To Buy or Not to Buy? That is the Question

I’ll be honest, selling vintage/antique things is a strange, but exciting business. And of course the best part is the hunting. After 10 years, walking into a thrift store still gives me a frisson of thrill. What treasure could be lurking amongst the flotsam and jetsam?

Not to Buy

Well this past week, I found several vintage Belleek items on the shelves, like this heart dish, but I had to resist. Belleek does not sell for me and it seems many Belleek items are becoming like Lenox…not worth much in the resale market. This particular dish was priced at $5.79. A great price it you want to keep it for yourself, but not worth it to resell. (Typically resells in the $10 to $20 range.)

I haven’t broken down and bought this repro Goo Goo candies tin though I LOVE the graphics. At $6+ it has no resale value, but darn I rather like it for myself!

I liked the graphics on this sweet vintage child’s plate (made in Japan) but I just didn’t think it was worth buying and reselling. (Priced $2.49.)

This long woven shawl was nice but, GASP, priced at $15.49. It could have been a good deal but I honestly didn’t know enough about it to pay that.

To Buy

When I spotted this bisque bunny dish on the top shelf hiding behind taller pieces I was intrigued. I don’t immediately gravitate to “cute” things, but these nervous bunnies cavorting in the lettuce field (cabbage field??) seemed special.

Here’s all that’s on the bottom…not much info! It could be 1809 or 6081!

Was it worth a gamble even though it’s out of season? In the end I decided yes. Back home I did what we all do…and searched and searched and found a similar, smaller one online. BINGO! Turns out it’s a Tailored Tiles piece made for a company in Redwood City just up the road! We’ll see how it does!

Now this piece was more up my alley–a real shell box with brass fittings. These sweet boxes were popular in Victorian and Edwardian homes but I find it difficult to tell the difference between the antique ones and those made more recently. And admittedly most do not sell for much, but I find them enchanting. This one is a warm butter color with dark pink accents.

Digging Deeper

So while I have not bought a lot recently I continue to source from my own personal items. As a former (mostly former!) collector I still have a rich bounty to choose from.

I finally decided to listed this little sterling silver dish, once likely used as a card tray. With its mod flower pattern you might think it’s from the 1970s, when it’s actually closer to the 1870s! It was made by Whiting Manufacturing Co in the late 1800s. The underside has a previous owner’s initials and 1889 and sits on three little feet.

As a mystery book lover, I bought this quirky one-of-a-kind 1935 self-published book by Joseph A. Donahoe. It includes a letter. Apparently he had tried to interest a California movie company in his story “Murder in Rodney Square” without success and was now hoping to get the book published. Listed at $40.

I bought this antique garnet brooch years ago intending on getting the missing stone replaced. I never did. Time to move it on. The old garnets are a fabulous deep red.

This Weekend

There are a number of estate sales this weekend and I may venture to one or two. Or I may just keep plugging away at other projects. While sales have been strong this month, I really don’t need a lot more inventory. In fact, now that I think about it, I have tons of vintage silver charms I need to get listed–they would be perfect holiday gifts.

I’ll close for now, wishing you happy hunting,



  1. Very pretty silver dish. I have a painted shell purse that belonged to my grandmother. Inside she kept a big hank of hair tied in ribbon. It’s repulsive! But, I kept it there. What a fun mystery book. You tempt me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lisa. That painted shell purse sounds very sweet! I think previous generations had a thing for saving hair…years ago when I was helping clean out my gram’s apt. after her death I found a box with chunks of hair from my mother and aunt when they were kids.


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