Smaller Can Be Better…Even in Texas!

I just got home from visiting my brother in Houston, Texas. I hadn’t seen him for over a year so you can bet we had a lot of fun talking, eating good food, watching Brit TV shows (we are both aficionados) and yes, doing a bit of antiquing and thrifting.

Our first stop was an antique warehouse with 225 vendors! I was so excited. This was going to be good. I went in with an agenda. I wanted small, unique, preferably unbreakable items. Maybe some rusty farm/tool bits, nice brass or bronze pieces, well-made quilt blocks, religious icons, vintage medical/scientific tools, exceptional jewelry.

This booth with pretty linens charmed me though I think the stretched out wire hangers let it down a bit.

And I have to admit my enthusiasm faded as I saw booth after booth of glassware, knickknacks, china bits and newer things. Nothing wrong with any of that, but not what I was looking for (and darn repetitive). I ended up bypassing quite a few booths.

Finally I found a couple of things in one small booth: a quirky artist-made religious icon reproduction rendered on an antique cast iron iron and a woven tribal lidded basket with beading detail.

But I wasn’t sure the prices left room for profit. Would the seller negotiate a bit? Turns out 10% was the max discount I could get. In the end I decided not to get them. Not sure I made the right decision about the basket though (priced at $45). Back home I did some research and found a similar one on Etsy attributed to a Native American tribe for $200. Hmmm…True? Realistic price? I might have passed up a really good find. :\ I definitely need to learn more about baskets!

And I found this cool aorta ceramic vase, but priced at $125, it was for a collector not a reseller.

I finally admitted defeat at this antique mall and we headed out to lunch. Good plan. (Had a Rueben sandwich at Ellen’s in Spring, Texas, that was so big I had it for three meals!)

After lunch as we walked back to the truck we spotted a small furniture store that also sold antiques. Of course we went inside. Though it was mostly furniture they did have a nice selection of “smalls” scattered throughout the store—fine 19th century wood boxes, beautiful oriental bronze bowls and by golly a whole corner of religious items. The owner told me he has a picker in France who buys this stuff for him and ships it ovee. Almost everything in this corner was…wait for it…50% off! I was in heaven.

Unfortunately a lot of the bigger pieces I wanted were breakable or already had some damage and I was worried about transporting them in my luggage and possibly incurring more damage. But I did like this simple smaller Black Virgin of Montserrat terracotta statue and thought I could get this back in one piece. (I did!)

She’s the patron saint of Catalonia.

And I found the coolest vintage color prints on fabric from Brussels. I should have bought all of them, but in the end I selected six with different Bible story lines. This is one of my favorites.

These are marked “Billaux-Grosse. Editeur. Bruxelles.”

So happy we stumbled upon Reclaimed Leather where I found these great items at fair prices in a few minutes–so ironic after spending 90 minutes at a huge antique mall. Yes, smaller can be better!

On Saturday we popped into the Goodwill near my brother’s house. I never have much success here but still I like looking.

It drives me a little crazy that they put all the hard goods on display above the clothes racks.

This trip I found an artisan-made ceramic pot (with carved and applied bits) that had a mid-century vibe. I think it’s fabulous.

And yes, I bought a 1950s Hebrew/English lexicon of the Old Testament! Need one for your library??

Overall not many finds this trip, but the thrill of the hunt was grand. To mix it up, on Sunday my brother and I headed up to Chappell Hill to Texas Star Winery. A gem of a winery with yummy tastings. (Worth a visit if you’re in the area.) Later we drove up the lovely country road and I spotted an old Masonic cemetery. I persuaded my brother to drive in (I have a thing for old cemeteries) and we had an intriguing time browsing amongst the old tombstones on this glorious sunny 70-degree day.

Poor Gorden died just before his 6th birthday.

A nice visit, but it’s good to be home. 🙂

As always, happy hunting,



  1. That basket was fantastic! I would have been tempted to buy it and just keep it if it weren’t profitable 🙂 The collection of religious items was a cool find. I too have a thing for old cemeteries! I don’t post very many pictures of them out of respect, but I’m quite sure I’ve taken 500+ pictures in old cemeteries over the past few years.

    Liked by 1 person

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