I love buying and selling things. But mostly I love hunting for them. It’s the adrenaline rush we all crave–spotting the really good (undervalued) things from the ordinary, mundane or just plain junk and buying them before anyone snags them! Some of you know exactly how this feels.
And 98% of the time I buy things with the intention to sell them and they get listed in one of my online stores. But then every so often I change my mind because I realize that this is an item I really, really like and am not likely to find again or be able to buy again.
Like this vintage sommerso ashtray in red, gold and clear glass. It’s a beauty. And at one time I had it listed on two different sites for a year and it was my youngest who asked “Why are you selling this? We all like it.” And that took me back a step or two. She was right. I deactivated the listings and at least for now it’s part of our “permanent collection.” (This type of glass, typically made Murano artisans, is not uncommon, but tends to be expensive, from the low $$$ on up.)
Vintage sterling silver puffy heart charms (1950s and earlier) are a gold mine these days and in demand. In 2019 I was thrilled to find this packed bracelet for a snip of a price ($148) on Etsy. I had intended to remove the charms and sell them individually ($35-$80 each). Some are enameled, others are inset with rhinestones, some are engraved with names or initials. But once I got the bracelet, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t break it up. It almost felt like sacrilege. So instead I enjoy wearing it! Maybe some day I’ll sell it on.
This quirky wood box was made from bits and scraps and has writing on the side. I can picture a dad helping his child make it in the 1940s. I listed it for a while and then unlisted it. This touches me in a way that no fancy designer piece ever will. It’s now in my permanent collection.
These vintage glass Christmas ornaments (circa 1930s-1950s) were in a $6 Goodwill bag with others. I sold the fab Italian ones (making a tidy profit), but decided to keep these old sweeties–I think in part because I have none from my childhood. After my mother died over 20 years ago now, I’m sure our dad just tossed out our box of Christmas decorations. He is not sentimental. But there was one little, very old cast iron bell that had belonged to his mother’s family. It was a plain thing but I really wish he would have saved that one.
Along the Christmas theme, years ago I had thrifted several Italian plaster wisemen that had once been part of a nativity set, but alas I later discovered one had been decapitated and reglued. As a repaired piece he wasn’t worth reselling but I didn’t want to toss him out, so now he resides most of the year on top of my curio cubbies. (Surprisingly individual pieces from nativity sets sell for me. I focus on the vintage Italian ones.)
I bought this Victorian mother-of-pearl horse head fob years ago at my cousin-in-law’s small collectibles shop back in my hometown in NY state. Kurt was far more knowledgeable than me, but did not have an online presence and I’m guessing he did not have the walk-in clientele who appreciated this fob. When he quoted me a price of $5 I thought I’d heard him incorrectly. What a deal!!
Online these sell for $200 upwards, but so far I haven’t wanted to part with it!!
So these are a few of my keepers over the years. Rather an eclectic group, but then my aesthetic is quite eclectic!
I would love to hear what you’ve kept from your treasure hunts…or what you look for specifically!
Wishing you a happy beginning of fall,