Last night I had a great auction haul and ended up with a good collection of vintage art glass. Most of it is green Viking glass, with a few taller amberina pieces and some super kitschy grapes. I’ve been selling mostly jewelry lately but have been wanting to get into selling vintage glassware. Before finding this auction I’d checked out a book about mid century glass from the library and had a great time thumbing through it last night to identify some of the pieces. I ended up with around 40 pieces that I can’t wait to sort, photograph and list.
I had a wonderful time going to estate sales today. Since I moved I’d been relying on yard sales and was pretty dismayed that it was too cold to find many more. I went to an auction here for the first time a few weeks ago and knew it was time to start looking for tag sales. Back home most people do auctions rather than tagged estate sales, so this is a bit of a new thing for me. I’ve heard tales of long lines and large crowds at such sales but I was pleasantly surprised the sales I found today were pretty calm and there weren’t many other people there. I happened upon two that had a great stash of vintage items, particularly mid century kitchen and bar items. I bought four sets of glasses that I adore!
Gold printed Culver glasses
Blue printed-on crackle glasses
Vintage Libbey daisies
Georges Briard Icicle set of 16
Here’s a picture of the whole day’s haul. I was particularly excited about the silver tree and the large and totally bizarre 18″ cat candle. It’s almost large enough to startle an actual cat.
So I recently moved to a bigger city and am still finding all the best yard sale routes. I’ve had a few weeks practice now and am getting pretty good at finding the best sales. This weekend was probably one of the last great yard sale weekends, as the mornings keep getting chillier and chillier. Still I had fantastic luck and like usual met quite a few friendly people.
This weekend was definitely the time for strange little ceramic creatures! The one in yellow intrigued me the most. It took a good bit of internet sleuthing to find out that it was mostly likely a little 50’s Japanese import of a pixie/devil and would have originally held a trident. I was more than a little confused at first, thinking it was a child in a cat costume with real hair on it’s butt and a hole in its hand.
This vintage Kodak camera isn’t going to be much use to me but it is absolutely beautiful and in the original box. I bought it with another, newer SLR camera for $5.
This “Souvenir of France” is likely from the first world war. It’s a little postcard with silk embroidered pocket holding a die cut bouquet and a photo of a soldier.
Set of 4 original Apollo 14 glasses
Vintage plastic napkin holder
Set of 49 vintage West Bend flatware
Set of 6 vintage Georges Briard tumblers
I’ve wanted a vintage wire frame chair for a while now, but gave up on finding one and bought a lounger instead. The other night at an auction I saw a wire chair that looked exactly like what I’d wanted, but unfortunately, it’d already sold. I was pretty dissapointed but took a picture of it anyway, thinking I might find one in the future. Lo and behold, not a week later I found the same exact chair (only with hideous green velvet cushions rather than black leather) at an antique store. I swiftly carried it upstairs from the basement and bought it. My mom, whom I was with at the time and Jason, who saw it get dragged into our house both agreed it was hideous, but I saw potential.
I don’t have a lot of time right now to make it look the way I want, so I just did a few quick changes.
Since that metal parts of the chair are still in great shape, I just changed the arm rests and made a slipcover for the cushions. I sewed both of the cushions together in the middle to make one, then laid it out on a piece of black cotton fabric I already had. I then traced around the cushions with tailors chalk to make a template and sewed the two pieces of black cotton together for a quick slipcover. I made a small pocket on the back so the cover and cushions could just rest over the wire on the back. For the arms I cut out new arm rests from cedar and plan to eventually sand, route and stain them. If I end up keeping the chair for a while I would like to make a more sleek cushion from black vinyl or leather, but at least for now it looks good enough to keep around.
The chair was likely made by Homecrest as an indoor/outdoor piece. The Minnesota based company still makes furniture today and has a page on their website talking about the “vintage wire” collection. A lot of the ones I’ve seen were used as patio chairs but others with leather or vinyl cushions seem to look good indoors. Since I didn’t really have room for it, I’m using it to replace my computer chair. With its sturdy steel and enamel design and comfortable swivel and rocking motions, it should be functional and comfortable for many years.
I had wonderful luck at an estate auction over the weekend. They had several boxes of jewelry and luckily, almost no one else bid against me. Two other bidders won a few individual pieces but I stuck with my strategy of buying whatever is left when they offer it up as one lot. The 200 pieces of jewelry I bought will be cleaned, photographed and will soon serve as fodder for my Ebay store. I found a few pieces though that I absolutely loved and wanted to share. I’m a complete sucker for small functional pieces like lockets and pill cases. The first piece I bought was a set of cuff links, shaped like books that open to hold a picture of a sweetheart and a St. Christopher medal (the patron saint of travelers). I’ve never run across the book/locket/cuff link/religious medal combo before.
I also bought this little hinged sachet piece by Florenza. I feel like it was likely worn as a pendant and could have held some sort of fragrance
This cute little tiny pill case in the shape of a book has a hinged lid and was made in Mexico. It’s the one piece out of this lot I’m going to have a hard time parting with.
This last piece is not quite a locket and not quite a picture frame. When its folded up it measures just 1.5 x 1 x .5 inches. I’m not quite sure what you’d use it for but its just adorable.
I’m always in search for old costume jewelry when I’m out looking for things to sell. It’s easy to find, store, photograph and ship. Also (even though I don’t wear jewelry much), it’s all pretty cool and fun to look through. While I’m rather nearsighted I’ve found that I have better luck making out the tiny brands stamped on the pieces than most. I’ve been selling jewelry for a while and just from buying a researching small pieces, I’ve learned a lot more about it than I ever thought I’d know.
I generally buy anything I can second hand. Since I spend a lot of time searching for inventory, I get a chance to go to a lot of estate auctions, yard sales and thrift stores to find things I need for myself too.
This weekend I happened upon an estate auction where I found more than I expected (or thought would fit in my hatchback). I’d been wanting to trade my old bicycle for a while. The one I had was a bit too small and I wanted one a little bit more functional. I like running errands by bike and wanted something I could put a basket and saddle bags on. I found this great vintage Western Flyer bike for $30 that is just my size and even matches my style. It’s the first single speed, girl’s bike I’ve had in a long time. I cleaned it up a bit and put new tires on it and now it rides perfectly. I’ll probably be spending the next few weeks getting my legs in shape enough to ride a single speed bike for more than a few blocks before cursing myself.I also came home with a old school sweeper that I can use to sweep up under-the-couch crumbs without electricity, a hot dog maker I probably didn’t need and a set of Yaktrax, which I’ve been wanting for a while since they’re predicting a bad winter here. I paid $1 for each one of these.
I also bought a wonderful vintage coffee table that simply spoke to me. The top is solid brass and the legs are collapsible (fitted together with hinges that allow them to fold up flat). The juxtaposition of the mid century style wooden legs and the opulent decorated brass top was unexpected. It was so unique that I’d never seen anything like it. I did a little research and found out its a Hollywood Regency style piece from sometime around the 50’s. They were very popular in the middle of the century, and people would often hang the brass tops on the wall for decoration. I can see myself making a template of the legs and using them to design something similar when I start building furniture after our next move.