Friday, December 11, 2009

My Wife was Tickled Pink

I was king for a day when I found this pair of vintage, pink, hobnail, milk glass candlesticks at a recent rummage sale to add to her growing collection of pink glass. A reward for being one of the first in the door, I snatched these up for 5.00. It was the only thing I bought that day but it got me a fresh baked key lime pie that night!
When hit by sunlight the collars glow with a firery opalescence!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

We are back! Here is our latest find!

After months of heat and humidity we are finally catching a little break and the yard sales are popping up again! If you remember a while back I posted a little note about collecting mid 20th century toleware! Well here is a piece that I could build a whole collection around. This pierced edge tray measures a whopping 25 x 17 inches and is in mint condition. It was spotted in the back room of my favorite thrift store as I was dropping off a donation! I though that $3.98 was a fair price! I over heard the former owner say he was bringing a truck load from an estate on Thursday! I will keep you posted!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Weekend Asian Textile Find

Well here I go again! I was in my favorite Hospice Thrift Store and while flipping through the pictures that were half price I noticed this textile sandwiched between two pieces of plastic! There was a plastic thing the size of a bar of soap glued to the back. I think someone was going to make a clock out of it but when it slid out of position they gave up. I paid the $3.00 asking price and brought it home and of course my wife thought I was ready for hospice care myself.
I removed it from the plastic frame and examined it carefully with a loop. It is a hand stitched crewel picture with two applied, intricately woven, mattes, all made of silk. The little diamond motifs on the inner border contain around 200 stitches each. The picture was painstakingly done with different color silk threads entirely by hand. That is all I know. I think it is Chinese but this is far from my realm of knowledge! It appears to be very old.
I am hoping someone reads this and can help me learn the origin. It is approximately 10 x 11 inches. The colors look a little faded in the pic do to poor lighting and a cell phone camera.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Collecting Menus

Here is a very interesting and diverse area of collecting! People collect menus from restauarants where they have dined, from landmarks, from fast food places and many other areas! There are vintage menus widely available on Ebay! Menus from the golden age of the American Passenger Ship can bring hundreds of dollars! My wife has a large collection that is in storage right now! Mostly from places we have been! This is the only one that did not get into the storage for some reason! Most restaurants will give or sell you their menus! Some will press charges if you are caught stealing one so ask the waitress!

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Piece of New Jersey Folk Art

We were at a demolition sale at a very old house in Brielle NJ mainly after old lighting fixtures! We got a couple wall brackets at my risk of electrocution! As we were leaving my wife spotted this driftwood board with a painting of Barnegat Light on it! She asked the price and the person said "just take it." Right now it sits next to the TV here in Florida to remind me how much we want to go home to the Jersey Shore

Vintage Picnic Baskets Create Decorative Storage Space

Very easy to come by at affordable prices. I did not pay more than 7.00 for any of these! Don't they look better than piles of bills and periodicals? That is what is inside them!
The woven splint style like these are the most common! Redman made some beautiful geometrically patterned examples in varied colors! They usually carry the company's label on the inside! I sold a few a couple years ago on Ebay for 20-30.00 before the price of shipping killed the market!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thanks to Faithful5252 for becoming my newest follower!

Pre Princess Grace Kelly

She was one of the most exquiste women of the century! I hope you enjoy this rare picture of Princess Grace when she was simply Grace Kelly and simply beautiful! p Thephoto is from American Beauty Magazine Issue #1 1955. Photo credit goes to Phillipe Halsman! Please do not copy for commercial puposes as the copyright is probably still valid! This is strictly for your enjoyment!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Slim Picking this Weekend

Someone I know once came to Florida in the smmer and described it as a lizard tank! It is so humid, especially in Pinellas Couonty because we are surrounded by 90 degree water. No matter which way the wind blows it is coming off of hot water! That make for very few yard sales because nobody wants to sit outside!
We did pick up this sweet little 1920s wicker basket! It looks good on the farmer made table from the 30s!

