I recently attended the weekly Raleigh Flea Market and Antiques Sale at the Fairgrounds on Blue Ridge Road. I had been there previously, but today I was on the look out for art supplies for my artistic endeavors: mosaics. If you have not yet been to the Raleigh Flea Market and Antiques, you are in for a great day of fun!
The Market boasts everything from antiques to junk to yard sale items, food and everything in between. On this day, I discovered my favorite booth: a vintage hardware salvage dealer. I had actually been there before but did not get to spend a whole lot of time there. But today, I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to peruse, undisturbed, for a long time.
During my hunt for treasures, I met Debs. Debs is the owner of the vintage hardware salvage booth. Debs was an art major, studying pottery in college, and later became a professional nanny. One day, about 25 years ago, she was observing trucks as they hauled away large pieces of homes for demolition. As a pottery major, Debs noticed some large pieces of elaborate, interesting tile. She purchased the tile and a mantle, and then started to go from place to place to collect things she loved. She made a business of selling the large pieces to decorators, interior designers and builders. Eventually, she realized that the demolition items were too large so that it was impossible to continue to collect and store them; consequently, she decided to focus on the smaller items, such as drawer pulls, hinges, crystals from chandeliers, filigree pieces, door knobs, keys, etc. She also has a ton of other ephemera at her booth, such as mahjong tiles, vintage pins/jewelry, old game pieces, watch faces, marbles, beads etc. It was so much fun to go through it all! (and I scored some great mosaic pieces too!)
Debs’ booth is currently located outside at booth 450. You can find her by looking at the numbers on the ground that mark each booth. If you have a chance, its definitely worth stopping by and saying hello. She is a wonderful lady to talk to and has great stuff! Don’t forget to check out the entire area, too, but wear comfortable shoes, bring a cart if you intend to buy, and get there early for the best parking. Have fun!