As I flew into San Francisco airport on Monday, the plane did a pass over the city and I felt my heart catch a little. This was once my home. I lived there for several years in the 1980s as a twenty-something. It was an exciting time. My first real job out of college. My first real apartment. New friends and cool places to explore. It was wonderful.
Even then, with very little disposable money, I loved to browse in antique stores. And I realized the other day that the down-at-the heels woven tapestry with a heraldic theme we use to cover our coffee table was an item I bought in the Mission District during my impoverished San Francisco days!
I love that. Newer things have come and gone, but this worn tapestry is still part of my life. And that’s the delicious allure of old stuff. It’s passed through other hands, lived other lives, but endures and still provides beauty and service. Even with wabi-sabi patina–dings, fading, rips, scratches and the like–or perhaps because of it!
Which got me thinking about a few of my favorite old things that I’ve acquired over the years. These are not for sale, but may be some day. 🙂 I’ll try to give info about where I bought them and for how much, but, alas, alas, I don’t remember all of them!
Antique English sterling silver miniature creamer with high-relief design. I frequently use this for my morning coffee. (Bought on eBay. Paid ?? Likely around $80+)
Vintage chip-carved wood trinket box. (Paid $20 on eBay.)
Middle-Eastern vintage wool tapestry (it was the front of a pillow). (Bought on eBay. I think I paid around $70.) I wish I had taken a picture of the package this arrived in. It was white cloth sealed with string and sealing wax with a handwritten address and a slew of stamps. I was amazed it arrived from Pakistan!
Various antique and vintage bohemian garnet pins. (Amount paid varies.)
Antique and vintage sterling silver spoons. One of my first real collections! (Price varied from $10-$30 per spoon. Bought on eBay and in antique stores.)
Part of my antique and vintage brass beehive candlestick collection. I went a bit crazy buying these! When Christmas gets closer I’ll intersperse these with some ornaments. (Typically I paid $15-$30 per stick. Most were bought on eBay.)
Victorian-era mother of pearl and sterling silver fruit knife. (Paid $20 at a collectibles store.)
Bottom half of an antique, hand-painted sugar bowl? Possibly Herend Rothschild. Makes a cute ring catcher. (Paid $1 at a garage sale.)
Getting Back Into the Swing
I’m still feeling a bit nostalgic, but getting back into the swing of things. I had a nice group of orders to take to the post office the other day and am starting to drop in at my neighborhood thrift store again. Found two “bread and butter” items too fun to pass up.
This vintage corn dish (a 7″ replica of a bigger Shawnee pottery version) was glazed during the amateur ceramics craze of the 1970s. My mom, aunt and Gram all enjoyed “making ceramics” during this era. This would be perfect for a Thanksgiving table!
And I couldn’t resist these vintage ceramic king and queen salt and pepper shakers. Likely by Gempo, Japan.
So it’s back to real life…listing, writing, errands, chores and going to the gym. (Or at least thinking about going to the gym!)
What are your favorite old things?