Okay, first let me talk about 1stdibs. Founded in 2000, this online marketplace focuses on luxury goods from vetted sellers. The prices tend to be much (much) higher than other e-commerce sites for similar items, but people with means buy here because they are assured of getting authentic items. (To be honest, I don’t even have the credentials to sell on this site.) And I suppose if someone compliments your item it has more cachet to say that you bought it at 1stdibs rather than eBay or Etsy!
But let me get to the story.
I was in my neighborhood thrift store for a few minutes yesterday morning. I actually bought two pieces of clothing to sell though I am NOT a clothing reseller. I sell just a few random pieces now and then. But these were both saying “Buy me. Buy me.” So I did. One was a gorgeous sweater coat (Olso pattern) by Aldomartins (made in Barcelona) in perfect condition. This brand is sold by Anthropologie. If it fit me, I’d keep it, but it swims on me! The other piece is an authentic Navy dress blues jumper top also in perfect condition. And again, if it fit, I’d keep it. This one was way too slender to accommodate “the girls.” Still two good things that I should be able to sell.
And then I spotted this lacquer jewelry box on the bottom shelf in the wood aisle and my heart quickened. I knew it was really good and really old. The hand painting on this was so intricate and lavish and lovely.
When I was up at the checkout counter, the clerk looked at it and said “Wow. This looks like an antique.” And I agreed.
Well, I got home, took a photo of it and did an image search. Up popped a similar box that had sold on 1stdibs. Cool! And the more I looked through all the 1stdibs photos, the more I realized the box had the same dings, wear and marks that mine did. EXACTLY! Everything was the same down to the felt wear on the feet. OMG.
Lightbulb moment! I have the box that had sold on 1stdibs!
Cover of 1stdibs Box vs. My Box
Other than being in different lighting making the colors look dissimilar, it’s the same. Every spot, every animal placement and even the size of the hinges!
But I’ll be honest, I’m still a bit fluttery over this find. I’m guessing the previous owner died and no one in the family wanted it or thought it had value so it got donated.
Here it is on my mantel.
The 1stdibs dealer listed this as an 1880s Chinese export piece and I don’t doubt that. The original listing price was $2,250, but it sold for less. Hmmm…how much less? I tried to find the actual sold price using FlipperTools.com but it didn’t show up. Drat! So I’m guessing at least $1,000 was paid.
Now I have to be realistic, the price I can get for it will be less than a 1stdibs dealer. I do not have the same clientele or credentials. My Chairish store would be a better venue than Etsy. My only hesitation is that my Chairish store has been dead for me this year. Alas, alas. Still Chairish does vet items and interior decorators/designers buy from there.
Well, regardless of where the box ends up and how much I charge (more research is needed on my part), finding it–a true, lovely antique treasure–helps make up for all the fruitless hunts and mediocre finds. It reminded me of why I love hunting for vintage (and antique!) things. And to find it in my tiny Goodwill store was the icing on the cake.
Wishing you happy hunting,