Best Militaria shows?
Posted 14 May 2016 - 09:05 AM
I was wondering where you would all recommend for the best militaria shows to buy ww2 militaria, us? Eu? Britain?
I'm an avid us militaria collector and love hbts, camp items and field gear/equipment in general.
Posted 14 May 2016 - 10:45 AM
SOS is for sure the biggest and best. If you can only make it over here for one show, it is it.
Posted 14 May 2016 - 03:21 PM
Posted 15 May 2016 - 07:47 AM
Posted 15 May 2016 - 11:57 AM
Vintageproductions is being modest. While the SOS is certainly the biggest game in town and an absolute must not miss event, the West Coast Historical Militaria Collectors' Show is a premium event as well. Not nearly as big (approx. 500-550 12-foot tables), but many of us do extremely well there, both buying and selling. Found some great stuff for my collection at the one that was held just a week or so ago. Highly, highly recommended. I attend dozens of shows around the US and even help to produce a few of them, but I find myself looking forward to Bob's West Coast show most of all.
The Show of Shows is in February and is approximately 2000 tables. From the perspective of getting the most bang for your travel buck.. or in this case pound, if you can make but one show, it's true - this is a truly gargantuan event. The same organization (full disclosure- I am an officer of the OVMS) hosts the MAX - Military Antiques Extravaganza in October in western Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh. Approx. 950-975 tables. We also host two smaller 400 table shows in mid-Ohio in June and November.
Other personal favorites here in the US
Great shows, if you are making a larger trip and can fold them into the schedule, they are well worth attending:
1) TMCA - Tennessee Militaria Collectors Club shows. These are every Easter and Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Friday and Saturday, in Franklin, TN which is just south of Nashville. Very active, vibrant local club flavor, not sure on the table count, but I would venture to say 250-300. They are quite well-attended and some wonderful stuff turns up. Very friendly, relaxed atmosphere, and held in one of the nicest parts of the US. Plenty to see and do in the Nashville area for the whole family.
2) Minneapolis - hosted by the Battlefield Bookstore. Again, a smaller show, but it is sometimes shocking how much truly good stuff turns up here. I live 14 hours away and attend them all, with the only exception of a few over past years that unfortunately were in conflict (date-wise) with the MAX. Next one is October 1-2, 2016
3) Baltimore Antique Arms - not so much a show for WWI and WWII, but if you like early material this is quite an event. Enough early martial flint and percussion arms to start a small rebellion. Quality event, too; they are rather strict about what can and cannot be displayed, which helps the show to stand out as a premium event. Next one March 18-19, 2017
If your tastes are more specific to insignia or medals, the ASMIC and OMSA collector organizations each have an annual national show, and I am sure members of those clubs can fill in the dates and locations for upcoming events.
I hope this helps. One thing that you will find at every show in the US is that folks are quite pleased to see visitors from around the world. An international presence is an indicator of a good healthy show, and getting to meet collectors from all over is one of the things that makes going to shows enjoyable. Come on over! You will be enthusiastically welcomed.
Posted 16 May 2016 - 08:47 AM
I would recommend the SOS, I have been for the last 3 years and I love it.
With the exchange rates the way they are nothing is cheap, and I can assure you have to work hard to find it.
The cheapest place in the world to buy Militaria today, is the UK... Shock Horror... Agree there is a lot of rubbish around but dig beneath the surface there is some great stuff to buy in the UK.
Posted 16 May 2016 - 09:14 AM
Although it just concluded, you may want to check out the East Coast Military Vehicle Rally next year. The title is a bit misleading as there are usually a few hundred vendors there.
Edited by Fender Rhodes, 16 May 2016 - 09:15 AM.
Posted 17 May 2016 - 05:56 AM
If you are into insignia, the ASMIC conventions are always a great place to hunt for those rare variations. The show is a "Tri-Convention" combining ASMIC, AAMUC, and Chute and Dagger, so uniforms and elite unit items are included. While you will find field gear and equipment, it is definitely not the focus of the show. The venues change from year to year as the convention is held in different areas for the sake of the membership, but I have never not gone home from one without having found some great patches and insignia.
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