Vintage Finds in Early Spring

Can hardly believe it’s almost Easter! I have such fond memories of it, particularly as a young child. I always had a special Easter dress, hat, gloves and sometimes a little purse for church. At that time the church we attended was old with a high ceiling, long skinny stained glass windows and a huge pipe organ. At Easter dozens of lilies filled the sanctuary with a heady sweet scent while refrains of “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” reverberated against the windows. But of course the main treat was the small basket full of chocolate goodies—the centerpiece of which was a large solid chocolate rabbit that I nibbled at judiciously for weeks. I feel fortunate to have had a childhood that has given me some delightful memories. Life certainly gets real once you’re an adult!

On the vintage hunting front I’ve acquired a few things to sell, a few for myself and said “no” to others.

I Said “Yes” To…

My neighborhood thrift store yielded up a pair of large brass church or shabbat candlesticks. They are almost 18” tall and weigh over 5 lbs. each!

These are  murderous “Professor Plum in the library” candlesticks. I almost missed them because they were on an upper shelf above my normal sight line. The opening is wider (1.25”) so regular 7/8” tapers look too wimpy in them. I’m going to order some bigger tapers so we can enjoy them for a while.

While brass candlesticks like this aren’t on trend, I do think there is enough of a market for them to be worth buying.

I’ll list these for $80 plus shipping.

This silver mini ladle (for mustard, jam or?) caught my eye. It had a great shape (with fiddleback handle) and heft (42 grams).

But the hallmarks on it were rubbed and a bit confusing. I can’t make out the first mark on the left, possibly a maker’s mark or a 1700s date mark. The “B” could also stand for a date mark of 1869 though the style of B doesn’t seem quite right. The crown could be for Sheffield. The next mark is unknown (could this be a lion passant?) and and the last is possibly a sideways “S.” Too many “possibles” and “could be’s.” A little maddening as I’m usually able to nail hallmarks down. Still I acid tested it five times and it is silver, at least coin silver, possibly sterling. I do think it is quite old as the top of the handle is worn a little thinner than the rest which would be appropriate after decades and decades of use.

Not sure yet what I’ll list this for.

Found this naive landscape painting of a Dutch winter scene in a fabulous 1970s gold wood and velvet frame. It’s signed “Kemper” but so far I haven’t found a “Kemper” with the same signature. Again this is not an on-trend painting (not abstract or cool MCM), but it’s charming and nicely framed.

And a wonderful neighbor gifted me these mini Royal Worcester egg coddlers to put in my shop. They are in the delicious Lavinia blackberry pattern.

And on Freecycle I obtained a sweet handmade cotton quilt. The owner told me it was from her husband’s family and likely made in Oklahoma in the 1930s. A depression-era quilt. I can almost picture the hands that made this. A few of the squares were made with a non-cotton material, possibly silk, and have shredded over the years, so it could use a tiny bit of TLC.

I’m tempted to keep this for a while!!

Had to Say “No”…

At my neighborhood thrift store I immediately recognized this piece as a mid-century modern Georges Briard tray. It was fabulous, nearly pristine and only $4.19. I put it in my cart, but remembered the similar one that lingered in my store for years and just wouldn’t sell. (I finally donated it.) And sadly, there are a lot of glass Briard trays currently for sale and they aren’t listed for much. I was tempted to buy it for myself, but realized I just wouldn’t use or display it. Regretfully I put this MCM beauty back on the shelf.

Now this old nickel silver trumpet vase was so fussy it was almost good, but I was flabbergasted at the thrift store price of $20! If it had been priced at $6 or less, I would have bought it. While silver-plated items are not wildly popular, the older, better quality pieces do sell. (One of my favorite silver-plate sales was for a wonderful old tray that went to be a TV prop on “The Son” with Pierce Brosnan!)

And I didn’t buy this bundle of old forks and two spoons (apologies for the out-of-focus photo) for $12.29. I really wanted just this two old fiddleback spoons which were likely coin silver from the 1800s, but I didn’t want the four silverplate forks engraved with a family name. It’s too bad the whole bundle wasn’t all spoons. I would have snatched it in a heartbeat. Even so I still wonder if I should have paid the $12.29 for the two spoons. I kinda regret passing on that. [The bundle was gone the next time I went.]

What I’ve Bought for Myself…

Still on my art kick! I bought this small (9″ by 7″) 1975 Paris painting. This is an eBay find that I had watched for months. I love its moody winter colors and lose myself in this scene! That’s me standing on the bridge looking down at the Seine contemplating life.

And I think this angel painting is divine! It was painted by Muriel Alvord Ward (1900-1960) who founded the Little Guild for the welfare of animals. She bequeathed this painting to the Archdiocese of Hartford, CT. It’s a good size at almost 23″ tall. I’m looking for the perfect spot to hang this.

I’ll close for now, wishing you happy hunting and a blessed Easter for those who celebrate it,



      1. We’re still in lockdown but there are plans to gradually transition to a less strict regime . Hopefully people will be judicious enough to avoid going all out crazy with contacts….
        happy Easter too!
        Mine is also becoming an art gallery , bar the space , but I just love paintings at this time ….. some have been listed 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Happy Easter to you and yours, Karen. While we are not customers, Gaylord & I always enjoy seeing & reading your listings. We marveled at the heavy silver candlesticks and think the small Dutch painting is beautiful. And I love, love the tall, 23″ Angel painting! btw, we’ve recently decided to radically downsize, sell our house & move to a one-level, smaller house that God will provide. Again, Happy Easter!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Judy. Good to hear from you! Isn’t that angel painting something?! Couldn’t believe no one bid against me on eBay. Best wishes as you and Gaylord downsize and look to move. Happy Easter, Karen


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