One Yes, One No at the Thrift Store

First, thankfully I’m over my cold and back to my normal life…which I’ll admit is unremarkable. Some might call it boring.

I have friends who have traveled recently (many internationally) and others who are doing things like enjoying concerts (and singing in them!), visiting wineries, dandling grandchildren and having all manner of fun. When they ask me what I’ve been up to, what’s new in my life, my mind goes blank! Then it starts racing. What do I say? “Well, I found a cool vase at Goodwill.” Umm…”I finally deadheaded my climbing roses.” “I finished reading ‘American Girl’ by Mary Cantwell.” I’m equally stumped by the question “What are you summer plans?” Summer plans? Summer plans?! I got zippity doo dah. Nada. Zilch.

It’s a tad embarrassing. At times I wish I had a more Instagram-worthy life with photos and stories to share of exotic locales, exciting activities, joyous celebrations. But in all honesty, I am content with my small, quiet, homey life. Well, 95% content. Maybe I need to add 5% more spice!!

So in my normal life I did go to my neighborhood thrift store (natch!) the other day and I was trying hard not to be annoyed because it was crowded and some folks had no spatial awareness or manners.


Still I cruised around the small store a few times and spotted this old, small, primitive hand-carved wood box with a Masonic emblem on the wood/basket shelf. This one-of-a kind box is just fantastic. Something you would find at an antique store. Possibly made as a snuff box and certainly collectible in that aspect and as a Masonic piece.

Pricing items like this can be tricky. Some would argue that it’s just a little homemade box. But I look at all the positives it has from a collector’s standpoint: It’s hand made and one of a kind. It’s primitive. It has popular good luck and Masonic symbols. It has some age. It’s possibly a snuff box (though has never been used as such). It’s signed (with an initial).

Then I look at current listing prices (wood trinket boxes, wood carved snuff boxes, etc). I know many resellers say to just focus the recent sold prices and you should look at those but they’re not going to give you the full value picture, particularly if all the solds are on eBay.

So after considering all these elements I settled on a listing price of $60.

The next day I headed to the Goodwill down the road and was tempted by this huge brass punch bowl (for $9.99) still in a new merch bin. But I just didn’t like the design! The cutouts on the base were unappealing and I couldn’t figure out what the applied design bits around the top were. (Turns out they’re flying cranes.) In the end I left it behind.

Back at home I found one that sold nine years ago with 12 cups for $79.99.

Here’s one currently for sale.

Did I make the right decision? I did for me. Punch bowls aren’t big sellers so this would likely linger a long time (years) and the size makes them harder to store and ship. Plus I just didn’t like the design. Not that I claim to be an arbiter of taste, but I’ve learned to trust my instinct on these things.

So I’ll close for now hoping you are healthy, happy and have just the right amount of spice in your life!



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