Donations, Smalls and a Party

Today I finally took bags (and bags) of stuff to donate to my local thrift store. It was a combination of personal items from everyone at home and store stuff that hadn’t sold in years and wasn’t worth hanging onto. I hate realizing I’ve made buying mistakes but it’s good letting the stuff go…and good making space for better stuff!

At the thrift store I did a quick perusal (of course!) for “new” goodies, but in the end bought just one thing–this small brutalist-style Hen Holon Hanukkah menorah from Israel.


I have a thing for menorahs (though I’m not Jewish) as well as an affinity for religious icons (though I am not Russian or Greek Orthodox or Catholic).

Afterwards, I popped over to a nearby estate sale run by several families. The sale, of mostly mid-century-modern stuff, was geared towards collectors and the ad stressed that pricing would be “fair but comparable to antique fairs and online retail.” In other words, I wasn’t likely to find any bargains.

As it turns out it was actually more of a yard sale as that they weren’t trying to liquidate an estate but hoping to sell off bits they’d purchased. I knew one of the sellers (a sweet gal named Diane) and recognized another. Both have been “competitors” at other estate sales I’ve been to. They did have a lot of great stuff, but nothing had price stickers which made it tedious. Still I ended up buying two small things.

First I bought this vintage brass and enamel cigarette box (lined in cedar) from India.


Just the right kind of little box for bits of jewelry or keys or for corralling paperclips and rubber bands on a desk.

And this OMC (Otagiri Mercantile Company) vase was “too cool for school” with its orange color and metallic silver orbs.


OMC, a Japanese company, was in business from 1954-1994. I’m guessing this is from late 1960s/early 1970s. I’m tempted to keep this for a while.

And every sale has at least one buyer like this…I was looking at a small case of jewelry and a large, aggressive woman brushed up against me, leaned in super close to the case blocking my view and commandeered the seller so no one else could ask to see anything. Humph. How rude! When I finally got to look at a few pieces, I realized I was out of my depth. For example, did the $60 price for the chunky carnelian beads leave any meat on the bone? I had no idea and decided not to risk it.


While I didn’t buy any jewelry at the estate sale, I did buy another vintage sterling charm bracelet online. Here’s a photo from the listing.


It’s jam packed with 1930s-1950s mechanicals. My favorite is the martini shaker which opens to a devil. (In general, mechanicals tend to have more value than non-moving charms.) The bracelet should arrive in a few days and fingers crossed it’s as good as it looks.

And the day ended nicely with our street’s annual block party. Lots of good food and good talk. I even had an “it’s a small world” conversation with one of our new neighbors when we discovered she had gone to high school in the same small upstate New York town where I went to college!

I’ll close for now. As always, happy hunting,


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