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Brandywine River Antiques Market: Chadds Ford, PA - A booth decorated with vintage Christmas items.
A booth decorated with vintage Christmas items.
Each year during
the Christmas season, one antique mall opens its doors as 6:00pm to show its gratitude to its customers throughout the year. We haven't been able to attend until this year because it is the day before the Chadds Ford Christmas House Tour which we attended for two years in a row. We finally attended the Brandywine River Antique Market's Open House December 4, 2015 along Route 1 in Chadds Ford.

Brandywine River Antiques Market: Chadds Ford, PA - Michael McLimans standing by the Christmas tree with his son Hunter.
Michael McLimans standing by the Christmas tree with his son Hunter.
The antique center is run by Michael McLimans who has owned the shop for twenty years. He also offers appraisals for the antique enthusiast. Michael is so kind to offer his shop to the antique collector to browse through the three floors of antique treasures in the white barn. On the first floor there was food staged throughout: ham in one area, shrimp in another, chicken in another, vegetable with dip in another, cheese and crackers in another. In fact, each corner you turned, you ran into another morsel to eat. Michael said the first floor was designed to handle the main course, the second floor was designed to handle the desserts, However, we didn't have to go to the second floor for some cookies.

To top it all off, there was an open bar for the patrons to enjoy - wine, beer, mixed drinks, soda or water, whatever you chose. It was crowded but not to the point of inability to walk. The staff was busy at the counter wrapping antiques and checking out the people that were buying.

Brandywine River Antiques Market: Chadds Ford, PA - People enjoying the wonderful food at Brandywine River Antiques Market.
People enjoying the wonderful food at Brandywine River Antiques Market.
The Christmas decorations scattered throughout helped encourage the customers to buy that special gift meant just for their loved ones. The Chadds Ford antique market features forty dealers housed in a 15,000 square foot 1856 dairy barn and carriage house. There was every kind of antique covering the 18th, 19th, and 20th century periods. There were staffordshire pieces, windsor chairs, ironwork, oil paintings, glassware, primitives, textiles, putzes, early lighting, drop leaf tables, Victorian figures, jewelry, silver, wooden decoys, Chippendale mirrors, engravings, delftware, needlepoint. English furniture, Continental furniture, American furniture.

Booth 3A carried vintage Christmas items and ornaments along with jewelry from the thirties through the fifties. Booth 15A was a collection if items an avid antique collector would want to furnish in their fine country home. Booth 14c was a mixture if primitives, shabby chic, and vintage items.

Brandywine River Antiques Market: Chadds Ford, PA - People getting checked out at the front counter.
People getting checked out at the front counter.
The third floor has thirty foot vaulted ceiling with exposed oak beams and carried an eclectic collection of home furnishings and accessories including dining room sets, bookcases, bedroom pieces, and architectural items.

Our readers know we have a passion for stoneware. At the Open House we had the pleasure of having a long discussion with Dr. James R. Koterski, author of Potters and Firebrick Makers of Cecil County Maryland and Nearby, 1750-1950 and Early Potters and Potters of Delaware: Historical and Commercial Perspectives 1760-1890. He was informative as to the amount of time it takes to research subjects for his books, and the interesting twists and turns the research can take. Gloria Weatherby, who has a glass case filled with antiques and whom we have bought vintage Christmas decorations from carried Dr. Koterski's books.

It was an enjoyable and fulfilling night with many true lovers of antiques. Don't forget to attend next year. Michael was so gracious to let us take his picture with his son, Hunter, in front of the beautifully decorated Christmas tree. He certainly knows how to treat his dedicated customers at the Brandywine River Antiques Market. Be sure to visit his quality shop throughout the year.
 


Source: Photos & text by Bryan Wright

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Brandywine River Antiques Market

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