Junk Drunk at the 55th Shenandoah Antique Expo

Happy belated Mother’s Day to all you lovely ladies out there! Good thing my mama and I share a love of antiquing and all things rusty. We decided to celebrate our Mom-hoods by spending the day together at the 55th Shenandoah Antique Expo and Flea…one of our favorite events in Virginia. The spring show is always one of my favorite outdoor activities and if the weather is going to be nice, it’s always a good time! We usually get up at the crack of dawn and drive an hour and a half to get to the show on opening day as the gates open at 9am. We usually end up staying until about 2pm…because that’s how long it takes you to walk through all the tents, barns and buildings!! But if you do your roundup early, no worries…Staunton, VA is only about 10 minutes away, so you could continue your adventure by exploring that cute town!

Overall, I was crazy surprised by the amount of antique advertising. It was almost overwhelming. This was on my list during last years show when I walked away with a really cool turn-of-the-century builders sign from Richmond. The prices at this years show, however, skyrocketed! I would say prices started at $275 and went as high as sun. It was still exciting to see all the different examples of vintage branding and typography!


Another item that I was surprised to see in almost every booth, was some sort of steamer trunk. I actually have one of these in my own home as a coffee table…it’s a fun example of form and function…as you can actually use these for storage if it doesn’t smell of moth balls!


I’m thinking of using this as my new Facebook profile pic? Does it say, “Please, someone, I’m burning up out here…please hand me an ice cold coke”? Note to self, BRING A SUN HAT!!


Not as many vintage/antique toys as I expected to see, but these two little tractors were a great example of what you can unexpected find at this show. I hope whomever is interested in these purchases both of them as a pair!



I truly love anything unique, handmade and with an interesting patina or finish. This small cabinet/cubby almost functions as folk art, as it was definitely a one of a kind, handmade piece. You could just see how much this piece was loved and used throughout the years. I could see this piece used on a desk, in a laundry room, hung on a wall in a kitchen…again, I like items that are unique in form and also functional.


She’s sassy, she’s classy and she’s my mom! Here is she is striking a pose with some Vegas showgirls in the hot, hot sun!


I’m always surprised to see awesome examples of Arts and Crafts furniture at these type of events, which usually cater to early American collectors. Here we have a petite Gustav Stickley rocking chair, priced around $850.


Do you have a great room or a large entry way in your home? This early 1800’s faux grain painted armoire would be an awesome addition to your collection.


This particular dealer had their tent set up like an old general store. I loved the great display for antique rolling pins. I love collections that are groupings of different varieties of one kind of object.


More smatterings of antique treasures…lots of chests, dough bowls and needlepoint rugs.


Here I am in classic “junk drunk” mode. I think the lack of a cold lemonade, feeling overwhelmed by all the antique treasures surrounding me and the frying sun was starting to go to my brain.


This was another surpass, as I have only come across a few Arts and Crafts settles in all my years of antiquing. These are items you usually do not see in the south east. New Jersey or New York or California, you can probably find these all day long. I was lucky enough to come across one of these a few years ago at a local consignment shop…so it now sits in our man-cave/music room/office.


There are two outdoor barns full of dealers and treasures, located on the far side of the outdoor lot. I loved this busted ol’ step back cupboard. You could enjoy this piece as is, or break out the palm sander and some chalk paint to give it new life.


This was one of the pieces I was drooling at and wanted to stuff in our car ride home. It was a petite Arts and Crafts bookcase, but not made by any of the big craftsman furniture dealers. It was a handmade example and had a piece of old oak bead board for the backing of the cabinet. Absolutely adorable!


I sent this photo home to the Mr. to tell him that I bought this GIANT truck stop sign and give him a heart attack (I didn’t really purchase this, but wanted to). I absolutely LOVED the color and type on this sign. It was rusted in all the right places. Imagine this sign in a bar or restaurant. (I’m starting to think I need a career as a scout for props). One friend suggested I put it in the car by having both ends hang out of the windows, giving our car a set a wings. Good idea!!


