Listening to Your Gut

I’ll admit I often buy things based on a visceral response rather than intellectual one. My heart and gut rule my head. Which is fine if you are buying for yourself, but as a person who buys things to resell for profit perhaps it’s not ideal. Still for the most part it’s worked out great! 🙂

It worked when I bought this cool vase, which turned out to be a mid-century Lapid vase from Israel. (Bought for $3.65, sold for $60.)


And it worked when I bought a pair of folk art wood napkin rings. (Bought $4.35, sold for $25.)


And it worked for this beautiful vintage set of sake glasses from Japan. (Bought $10, sold for $110.)


And it’s worked for hundreds of other buys. 🙂 But I’ve made “mistakes” too. For example, a few years ago I overpaid for this little bisque 1930s/1940s Kewpie/Betty Boop-style doll at a rummage sale. I was seduced by her cuteness, so for now she’s part of my “curiosity cabinet.”


And I’ve bought a few things that I thought had a certain je ne sais quoi but no one else thought so and they just didn’t sell. (I’m starting to donate these.) But most of my visceral/gut instinct buys have done well.

And here’s another one I hope to add to that list. (I’ll confess I caved again during my no-buying period and popped into my neighborhood thrift store. Well I was literally driving by it on my way home from the grocery store and it just seemed silly not to pop in. But I knew if I did buy anything, it would have to be darn fabulous! I said “no” to four things and “yes” to one. Just the one!)

I had a “hold the phone” moment when I saw this…


It’s a hand painted, ceramic (or porcelain) box with some age (it has crazing and pitting). I’m guessing it’s at least 50-80 years, possibly older. It looks Chinese to me but has no maker’s marks so I’ve been searching and searching to find anything similar online. I did find two antique, high-end Chinese pieces that have similar colors and painting styles.

And what about this one from Sotheby’s Auction house? This is being sold for a gazillion dollars.


But am I grasping at straws?? My piece is humble, unsigned with only a loose resemblance. There’s a possibility that it’s not Chinese or even Asian in origin. It could be one of those fanciful pieces from Portugal or Italy. It might just be a pretty box from the 1950s.


Still I think it might be something better than that! So I’m going to do more research including posting it to an online antique group.

How about you? Any visceral buys??

As always, happy hunting,


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