End-of-Summer Finds

I’m still in denial that summer is rapidly coming to a close, but truth be told I love autumn even more. It’s my favorite season. Its colors are my colors (red, gold and rust), the scents (crispy dry leaves and apples) intoxicate me and don’t get me started on all those luscious meals of hearty stews and soups with warm crusty bread! Even the lengthening, cooling nights provide the chance to light candles and curl up in soft afghans.

But wait, I digress…what I really wanted to share was a few of my end-of-summer finds! Most of these were found at my neighborhood thrift store, which despite many empty-handed visits, still continues to offer up lovely bits.

Couldn’t resist buying this large (13″ by 9.5″) colorful reproduction icon of St. George slaying the dragon. It’s a handsome piece on a solid chunk of wood.


And this Swedish iron candleholder by Dalagruppen. Hasn’t this got an appealing look? I can see it on a table interspersed with glass Christmas ornaments.



I rarely buy tea cups but I really liked this Royal Tuscan (England) bone china cup and saucer with a fall theme. It’s in a smaller demi-tasse size and is as cute as button. Aren’t those walnuts great? I know there are tea cup collectors out there…maybe it’s a market I shouldn’t neglect.


I also bought this old pewter mug…but am undecided about it.


I’m baffled by its touchmarks (the tiny stamps) and the maker’s mark which has been mostly obliterated. I’ve searched many sites for any potential matches to the remnant of the maker’s mark and no luck so far. Some of the touchmarks are similar to those on A.E. Williams and Thomas Williams pewter, but the rest don’t match.


So far I’ve spent over 90 minutes researching it and here’s what I’ve discovered…

The words ENGLAND or ENGLISH PEWTER were only used after 1891, following a United States tariff law that required imported goods to bear the country of origin. An amendment of the tariff law in 1909 required the text to be changed to MADE IN ENGLAND, so any piece stamped with this is post-1909. The presence of these marks does not mean the item was actually exported to the US as many makers took the easy route and simply stamped all their wares. – from gaukartifact.com

So possibly this piece was made between 1891 and 1909, but I have spotted other other pewter pieces, one attributed to 1950, that is just marked “England,” not “Made in England.” So what’s right?

Most pewter is not valuable (or particularly sought after) so unless I can figure this piece out, I may exchange it…though it would look great with fall leaves spilling out of it and how about these end-of-summer hydrangeas?


On the zany end of the spectrum I bought this small artisan made cup. I’m not sure what it’s supposed to be but it reminds my husband of a Mexican death mask.


Haven’t been able to find out the maker from the chop mark on the bottom. (One of my favorite go-to sources for figuring out newer American pottery is “The Marks Project.”)


My oldest daughter will get first dibs on this cup, otherwise it will go in my store. 🙂

I also rummaged around in a basket with odd kitchenware bits at the store and found this bundle of bone-handled cheese implements.

Turns out they are sold by Williams Sonoma as a four-piece cheese set for $39.99. (So not vintage.) I’ve got three gently used utensils (I’m missing the serving piece), but still they’re a nice bread-and-butter (or should I say bread-and-cheese) item.

I also bought this charming 1961 Hedy Pagremanski watercolor online. With matting and a frame it will look fabulous.



Photo by Josh Haner, New York Times

Hedy, now 88 years old, was born in Vienna in 1929. Her family fled Austria when Hitler came, though not before spending months in hiding. (Her future husband Eric was not so fortunate, but survived two concentration camps. He never spoke about what happened in those camps.) Her family eventually ended up in the U.S. and in 1947 she attended art school in Chicago. In her early years she painted portraits but for the last 30 years her main focus has been to capture derelict buildings in New York City. This spunky gal is still painting. I’m delighted to have bought this early watercolor of hers.

Lauri on her visit. Doesn’t she look like a model!

So summer is nearly over and I suppose my one regret is that I didn’t get to many concerts and I didn’t get enough chances to dance. (I am at that blessed age where I dance like no one’s watching!) But still it’s been fun having both my adult daughters home and sharing some special family times before my youngest heads back to college. And I loved having my dear friend Lauri visit in June. What a joy that was.

All in all, it’s been a grand summer. Hope it was for you too!

As always, happy hunting,



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