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Happy and Safe 4th of July

This 4th think of how lucky we are to enjoy the freedom we have! Also be thankful for those who fought for it and those who gave their lives! Remember our troops overseas!
Waiting for the parade!
Monkey has grabbed his spot early so that he has a good view of the parade!

Weather Finally Clearing Out!

The thunderstorms over the last few days wreaked havoc on the Tampa Bay area! But it appears that they have dwindled down to just a few showers like the one off in the distance!
You may not believe me but that little black speck in the water is a manatee! One of several that have been hanging around my aprtment compex this week!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Vintage Cocktail Recipes

My wife and I have a small collection of vintage stemware which we use frequently. One day my wife was watching The Barefoot Contessa on TV making a pitcher of Sidecars and serving them in sugar rimmed glasses. It sounded so good and a refreshing change in a world of Cosmos, Mojitos and Mudslides and it was just that. Then one day I found a copy of a mixology book from 1939. That was the dawn of the golden age of cocktails. Then another from the 1950s called "a Guide to Pink Elephants" that my parents always had lying around. I started to read and I was amazed at the drinks that I never had heard of. Dixie Whiskey, Bronx, Kentucky Colonel, Button Hook, Five Fifteen and on and on. So I decided that along with my vintage finds and articles I would post a forgotten recipe every few days or so.1Here is the next of the series! Maidens Blush (from a 1939 mixology book)

1 jigger Dry Gin

4 dashes Grenadine

4 dashes Curacao

1 dash Lemon Juice

Strain into a stemmed glass

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

How Special for the Western Collector! Buffalo Bill!

I found this book that was printed in England that contains 100 posters of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show! It is in near mint condition with only a small outward curl to the top corner of the front cover! I am offering it for sale for only $49.95 plus shipping by media mail which is more than 50 percent less than the current retail price! A great buy! If you are interested email me at for my paypal address! Thanks!

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Benefit of a Second Pair of Eyes

We were out on our usual weekend treaure hunt and my wife uncovered this blue and white pottery pitcher. It really shows a lot of age and I love the polka dot and double stripe design! Turning it over I saw it was marked but even with my loop I could not make it out! It was apparently a utilitarian piece. Just prior to taking these pictures I asked my wife what she thought. "Germany" she said without hesitation, "It says Germany." So much for my mystery. I still can't make out the rest! But just knowing it says Germany narrows it down to the first part of the 20th century. If anyone recognizes the maker could you please let me know! It is, by the way, one of her all time favorite pieces unlike my little rolltop desk below!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Why Does My Wife Hate This?

When I was living in New Jersey we stopped at a yard sale at an old house. I think it was in Neptune but I am not sure! I spied this little childs rolltop in the backyard. It was faded and covered with stickers and crayon marks. I head a dealer guy ask the woman running the sale how much? She said ten dollars and he said, "I'll give you five!" There is a difference between haggling and insulting! I walked over and handed the woman ten bucks, picked up the desk and headed for the car with my wife following and asking, "Why did you buy that?" "Because I like it," I replied.

It came with me to Florida and I found the matching chair at the local Salvation Army store for 5.00. I use the desk to store fishing tackle in a room that is storage space because my wife, even after my painstaking restoration, still asks me why I bought it! I dragged it out for the picture and she made sure that it would not remain there. It is so unlike her not to appreciate old things! I don't care. She has this big stuffed monkey that she has had since she was a kid in the 50s. Guess where he will be sitting from now on!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I Thought that Plate Looked Familiar

There is nothing that gets my adrenaline up faster than seeing an Estate Sale sign that was stuck out on a pole without being advertised! That is just what happened when we found this pink cherry blossom plate laying on the couch unseen by the other shoppers. It was $3.00 which provoked no haggling from me. I suggested to my wife, as we got back in the car, that I thought we had a blue one just like it. Sure enough, it was stashed in a drawer as a service piece by her because it coordinated with some blue and yellow plates. I did some quick online research and learned that it also came in green and was produced by the Jeanette Glass Co. right through the thirties. A little FYI, a child's tea set in blue (actually called delphite) was made and is very rare! I sold one in the 1970s for over $100.00

