Worth the Gamble?

Are you a gambler? I haven’t been inside a casino in decades. The last time was in South Lake Tahoe when my husband and I had gone away for the weekend with friends. This was in our pre-kid days! Walking through one of the casinos I had decided to play a slot machine with whatever change I had in my purse and when it was gone, I would be done. Well, you know how it goes. I kept winning just enough to keep playing. Then I had a $20 “windfall” from a hand and decided to quit while I was ahead. So not much of a gambler back then.

These days I do gamble…but on the items I buy for my store. I went a bit crazy on buying paintings in January and February.

But to be honest, I’m okay spending more if that means getting things that are unique or higher quality with the potential for a greater profit. I think these are all winners, but only time will tell!

Some of you may remember from my post a few days ago (“A Few Days in the Life”) that I had bid on a handwoven tapestry. And then was outbid. And my questions were: Should I bid again? Was it worth it? Would anyone buy this? And the answers were always “YES!” So in the last 20 seconds of the auction I bid again. And though there were three of us in the fray by then I won. But darn, it was at my maximum. Literally 12 cents from the top price I was willing to pay! Not cheap cheap as I was hoping. But that’s how it goes sometimes. Still I think this piece was a piece worth winning, even at a higher price. It’s a generously sized mohair tapestry (74″ by 60″) from Setsoto Designs made in the Kingdom of Lesotho, woven by Lydia Lipholo. Isn’t that cool? 


The “3 Xhosa Women” design is so strong and appealing.


I checked online and Setsoto Designs continues to make beautiful rugs and tapestries. Conceived in 1956, the business has changed ownership over the years but continues its good work training and employing disadvantaged Basotho women. A smaller version is still being woven by them. Hoping mine will find a good home! (Mine is still on route, but I will likely list it for $125 or so.)

Later out and about running errands I found this taped bundle of ceramic pieces at my neighborhood thrift store. Now pink is not a color I’m drawn to, but this wodge of vintage ceramics intrigued me. When I flipped it over I was happy to see they were T. S. & T. (Taylor, Smith & Taylor) Lu-Ray Pastels. These particular pieces were made in the 1940s. I’m thinking there are collectors for these pieces.


There seemed to be a creamer and sugar bowl with lid, a small bowl, a gravy sauce boat, a small platter and a serving dish but the condition of the pieces was hard to determine. Still for $5.25 it seemed like a good gamble that there would be a bit of profit in these.

Back at home I cut off the tape, soaked them in the sink and had a good look at them. The large dish had a crack and chip (darn!) and the bowl had a crack, the rest seemed usable and sellable. In fact the sugar bowl even had a few bits of sugar in it before I washed it.

But now what can I sell them for? That’s always the BIG question. So I spent time researching current listing prices on replacements.com, Etsy and eBay. And then I took into account condition and scarcity and made a couple of decisions. Turns out the small platter is a scarce pickle/celery dish. Replacements.com has a pink one listed for $45.99. I’ve listed mine at $39.99.


The open sauce boat is listed for $31.99 on replacements. com, but someone on Etsy has one listed for $50, which seems a bit hopeful! I’ve listed mine for $29.99. Haven’t listed the creamer and sugar bowl yet, but prices are all over the place. Regardless I should do alright from this bundle despite a few non-sellable pieces. 🙂

So I guess I’m okay with this kind of gambling which is really more like calculated risk and certainly a lot more fun than pulling a handle on a slot machine!

Would love to hear what you’ve gambled on lately.

As always, happy hunting,



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