On Friday I had lunch (a luscious Afghan lamb stew) with a former boss and co-worker and what a treat that was. The conversation was nonstop and filled with laughter. And bonus on my way to the restaurant I passed my favorite antique store. I had 30 minutes to spare so I ducked in. The vendors in this store are vetted so you don’t find new things or reproductions or made-in-China flotsam. But prices tend to be, well, pricey!! Sometimes far exceeding eBay and Etsy prices.
Still I love to go in and search for the rare bargain. And on this visit, one vendor was having a sale: 25% off things in locked cases, 75% off clothing and 50% off everything else!!
I really should have spent my whole time in her crowded booth. I passed up these MCM brass Chinese fighting roosters at $29 each, but with the sale, $29 for both! Should have picked these up! Aaargh.
But I did buy an adorable 1950s/60s beaded sweater from Hong Kong. It has a few tiny stains, but nothing egregious. So wearable. I wish it fit me.
And a quirky Russian monk framed lithograph dated ’96.
Still I know I could have done better. Shopped smarter. Bought more.
Then on Saturday I made a quick run to our monthly flea market. But I just wasn’t thrilled with what I was finding. Lots of new stuff, clothing, used shoes (ick), plants, handmade jewelry. (Not my thing.) And some of the vintage things have made appearances month after month and I’ve heard the same stories and received the same prices.
One dear older gent always tells me he’s downsizing and just trying to “get rid of things,” but he prices them rather wackadoodle. I happened to pick up a pair of Thai wood and brass salt and pepper shakers at his table similar to the ones below. I wasn’t seriously interested in them but he wanted $7. Yikes! These should have been $1, IMHO.
I was mildly interested in the portrait on the lower right-hand side, but it was unsigned, damaged (splattered with bits of blue paint) and $30. The vendor tried to talk it up (“Isn’t she a beauty?” “Look at the detail.”), but I wasn’t feeling it for $30.
I wandered around feeling uninspired. In the end I barely bought anything. Which is probably for the best. I did buy some locally produced honey and this small Bing and Grondahl porcelain tray ($1) made for the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco.
But my favorite item was this tiny metal pistol cigarette lighter. The vendor is relatively new to this market and features small, intriguing items from his personal collections. But things are priced up! I negotiated on this, but I may not sell it for a while.
Afterwards my eldest daughter and I went to our local, annual clay and glass festival. It’s our thing. Our tradition. And it was grand. Fabulous weather. Lovely items. I almost bought a ceramic ornament, but it turned out to be twice the price I thought it was and in the end I bailed.
Still we had a sweet time together. That was the real gift. Time with my daughters is always, always, the best gift.
And the day was capped off with a free concert in a park. Last night it was an a capella group followed by a Led Zeppelin tribute band. Lots of fun and I got to dance. (And a shout out to Beth! Thanks for coming over and saying hi.)
Overall, I am feeling a bit disappointed I didn’t find more this weekend, particularly at the flea market. Usually I do. Still it’s better not to spend money than buy things that I later regret. And I have enough “new” things to list to keep my online stores ticking over.
Sales so far this month have modestly good…for a July! I’m thrilled that this unique and stunning wax cotton African fabric (6 yards) is heading off to a new home. I bought this off FB Marketplace during the height of the pandemic for $10 and felt it was special. It’s not something you could walk into JoAnn’s Fabrics and find.
I’ll close for now, hoping your summer is full of good finds and lots of fun,