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mid 20th Century Toleware

We were out this weekend as usual and it is the slim picking time of year down here, south of the south! We did however find this sweet little piece of 1940s toleware! This type of hand painted metalware is a revival of the extremely valuable handpainted wares from the 19th century executed by the German and Dutch immigrants in the U.S. This nice example was made by Hamilton Tole in the 1940s! I have had several pieces of 20th century tole and actually sold a red pierced edge tray on eBay for close to one hundred dollars. This handpainted ware is still readily available on the market and is a great investment as late folk art! Good Hunting!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Saw this Thing Sticking Up

I was walking around at a small, once a year, flea market in town a little later in the day than I prefer. I was not really expecting much because it had been picked over for a couple hours. I spotted this thing sticking up in the middle of some kitchenware. I could tell from a distance that it was old by the color of the metal. I walked over and saw it had an old blue Ball jar attached to it. I realized that it was used to pick the jar from the hot water bath. A little metal piece slides up and down to tighten the clamp securely. Being a fact that my wife has a collection of blue canning jars, I paid the $2.00 and brought it home where it joined this other accessory, a 1904 lid remover.

Home canning is gaining in popularity recently, apparently due to the economy. It can be an enjoyable project for the entire family that is fortunate enough to have their own garden or live near a place where fruits and vegetables can be purchased in bulk.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

UPDATE: Back on May 18th I showed you all the save a plant that I rescued from Loews! I had put this incompetent gnome is charge of it with the instructions to make it grow or become a Travelocity understudy!(scroll down to the May 18th post!) Well the plant died! I showed mercy to the gnome and gave him the Cuban Oregano to care for instead. If he can kill that he will be headed for the thrift store!

Meanwhile Back in Frogpatch Gwendolyn Gagglesquack, advice columnist for the Frogpatch Dispatch, is planning a "Real Housewives of New Jersey Season Finale" party next Thursday! You are all invited.

Rare Pictures from Marilyn Monroes Early Screentest

I found a magazine in the attic where I lived 25 years ago that was printed as the first edition back in 1955. It is a treasure trove of photos of all the beauties from Hollywood including these rare pics of Marilyn. Please do not copy the picture as it may still be copyrighted. Photo credit goes to Phillipe Halsman. I will post others everyweek so please come back!

Three Little Hidden Treasures!

I was looking through the drawers in my place trying to find some historic flatware that I dug from a box at a sale to write about when I found these. Years ago they sat propped up in a little cabinet but have been stashed away for two moves. They were all flea market finds from New Jersey but I do not remeber where! My wife actually bought them in three different places. The one on the left is a Japanese Rose Medallion plate from the late 19th or early 20th century. The one in the center is a Limoges piece circa 1900. The one on the right is the most interesting. It is a Royal Worcester plate that dates form the late 1700s. The mark on the back was copied from the mark of the Sevres factory in France. It took several hours of research to determine that. It is very rewarding when research leads to an answer instead of my usual dead end. Sometimes it pays to search you own home for lost treasures.

Monday, June 8, 2009

No Weekend Treasures to Post

The weather is getting really hot here and the sales are becoming fewer and farther between condensing the competition! My wife foung a blue and white pocelain food mold but that was about it. I will hit the local thrift store during the week and see what can be uncovered and post it here.

Thanks to Didi5611, Garage Sale Junky and Cowvin Cow for becoming my new followers! Welcome! Please come back soon and bring a friend!

Why can't I sell this very old frame?

