Way back in February of 2013, I indulged in an 90 mile pursuit of primitive furniture and antiques. It wasn’t necessarily my plan, it’s just the way it worked out. It all started when I became aware of an annual primitive antiques show in Fishersville, VA. The idea intrigued me. My wife was still studying at the Culinary Institute in California , so I was free for the weekend.

I needed a plan maximize my viewing pleasure. What I came up with was heading north on Friday and taking the Behind the Scenes Tour at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. This tour takes you to some areas of the house that are not on the regular tour. Mostly the second floor. I have toured the main level several times but had never made it upstairs. It was interesting but I don’t need to do it again for a while.

I then went a bit further north and visited Montpelier, James Madison’s plantation house near Orange, Virginia. In the early 20th century, a branch of the duPont family acquire the house and greatly expanded it. In 1983, the last private owner of Montpelier, Marion duPont Scott, bequeathed the estate to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Trust spent several years restoring the house to be as it was when occupied by the Madisons.

My wife and I have visited it several times to check out the restoration. The last time we were there, the restoration was complete and they were vetting the returning furniture.

Anyway, Saturday, I hit the primitive antiques show when it opened at 8:00 AM. Lots of interesting furniture. Largely primitives, believe it or not.  Some of the highlights include:

A table with four, quarter round legs.

A table with four, quarter round legs.

Grain-painted chests.

Grain-painted chests.

A boarded chest-of-drawers.

A painted chest-of-drawers.

When I see a piece like this one, I think that it might have been built by a carpenter and not a furniture maker. Construction is closer to a boarded chest with the legs being continuations of the sides and not things attached to a carcass.

After absorbing everything I could from the show, I started back home driving south along Interstate 81. Along the route, I hit every antiques shop I could find within a few miles of the Interstate. At 5:00 PM, I visited one last shop in Roanoke.

Along the way, mostly primitives. After nine hours of antiquing, I was very tired of ’50s rock. Every shop. No classical. No show tunes. Fortunately, no Elvis either. When I lived in Pennsylvania, there was a large antiques mall that played Elvis all day on Thursday. I never went there on Thursdays.

A few things of note from the pilgrimage, a chest made by someone who liked dovetailing too much:

Dovetail overkill?

Dovetail overkill? Strong but…

And this desk with an interesting story: IMG_2182 IMG_2183 A long and interesting day. Still two and a half hours to home.

To see all 131 picture in this set, click HERE.