By Suzanne Kashuba
Every visit was an adventure. I found new tennis shoes and colorful ceramic planters and a fuzzy white rug (I named it “Max”) amid the tools and clutter and glorious mess. It would take hours to sift through, but the thrill of the hunt made it all worthwhile. I snagged a brass teapot for a buck that still adds a certain charm to my black-and-white kitchen (though Max is long gone).
Flea markets are all about one-upmanship -- and we all have a story. Few will blatantly brag about how expensive a purchase is, but when it comes to a value, a bargain, that steal-of-a-deal, we HAVE to share.
So I was excited to hear that PBS is premiering a new series called “Market Warriors” on July 16. The show airs Mondays at 9 p.m., following “Antiques Roadshow” on WNED-TV.
Each program is like a national treasure hunt – a free-wheeling shopping competition. In a contest of skill and luck, four pickers (antiques professionals) trek cross-country to flea markets and antiques shows. They start with a set budget of about $1,000, a time limit and a goal. Then they sell their finds at auction to see who brings in the most money.
In the process, you learn how to pursue your own successful treasure hunts. You learn all about the “finds” – what the pickers choose to buy and why, as well as the history and value of these items. You also observe how the pros handle real-world financial transactions.
During the upcoming premiere, the search is on for mid-century modern items among the Pennsylvania Dutch antiques at Renningers Adamstown in Lancaster, Pa. Key finds include an Eames chair, Moss floor lamp and a Tiffany® jelly jar.
Later episodes feature quests for costume jewelry (at Philadelphia’s Phila Flea Market, July 23); vintage advertising (at 400 Antiques Market near Atlanta, July 30); and art glass (in Brimfield, Mass., Aug. 6) .
The fun doesn’t end with the series. The “Market Warriors” website and social media sites offer many ways to get involved.
On the website, a “winners and losers” feature tracks each picker’s season-long successes and failures. Just by “liking” the Facebook page, you can see an exclusive new preview clip. An informative blog offers insights and tips from the world of antiques and flea markets.
You are also welcome to share your own favorite flea market finds.
So join the conversation! After all, it’s all about SHARING!
Share below, too. What’s your favorite flea market find? Will you tune in to watch “Market Warriors?”