Friday, September 12, 2008

Brimfield Residue

That would be Brimfield, Massachusetts, home of the largest flea market.

A detail from a large 4-foot long painted saw.

Brimfield – my pretty goofy set-up where I signed copies of my book. (Can't complain. It went very well and I ran out of books very early.)

Special thanks to WorthPoint, a website for collectors and antique experts, who came and chatted with me and video-taped a brief discussion on my snowman collection and my insights. I'm sure I could learn alot from them but since we're on the subject I'll just touch on the subject before I go in-depth in a later post.

The way I see it, there's really two divisions of snowman collecting; kitsch, which makes up 35% of all church sales and then there's collectibles like Christmas ornaments from the '50s and earlier and paper goods (like old book illustrations dating back to 1790's, postcards from turn of the century and trading cards from the 1880's and such). Of course there thousands of other materials to find a snowman on but it's case by case as to whether the item would enhance your collection. The world's largest collection is in Germany and made up of about 11,000 items. But my smaller collection of 800 is far more historical and interesting because of the much better kitsch-to-collectible ratio. Anyone can amass a large snowman collection strolling through any flea market on a given Sunday morning. More interesting is finding examples of the snowman in less common scenes (eg. a HTL, hold-to-light postcard of Santa Claus driving an automobile and running over a snowman) or depicted in a more serious way (no Frostys). In other words showing the snowman more as a form of folk-art and less a salesman for clothes or toys (unless the product is something unusual, like this asbestos ad). Some good examples from my own collection can be seen on top of my writing blog. Happy searching and please feel free to ask me any questions as I am a certified snowman expert.

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