Friday October 28, 2011 | Comments
Hi everyone. Not such a good week for thrifting, though that's not really on our minds now. While we have no real "deadline" to move into the new place, it's costing us to keep living here at the old house.
Personally, I've been struggling with a bit of a quandary. We aren't rich by any means and we've a mortgage on two houses for a little more than a year still - so there's an interesting trade-off of Time and Money that I've been encountering. The thing with reselling vintage - you CAN increase the amount you make by throwing extra time and effort into it. If I was in a 9 to 5 job, I couldn't necessarily make more money by simply "working harder". So in a way, that's really good.
However, since we've been doing almost 90% of the repairs, upgrades, installations, painting, carpentry, electrical, plumbing with our own four hands - that really cuts into the time that could be spent on the shops. I refuse to take out any more loans as well.
It goes like this: More work at the new house means less money from the shop, but maybe we can move in faster. Less work at the house and more time at the shop could mean more money coming in to possibly pay for hiring someone to help with the work to be done.
It's a confusing balance that I've had a hard time with.
But the end is in sight at least - we originally estimated we'd move in mid-summer. Now, I can only hope it happens before the end of the year.
Anyhow, enough about that - I know this isn't a personal blog. Here are a few finds:
I found a ton of Federal Prestiage by Eva Zeisel today. These had the "Lo-Ball" name on them which is a first for me. These aren't rare, but they were too cheap to pass up.
I knew the Howard Miller name, but had never seen this desk clock before. I'd actually left it at the store the first time and went to eat lunch. But I had a change of heart, and talking to folks on twitter sort of reinforced that I'd made a mistake. Luckily, I was only 2 minutes away so I went back and it was still there. Probably will keep this one for the office since it has some tarnish that I thought would come off but it won't.
I found this nice Vera Neumann scarf at an estate that I got to later. I've been sort of saving up Vera scarves over the summer to list in the Fall. Might try and bundle a bunch of them together on Etsy.
Last up in this newer print that I got for fun. It's a reprint of a Leonetto Cappiello ad that I think was for chocolate (thanks Sputnikmoss for the ID!) This one fooled me, I'd thought it was older than it was because it had so much dirt on the glass. Luckily, the goof wasn't THAT expensive - and a well learned lesson that I should probably pick up a jewelry loupe. Artwork is definitely not my forte. =)
Friday October 21, 2011 | Comments
Hi everyone. Found mostly small things at the thrift this week. The bigger $ items seem to be eluding us lately, but we make do with what we can. All the little stuff does add up - it's just that it's much more work.
I went to a sale this week that was advertised as the estate of a semi well-known actor... this is actually pretty common here in SoCal. The estate wasn't all that - with the exception of a few midmod Danish chairs that were overpriced and tons of photos. I did pick up the mushroom paper tablecloth above for fun.
I also found another Freeman Lederman piece at this estate, but unfortunately it was just the one cup. The bottom has the familiar "FL" red stamp in a box, but no other markings. I had thought this might be Kenji Fujita or La Gardo Tackett, but they usually have additional marks. Anyone know who might have made this cup?
This Dansk "fat cat" figurine was waiting for me in the curio case of a thrift that I really like. I've found quite a few of these Dansk paperweights before, but this one isn't by Gunnar Cyren - it's marked "NC". I used to know who that was - hopefully someone else can remind me of thedesigner.
I visited a thrift that I've avoided for a few months because it always has terrible parking. It also has quite a few "characters". This time, the lady in front of me in line tried to pass off a counterfeit $100 bill! She was very adamant that it was real, and produced 3 other $100 bills from her wallet saying that the clerk could take any of them. The thing is, you could see the "Abraham Lincoln" showing through... this seems to be one of the new ways to get around the "pen check". Since it's really a $5 bill, it will pass that test. Surprisingly, the manager came out and said just let her spend it. I guess they didn't want to deal with it...
