Last weekend I went to the Philadelphia Antiques Fair. I had never been before, so this was a wonderful adventure.
It was packed with mostly dealers in American antiques, pre-20th century. There was some early 20th century Arts and Crafts examples, which is a new found passion.
Shows like this are a great way to educate oneself. Dealers are happy to tell you about their offerings which allows you to learn the good from the not so good, and to develop a sense of prices. This gets you ready for placing that bid at auction!
At antiques fairs you get the chance to see dealers from places that you may never get to, and to browse freely. I know that I sometimes don't want to go in to a very high end shop because I will never buy anything at the prices, but at a fair this is not the case. So, when there is an antiques fair near you, go and have fun and ask lots of questions!