I love antiquing. On almost any given day I am up for it, but yesterday was extra special. It was my eldest daughter’s birthday and we spent part of it together antiquing. She shares a similar love for old, quirky and/or fine things and is the perfect antiquing partner!!
We went to two antique malls, but our favorite was Antiques Unlimited in San Carlos, CA. The vendors in this mall are vetted and no one is allowed to display new or reproduction items. It’s all truly vintage or antique. I appreciate that. I don’t go to an antique mall to buy reproduction signs, handmade soap or new, made-in-China items. I want to see the real thing…old, cool stuff.
Of course on the flip side, the vendors at this mall know what they have! It’s harder to find deals and I did see a few prices that had me scratching my head. For example, I saw an antique garnet bar pin similar to one I am selling in my Etsy store for almost three times as much–mine $125, theirs over $300. As someone who has bought and sold antique garnet jewelry for a couple of decades, I know his/her price for this simple piece was over the top.
But without a doubt, there were so many fabulous things throughout this store. Around every corner.
In the end I bought a few small things that I think have a little meat on the bone. (And coveted dozens of others!!)
My first find was a small owl painting dated 1968 by Helen Baird. It was a charming piece that ticked all the MCM boxes–style, colors, subject matter, date!
The second was a small Art Nouveau-style jonquil sterling silver picture frame. It was hallmarked for English silver and had a maker’s name.
Back home I researched it and was hoping it was a true Art Nouveau piece but the date letter represented1988. Poop! Made by Keyford Frames Ltd., while it’s not old, it is nice and the price was reasonable.
I also picked up some old brass figural Chinese locks. I probably should have left these behind as they are totally out of my wheelhouse and I didn’t know if the price she had on them left any room for profit online. But I was intrigued by them and thought “What the heck!”
So no mega scores or discounts (I asked), but for me the day was more about spending time with my daughter. As it turns out she didn’t buy anything. Came close, but in the end decided against the items. I respect that about her…she knows what likes and the price point she is willing to pay and doesn’t buy just to buy!
And to top off our antiquing time, my daughter, on her birthday, bought us all Sprinkles cupcakes!!! Isn’t that sweet! All in all the day was a gift to me.
Happy hunting friends,
♥️ My mom was a vendor in Antiques Unlimited when the store was in downtown Palo Alto. I didn’t realize they’d moved to San Carlos ( if it is the same two guys). Nik wrote a song about walking past the empty building “my grandmother sold antiques in”.
Always love reading your posts, Karen.
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Thank you Helen…you’ve made my day!! Where was Antiques Unlimited located in Palo Alto?
Hope your Christmas is wonderful,
It was a block or two off Alma, and a few blocks south of University- don’t remember the street name. It was in a very old brick building. The business was owned by two men. I was surprised to hear of a San Carlos store by that name, and would be more surprised if it’s the same two men – they would be up in years now.
Helen, I’d gone to that store!! They always had a lot of great items. The folks who last ran it retired and if I remember correctly, moved to gold country in the sierras. But the one in San Carlos is also a gem. 🙂
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Sounds like a fun time. My daughter isn’t into thrift shops. More’s the pity. My youngest son goes with me, but goes out to the car before I’m anywhere near ready! Says not to hurry, but just knowing he’s there makes me hurry! I wouldn’t have thought that owl painting was worth reselling. Not my cup of tea. Good thing you know more than I do!
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Hi Lisa. I am glad I have one child who shares my passion! We’ll see how the owl painting does. It ticked all the MCM boxes, but maybe owls are on the way out. I have things in my stores that I thought would fly off the shelf that have lingered forever!!