Design New England

Brimfield: the summer of galvanized steel

Olive buckets at Brimfield.

By Courtney Goodrich

Brimfield, oh how we love you. Not much can keep us away from the massive Brimfield Antique and Collectibles Show that takes over the town of Brimfield, Massachusetts, three times per year. Not rain, not crowds, not even (in yesterday’s case) heat and humidity. It’s always a pleasure. The show is open through July 19, and then comes back again September 8 to 13. Here’s what I saw this time around.

First things first, because it was pretty hard to miss — galvanized steel was everywhere! And, on everything! This lightweight zinc coating looks great, and galvanized buckets, baskets, and accessories can fit into many styles. The olive buckets (above) were beautiful up close. Traditionally, they were used to gather olives from trees in Mediterranean groves.
Other galvanized objects? The classic watering can, in all sizes.


Wide, low buckets. I particularly enjoyed how a vintage sign offering quintessential summer foods was placed inside one.


A variety of trash cans and buckets. A little bit of imagination and they can have any purpose.


Even a bathtub. Seriously, galvanized steel was everywhere.


On the topic of steel and metal, I was surprised to see a rusty mooring ball, once used to secure ships, just sitting behind one of the tents. It reminded me of architect Sandra Vlock’s fireballs, featured in Local Wares of our May/June 2015 issue. The sheer size of these metal spheres is quite something to experience in person.


Kilim rugs and pillows had a colorfully strong presence at the show, too. This stack of bold patterns looked extra enticing.


Many booths were also offering a huge variety of maritime light fixtures. Vintage beauties included brass sconces and table lamps, which were solid and very heavy.


This old mirror and shaving set would be a great gift for a fashionable man.


And, other than the crate marked “Chateau Mt-Bages-Averous Pauillac-Medoc” for a dozen 1982 wine bottles and the old map of Cape Cod I took home, I wanted these white outdoor lounge chairs, which I thought we very intriguing. Their sculptural, unordinary shape gives them such personality. They were really hard to pass up!


Great design is always at your fingertips! Read Design New England’s July/August issue online!

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