Allan Port's Paperweights at Brimfield Report- 2006

Brimfield is a large antiques / flea market that takes place in Brimfield, Massachusetts in May, July and September.  There are approximately 5,000 dealers there.   Some of the dealers set up shop in one field on Tuesday, move to another on Wednesday and then a third field on Thursday or Friday.  Others set up in one location for the entire week.  It pays to hit the fields the first day they open, but I've found great weights on every day of the week.

One serious collector I know refers to Brimfield as bottom feeding.  There is some truth to that.  If you are looking for that special $2,000 paperweight, you probably won't find it in the fields unless you are very lucky.  Most of the time those outstanding examples are sold to the specialist dealers who are also selling there.  They will sell it to you, but it won't be a bargain.  I suspect that the primary reason the specialists bother to set up shop at Brimfield is to make their presence known as paperweight experts to the other 5,000 or so dealers.  On the other hand, there are many interesting items to be found at reasonable prices, whether it is paperweights or another type of collectible.

So far, 2006 has been a good year at Brimfield.  And the year isn't over yet.  You can see a group picture above that includes the paperweights found in May and July.  They include:

T.H. Grady Name Paperweight.  TH Grady owned a tavern on Market Street in Corning.  He lived from 1857 to 1909.  This is a colorful paperweight with strands of candy cane latticinio framing a name plaque.

The paperweight experts don't agree on where this style of paperweight.  Some believe it was made in either Millville or somewhere in the Midwest.  Others believe this style was also made in Corning, NY.  This weight comes with a solid Corning provenance and supports the Corning attribution.

There is an excellent article on this topic in the 2004 PCA Annual.  You can also read about this style in the book Old Glass Paperweights of Southern New Jersey by Clarence Newell


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Revised 7/15/2006