This is an ogee frame that is handpainted and grained and dates from the mid 19th century! I found it for a really low price at a thrift store near my home! I was going to put a mirror in it but my wife does not really appreciate it! So I listed it on Bonanzle where it sat with no interest for six weeks. Then I listed it in my vintage shop on Etsy where it has gone without a look for six or more weeks! If I still had an Ebay auction I would expect this frame due to its age and condition to bring around 90 to 125 dollars or more! I guess I will go back to my original plan and put a mirror in it for the next place we live!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Black Americana

From emancipation until the civil rights movement images of african americans where used in advertising, toys, kitchenware and other common everday items, often in a derogatory or insulting stereotypical manner. Black Americana has been prized by collectors for a variety of reasons, some of which are questionable. The depiction of black americans should be sought after for two reasons and two reasons only. First, for its historical value as a reminder of how far we have come and the contributions of Afro Americans to society and tradition and second, for pure art value.

The Southern Cookbook is from the early 1960s and has several "cute" little poems using the N word. I was shocked when I saw the copyright date. This reminded me that that segregation still existed less than 50 years ago. In the late 1940s and 50s Japan produced countless items like the ones shown in the picture. There were toys and dolls, kitchenware and more. These items are still easily found compared to the rare iron banks and advertising from the turn of last century that commamd premium prices on the antique market. The post cards from that era are still common but extremely racist!

The sheet music that I found in a stack at a thrift store of Carry Me Back to Old Virginny dates to the early 1900s and was written by James E Bland an African American.

The two dolls, above left, are from my wifes collection. The rag doll on the left was made by hand by a black person, probably a little girl in the 1930s. The doll on the right is an import from Poland in the 1950's with a cloth body and composition face.

If you are interested in starting a collection of black americana the internet is a good place to start. It is very easy to search out. Also check garage and yard sales, flea markets and thrift stores. It can be an enjoyable area to pursue. There is so much variety. In a couple weeks I will display my wife collection of black dolls.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

How Old is This!

I spotted this pushup candleholder at a sale at an old church in Clearwater. At first it looked like just another brass thing from India but upon closer examination it appears to be very old. I reached this conclusion by the wear, patina and construction. Any help with this would be appreciated. The area around the push up device is black with wear. It is stuck in place by old wax which I have had no success in removing.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Couple Great Finds this Weekend

Memorial Day weekend was a good one for us. I showed a couple of items earlier but thought I would save these two unusual ones for last. The first is this frosted bottle that held I can only guess what. From the design and construction my feeling is it was made around 1900 and held a feminine product of some sort. It may be European. I have seen reproductions of these but this is the first time I have found a real one. It is large, around eight ounces so I don't think it held perfume! It is what my wife would call a very romantic piece!

These two are California Angels. Not retired baseball players but a pair of cherubs marked Santa Anita Ware, California. They have a lovely white glaze and nice detail. I wish I had these when I did the post on Califonia Pottery last week. They were made somewhere in the middle of the 20th century, most likely in the 1960s.

Thanks to Efusjonweave and Faithful 5252 for becoming my followers. Please come back soon. My next post will be about finding unusual wall art!

Two Weekend Finds

My wife was very happy that right before leaving a church rummage sale I spotted this large pink depression glass bowl that was wrapped in plastic. Because of the wrapping no one saw it! A great 5.00 find to add to her collection of pink glass! It has a cherry blossom pattern that can't be seen in the picture!

This black and white flour tin is around 100 years old. It has a lot of rust but will look good in the right place. It is 14 inches high with a latching top and two bail handles.

Meanwhile back in Frogpatch Abigull Van Bird wrote an article in the Frogpatch Dispatch that smoking should be banned within one mile of anything green. I agree!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

These are weeds!

