Recently I've received quite a few inquiries about where I find information on local antique shows, sales and auctions.
I thought I would share some of these resources with you.
Most of them are local to me, but you could use similar resources for wherever you call home.
One of my favourite things to do is make day trips around our area. This is how I discover great little shops. If I come across a shop I love, one that say sells vintage finds and things, I always sign up for newsletters and emails.
This is the best way to stay informed about upcoming shows. Usually these shops participate in a few shows a year, and with other, similar vendors that I will most likely love.
Some of the shows I've discovered this way are "A Day in the Country", Augusta's, Bob and Al's Barn Sale, Two Brother's and a Barn Sale, Ball's Falls Craft Show and Oliver and Rust.
Of course, if you're lucky, some of these small scale shows will turn into regular shops, like Oliver and Rust, and then you can pop in whenever you like!
Another great resources would be the Internet. There are three resources that I use often:
Kijiji and Craigslist
Auction Find Websites
I am on Kijiji all the time. I regularly scroll through pages and pages of results for items I'm always looking for. I've snagged a few great finds on here, though it's always a little more complicated. Trying to arrange a viewing, or picking up an item is more complicated than just previewing it at auction or in a shop.
There is a website I often use for viewing listings for upcoming auctions called auctionsfind.com. Here auctions are posted for my province, by town or region. Then I can view all of the details of the upcoming auctions, and often even view photos of what's up for sale. Some local auction houses are Rittenhouse Auctions, Plato Auctions and Peninsula Liquidators.
When I'm planning a day trip, I also google the towns. I try to discover articles on the best places to shop and eat. I recently came across a list of the top ten antique markets in Ontario. You can find that here. We have quite a few antique shops near us. In Niagara on the Lake there is Queen's Antiques and the Lakeshore Antique Market. In Jordan there's Creighton Antiques by appointment. Towards Fort Erie there is Augusta's. Green Barn Antiques and Antiques on the Ridge
I'm also constantly searching ebay for smaller finds like ironstone, transferware, cutlery, artwork etc. I have a US post box across the border to help with the shipping costs. It's only about 40 minutes from our home. However, with the exchange the way it is, it's not always as great of a deal in the end., so it's important to keep that in mind when bidding on an item.
Etsy is another great online resources for finding small antique "shops" and fun vintage pieces. Something quite exciting recently are the pop up handmade markets. A group of local Etsy shops all come together for a weekend. Usually there's a wide assortment of things to browse, though most of them are handmade gifts, and not necessarily vintage shops. But it's still fun. Two local ones would be The Handmade Market, and Heirlooms Artisan Market.
Then there are the larger shows. There are a couple that I love to attend each year.
Christie's happens in the Spring and Fall. I believe it's the largest antique show in Ontario, if not Canada. It's only about an hour from here, so it's not too bad. They have a website if you google them.
Then there are the shows that are in the States; Brimfield's, Springfield Antique Show and one of my favourites, The Country Living Fair.
Now, I've never attended either the Springfield of Brimfield shows, but they are on my list. The Country Living show however, I attend almost every year; sometimes in Rhinebeck, sometimes in Columbus. To be honest, I prefer the Columbus show.
When I attend these shows, I make a weekend of it. We scout out all of the best malls, markets and shops in the area, and map out a weekend of treasure hunting. If I go with Ryan, we camp, and if I go with girlfriends, we all share a hotel room and stay up late watching cheesy shows with a glass of wine and lots of giggling.
I really just spend a lot of time exploring. I'm quite intentional about searching out places to hunt and I'm not afraid of climbing through old barns and driving across the countryside to spend an afternoon at an auction or show.
I love it.
Hopefully those few resources prove to be helpful.