Part VIII of our series on “Killer Stuff and Tons of Money” – Seeking History and Hidden Gems in Flea-Market America
The eighth part of our interview series with Maureen Stanton:
“What shocked you the most about your experience with antiques while working with Curt and preparing to write this book?”
I was really surprised at the “behind-the-scenes” aspect of flea markets. I had no idea that all sorts of deal-making and treasure hunting happened before the gates even opened to the public. Pretty much everything in Killer Stuff was new to me, even though I’d been interested in flea markets, vintage stuff, junk and second-hand stores for decades.
I was also surprised that antiques dealers are really knowledgeable. I don’t mean to insult anyone, but the context of selling stuff on the side of the road on a make-shift table lead me to think otherwise. Most of the mid-level dealers I met are well-educated in some other field, like Curt Avery with his B.S. in biochemistry, but they found their way to antiques dealing through their passion for it, or in retirement, or in summers. Many teachers are summer-time antiques dealers. Or they transitioned from a hobby to a full-time vocation. A few grew fed-up with corporate life and took the plunge into the entrepreneurial world of treasure-hunting.
So you have all these lay-historians with valuable knowledge, deep veins of knowledge about stoneware or early lighting or hooked rugs and textiles, hanging out in these fair grounds or church lawns selling valuable treasures. “Selling antiques in a cow pasture,” as Curt Avery says.
To learn more about Maureen’s book, check it out here:
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