I spotted these with binoculars from my terrace, growing along the bay here in Clearwater, when I was trying to identify the sqwawking birds that wake me every morning. I went doem to the water and cut some and my wife had me place them in this antique ironstone pitcher. They look nice on the vintage iron table outside. I think the white ones are Queen Annes Lace but I do not know what the purple one are. The white flowers were on six foot tall plants. I never found the birds however. I am sure they will be waking me up at daybreak.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Thank You Yvonne for becoming a follower of my blog! I am honored!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Save a Plant

Every now and then I go to the local Loews store and in the back of the nursery there is a section where they put plants that look like they have arrived at deaths door. I picked up this little Lantana plant for a dollar, stuck it in an empty pot and put this little guy in charge. I told him if it did not grow and get flowers he would become a Travelocity trainee. So far the plant has gone from wilted to standing. I will post its progress through the hot Florida summer. I wonder what color it is?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Using Vintage Glassware

At the end of prohibition in 1933 the country was in the midst of the Great Depression. People were now allowed to legally indulge in the consumption of alcoholic beverages and did they ever! Distilleries and breweries rushed to get product out the door to meet the demand. Glass manufacturers produced fancy glassware in feel good colors that was often used in promotional giveaways. Today it is known as Depression Glass. After the U.S. became involved in the second world war, the golden era of cocktails was born and lasted through the early 1960s. Companies such as Heisey, Fostoria and others produced glassware tailored to a well heeled public that is today referred to as Elegant Glass. Here is a picture of an assortment of glassware that dates from the 1930s through the 1970s from our personal collection that we have accumulated over the years. Many delicious concoctions have been enjoyed with them.

Friday, May 8, 2009

California Pottery

California Pottery refers to Art Pottery from various companies in the mid 20th century. The most common and familiar are the brightly colored pieces from the 1960s that are usually marked simply Calif. with a letter and number. The example pictured was picked up at a yard sale in NJ a few years ago and is now for sale in my Etsy store. The most common colors are orange and turquoise. A few years ago I found a six piece chip and dip on a Lazy Susan in pink and black. It fetched a good price on eBay. My wife would not let me keep it! She is not a big retro fan!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

American Pressed Pattern Glass

Very attractive and made in hundreds of patterns from the middle of the 19th century through the first part of the 20th century American pattern glass is the bargain of the antique world if you are looking for clear pieces. The colored ones are pricey and hard to find but the clear patterns are readily available at affordable prices and add a nice vintage touch to any table. In this picture are four pieces that we found recently. The compote is signed with the Higbee Bee mark and is called Thistle. The vase appears to be flint glass as it is much clearer than the rest although it dose not have the characteristic ring of most early flint. These pieces were all found at yard sales and rummage sales for less than 10.00 each. I think I paid 5.00 for the little pitcher at a sale right on my street.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Thanks Chris for being my first follower. Please email me at if there is anything you would like to see!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Collecting Florida Kitsch

I went to a Florida Kitsch show at the Biltmore Hotel in Florida a couple of years ago and was shocked at some of the prices that these items commanded. Some I must admit were not kitsch. Webster decribes it as "made for the mainstream or non discriminate." There were some lovely old advertisements such as charming fruit crate labels and airline ads and some real art from the Highwaymen, a school of Florida painters. But for the most part it was kitsch. I looked around my place here in Clearwater and realized that I had unconciuosly built a tacky collection myself.

In the hall closet was this green and gold serving piece made of the part of a palm leaf that attaches it to the trunk from the late 1950s or early 196os. (pictured above left) In the china closet was a Flamingo Thermometer that my wife must have bought without my knowledge on a trip here from New Jersey years ago. They still sell these, along with alligator heads and coconut patties at those stands with all the plastic oranges outside. This tin with the palm trees was made in Ohio for the Florida Market and once contained cookies. There were a couple old postcards and two flamingo prints that hang on our wall in the dining area, one of which is shown here above left .Just when I thought I was done my wif drags out the epitome of Florida Kitsch. A 1950s vintage Florida tablecloth. Life could not become more kitschy!

If you are in the market for Florida Collectible do not look in Florida as they were usually purchased by tourists. The pictures came from a flea market at Monmouth Racetrack in New Jersey. The tablecloth from an estate sale in NJ also. I am not sure about the others except for these postcards. They were purchased here in Clearwater. They were never mailed.

Meanwhile back in Frogpatch, Billy Bob Bobcat says he is planning on opening a day spa! Says he needs to get his nails done! I think he has been watching too much real housewives.

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