“Stir Crazy” Finds

I’ve been battling a cold for a week and other than running two errands on Tuesday I hadn’t left the house. For days. And I woke up on Saturday absolutely stir crazy and knew I needed to get out for a bit. (Maybe you know how that is too!)

Hmmmm…there was an estate sale nearby that looked promising. Now in its second day (of a three-day sale) so I knew there would be some wiggle room on prices. I decided to venture out armed with tissues and cough drops.

The sale, held in a cute cottage, looked like it got hit pretty hard on the first day (alas, all the vintage medical stuff mentioned in the ad was gone). I saw a cool vintage home bingo game, but at $15 there was no point in buying it. (Similar ones sell online for $10-$20.) There was some over-priced, no-name costume jewelry pieces that did not tempt me in the least. ($10 for an unsigned rhinestone pin missing two stones!) Nix on the china and unsigned crystal.

But I did spot this sterling silver spoon set and knew if I could get the price down a bit it would be worth it. (I offered 20% less and they accepted. The estate sale head honcho explained that he prices silver just a little under the melt value.)

Did some research at home and discovered this is the “Pierced Handle” pattern by Manchester Silver Co., circa 1951. Pictured here are a preserves spoon, a cucumber slice spoon/server (who doesn’t need a cucumber server??) and the smallest is a bon bon spoon for your chocolate candy needs. I’m selling these as a set. By the way, replacements.com is a great resource for researching patterns of flatware, crystal, china, ceramics, etc. and for pricing. I usually try to list items a little lower than replacements’ prices.

Charming vintage 5″ sterling silver bon-bon spoon.

The person who lived at the house was an amateur artist and there were lots of her paintings about. Lots. I wasn’t interested in any of them but did try to buy her artist’s palette that was part of a $50 oil paint box set they were selling. (The palette was that cool, like a wonderful abstract! Sadly I didn’t think to take a photo of it.) Alas they weren’t willing to sell it separately till day three (pooh!).

There were a few other artists featured in the house, but most of their work didn’t appeal to me either until I saw this seagull painting by Stanton Gray titled “Tall Tales.”

Now this I liked and it screamed mid-century fabulous to me. Love the graphic quality. (My photos don’t do it justice.)

But it was big (would be hard to ship) and a wodge of money. After wondering around the house (looking, thinking and doing a wee bit of covert research), I decided to see if the estate sale folks would take an offer on it. They did and it was mine! Is it worth big bucks? Probably not. But enough to make it worthwhile.

Did more research on Stanton and learned he was the head of the fruit science department at Cal-Poly University! (What??!) He and his wife Gladys, also an artist, were keen supporters of the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art. In fact they have a wing in their honor. (Yes, a wing!) Stanton died in 1974. The colors in my painting make me think it was painted in the late ’60s or early ’70s. This Stanton painting below titled “Party Time” is on permanent display in the museum. Love this one too.

So I wasn’t out for long today. Just an hour, but it was good, and I only had one coughing attack. (I momentarily left the house so I wouldn’t be seen as Typhoid Mary!) It was exciting to come home with a few finds and I was happy that I chose good, quality things.

But while incommoded with my cold during the week, I did manage to win one cool eBay auction–a silver bracelet filled with old English 3-pence coins and two farthings. People sell the drilled coins separately, typically for $10-$18 each, so I may take this bracelet apart and sell them individually or in small lots. Though I almost hate to dismantle it because it has a wonderful delicate jingle!

Best news, I’m on the mend…finally…and can resume life this week. 🙂

Hope you are staying well and finding great things,



  1. I really like the paintings, too. Whimsical and cool all at the same time!
    Glad to hear your on the mend from your cold. I had a rhinovirus for almost 2 weeks. MISERY! But, it wasn’t the flu!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Shari. 🙂 So happy to finally be feeling a bit better. (Sorry to hear about your illness!)

      Loved going to the estate sale even though I didn’t buy much. Glad I did splurge on the painting in the end.

      Take care, Karen


  2. Hope you get better soon!! Lovely finds 🙂

    Going to an estate sale sounds fun – never managed to do that… yet! I don’t think they’re very common here in London

    PS Do you ever test charms on a bracelet when they are not marked? (sorry for the Q)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Gabriella 🙂 Estate sales are a hoot! I’m hoping to go to more this year.

      Re: charms. No, I don’t acid test unmarked charms (don’t want to harm them) but of the ones I list I am confident of their silver content (at least .800). But I do have some unlisted charms that I am not 100% sure about and will list these as “silver tone.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. From what you say, I really must try an estate sale one day 🙂
        Thanks for your reply about charms – I agree it’d be too bad to damage them by acid-testing. I was hoping there was a good way, other than those I came across by searching online 😉
        All the best x


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