What I’m Buying…or Not!

Out tootling around the other day I ended up in my neighborhood thrift store. (Naturally!) It was slim pickings but I did spot this Korean brass, black enameled vase with abalone shell inlay on a new merch cart. Gosh this was nice. It was super heavy (at least two pounds!), so pretty and in good condition. But, whoa, priced at $14.15. Worth it? Well, maybe if I could sell it for $45+.


A quick in-store search showed me that similar vases were priced for sale from $18-$25. Poop! I had to leave this beauty on the shelf. Later at home I did a Worthpoint search that found that some have sold recently in the $30-$70 range. That was curious. So I might have been okay buying it and pricing it higher than other sellers. Hard to say.

I also found this odd, hand-painted pottery figural lady vase. It looked like a mid-century Italian or Greek piece to me. So while I wasn’t able to find out any information in the store, for $3, it was worth the gamble. She went in my basket.


Back home I still haven’t figured her out though I feel she is something special. Can’t decipher what remains of the writing on the bottom, possibly “boyd.” So the research continues. Let me know if you have ideas.


And I always keep an eye out for old bohemian garnet jewelry. On eBay I won an auction for this simple bar pin. (Alas the great vintage jewelry box is NOT included!)


Even with the shipping cost from England I should be able to make a $35-$60 profit…which is okay in my books.

And I loved this rendering also bought on eBay. It’s a 1955 interior designer’s original watercolor done for a magazine.


Isn’t it fabulous?! Probably not much profit in this, but it was too cool to pass up. 🙂

But my big purchase was this antique sterling silver purse. It was a bit of a risk. The online seller is a new one with no feedback and allows no returns (which is usually a deal breaker) and it was pricey. This is a photo from the listing.


So why did I risk this purchase? For me, these little purses are amazing works of art. Love all the curlicues, flowers and fish. I  have a small collection of sterling purses and from time to time use them as wallets, tucking in a credit card, driver’s license and a bit of cash. I have also sold a few and while this one has some scratches and polish residue, nothing egregious, and I know there is some profit left in it.

So I’m not buying a lot, but trying to focus on quality items. But gosh this is a crazy kind of business. Things I think know are amazing sometimes take a long, long time to sell. Here are two thrift-store finds that finally sold after over a year in my store: a lovely Spode “Pink Italian” cache pot and an antique William Cowan & Co. silverplate creamer with a rattan-wrapped handle.

Still I would rather sell long-tail stuff than things that don’t resonate with me. How about you??

As always, happy hunting,



  1. You got me into silver, now 😉
    And before buying more I should really sort out some of my items… so taking your good advice and trying to be more selective!
    The other day I couldn’t pass up on a vintage (antique?) wooden tray with metal corners and victorian paper cutout decorations… I liked it, despite having no use for it myself…
    I love that interior design work and the bohemian jewellery. The pottery figurine does seem a bit of a riddle, indeed. I don’t think it’s Italian, perhaps Greek, or could it be Spanish, or South American? Hard to say.
    Happy hunting (and selling on)!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh gosh, I don’t know, that 1955 designer watercolor might surprise you! I think the George Nelson lamp really makes it especially charming, and surely somebody will snap it up.

    I keep trying to peer around the Korean vase to get a better look at that pottery jug right behind it. Can’t make out the design, which is extra intriguing.

    That garnet bar pin is lovely. I’ve been forbidden from buying anymore Bohemian garnets because I don’t even wear the ones I have!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your feedback Lisa! The watercolor is pretty cool…here’s hoping somebody does snap it up!

      The pottery jug behind the vase was cute and would have been perfect for a country kitchen but had a small chip on the rim. 😦

      I wear most of my garnet jewelry, but have a couple of pieces I probably should put in my store. Hard to let them go though!

      All the best,


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