a roller coaster ride of highs and lows as Joe and Rachel navigate through the worlds of flea markets, art galleries, estate sales, and eBay. For anyone interested in the "Hunt for the Big Score," this book is a must read.
Thrillin Rush to Brimfield! Jun 9, 2006
Absolutely wonderful look at the passion of collecting rush that's so much a part of going to the Brimfield Fleas. Wyss has an engaging style in this story of a couple in search of the great art treasures at Brimfield. The truth is is that it's a difficult trail to take, as Wyss recounts. However, that doesn't stop the tens of thousands of visitors to Brimfield thrice yearly. I've been attending and taking photographs there for over 20 years now and it's easy to see that Wyss captured the essence of this event - an even that attracts celebrities, famous people and collectors from all over the world. A great, short read that's worth the trip to the bookstore. You will not be disappointed. Also a great primer before attending your first flea market in the antique town of Brimfield, Massachusetts.