And what Savvy Seeker blog entry would be complete without a photo of a ginormous pie safe. I love how big and chunky this one was…everything was big…down the knobs and feet. Great piece!


Overall, we had a great day just being together. I love that my parents get just as inspired by all the textures, colors and shapes of antiques as I do. Here we are, our little clan, stopping for a quick snapshot off of the Blue Ridge Parkway, overlooking the beautiful valley below. Hope you and your family had a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend!



Everything Vintage Co. in Toano, Virginia

Have you ever been to town of Toana, Virginia? Me neither. That’s probably because you could drive through it with a blink of an eye. But if you are into one-of-a-kind, hard to locate, antique advertising/industrial/funky/prim items to add to your specialized collection…than do I have a very unique place for you to stop and visit. Enter Everything Vintage Co. in Toano, Virginia, just a few minutes west of Williamsburg, VA…right up Richmond Road.

Looks pretty plain Jane from the outside...until you step inside that is...

Looks pretty plain Jane from the outside…until you step inside that is…

As the Mr. and I were leaving our fun, but short weekend adventure in Colonial Williamsburg, we headed west on Richmond Road and stopped in one of our favorite antique stores on the East Coast. We found this eclectic shop on a Sunday drive a couple of years ago…where we stopped and purchased this piece of antique advertising (scroll to the bottom of the story) that was chillin’ on the hot sidewalk, outside of the shop…just like these two lovely examples below.


Man caves across the country are screaming for these two signs to join their bare walls…

When the Mr. and I first went to this shop, there was a real mix of high and low end antiques…primitive, industrial, signage, smalls, etc….and really seemed to offer a little bit of everything for all kinds of collectors.

antique_pedal_carUnfortunately, this time around, the Mr. and I were really surprised to see the dramatic increase in the asking prices of most of the items in the shop. I understand that the pieces they offer are very unique and some are quite hard to find…so they demand a higher asking price. But no deals here…expect to pay full retail.

antique_printers_cabinetThis is definitely a shop for the serious collector who is looking for that one, special item to add to their collection. And if they don’t have it in the store, I bet they could find it for you!

antique_gas_pumpTheir offering of antique advertising was very impressive. I fell in love with this Anniston Bus Depot sign below. The clock was not working, but image if it was re-wired to light up and keep time! Amazing…


Signs, signs, everywhere signs…


Spice up tea time with this beautiful Lipton’s Tea sign…probably made from enamel.

I’m guessing that some of these items come from auctions…such as this beautiful oak grain bin that once belonged in an old general store.


With the mix of bicycles and advertising, it made me think of American Pickers…

As an illustrator, I’m always looking for inspiration from vintage ads…like this Esslinger’s beer character. I love the simplicity in his uniform and the use of the bold red on white.


I love the graphics on this Esslinger’s beer sign…something about the design of the little man reminds me of two other brands…Campbell’s Soup and Phillip Morris Cigarettes.

As much as I loved this old industrial cubby shelf…it screamed tetanus shot!!! I know the rusty thing is a hot look/trend right now…but if this baby came home with me, I’d have to pay to have the metal grate cubbies powder coated in some bright, fun colors.


For some reason this made me think of Laverne and Shirley. Didn’t they work in a factory?

antique_baughs_fertilizer_signIn the back I found this sweet apothecary cabinet painted in cottage green and cream. I loved the handles…even though I was unsure if they were original or not to the piece. But at $495…it seemed a little steep. I’d think this piece would look precious in an entry way with a large deco mirror paired with it and an old oak coat rack or umbrella stand beside it. Too cute!


Cottage chic and cute to boot! One could store lots of little treasures in this adorable apothecary chest.

Copyright 2014. The Savvy Seeker blog by Erin Hurley-Brown. All Rights Reserved.