Keep Learning, but Trust Your Instincts

I love learning about new categories of things to buy for my vintage store, but there is just soooo much out there. So much to learn. One cannot be an expert or even familiar with much of it. So when I’m out sourcing I tend to rely on my instincts for spotting things, sometimes followed by a quick google search before I buy.

But yesterday I flubbed up.

I saw a pottery dog “thingy” at my neighborhood thrift store. With the opening in the back I thought it could be a planter. It was marked Austria 8133 on the bottom and it felt like “something good” but I didn’t want to take time to research it in the store and, in the end, I second-guessed my instincts and put it back on the shelf.


Later in the day I couldn’t get it out of my mind and started doing some research on it. Boy, oh boy, I should have put that in my basket. Turns out it was an antique majolica bulldog pipe stand. I found one that had sold for $83 (with two small chips) and another sold for $123.

Majolica is a general term for pottery glazed with an opaque tin enamel that conceals the color of the clay body. It has been made since the fourteenth century. Today’s collector is most likely to find Victorian majolica. The heavy, colorful ware is rarely marked.  –

I wondered if I should go back to the store and see if it was still there. But it was mid-afternoon on a busy Saturday, six hours after I spotted it, and feeling fatalistic I was sure someone else had snatched it. I was sure.

Now I always pop into this thrift store on Sundays on my way to church and I was there when the doors opened at 9:00 a.m. I’ll admit a part of me held onto a teeny, tiny, microscopic hope that the dog would still there. And by golly it was! It was. 🙂


I was doing a happy dance. I’ve done more research and found one that sold for $165 and most recently (in March of this year) one sold for $285. Not sure yet what I’ll price mine at.

So I’m reminded again to trust my instincts. Nine times out of ten they have served me well with finds…and actually in life in general.

How about for you? 

Happy hunting,



  1. How gorgeous is he?! I would have bought him to keep. Makes me happy to look at him!
    I’m attempting to build my ‘knowledge bank’. I watch videos, read books, and of course, read wonderful blogs! It helps that I’ve always enjoyed old stuff. Even things with dings, dents and scratches appeal to me. History, even if it just a side table, intrigues me. Yearning for simpler times, I guess, when I still had my grandparents. Warm and fuzzy!
    So happy that he was waiting for you (he was, you know!). Here’s hoping you make a super, duper profit!
    On a side note, I OFTEN wish you were with me when I’m considering a purchase. Should I, shouldn’t I?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Most of my recent purchases have been for myself – pictures/paintings and silver bits. And finally I decided to keep the silver bracelet with stones I got while ago 🙂
    Love reading your adventures in vintage and antique shopping! I share your trolls at each good find 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gabriella, I’m a sucker for paintings and silver bits!! And I’ll confess…I bought a wonderful bohemian garnet pendant for myself last week. Hasn’t arrived yet, but I’m excited. 🙂

      All the best,

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The bohemian garnet sounds very interesting!
        I should make a post about my recent shopping but I don’t seem to be able to get any good pictures of the paintings, especially due to reflection on the glass
        Have a lovely day!

        Liked by 1 person

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