Counterfeit bills notwithstanding, I picked up a few things, including this Jack Black figurine from the 80s. I almost wanted to keep this to myself, but I think this is sort of a sleeper collectible. Most people look at the back and figure that with an 80s date, it's not worth anything - or, they might even say, "oh, you mean Jack Black the actor!" But there seem to be more than a few collectors of this type of figurine. Have a look on feebay. Not my cup of tea really, but if people buy it...
I think I sort of made a mistake picking up these Dansk Blue Mist cups. I was all excited because they said Denmark on them, but they don't have saucers, one of the cups had a crack and there isn't as much value in them as I originally thought there was. I'm hoping to at least pick up the saucers if they appear later on at the same thrift.
This little sunflower vase may have also been a mistake, but it was too cheap not to get. I thought it might be from Arabia's ARA division at first, but it wasn't marked. Then I thought it might be Italian... but again, since there are no marks there's no way to tell. Nicely made, though... I guess we can always put a succulent in it.
I've come across BMF/Nagel candleholders before, but hadn't seen these gold-tone ones previously. I'm now thinking that they might be an imitation, but they're well made. It's interesting how there's a central "holder", but most of the ones I've seen don't have that extra one in the center.
I've been trying to cut down on purchase for ourselves, but I still have a hard time getting away from well-made studio pottery and stoneware. This vase was marked "Pottery Shack" on the bottom, leading me to believe that it was made at the famous Laguna Beach location. Not sure if it's someone's project, but it seems to be made quite well. There's an additional name on the bottom - "Frank". It's maddening sometimes when people just marked their first names on pieces...
Lastly, I came across this wonderful ceramic Upsala Ekeby bowl by Vicke Lindstrand. This is a really unusual piece, because Lindstrand is much more well known for his glass work. He was at Upsala Ekeby for a very short period of time as well, I believe 1942-1950. While this bowl isn't as spectacular as some of his other ceramic work, I've seen some Lindstrand Ekeby pieces listed at over a thousand dollars. I was just happy to find it still in unusually good condition at the thrift.
Tuesday October 11, 2011 | Comments
Hi everyone. Another quickie thrifting post this week. [In addition - sorry if you just read a strange incomplete post on the RSS feed... not sure if I caught it in time, but this post was accidentally published while I was still working on it! ]
Oh, by the way - I just wanted to show a pic of a coffee table I passed up. We're actually looking for a coffee table similar to this, so I was excited when they put it out on the floor.
However, it was a little too tall, and the reed rattan shelf on bottom had been busted up a bit. I'm not sure if it's a known maker - a friend on twitter (thanks Bellwethr) had mentioned it looked similar to Dux, but I haven't been able to positively ID it. I ended up leaving it, even though the price was decent at around $60. I decided I just didn't have the time to take on a refinishing project with all the house stuff going on. Question - would you have bought it, and would it be for resale or would you keep it?
I knew right away these were Hazel Atlas crinoline bowls, even though they weren't marked. However, I made the mistake of not putting these AND the other 10 crinoline plates that were sitting on a different shelf into my basket right away. I was distracted by some other pottery - sure enough, when I went back to get the plates 1 minute later, another picker had grabbed them! (*shakes fist at them*)
I only went to one estate today, and I went near closing, but I ended up coming home with this larger Iittala Ultima Thule bowl. I think this one was only still there because it had no marks on it. The lady running the estate didn't have an idea who made it, so I got it for a reasonable price. Score one for knowledge...
Lastly, I'd promised to post pics of the midcentury studio pottery I picked up last week. Well, here are three of them - yes, I did buy more! They're almost certainly from a ceramics class, but they were unusually well made. The forms and glazes seemed a bit more advanced than some of the handmade class projects I've seen. Additionally, they're nearly all marked and dated!
