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Antiquing is one of my favorite pasttimes but I especially love it in the spring when the sunny, warm weather encourages southerners within a few hours drive of east Tennessee to clean out their basements, barns and attics and set up shop in the tiny hamlet of Clinton, TN. Hundreds of antique dealers and just ordinary folks fill booths lining the streets for a day-long antiques fest where you can find everything from rusty old chicken feeders to antique French linens:
spring 2014 clinch river antiques festival

As you might imagine, an antiques show in the south will include a fair amount of primitive and country collectibles, like these wooden cheese boxes. Also known as pantry boxes, these round wooden containers were the Tupperware of their day. Filled with dry food items and stacked in a cool location, they protected goods from vermin and were a necessary fixture in every home to keep food fresh before refrigeration.  tower of antique cheese or pantry boxes

Another kitchen staple of yesteryear are butter molds. These plunger-and-cup style molds first gained popularity in 18th century Europe before catching on in America as well. The handcarved designs allowed homemakers and dairy farmers to imprint the molded butter with their farm’s logo, the family’s initials or just a decorative design.antique butter molds

But primitives weren’t the only pieces for sale. The rising popularity of mid-century Modern furniture guarantees them pride of place in many of the dealers’ booths and shops. This chartreuse yellow vinyl corner chair is one of a pair and had already sold by the time I discovered them:mid-century modern corner chair at Clinton TN antiques festival

Industrial items are another trendy collectible that I’ve noticed popping up at more antique shows. These two stage lamps were a steal at just $225 for the tall aluminum one and $89 for the smaller wooden one. industrial style stage lightingI really like the cobbled-together look of this one. If I ever come across an old spotlight like this, I’ll definitely DIY it into a floor lamp. industrial style stage lighting

Another great buy was this perfectly rusty cast iron planter filled with echeveria (or hens and chicks) for just $30. It was such a great deal, in fact, that my sister bought it. The planter’s previous owner did a fantastic job caring for the echeveria, which are succulents and prefer full sun and moderately dry, well-draining soil. Learn more about growing succulents in containers from our friends at HGTV Gardens. cast iron antique planter

I was sorely tempted to purchase this massive (and heavy!) cast iron horse’s head myself. It’s one of a pair and at $350 outside my bargain-hunter’s budget. The seller didn’t have much information on them but I can imagine the pair topping pillars on either side of a formal gate or garden: cast iron antique horse's head

Speaking of gardens — how clever is this fountain turned into a multi-tiered container garden? What a great idea for maximizing your planting space while repurposing an old fountain that is leaky or has a broken pump: burlap bag as a planter

Ready to go antiquing? Check this handy list to find an antiques festival in your area and let us know in the comments below — what type of antiques do you collect and where are your favorite antique shows?

Adventures in Antiquing: Trending at High Point Furniture Market
Adventures in Antiquing: How to Restore an Old Wooden Bowl
Adventures in Antiquing: Upcycled Storage for Dog Toys
Adventures in Antiquing: Charleston Antiques Show Part 1
Adventures in Antiquing: Charleston Antiques Show Part 2
Adventures in Antiquing: (Easy!) Beachy Candle Makeover
Adventures in Antiquing: Repurposed Wooden Tray
Adventures in Antiquing: Crushing On Carrara Marble
Adventures in Antiquing: Old Toolbox Turned Magazine Caddy
Adventures in Antiquing: Old Clock Repurposed as a Frame
Adventures in Antiquing: Classical Busts
Adventures in Antiquing: Clinch River Spring Antiques Fair 2013
Adventures in Antiquing: Vintage Avon Bottle
Adventures in Antiquing: Salvaged Molding As Holiday Decor

12 Responses

  1. Keri_HGTV says:

    It was great running into you the other day. We took all your tips to heart and even discovered a booth that was "taking all offers." That's my favorite kind of booth!

    • hgtvcamille says:

      Hi Keri! Yeah, it was great seeing your whole family out enjoying the gorgeous sunny Saturday and streets filled with deals. I'm a big fan of dealers who are open to all offers too — but, to be honest, I always try to negotiate. Politely, of course. I've found that even dealers who are firm on their prices are open to throwing something small in on the deal or coming down a little bit if you're friendly and really in love with the item you're buying.

  2. Liz_HGTV says:

    I LOVE those yellow corner chairs. Jealous that someone else snapped them up!

    • hgtvcamille says:

      Yeah, I thought of you when I saw them. Actually, there were more mid-century and industrial pieces in general this past fest than I've ever seen there before. The next one is Saturday, Oct 11th — nice people, lots o bargains, beautiful scenery — you should go!

  3. rss says:

    I love those chairs too Liz!

  4. D Trotter says:

    While this has nothing to do with the lovely chairs, this is a comment about HGTV – I understand that the brothers who were slated to to a new show for HGTV were canned because of their beliefs. How prejudiced is that?

  5. Diana says:

    I was an avid HGTV viewer, however, after I read that you would cancel a show because of the brothers' political and Christian views, I will no longer be watching. Who is the bigot here? All you who are pointing fingers needs to be looking at your own hearts. The brothers were not attacking anyone. You are by cancelling their show. Shame on you!

  6. julie horan says:

    Where did all the good hgtv shows go….divine design, Sara, David, Genevieve etc. …?! Enough already with house hunters and omg…beach shows…YUCK.

  7. […] ADVENTURES IN ANTIQUING: Adventures in Antiquing: Take a Virtual Tour of a TN Spring Antiques Fest Adventures in Antiquing: Trending at High Point Furniture Market Adventures in Antiquing: How to […]

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H. Camille SmithCamille is a managing editor for HGTV.com, fine artist and antique furniture devotee. As a former interior designer and Nickelodeon animator, she has a real passion for balanced, beautiful interiors...


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