News-Antique.com - Apr 07,2011 - (West Palm Beach, FL) West Palm Beach Antiques Festival owners Kay and Bill Puchstein are on a roll in South Florida. The last few Festivals have sold out of dealer spaces and attendance has set a new record at almost every event. The May Festival is shaping up to be another pearl in the string of jewels with dealer spaces already sold out with over 300 dealers on board for the first full weekend of the month. South Florida has been having Chamber of Commerce weather and this time of the year it is expected to continue.
The April Festival was blessed with highs in the mid 80s every day and record crowds every day. Coins were especially hot items at the show with every dealer reporting terrific sales. One customer stopped by a booth for the “pause that refreshes” and walked away with a vintage 5¢ Coca-Cola machine for $7,000. You just never know what you can find at West Palm Beach Antiques Festival.
One thing you can be sure of finding is some antique firearms in the booth of Barry Brunell. Brunell is one of those dealers who knows what he likes and zeroed in on it many years ago. In the 1960s he began in the business as a general antiques dealer but since he had always had an affinity for firearms and was already a collector he decided to specialize in the subject. But like so many collectors of so many items, he felt he had ended up with too many examples in his collection so he decided to become a firearms dealer. Sound familiar?
He says he started at the West Palm Beach Antiques Festival so long ago the road to the site was a dirt road. He took a short hiatus from the festival but returned fifteen years ago and has done every show since then with the exception of the ones held in March. The March dates are reserved on his calendar for his annual sojourn to the Daytona Bike Week.
Brunell and his wife Linda do business at the Festival under the trade name B & L Antiques. Most of their inventory of around 100 items consists primarily of firearms and related items that are more than 100 years old. His favorite among those is a Single Action Army Colt revolver. The Single Action Army (SAA) model was designed to Army specifications and introduced in 1873. Although production has been interrupted several times, the Peacemaker is still in production today with older versions being highly sought after at shows and auctions.
Other favorites, though they are younger than 100 years, is a Model 1894 .32 caliber Winchester Saddle Ring carbine from the 1930s or 1940s, a model increasingly hard to find. But his all time favorite has a little more punch than that. It is a Model 1919 Browning .30 caliber machine gun made for military use in the War year of 1942. Brunell’s gun has remained 100% in its military configuration.