These three are all lidded vessels, but I did get 2 vases and the thriftstore still had a bunch of other vases and bowls. ALL of them were by the same artist. And that artist's name was... well, here's the thing. I did look for the name to see if it was a known potter, and I came up empty. I'm conducting a little experiment... I'm certain other pickers bought some of the pieces too. I just want to see - how long it takes them to put them up for sale, how much they think they're worth and whether or not they're able to find out anything else about the name. I'm not trying to withhold information, I'm just curious. If I posted the name here, well then... this page might dominate the google search results, right? Not to toot our own blog-horn, but we often rank fairly high for 2-3 word long-tail search terms...
Sorry, this might seem a bit weird - but what the hey, I'm in a weird mood today. Oh, and if you remember the artists' name that I tweeted earlier... could you not mention it in the comments? Thanks =)
See you next week!
Friday October 7, 2011 | Comments
Hi everyone. This is going to be a really quick thrift roundup, because I have a last minute appointment at the new house with some contractors. I actually found some spectacular midcentury studio pottery this week, but that's going to have to wait until next time.
I picked up another small Ken Edwards vase. Haven't seen this shape before - interestingly, this one has the sig on the side of the vase and not on the bottom as in many cases.
I believe this is another Bauer Pottery planter. Even though it's unmarked, we've found this shape marked before. Unfortunately, it has a big crack in it - two big cracks actually. So we'll be using it for our succulents.
Lastly, I found another Robert Maxwell ashtray. This one has the crackle glass merged in the bottom of the ashtray. I know I've said I'm trying to cut down on ashtrays, but I couldn't pass this one up.
OK, apologies but I really need to run. Happy thrifting!
Saturday October 1, 2011 | Comments
Hi everyone. Had a nice outing this Friday. I'd been working on the new house for 6 days straight before that, so it was nice to take a #thriftbreak finally.
The white and blue square plate shown above is a La Mirada piece. La Mirada was a California pottery and is surprisingly older than many people think - this piece is probably 40s-50s. It was actually a part of the ACP (American Ceramic Products) company which also included Winfield's products for a time. The whole history of those combined companies is very confusing - I've still been meaning to delve more into all those relationships on the Potteries of California site one of these days.
The covered sugar bowl with great lava-like glaze is German, but I'm not sure which company it was or if it's newer or older. I think it might be newer because it says "Germany" and not "West Germany"... though the clay on bottom looks like it has some age.
These two pieces aren't something I normally would pick up. I just felt in a weird mood I guess. Though, I've definitely been planning on learning more about Native American ceramics one day. That one on the left is Sioux Pottery from Rapid City in South Dakota. The artist is "Brave Hawk"... I think this may also be newer, although the tape I found on the bottom of the vase looked fairly old. The piece on the right is actually an unusual vase or planter designed by Masa Mami for Treasure Craft, I think from the ceramics plant in Maui. Not much info on these things, but I think they're not very common.
I actually found TWELVE of these La Gardo Tackett designed Schmid Porcelain teacups. I wish the saucers were also at the thrift, but I guess I'm not complaining. Maybe they'll turn up next week at the same thrift - that tends to happen a lot.
We've found this same M.A. Hadley "thank you note" coaster before, but I picked it up again because we sold that one. I've had mixed experience with Hadley items - sometimes they sell immediately, and other times they stick around for years.
This is my favorite find for this trip. I noticed it right away on a top shelf of the thriftstore, but had to wait a few minutes to check it out because there were so many people looking at things in a narrow aisle. It turns out that it's a modern Bodum kettle from Italy, designed by Carsten Jorgensen. I believe he was Director of Design at Bodum for a long time... actually not sure if he still is. It has an interesting look to it - sort of like a throwback to art deco, but definitely modern. I think that this shape was called the "Osiris", but I'm uncertain if they are still being sold. I know that there are many different variations of it, and supposedly it was originally created for the Museum of Modern Art giftstore? Ours has a wooden handle and the glass "jewel" bead at top, so I think it's vintage. Linda says she remembers when this was still being sold, but I think this one may be from the mid 80s?
OK, heading back out to the house tomorrow morning. Happy thrifting!