I’ll be honest, I have not charged into 2020 with the gusto one associates with a new year. Instead of being invigorated at a fresh start, I feel a bit depleted. Just about the time I started enjoying the holidays, they were over and now the Christmas tree (still laden with ornaments and lights) is dropping its needles and begging to be taken down.
But more significantly two girlfriends unexpectedly lost their fathers at the end of December. While I hadn’t met either of these men, it reminded me of how sick my father got last year. And I grieve for my friends and their loss. Such a heartbreaking way to start the year.
On the business front, there were at least five estate sales I could have gone to this past weekend, but nothing in any of the sale photos excited me and I just couldn’t work up much enthusiasm for heading out. Two of the sales featured a lot of Asian goods (where I have little knowledge) but most of the items looked to be only 20-40 years old at best. I did pop into my neighborhood thrift store, more because it was on my route to other errands, and did find a couple of bread-and-butter things.
Here’s what I bought…
As a former collector of brass beehive candlesticks I was happy to spot the 1890s registration number on this English one. This type of candlestick is not super desirable at the moment, but I have sold a few over the years and it’s a good one. (My most recent sale was in July: $75 for a set of three on Chairish.)
Here’s part of my personal collection that get put into use this time of year…
And I liked this handmade Tuscany pottery olive oil decanter with its fresh look and usability.
On another day I spotted this antique (1900-1930) fireside brass trivet/kettle stand also from England. It’s got some light wear but is still quite handsome and usable. There’s a fairly similar one on 1stDibs for $395, but I have no idea why he/she is pricing it that high. Most sell for under $100.
I normally don’t buy salt and pepper shakers, but I found three vintage Murano glass ones that were darn pretty and interesting with their little knobby bits. They required cleaning as there was sticky pepper residue in them. So far soaking in hot, sudsy water hasn’t fully done the trick. I’ve looked up cleaning methods and may try putting in uncooked rice and a little water to “scrub” the inside. Any other ideas?
Here’s what I didn’t buy at the store…
I passed up this large Lenox vase at $19.79. It’s an attractive piece, but would it be worth it? I debated and decided no. It would be a pain to ship and the sold prices on similar Lenox vases are not very robust.
I also passed up these Dedham Pottery “Courting Rabbits.” I’m just not into figurines, but back at home I wondered if I’d made a mistake not buying them (priced at $4.79 each). Went back the next day and they were gone.
A few online buys…
On Shopgoodwill I won an auction in December that finally arrived in January. I plan on keeping this for a while. It’s a small unsigned painting marked “San Miguel de Allende, 1964-1965” on the back. I loved the colors but I bought the painting for that crazy, mod cat!
And I had an eBay Bucks coupon to use up this month so I prowled listings for an item I’d want to add to my Etsy store. Last night I took my chance on an auction and won this small antique bohemian garnet star brooch. With my coupon, I should make a nice profit on this.
And how have store sales been so far this month? Well, you’ve heard the phrase “Slow as molasses in January.” That sums it up. Still I plan on doing a lot of listing this month and discounting more items that will hopefully get things moving!
Hope your New Year is starting off well.