For pop culture junkies and there are many, flea markets are mirrors of the American mind as much as shopping venues. To them, owning a slice of our history is as important as finding that perfect piece to adorn the living room; adding to a collection; or just to getting a good bargain.
In this increasingly cookie-cutter, IKEA world, flea markets have endured, grown and recently shown an upscale trend. In Flea, Zubrod and Stern help make the flea market experience and process easy and enjoyable. They describe places to go, what to look for, how to tell what’s “a good thing” and what’s not and how to incorporate a find into an original home aesthetic. They also introduce readers to more than 50 classics items from the recent past that serve as the backbone of a new trend in art: from club chairs to cocktail shakers, Bauer pottery to Ring-Ding glass, fly-fishing gear to barbed wire. They also list the major flea market meccas in America, the world and on the World Wide Web; offer strategies for hunting; and show how dozens of today’s top designers have woven their flea finds into their lives.
Anyone can wander around a flea market and buy a few quaint objects guaranteed to mystify her parents and appall her spouse. But it’s an art to know the market, find what you’re after, recognize the difference between valuable and worthless junk, collect the classics and dabble in trends, preserve what you have and restore what you buy. Sheila Zubrod and David Stern explore not only the flea market philosophy but also selling for profit, Web sites of value, flea market meccas throughout America and the world, and the primo cocktail shakers, coleslaw boards, and club chairs that constitute a true find.